View Full Version : Wollensak Verito 14 1/2" Diffused Focus Lens on 5x7 Camera?

21-Jan-2013, 18:40
Sorry if this is a little basic or has been covered, but I found a 14 1/2" Verito several years ago in an antique store and bought it with only a vague idea of what it actually was. I realize now that it is quite long -- that's around 360mm if I am correct -- and that it seems to have been made for 8x10(?), which I cannot attempt at the moment. I am interested in trying some portraiture with it, and was wondering if that focal length would be fine on a 5x7 camera. Secondly, if so, are there any recommended cameras, especially given its large size? (The barrel is 4" in diameter.) Particularly wondering if perhaps some sort of Graflex SLR with a cloth shutter might work, as the lens does not seem to have a shutter -- though there is a lever that opens and closes it smoothly, and the apertures adjust well and look good. Any advice would really be appreciated, and I would love to try this thing out if there was some way to do it. I do have a Saturn '75' 5x7 monorail that I got cheaply about 10 years ago and used a tiny bit, but the lens won't even fit into the (3.5" x 3.75") hole when I take the lens board off....plus there is the shutter issue. Thanks so much.

William Whitaker
21-Jan-2013, 19:37
The focal length is a bit long for 5x7, but it's really a matter of taste. Some will love it; others not.

My 14 1/2" Verito is mounted on a Sinar board, so a Sinar 4x5 camera would accommodate it. That's also good because you can add an intermediate standard and another bellows to get the extension you'll need. Sinar F's seem to be going fairly inexpensively at the moment. Also you can add a Sinar/Copal shutter to the mix to have a reliable shutter.

Another possibility is to use an 8x10 camera with a 5x7 reducing back. But if you're not ready for 8x10, that may not be the best solution as it probably entails a larger tripod and will be more weight and bulk.

David A. Goldfarb
21-Jan-2013, 20:26
It normally comes in a Studio shutter, which takes a pneumatic release or occasionally you see them with cable release fittings. The lever is to open the lens for focusing. Timing with the bulb is manual, and if the shutter is working smoothly, your fastest speed should be around 1/4 sec or 1/5 sec.

Carsten Wolff
21-Jan-2013, 20:36
To me your lens seems a perfect FL on 5x7". Attached is a pic taken with a similar focal length (15" Wolly at f5.6) on 5x7". -My at the time first attempt at a 5x7" portrait shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/37082363@N08/8242056382/. wide open you'll have pretty shallow DOF (your's is an F4 lens, right?) Get a Packard shutter perhaps if you don't have yours already in a working Studio shutter.

Michael Clark
21-Jan-2013, 22:48
The 14" Verito has a 4" diameter barrel which would make it very hard to mount on your 3 1/2 " lens board, mine was hard to mount on the 5" lens board on the 5x7 Burke and James I own.Had to buy a Packard shutter with a 4" opening, which gives me 1/20 sec shutter speed and "B", the studio shutter had been gutted of the shutter leaves and or aperture.


22-Jan-2013, 07:24
i don't think it is the FL that will cause trouble with your camera
it is the lensboard size. the rear cell of a 14" verito is larger than the square hole
your board offers. i had a similar problem with my verito ( a 3.5" lensboard ) BUT
my szabad has a large board the small one fits into, so i had it mounted to the large board instead.
14" is the perfect FL for head+shoulder portraits, and was one of the standard FL's for headshots
on 5x7 + split 5x7 film. BUT portrait photographers often times had an 8x10 camera
and sliding / split 5x7 reducing back because the 14" lenses were / are so large ...
bigger camera = bigger lensboard ...

have fun !

William Whitaker
22-Jan-2013, 07:54
I wrote above regarding using a Sinar 4x5. Good idea except you said you wanted to use it on 5x7. It was late when I wrote that; sorry!

OK then, a Sinar 5x7. But that's going to be a more expensive proposition, so not as attractive. My initial reaction to your post was to use an 8x10 camera with a reducing back. But that would probably be expensive, too, if you're not looking to invest too far into this. But if you keep your eyes open, things do come up for sale when you least expect them.

I believe the Burke & James 5x7 cameras had 6" square lensboards. Make sure whatever you get has enough bellows for what you want to do. It should, but double-check the numbers before you commit funds.

Jim Galli
22-Jan-2013, 09:42
Old Century Studio cameras without the stands are nearly worthless and remain the best platform on earth for a big Verito lens. Lensboards are 9X9 inch, so packard shutters are simple to mount and very reliable. Even Studio strobe is possible with Packard shutters.

Just an alternative to also consider as sometimes I think people get so carried away with their problem solving they end up spending a lot more than dedicating a camera platform which is the right tool for the job would cost them. Century 4A 5X7 camera. Century 7A 5X7 with 8X10 capability. If you trip over one with a stand, even better.

22-Jan-2013, 16:44
Thanks, everyone -- a lot of food for thought, and I really appreciate your time, knowledge and encouragement. I will ponder it and get something going soon, hopefully. In thinking about it, I don't think the 8x10 w/ reducing back is out of the question. And yes, the lens is F4. Thanks again.

20-Jan-2014, 23:29

does anyone know, if Verito 11.5 F4 fits to Rittreck 5x7 camera? I canīt find (google :-) ) its diameters


Leonard Robertson
21-Jan-2014, 11:14

does anyone know, if Verito 11.5 F4 fits to Rittreck 5x7 camera? I canīt find (google :-) ) its diameters


The 1922 Wollensak catalog here: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/info.html shows lens inner flange diameters, which may give you some idea of how it will fit your board. There may be more information in other Wollensak catalogs on cameraeccentric; I didn't look at many of them. I have no idea on the size of the 5X7 Rittreck lens board.


21-Jan-2014, 12:34
Thanks! It seems that it would be possible. Now only need Verito :-)

21-Jan-2014, 13:06
The Rittreck lens board is 114mm x 114mm and the 11.5 Verito about 92mm, so yes, a custom drilling could mount that lens. Also, the Rittreck 5x7 has a 15 inch max bellows extension, so you could focus that closer than infinity.


does anyone know, if Verito 11.5 F4 fits to Rittreck 5x7 camera? I canīt find (google :-) ) its diameters


21-Jan-2014, 13:14
Yes... the most important is the diameter of the hole on front of rittreck body. I hope i will havve chance to check it.

21-Jan-2014, 13:23
I measure the hole of the front standard of the Rittreck at 99mm, so it would just barely make it. You probably would not be able to use any lensboard adapter, as that would be even smaller in diameter, so using an actual Rittreck lens board or a custom made imitation would be necessary.

Yes... the most important is the diameter of the hole on front of rittreck body. I hope i will havve chance to check it.

21-Jan-2014, 13:54
Yes, sounds perfect. That is no problem, i will have my imitation with requested paramters. Thanks again!