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Thread: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

  1. #1
    Dave Karp
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    Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    In anticipation of my Travelwide camera, I purchased a nice 90mm f/6.8 Raptar. It is so small and light, I decided that it might be nice for those days when I have to travel light but want to take a 90 with me for use on my Walker Titan SF.

    Shockingly, the lens has enough coverage for some useful movements. I was surprised, because I had read that it would "just" cover 4x5.

    Any of you have a similar experience with this lens?

  2. #2

    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    The older lenses don't have a sharp cut off, so you might not notice the gradual loss on the GG as you do movements but if you blow it up you will. Makes it difficult to know when you are in the clear and when you aren't, I just stick with zero movements.

  3. #3
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    Thanks Sean. It looked surprisingly good on the gg, especially at f/22.

  4. #4

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    Thats good to know, I just got one the other day but don't have a lens board for it yet.
    It looks like a beautiful lens that I am looking forward to using soon.

  5. #5

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    Just purchased one myself - haven't received it yet, however. Anyone have an idea of what the FFL is?

  6. #6

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    The same as an Angulon, apparently: mine fit perfectly on my Travelwide, without any adjustments.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  7. #7

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    Thanks for the quick response. I peeked at your Flickr account and saw that you own/use a 108mm Raptar. With the viewing angle being similar, how would you compare the two?

  8. #8

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    Yes, I have a little problem with accumulating Wollensak lenses. I've got three 90s and two 108s. They do cover quite a bit, but can get very crummy around the edges before they go dark. I haven't stretched them to their limits, though I did shoot an 8x10 with a 108 the other day, just to test coverage. Unfortunately, the sun was in the photo and it totally flared out, so I still don't know. It looks like it throws a circle of 240mm, but how much of that is good enough I can't yet tell.

    There appear to be a couple of different types of lenses involved--they're not just one formula--but no one has been interested enough to explain it to me. The 12.5 versions (I have one in 90 and one 108) appear to be identical to the 6.8s, except that the stop is mechanically limited, and I have removed it from mine. The little bit that I've shot with these lenses leaves me wondering why I bothered buying a 90/5.6 Super Angulon, since it never gets used at all.

    The 108mm length is a particularly comfortable lens on 4x5, and the lens is nicely compact, too.

    If you read very deeply, some Wollensak literature implies these might cover 105 degrees, but probably not to modern standards.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  9. #9

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    It's kind of funny - reading posts over the years from everyone about which "lens to buy" and "which lens is best", I've always just kind of dismissed the older US lenses because "they get crummy in the corners" and they have smaller coverage. But I've kind of learned that the work I make can be quite successful with crummy corners and small coverage. I've never understood why people need to be able to turn their cameras into pretzels for a simple landscape shot, thus requiring a lens with an extra 70mm+ of coverage (obviously, view camera studio work is different). These cheaper alternatives have opened up a new world for me. And since I shoot almost all of my work with shutter speeds exceeding 1", the shutter reliability issue of older lenses is almost non-existent.

    I appreciate your comments regarding the 108mm - I think I am going to be trying to purchase something in that length next. It will be a nice "in between" size with my 90mm and 127mm. With 240mm of coverage, I imagine the corners usually look quite good, even with a little rise, no? - at least on 4x5...

  10. #10

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    Re: Wollensak Raptar 90mm f/6.8 surprising coverage!

    "Best" is a defeating concept. There are plenty of us for whom "best" isn't really necessary, and when you get out of that mindset other possibilities open up. I never use my 90/5.6 SA because the front and back are the size of dessert plates, it takes a lot of room in my bag, it is hard to use with a sunken board--all sorts of good reasons. For me, the tiny W/A Raptars are fine.

    I plan to re run the test with more care in the future, on 5x7. The 108 is certainly a length I like, though, and you're right---I hardly ever use more than a little rise, and these days I start at the back for tilting (the old way--there are definite advantages that explain why the old cameras started being made with back swings and tilts first and didn't have front movements for a very long time.) I have some modern lenses, but the ones I use most are Tessar derivations from Wollensak and Ilex. If you don't need the coverage that modern Plasmats give, Tessars are great, expecially in longer lengths, for people who aren't making wall-size prints.

    This was shot with a 190/4.5 Raptar on 5x7. It's not really supposed to do that, but I'm fine with the results: https://www.flickr.com/photos/michae...posted-public/
    It was a primitive scan of the wet neg still in the hanger, held against the sky, shot with my Nikon D300, and I scanned the neg for real later--there's much more than in this version.

    I very consistently see 90/6.8 Raptars on Ebay for around $60. By what logic would this be a bad purchase, even if only for occasional use on trips to risky places?
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

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