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Thread: Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

  1. #1
    wfwhitaker
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    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    The 159mm Wollensak Series III Wide Angle Velostigmat came in two versions of which I'm aware: the f/9.5 and the f/12.5. Can anyone tell me of any significant difference between the two lenses (other than the obvious difference of speed). A search of this site has not yielded an answer.

  2. #2

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    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    Will,

    The f/9.5 is usually labeled "WA" (Wide Angle)and the f/12.5 "EWA"(Extreme Wide Angle) because the f/12,5 has a slightly larger image circle to work with. IMHO a coated example is preferred over an uncoated one. My f/9.5 "WA" yellow dot version is a peach!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
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  3. #3

    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    John

    have you made an enlargement with your f9.5?

    I ask because I bought a late coated version of one of these and yesterday had my first shot at exposing some film with it. I had the glass cleaned and shutter lubed to make sure it was working at its optimum. First impression of the neg is plenty of cover but not as sharp as I was expecting. I would say it would be adequate as a contact print but an enlargement would quickly show up its deficiencies.

    Now I'm wondering if these lenses were only intended to make contact prints?

    Or maybe the f12.5 is sharper?

    Or I got a bad one?

    cheers

    Clayton

  4. #4

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    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    Clayton,

    I find the coating helps a lot, but even the more modern 159mm Wollys IMHO, won't perform like an SA, especially when it comes to enlarging. Whether this is due to the formula or because of my specific example I can't say since my experience with WAs and EWAs is pathetically limited. Quite honestly, I don't know how to evaluate lenses other than by my own satisfaction with one. If anyone who can test lenses(like Kerry or Chris) needs a coated 9.5 to test against a sampleing of 12.5s and other 9.5s I'd be happy to loan them my example for the cause.

    Cheers!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #5

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    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    To answer Clayton's question about enlarging images made with the f/9.5 lens, I have taken several 8x10 negatives produced with that lens up to 16x20 (ok, so it is only a 2x enlargement, but it still counts as enlarged!) and they are still very sharp.



    As to the difference between the f/9.5 and the f/12.5, all I could come up with was that the f/9.5 lenses were possibly the later model, and avaliable coated (my version was).



    Hope this helps

  6. #6

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    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    The 12.5 has a larger image circle than the 9.5, sorry but I don't remember the exact numbers. I've owned two of the uncoated 9.5s, both were excellent wide angle lenses for 8x10. I don't think the 9.5 is necessarily newer than the 12.5, I believe both were offered simultaneously at least for some period of time. The 9.5 was the more expensive of the two. Both lenses have been discussed quite a bit here since they're one of the very few small, inexpensive wide angle lenses that will cover 8x10 with room for movments. I paid about $200 for one of mine and $300 for the other.
    Brian Ellis
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  7. #7
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    I own an early uncoated f/12.5, and my experience is identical to Clayton's with the later f/9.5. Beautiful contact prints, then I got an 8x10 enlarger and found the negativews didn't hold up well. Ignorance was bliss...

    Still a great lens for contact printing, which is what I do 90% of the time, but I have this great fear now that I'll use it to shoot something that just needs to be 16x20. I took a chance and blew $25 on a newer coated f/12.5 in a bad shutter; it's in transit now. We'll see...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #8

    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    Just got a 12,5 108mm (5x7) incredibly tiny. Expect to use it on a 4x5 camera filling the gap between a 75mm f.5,6 SA and a 5,6 Apo Symmar without adding weight. Hopefully you can enlarge it x2

  9. #9

    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    a 150mm that is

  10. #10

    Wollensak Series III Wide Angle

    John is correct. I have an old reference that has the 12.5 Extreme Wide Angle covering 95 degrees. The Velostigmat series 3 at f9.5 covering 90 degrees. There also was a 1a at 6.3 that was convertible and covered 63 degrees, a process at f10 covered 50 degrees, a 4.5 series2 that covers 53 degrees. My guess is the basic lens design of the wide angles are similar to the Zeiss Protar's. However, this is just a guess.

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