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Thread: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

  1. #1

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    Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    Does anyone have any experience using this lens for 4x5 format ? I have a 4x5 ShenHao that accepts Linhoff boards and I was curious if this lens is too large for 4x5 format ?

    I am looking for a soft focus lens to utilize with 4x5 and thought that this lens may be a good option.

  2. #2
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    It's a fine soft lens if you "uncork" the soft focus restricting screw as outlined here:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...nfo-and-Images

    The 9.5" is the shortest made in any numbers with the softness control. Mine is in a Studio Shutter and the mounting ring is 3" wide, so check that against your lensboard. It also came in a Betax, and perhaps other shutters. The 8.75" and 9" Veritos are also a good choice.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    It's a fine soft lens if you "uncork" the soft focus restricting screw as outlined here:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...nfo-and-Images

    The 9.5" is the shortest made in any numbers with the softness control. Mine is in a Studio Shutter and the mounting ring is 3" wide, so check that against your lensboard. It also came in a Betax, and perhaps other shutters. The 8.75" and 9" Veritos are also a good choice.
    Thank you for this info and directing me to the link, very helpful !!!

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    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    It's a fine soft lens if you "uncork" the soft focus restricting screw as outlined here:

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...nfo-and-Images
    Not wanting to hijack this thread, but i think it could be of some interest for the OP.

    1) Is the Ilex Paragon Series A a siamese twin of the Velostigmat Series II?
    I can't wait to lay my hands on a 12" example i recently won on Ebay.
    It looks exactly like a late SF Velostigmat in Betax No.5 (which in turn has different mount from the earlier version often found in Studio shutter), but i still don't know if it can be "uncorked" in the same way.

    2) I already own a 12" Series II, it came as a bargain, as it was badly described, and the auction had just a single picture.
    The outcome was not as bad as i feared: the glasses were reasonably clean, and the shutter worked, though there was a ding on the side of the front cell, which didn't allow to turn the SF ring.
    After some work with the flat blade of a small screwdriver, i could fix the problem, but the front is still not perfectly round, so i couldn't unscrew the beauty ring, and access the screw that allows to "uncork" the SF ring.
    I don't have a rubber cap big enough, so i tried to exercise enough friction with some rubberized cloth, and even tried with the tips of a big compass. No luck.
    What do you suggest?
    Is it safe to carve two small indents on the eauty ring, with a Dremel?
    Or even poking two small holes with a small (hand) drill?
    Now the front thread looks perfectly circular to my eye, i guess it would take very little force to unscrew the ring.
    Even if i would be more than willing to try softness settings beyond the limit of "5", i am NOT willing to risk the integrity of a nice lens, that is still very usable as-is.

    That's why i am asking for help.
    If i don't get any useful input, i will try the same kind of surgery on my new Ilex (which i hope will safely reach its destination), hoping that it's built the same way.
    I am sure that if the second question gets answered, it would serve as a nice reference for future searches. Many Series II with SF ring are either a little out of whack, rusted, or with a front ring that's simply stuck... so any "smart" advice about its removal would be quite useful.

    have fun

    CJ
    have fun
    CJ

    WTB (and pay good monet for):
    soft back cell for Ilex Photoplastic 5x7
    disks for Imagon 420mm
    5x7 back for Calumet C1
    5x7 conversion for Bi-System

    for sale
    Photographica

  5. #5
    loujon
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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberjunkie View Post

    That's why i am asking for help.
    If i don't get any useful input, i will try the same kind of surgery on my new Ilex (which i hope will safely reach its destination), hoping that it's built the same way.
    I am sure that if the second question gets answered, it would serve as a nice reference for future searches. Many Series II with SF ring are either a little out of whack, rusted, or with a front ring that's simply stuck... so any "smart" advice about its removal would be quite useful.

    have fun

    CJ
    Hey CJ

    I have a a 15 1/2" Paragon Series A with the pins removed on the diffusion ring and as I recall the procedure is just about the same as with the Velostigmat II. Actually if I'm not mistaken the beauty ring on the Paragon's have a raised rim on the beauty ring with some groves for texture which help's with removal.

    That said, it's nearly impossible to get the beauty ring off the Paragon if the front cell is dented even a tad just like with the Velostigmat.

    So if the front cell on your Paragon is not out of round then you'll have an easy enough time.

    Here's wishing you luck with your soon to arrive Paragon. Hope the front cell is true and round.

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    cyberjunkie's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    I hope the Paragon will come in perfect shape, it is always difficult to judge from a picture...
    Nice to know that it should be a little easier to uncork.
    It is still a mystery how some beauty rings are supposed to be clamped in some way and unscrewed.
    There are some beauty rings which are very steep, almost vertical, like in some Roussell lenses.
    Without any hole/indent for a lens spanner, i can't see any other way than using a perfectly sized rubber tool.
    The rubber caps sold on Ebay (or on a few specialized online stores) are really expensive, and come only in some diameters.
    Rubber or plastic caps for regular use are very cheap, but i couldn't find them in bigger sizes (more than 55/60mm).
    Any trick/advice to share?
    have fun
    CJ

    WTB (and pay good monet for):
    soft back cell for Ilex Photoplastic 5x7
    disks for Imagon 420mm
    5x7 back for Calumet C1
    5x7 conversion for Bi-System

    for sale
    Photographica

  7. #7
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyberjunkie View Post
    Not wanting to hijack this thread, but i think it could be of some interest for the OP.

    1) Is the Ilex Paragon Series A a siamese twin of the Velostigmat Series II?
    Yes. If you look at the 1922 Ilex lens catalog ( http://cameraeccentric.com/html/info/ilex_4.html ), you might recognize all three models of Ilex lenses as copies of Wollensak lenses. I have both the 16" Ilex "Ace High" Portrait and the 16" Vitax. Both are f/3.8 Petzvals and it would be hard to tell them apart, right down to the side mounted knob for softness adjustment.

    Regarding the dented ring that forbids disassembly to get to the restricting screws, I had a similar problem. I knew, however, that the little set screws are small and made from a fairly soft brass. With a bit of force, I simply torqued on it til one of the screws sheared off, then unscrewed it and removed the broken screw head. Works fine now!
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #8

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    Re: Wollensak Velostigmat 9 1/2 "/4.5 series II, soft focus lens - for 4x5 ?

    CJ -
    I had the same issue with both a 9 1/2 and a 12" ...there just was no way to get the torque needed to pop it out. So I used the smallest metal bit I had and very, very carefully drilled two opposite holes in the beauty ring. The spanner now had purchase, and it spun out like a charm. Give it a whirl...just aim right and keep a steady hand.

    To Timeshare: my 9 1/2" works just fine with a Betax, on a Chamonix w/ Linhoff-type boards. Had it on a Speed Graphic originally, but needed the slower speeds so found the right shutter, and it's a dandy for 4x5.
    john

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