Wollensak Voltas

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Greetings, I have a Wollensak convertible lens marked "Voltas Three Focus F8 8x10". It's mounted in a Betax No. 4 shutter and is a good lens. The aperture scale says indicates that it serves as a 12.5", 20", and 28.5" lens. It does not have a serial number. Does anybody know the history of this lens? When was it manufactured? I use it for B&W following the rules for convertible lenses, but am curious about its history. Thanks in advance. Jim Worthington

-- Jim Worthington (ajworthington@mindspring.com), April 23, 2000


The 1919 Wollensak catalog describes the Voltas as "an inexpensive outfit, suitable where rapidity and definition are not essential." It sold for $23.00 in their "Auto" shutter. For comparison, their top of the line lens in the same focal length sold for $130! The Betax shutter came later and may have been an after market job. It was shown as having fewer corrections than their more expensive line of Velostigmats most of which were faster and stated as being "fully" corrected anastigmats. The date of it's origin is not given and others with access to later catalogs will have to note when it was discontinued.

-- C. W. Dean (cwdean@erols.com), April 23, 2000.

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