Wollensak Velostigmat VFgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread
I need a couple of other questions answered about the 300 F4.5 Series II Velostigmat VF. The part of the lens in front of the shutter, that is, all of the lens in front of the shutter can be rotated and is this normal or something that needs to be fixed/addressed? In other words, the front of the lens, and the lens itself can be rotated even though I accidently did this once and only once,for fear this is not as it should be. Being new to LF, I have no idea if this is normal or not. Incidently HOW DO I GET THIS LENS TO OPEN AND CLOSE? I don't see a lever or button for opening or closing the lens.
-- Jonathan Brewer (email@example.com), March 30, 2001
I don't have this particular Wollensak lens but I have two others. If yours are in the same kind of shutter as mine, there is no lever to open and close the lens as there usually is on newer shutters. You focus by setting the aperture at its widest, setting the shutter to "T," and then firing the shutter, presumably with your cable release. When set on "T" the shutter will stay open until you close it by firing it again. After that you set the shutter at the speed with which you'll actually make the photograph. The shutter, again if it is like the two that are on my Wollensak lenses, is a self-cocking shutter, which I've come to like quite a bit. With a self cocking shutter you don't have to cock the shutter every time you want to use it.
The fact that the front lens element will turn in the shutter if you try to do so is normal, unless it turns so readily that you can't keep it on the shutter, which seems unlikely.
The "Velostigmat" designation means that you have an uncoated lens, unless by chance some previous owner had it coated. The Wollensak lenses that were single coated from the factory were referred to as "Raptars."
I've been pleased with the two Wollensak lenses that I have (a 159 mm and a triple convertible 330/500/612). I use them on my 8x10 camera and I only contact print my 8x10 negatives, so I don't know how they would be if used to make negatives that were going to be enlarged. For contact printing though they've been very good, particularly considering the price of around $300 each.
-- Brian Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2001.
Is your lens mounted in a shutter? Look for a "Betax" or "Alphax" name around the outside. Alphax shutters are chrome; Betax shutters are black. Neither of these shutters has a cocking mechanism; that is they are self-cocking. Everyone just uses "T" for focusing. They both use a movable pointer for the aperture setting and a rotating ring for the speed. They come in both synchronized and unsynchronized models, but I've only ever seen speeds of 2, 5, 10, 25 50, B & T. Of course if you have a barrel lens, this is all moot. Need I say that if you have a shutterless lens (a barrel mount), you'll only have an aperture ring around a big fat black enamel- coated brass barrel.
-- Chad Jarvis (email@example.com), March 31, 2001.