Wollensak Verito questions

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I just got a Verito "Defused Focus" lens. I very much want to use this lens for some Retro type portrait work. But this lens is very used. In fact a former user removed (!) the blades from the diaphram. Ah well. I notice there is a slot in the lens barrel and I think I recall reading that this was used to insert screens for different defusion effects. I also recall reading that the Verito lens defusion effect was lessened by stopping down the lens.

So with all this is mind.... Would I be better off fashioning some "Waterhouse" type stops to be put in the slot, or.. is it a better idea to control the exposure by using the slot for negative density filters? If I used ND filters, then I would have the lens at full diameter, and (I suppose) have full effect of the defusion.

Or am I way off base on this? Are there any old salt photogs out there who can lend a hand? The focal length of this lens is 8.75 inches, if that makes a difference.

thanks for your help.

chuck k

-- chuck k (kleesattel@msn.com), April 01, 2001


The Verito image gets sharper as it is stopped down and after F-11 it's pretty sharp. I believe that the wide open image at f-4 may be too soft for many photographers' tastes (it's pretty mushy). My personal perference is around f-6. I would cut the Waterhouse stops out of thin black material like construction paper and place them inside by unscrewing the front element and putting them in roughly the position of the missing iris diaphram--this is quicker and easier than trying to fabricate them to fit the slot (I would also tape over the slot to keep unwanted light out of the barrel). For the opening you can use the formula: Diameter = focal length over f-stop. With the Verito, it doesn't have to be high precision or perfect. When you find the stop that makes the image you like, leave it in place and adjust the lighting for that stop. Neutral density filters (if necessary at all) can be put in front or behind the lens. Lighting with the Verito is another craft all by itself--I like umbrellas or diffused north skylight. A deep lens shade (also from black craft paper) is a good idea. Good luck.......

-- C. W. Dean (cwdean@erols.com), April 01, 2001.

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