VERITO/VERITAR : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

OK, keepes of Wollensak portrait lens arcana, what is the difference between the Verito and the Veritar? I think the Veritar is simply the later, single-coated version of the Verito, in Alphax rather than barrel or studio shutter. Anybody know?? -jeff buckels (albuquerque)

-- Jeff Buckels (, August 14, 2001


Veritar is the infinitive, and Verito is the first person singular.

-- Kevin M. Bourque (, August 14, 2001.

Hi Jeff, I'll take a shot at this.

I believe that a Veritar is a symmetrical optical design that was once called a Rapid-Rectilinear, a mid-1800's attempt to make a superior lens design. It was quickly surpassed by other designs, but some photographers felt it gave a certain "look" to portraits and so it remained in production under various names into the age of coated lenses. It needs to be stopped down to deliver sharpness but is soft wide open. You'll notice that late Veritars tend to have dots on the scale between wide open and one stop down. By one stop down, they're reasonably sharp.

Veritos on the other hand, have their own optical design (not symmetrical) and are specifically designed to give glowing soft images. They are extremely soft and flarey wide open and need to be stopped down several stops to get reasonable sharpness.

I don't think that Veritos were ever coated because it would have raised contrast and reduced flare!

Hope this helps.

-- Steve Artz (, August 14, 2001.


I don't know all of the differences there might have been, but I believe the major difference was that the veritos were convertibles.

-- Ken Burns (, August 15, 2001.

Ken: Are the Verito's convertable. I've heard this, but mine doesn't look like it wants to be taken apart. I've fiddled a bit, but it's firm and I don't want to mess it up. I've never actualy seen anything on this but have seen an old ad that didn't mention it. Has anyone actualy converted one of these? Thanks Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (, August 15, 2001.

At least some of the Veritos were convertible. From the 1920 Wollensak catalog regarding the Verito: "The Verito is unique in construction, being a double lens, free from distortion because it is rectilinear. The rear lens may be used alone and renders about the same diffusion as the doublet, so the Verito is virtually two lenses in one." The accompanying table notes the FLs with both elements in place and rear element alone. E.g., for the No. 5, for 8x10, it is a 14.5 inch lens w/ both elements, and a whopping 24 inches w/ rear only.... The best information I have now about the difference between this and the Veritar is that the latter was developed much later and was aimed at studio color photography. It was probably also a rapid rectilinear, it was single-coated, and came in Alphax. There is lore that the degree of diffusion possible is less than that of the Verito. -jeff buckels

-- Jeff Buckels (, August 16, 2001.

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