Leitz Wollensack Velostigmat

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I recently purchased a Focomat IC (at a very good price) and it came with a Leitz NY, Wollensack Velostigmat, 50mm f3.5 lens as the enlarging lens. I understand that this lens came with the the Leica "Standard" and its a nice very compact SM but does anyone know how well it works as an enlarging lens-especially in comparison with the Focotar?


-- Armando (ay@sccorp.com), April 29, 2002


I'm just gonna make a guess that it's a Tessar formula, and as such, not particularly sharp at the edges when used in a situation where flat-field performance (copying and enlarging) is necessary. Probably the most equivalent more modern enlarging lens would be a Componar, or those various funky-name enlarging lenses that used to be sold with cheap enlargers--like Voss, etc. that you can pick up in photo shop bargain bins for $10. No comparison with the Focotar at all.

-- Michael Darnton (mdarnton@hotmail.com), April 29, 2002.

On the other hand, if it's in a LTM focusing mount for a camera, this site: http://www.leicagallery.com/rarityratingslenses.htm

lists it as particularly rare and expensive, so maybe you can sell it and buy a real enlarging lens. :-)

-- Michael Darnton (mdarnton@hotmail.com), April 29, 2002.

If this is a genuine Leica SM 50/3.5 Wollensak Velostigmat (engraved E. Leitz N.Y.) lens, it is inded a rara avis. E. Leitz NY marked several Wollensak lenses toward the end of WWII and in the early post- war period when Leitz Wetzlar lenses were very hard to come by. These lenses were made by Wollensak and called "Velostigmat" and include: 50/3.5 (rare), 50/2.8 (? aprototype, never actually sold), and two longer lenses that are somewhat easier to find [90/4.5 and 127/4.5]. The 127/4.5 sometimes appears as an "Anastigmat" or "Raptor", although it is most commonly called the Velostigmat - all the same lens.

Believe it or not, a mint example of the 50/3.5 Velostigmat is worth on the order of $ 1500 (it's hard to tell how much it's really worth, since it comes out for sale so infrequently). Expect to pay at least $ 600 or so for a used example with decent glass. If your lens is the real deal Leica SM camera lens, then you've go a good one. If it is a made for enlarger lens, it is still interesting, but not worth nearly as much.

-- Eliot (erosen@lij.edu), May 01, 2002.

I though I had a Wollensak, but it was only vinyl.

-- Bob Fleischman (RFXMAIL@prodigy.net), May 01, 2002.

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