Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Wollensak Veritar

Shown here on a Cambo view, this rather long focal length (10") Veritar is an interesting and large lens.  Look closely and see the dots in the section of the aperture between wide open and one stop below it. These are "sharpness" indicators, as the Veritar is intended as a soft focus portrait lens with spherical  aberration that changes as a function of aperture.  The difference is big, as wide open at f6 it is really soft, and yet about one stop closed and the lens is actually reasonably sharp. Another quirk is the plane of focus, which shifts as you stop it down, so you have to be aware of that.

I found this one at a garage sale several years ago. The lens is mounted in a large Alphax shutter that is so big that its top speed is only 1/50th of a second. But it is self-cocking, and works nicely.  The white ring is an addition done by me - a machined Delrin ring, to cover up some corrosion, and to make the cap slip on and off very smoothly.

Posting this to cheer myself up, after hearing that FP100B45 is indeed off the air. If you want this wonderful stuff, you better get it now. It is hard to believe how quickly Fuji reversed itself on that one (or did that batch simply run out - they do make batches) . Of course we can't dislike them for making what was the best 4X5 instant positive in the first place! It blew Old Pol away in my opinion.

Now today we hear that TIP is planning to start up their 8X10 line next year. That's great news indeed, and one would have to imagine that if TIP grows, it might offer a 4X5 material too, to fill the looming gap. And what about packfilm? Can we expect more of that in the future, or none? Hard to say. With Phase One backs still costing $40K (for the full frame) we have a long way to go before we can make the jump, and those little sensors - they just don't cut it in the world of selective focus, image planes, Sheimpflug,


and so forth.

Now there is an inkling that the FP-3000B45 may make its way to the US soon!  Yes, I have heard that, and if it does, I will get a case or two and use it for handheld shooting.  A nice big negative like that might scan in well, though it will still have some grain. If you look at the hands below, especially the second image, you can see that I found a reasonable curve, and it does have a nice quality.

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