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Graflex 90mm F6.8 Optar

 
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dstoenner



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 29
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:37 pm    Post subject: Graflex 90mm F6.8 Optar Reply with quote

I just acquired a 90mm F6.8 optar, SN 293121. It appears in great shape, shutter is a Graphex that only goes from 1/2 to 400 plus B & T. It has an aluminum nameplate, not blackened brass like most.

So I have 2 questions

1) By some previous posts based on the serial number this lens was from the late 30's to early 40's. It doesn't appear coated which jives with lens below 500,000 were not coated.

But this lens just looks too good to be that old. Do the 90's have a different history here?

2) Also I see on some lens that what appears to be exactly this lens front element has W.A. after Optar while mine doesn't. Were all of the 90's wide angle but marketing got an idea to differentiate things?

Thanks

David
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2020
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optar is a post-WW II trade name. I'd thought that all Optars were coated, could be wrong. Are you sure that yours isn't?

I'm not aware of a list that maps Wollensak lenses' serial numbers to the year they were made. I just did a quick search on the site and found nothing. Please share your source, also your source for "lens below 500,000 were not coated," with us.

If it is a 90/6.8 Wolly it should be a four elements in four groups double Gauss type wide angle lens.
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1556
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Graphex shutters all have a one-second stop. You're sure your slowest is 1/2 second?
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dstoenner



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 29
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

When searching for any info on caoted lens, I came accross this topic

http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4666&highlight=coated

The 4th reply by Doug Kerr gives a detailed explanation and in the start of it, he states that the CW mark started in 1945 around 5xxxxx serial number. Hence my statement.


Henry,

Here is a picture of the lens in question. You can see that there is a 2 then where the 1 would be is blank and then B. I tried setting it in between to see if 1 was functional. it isn't.



Maybe this will help clear up the mystery.

David
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Henry



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 1556
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the photo. That's a new one on me---never too late to learn something!
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3671
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Optar is a Wollensak Raptar rebadged. Graphex is a Rapax rebadged.
Wollensak 1950 catalog http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_5.html states that all lens are Wocoated. The 90mm f6.8 has an 84 angle of view.
All references to Wollensak shutters are about their top speed. All catalog picture show a 1 second setting on the #1 shutter. The 90mm f 6.8 is in a #1 shutter.
Your shutter is an exception to the known standard production.

Late production Optars are Rodenstock and so state on their name plate.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 2020
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, thanks very much for the reply and especially the link.

Please read that discussion all the way through. Kerry's list is the result of a small heap of unsupported assumptions. That it meets a need doesn't make it true. Also read the discussion on LFPF that Kerry gave a link to. What a lot of Internet bilge!

I have in hand a 3"/4.5 Velostigmat Ser. II s/n 452779. One thing about Wollensak practice that seems to be fairly well documented is that Raptar replaced Velostigmat in 1945. Your 90/6.8 Raptar has s/n 263121. It has to be younger than my 3"/4.5 Velostigmat but has a lower s/n.

To add to the fun, this http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/wollensak_15.html catalog is apparently the most recent Wolly catalog on the cameraeccentric site that lists Velostigmats. It lists f/4.5 Ser. II Velostigmats (not my little one, thouth) and no f/6.8 wide angle lenses.

At this point you should have a bad headache. And you should understand that Wolly lenses' serial numbers don't seem to be sequential.
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dstoenner



Joined: 03 Jun 2016
Posts: 29
Location: North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to thank everybody for the info. Especially the Camera Eccentric reference. Looking through this I have come to the conclusion that some voiced. The 90 F6.8 has always had the same angle capability. Just somebody in marketing got a bright idea.

It still is a mystery about the serial number vs what other see about the "Optar" name. My lens is not the only one on eBay with this same serial number and unusual shutter. What I cannot tell is whether they are also uncoated. I have looked really hard but I do not see the typical blue reflection of the magnesium type used in that period.

Next is to get it in a lens board and try it out to see how sharp and contrasty it is.

David
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78ltd



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll have to find Optar, but for future reference the trademark Rapax was filed May 18th 1943 and they claimed use since July 1st 1942. Raptar was filed Feb. 1st 1946 and they claimed first use as Dec. 14th 1945. Also your shutter is engraved built for Folmer Graflex Co. and Graflex quit using that in '45 I believe. Thought I had the Optar trademark here, but apparently I don't. Next time I get to Dallas Public Library i'll look it up. But I have a 162mm Optar with a serial no. Close to yours that is also uncoated. So I believe Graflex was using that tradename before 1945. And just to throw it in here, Supermatic was filed June 21st 1939 and Kodak claimed first use as May 25th 1939. Ektar was filed Jan 23rd 1937 and first use was claimed as May 14th 1936. Velostigmat was refiled Oct 5th 1938 and Wollensak claimed first use in 1909.
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78ltd



Joined: 04 Sep 2005
Posts: 62
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, just found Optar. Filed June 22nd 1942 and claimed first use May 8th 1942.
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