« Inspired by the 12" Velo | Main | Members are Limited Editors »

Pop Quiz-Guess Which Lens-You'll Be Shocked

Some of you will be shocked by what this lens did to this image.  Well............ Jim Galli won't be shocked, because he knows which lens it is, hopefully he'll stay 'mum' until everybody guesses.  Which lens it it???   I give you some hints:  It isn't a Pinkham & Smith, not a Verito, not a Universal Heliar, not a Taylor-Hobson-Cooke 'knuckler'.

Besides me, Jim Galli has one, Steve Nichols has one, and the lens is very common, very cheap,  a different brand of the same lens formula as this lens usually sells for up to TEN TIMES what this lens sells for. 

I took this shot w/the lens slightly modified, a modification I did a number of years ago when I first got this lens which was my first 'Classic Lens', and they've talked of this modification on the other forums as if it were a new discovery, 'ah well', so be it.

I uploaded this image to show that this lens under certain conditions/lighting set-ups, can rival anything the Pinkhams and all the other high priced classics can do.  It would be the first lens I'd recommend for someone starting out w/classic lenses, which as everybody here knows have a learning curve.  

After doing the shot '3 Glasses' w/my P&S Semi-Achromatic, I left the light set-up in place, and placed 3 shot glasses(shot glasses for measuring out alcohol for mixed drinks) on the brushed aluminum, and changed to this lens.  I was both pleasantly surprised and but also shocked at what I saw on the groundglass which is what you see here.

I'm sure you folks will guess the answer fairly quickly, and hopefully, folks who peruse this from outside the site, will be intrigued by, and find renewed interest in this lens. 

Take care

Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 11:53AM by Registered CommenterJonathan Brewer in , , , | Comments9 Comments

Reader Comments (9)

I'm hoping it is a Verito or a 12" Velostigmat. Whatever it is -- and -- if I have one I'm stunned !!

So I for one, look forward to knowing what it is?

September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Nicholls

Pays to read the full post -- not a Verito.

September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Nicholls

I just wanted to pique everybodies interest for a little while, so I won't prolong this. Pretty good guess Steve, this shot was taken by the 12" Velostigmat II W/1-5 diffusion control.

I had the metal nub which stops the diffusion at a max of 5 hacked off, did that years ago, and now you can unscrew the diffusion ring all the way off if want.

This was shot was taken with front diff ring unscrewed about 6 revolutions, focus was established after the ring was set in this position. Exposure was wideopen @F4.5, this is both subdued and indirect lighting.

My take on this is that the Velostigmat like all of the other lenses we've used and discussed are part of a combination of lens/lighting effects/light intensity/film/print manipulation that you have to juggle to stretch out the best in these lenses.

The Velostigmat is no Semi-Achromatic Ser.III, but making that statement doesn't really mean anything, exploring these lenses to their fullest means something more regardless of what lens it is, and this shot shows that this works both ways.

The Velostigmat w/all the other variables was the perfect combination for this particular shot, shot this way, it's unique and the Velostigmat did it, and that's what counts.

These lenses don't do it by themselves, but that was always a given, as opposed to the first inclination of the uninitiated to just 'slap' on these lenses and expect some kind of effect without fighting through the learning curve these lenses demand.

There's a humungous difference between the cost of some of my lenses and my Velostigmat, it's ridiculous really, because the price in no way reflects the relative worth of any of my lenses, they're all pretty much equal by virtue of their individual uniqueness.

I don't know how many folks will see this shot, but I cranked it up so that folks will appreciate the Velostigmat II w/1-5 diff. control for the great lens that it is and for so little money compared to some of these exotic lenses.

Increasing shutter times, to drastically reduce the light levels so you can shoot with more diffusion, results in seeing more of the character of these lenses w/o the characteristic halation, but the results are unpredictable, hell, that's the charm.

Take care

September 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Brewer

>> I had the metal nub which stops the diffusion at a max of 5 hacked off

I hate you. I can't get mine apart because the front (filter ring) has a dent that makes it impossible to take off the retainer, and I can't reach the nub otherwise.



October 1, 2008 | Registered CommenterGeorge Bogatko

There's hope George

I had mine done by one of my favorite technicians Bill Orozco @ Steve's Camera located a coupla miles from in Culver City CA, for next to nothing. Do you have any techs your way that are reasonable???

It's up to you, but if you're comfortable w/this particular lens it might be worth it to send it to a technician, they eat dents. They're still pretty common on ebay if you decide to get another from scratch.

I never like the original 1-5 diffusion limitation of the Velostigmat II which is why I got rid of it in the first place. For some reason it seemed like beyond the '2' setting, it messed up the look but wasn't enough to start getting 'dreamy' if that makes sense.

One way or the other, I know you'll get it off.

October 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Brewer

>>For some reason it seemed like beyond the '2' setting, it messed up the look but wasn't enough to start getting 'dreamy' if that makes sense.

Agreed. It just looks out of focus. What I noticed is that the plane of sharp focus moves forward as you go from 1 to 5. Lately, I use it at 0.


October 1, 2008 | Registered CommenterGeorge Bogatko

George, you can unscrew the retainer that holds the rear glass in the front group in place and let it drop out. Use a piece of old inner tube as a 'grip'. With that out of the way you'll see that the 'stop' is a tiny set screw that can be removed. Put your rear lens back in and you're good to go

October 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJim Galli

Thanks Jim.
I'll look again, but I couldn't see the slot in the set screw. Not a lot of room to play with the front lens in place. But... Old eyes may be fooling me.


October 2, 2008 | Registered CommenterGeorge Bogatko

I removed the nub.
What a difference!
Can't wait to try it on film.


October 2, 2008 | Registered CommenterGeorge Bogatko

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>