Re: Home made Lenses ( soft focus )

From: Tom Ferguson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 03/10/05-10:05:31 AM Z
Message-id: <>

John sent me a copy of the old Wollensak manual. Thanks! It certainly
"looks" like my lens. But, I swear mine doesn't have any double or
cemented elements! Perhaps mine is older, perhaps I don't know how to

I get the same reflections with either of my lens halves as I do with a
UV filter (one for each surface of the glass).

Whatever the result is, I really like the old Wollensak soft lenses I
own. A great lens for portraiture. I didn't intend to sound like a "do
it yourself only" post. There are many magic soft lenses out there. I'm
just of the opinion that not "all" of the magic is to be found in the
now very collectable/expensive old lenses. I'm a very happy fellow:
I've got a couple of those collectable/expensive old ones, a modern
soft, and my favorite swap meet lens. Life is good :-)

On Sunday, March 6, 2005, at 09:35 PM, John Cremati wrote:

> I have the Veritar instruction manual on PDF file if anyone would
> like a
> copy...... It has unusual focusing properties unlike other Soft focus
> or
> normal lenses and would be hard to figure out if you did not have the
> insructions.......... I have never sent a PDF file so be patient...jc
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Richard Knoppow" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Monday, March 07, 2005 12:06 AM
> Subject: Re: Home made Lenses ( soft focus )
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Michael Briggs" <>
>> To: <>
>> Sent: Sunday, March 06, 2005 8:14 PM
>> Subject: Re: Home made Lenses ( soft focus )
>>> On 04-Mar-2005 Tom Ferguson wrote:
>>>> I've never seen a three element color corrected and
>>>> coated Veritar! My
>>>> 10 inch is two single uncoated elements with nothing but
>>>> space and an
>>>> alphax shutter between them.
>>>> On Friday, March 4, 2005, at 11:33 AM, John Cremati
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Tom,
>>>>> I believe the commercial Soft Focus Lenses go
>>>>> far beyond the
>>>>> mounting two or 3 diopter lenses in a barrel.... As a
>>>>> example the lens
>>>>> which
>>>>> I had purchased is a color corrected Wollensak
>>>>> Veritar. It is a 3
>>>>> element design engineered to reduce chromatic
>>>>> aberration , so it is
>>>>> suitable for color. It achieves its softness by
>>>>> controlled Spherical
>>>>> aberration...
>>> The resolution is that the Veritar consists of 3 elements
>>> in 2 groups. This
>>> is what is shown in the cross-section view in an original
>>> Wollensak brochure
>>> that I have. The number of elements is confirmed by
>>> shinning a flashlight at
>>> the two groups: the front shows two reflections, while the
>>> rear shows three.
>>> There is more to the design of the Veritar than placing
>>> two single-element
>>> lenses on each side of the aperture. AFAIK, Wollensak
>>> only used this design
>>> for the Veritar. You can check yours with a flashlight --
>>> unscrew the groups
>>> from the shutter and count the reflections.
>>> --Michael
>> This is interesting. Kingslake states that the Veritar and
>> Verito were "simple uncorrected lenses similar to the
>> Steinheil Periskop." Obviously, he was wrong about this.
>> Its hard to know why the compounding was done. Perhaps for
>> chromatic correction but it also may have been for other
>> reasons. A cemented surface can be used to either correct or
>> generate spherical aberration. A cemented doublet can also
>> mimic the properties of some unavailable glass type.
>> The more complex structure of these lenses helps to solve
>> the puzzle of why they have such a unique reputation.
>> ---
>> Richard Knoppow
>> Los Angeles, CA, USA
>> _____________________________________________________
>> This message scanned for viruses by CoreComm
Tom Ferguson
Received on Thu Mar 10 10:05:48 2005

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