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USA lenses bought by me in Europe.
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:06 pm    Post subject: USA lenses bought by me in Europe. Reply with quote


The optical industry of USA is not much known in Europe: I have bought these USA lenses and ask them to facilitate to me some information:

- Wollensak 101 mm - F:4,5. and 90 mm - f:6,8.
- Graflex Optar 135 mm - f:4,7.
- Ektar 127 mm - f:4,7.
- Repromaster 150 mm - f:9

Thank you and Bests Regards: David

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It looks like you have a nice lot !

Most of these seem like Press Camera lenses - the sort of camera seen being used by newspaper photographers in the old films, but really they were the normal cameras used 50-80 years ago by nearly all professional photographers outside the studio. Graflex was the biggest maker of Press Cameras

This site mentions most of these lenses -


- Wollensak 101 mm - F:4,5. and 90 mm - f:6,8.

Made by Wollensak, part of the "Rochester Group", the group of companies in Rochester, New York that dominated the us photo and optical industry. Kodak was the biggest, but certainly not the only company in the cluster. Wollensak made a huge volume of lenses for all sorts of purposes, many for Graflex (another Rochester company).

The 4.5/101mm was one of the standard "normal" lens on the miniature (2 1/4"x3 1/4" aka 6x9 format) Graflex Speed Graphic and other miniature US press cameras (Busch, Burke&James/Watson, etc.). This is a four-element Tessar design.

The 6.8/90mm was the common "wide angle" lens for the 4x5 and 3 1/4x4 1/4 format Press cameras. It does cover 4x5 but with no movements.

- Graflex Optar 135 mm - f:4,7.

This is also probably a Wollensak, re-branded by Graflex. Graflex rebranded several makers lenses at different times. This was a standard lens on the 4x5 Speed Graphics. Also a Tessar.

- Ektar 127 mm - f:4,7.

Made by Kodak, also a Tessar, also a standard lens on 4x5 and 3 1/4x4 1/4 formats. "Ektar" does not refer to any particular design, it was a sort of quality designation by Kodak.

- Repromaster 150 mm - f:9

Repromaster Copy Cameras cameras were I think made by Agfa, but who knows who the lens maker is. This is not an ordinary camera lens, its a flat-field lens for pre-press work.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


I think most of the "Rochester" companies were actually acquired by Kodak, although the names were usually left alone.


PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of them were, particularly some early camera-makers. Kodak consolidated a lot of the early participants in Rochester (including Graflex for a while). But the lens manufacturers of the classic period, no. Wollensak, Ilex, Bausch&Lomb, Elgeet were not owned by Kodak, though they were all at one time or another subsidiaries of other conglomerates.

This is a very interesting summary -