Large Format Lens – Wollensak Raptar

It sounds like a bird of prey – Wollensak Raptar. It’s actually a Raptar Serirs II 162mm f/4.5 (Catalog 2) lens that was made from 1947 to 1972. This one is from around 1950 and is in excellent condition with a fully working and accurate Wollensak Rapax 3 Synchromatic lens.

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This 162mm lens is equivalent to a 55mm ‘normal’ lens in 35mm photography.

Classic Burke & James Press (4×5) camera from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s (pictured below).

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Super clean and shiny.

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1946 catalog from Burke & James.

This press camera is designed to shoot with still available 4×5 inch sheet film in both color and black & white negative film and color transparency (slide) film.

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An example of a currently available 4×5 sheet film. Kodak, Fujifilm, Ilford, and others are still made and there are many online labs that develop the film.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great and safe day! – Chris

http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

New ground glass focusing screen for my Burke & James 4×5 Press Camera

I’ve recently acquired a rather large collection of cameras and various bits of gear from well-known New Mexico writer and photographer Ken Cobean’s estate. His son, Sam Cobean was kind enough to let me appraise his dad’s collection and we’ve since struck a deal for me to purchase it.

One of the cameras in the collection is this very nice Burke & James Press camera (pictured below) from the late 1940s to early 1950s (I haven’t nailed down the exact date of this particular camera as of this post). It may turn out to be a mid-fifties camera and lens set after a tad more research.

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4×5 inch large format press camera. Equipped with a Wollensak Rapax Syncromatic shutter with speeds from 1 to 1/200th of a second plus ‘B’ and ‘T’.

The lens is a Wollensak 162mm f/4.5 coated Raptar Series II (Tessar type) made about 1950 or 1951. In 4×5 large format photography, a 162mm focal length lens is considered to be equivalent to a ‘normal’ 55mm lens in 35mm photography.

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The ‘C’ with the ‘W’ inside it (in red) indicates that the lens is ‘Wocoted’ or simply has a Wocote coating on all lens surfaces. This lens was produced between 1947 to 1972.

After installing a new custom made ground glass focusing screen I decided to give it a test run in the studio. My Yashica LM proved to be an appropriate subject.

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The revolving back on the B&J Press was rotated to take advantage of the verticle nature of the shot. I’m quite pleased with the results.

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My ‘studio’ set up. The press camera is in the dark on the lower right.

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The original ground glass in the press camera has seen better days.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day! – Chris

http://www.ccstudio2380.com

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2020 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

 

A Flash from the Past

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I picked up a box full of these vintage light bulb sized flashbulbs the other day as part of a camera purchase (Graflex Super Speed Graphic 4×5). The seller of the camera added them in as an afterthought. Looking at the screw-in bases I wonder how many people have put these in a regular lamp socket “for fun”? Not recommended as it would more than likely cause the bulb to explode and trip the circuits in the house (if it didn’t burn it down first)!

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I’m thinking these things flash pretty brightly

Once I get the Graflex up and running I’ll probably give one of these a try. By the way, this batch is available in my shop at http://www.ccstudio2380.com if you’d like to add some vintage bulbs to your collection.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.

Military Spec Speed Graphic 4×5 Large Format Camera – 1944

Beautiful Anniversary Speed Graphic by Graflex made in 1944 for the USAAF. All black edition of this classic camera. Considered to be the pre-eminent press camera of its era.

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It features a Kodak Supermatic leaf shutter to 1/400, a Kodak Ektar 127mm f/4.7 lens, dual shutters with the inclusion of a rear focal plane shutter capable of a 1/1000 top speed! For the 1940s, this was the bang!

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graflex ww2 b

This image is from the US Army technical manual for this camera. Of note, this version features an all blacked-out body and flash unit.

This camera is part of a complete set (film holders and Graflex flash units) all housed in a custom mahogany box made for the USAAF. I believe this set was specially designed for use by a General’s staff, the base or squadron commanding officer or by the public affairs office as it looks as though it led a pretty comfy life. It certainly doesn’t look like it bounced around in aircraft of the day.

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Inside of the custom wood box made by Graflex for the USAAF. Here we can see the stamped markings from the box lid (inside).

Everything looks to be in full working order right down to both shutters. It will be film tested soon by its owner after I finish my adjustments and finalize my detailing of such a fine machine.

Thanks for stopping by! – Chris

Please respect that all content, including photos and text, are the property of this blog and its owner, Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Yashica Sailor Boy, Yashica Chris.

Copyright © 2015-2019 Yashica Pentamatic Fanatic, Chris Whelan
All rights reserved.