Auteur: Dan Fromm
Date: 02-09-2005 13:24
According to Richard Knoppow, whom I respect highly, tessar type Optars (= Raptars) made by Wollensak all have relatively bad coma and must be stopped down more than comparable Ektars to obtain adequate image quality at the edges. This is also true, he says, of tessar type Velostigmats. At the center, they're good, at the edges not so good. They are not culs de boteille.
Wollensak also sold 135/4.7 Optars made by Rodenstock. I know nothing about them.
Les Newcomer, one of the gurus on www.graflex.org, has responded to Richard that for many situations image quality at the edge of the field is not important. Many fine photographs have been taken with Optars.
Note that Graflex sold at least two types of Wollensak lenses as Optars. 65/6.8 and 90/6.8, four elements in four groups double Gauss type wide angle lenses; 101/4.5, 127/4.7, 135/4.7 tessar types. The 90/6.8 is regarded here as comparable in quality to the 90/6.8 Angulon. I've had a 65/6.8, thought it was mediocre. The tessar types are OK, not quite up to the comparable Ektars. Note also there's no 135 tessar type Ektar.
As Gilles pointed out, with old lenses condition is important, probably more important than reputation when new.