Soft Focus Portrait Lens

Untitled

A
Untitled

  • 0
  • 0
  • 42
Black Bull (2010)

A
Black Bull (2010)

  • 0
  • 0
  • 66
Liz-Lith.jpg

A
Liz-Lith.jpg

  • 4
  • 1
  • 137
Stray (2014)

H
Stray (2014)

  • 6
  • 2
  • 171
Time #2

Time #2

  • 1
  • 0
  • 100

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
181,871
Messages
2,516,476
Members
95,433
Latest member
MrClutch
Recent bookmarks
0

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
lee said:
I have a 7.25 inch Veritos that was on an Elwood enlarger I bought several years ago. It is a barrel mount and I don't use it at all.

lee\c

Probably a Verito enlarging lens! They made them for adding diffusion at the enlarging stage, and I think they were even made to work with the Kodak autofocus enlarger, which is a strange concept, since focus is a subjective thing with a soft focus lens. (Linhof, for instance, will sell Linhof-select Imagons, but they won't make rangefinder cams for them).

There was a great article on focusing a soft focus lens that someone posted a while back on the lfphoto.info forum. It was from a magazine in 1921, where several portrait photographers were asked to photograph the same model with the same soft focus lens, and each one focused in a different place:

http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003WxF
 

lee

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2002
Messages
2,912
Location
Fort Worth T
Shooter
8x10 Format
David,
Thanks for the info. I did use it for a time on the Elwood but I had to focus with it stopped down. Too diffused to work at wide open.

BTW, I still have not received the traveling portfolio.

lee\c
 

Cheryl Jacobs

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2003
Messages
1,717
Location
Denver, Colo
Shooter
Medium Format
Softening in printing is an interesting effect, as is using a diffusion screen or Softar or other lens attachment, but these are different effects from a soft focus lens, just as soft focus lenses are different from each other. Diffusion under the enlarging lens sprays the shadows into the highlights, which can be done subtly or not-so-subtly to produce a kind of ghoulish effect (not always a bad thing). You see this on some Mapplethorpe portraits. For a non-ghoulish softening under the enlarger effect, the most natural result I've seen is with a Zeiss Softar #1 on the enlarging lens for part of the exposure time.

Darkroom diffusion can either look markedly different or remarkably similar to soft-focus lenses, depending on how and how much it's done. I've diffused with a variety of materials, and never gotten "ghoulish" results. I'm sure it's possible, but IMO it would have to be way overdone to achieve that effect. Although the two techniques can usually be distinguished from one another, I still find that the overall impression can be the same, and the the post-processing effect is so much more versatile that it's much more appealing to me.

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents.
 

JohnArs

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 20, 2002
Messages
1,074
Location
Switzerland
Shooter
Multi Format
Your right Cheryl!

But the purist LF shooter will do it with a truly SF lens at the camera most of the time. But to be honest I do it also sometimes in my darkroom!
And as a Sinar shooter I use the Sinar Copal behind the lens shutter for my Heliar and also for some other lenses, works perfect for me.
 

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
I don't really have an argument with that view, Cheryl. Diffusion at the printing stage adds softening to the whole image (unless obviously you use a diffuser with a hole in it), and has a bit of a muting effect. This is just the unavoidable consequence of diffusing light from a negative where the shadows are going to spill over a bit into the highlights. This can look good and serve some kinds of purposes and has one kind of flexibility in that you can obviously choose whether to print sharp or soft.

In the Mapplethorpe prints that have diffusion at the print stage, it looks like he (or his printer) used it with more elderly subjects to soften some wrinkles, but then let it go just across the line, so they would look a bit sinister. I think it's very effective.

A soft focus lens has a different kind of flexibility, because you can vary the effect by changing the aperture or changing the focal point. Some SF lenses (Veritar, Imagon) create a kind of overall diffusion, but the ones I like are both sharp and soft at the same time, and have something of a glow. You can't really get the Verito-glow by diffusion at the printing stage, and no kind of diffusion screen either on the taking lens or the enlarging lens has the effect of both sharp and soft like a Heliar wide open or a Verito around f:5.6 or f:8.

My point is just that each of these approaches is a specific effect, and one is not really a substitute for another, and which one you choose is going to have an overall impact on your style, just like having a preference for, say, softboxes as opposed to umbrellas, or Tri-X as opposed to HP-5+, or Forte Polywarmtone as opposed to Gallerie. They're all interesting, just not all the same.
 

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
Looks like someone is going to get a fabulous deal on an 11.5" Verito from an uninformed seller on eBay--

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4702&item=3853560055

From the q&a it sounds like the "inoperable" shutter is working normally (in its limited way, of course). I already have one, so I'm not bidding, and I have no interest in the sale. It covers 5x7" and at portrait distances should be fine on 8x10".
 

Jeremy

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2002
Messages
2,761
Location
Denton, TX
Shooter
Multi Format
David A. Goldfarb said:
Looks like someone is going to get a fabulous deal on an 11.5" Verito from an uninformed seller on eBay--

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4702&item=3853560055

From the q&a it sounds like the "inoperable" shutter is working normally (in its limited way, of course). I already have one, so I'm not bidding, and I have no interest in the sale. It covers 5x7" and at portrait distances should be fine on 8x10".

Wow, dibs! I'm bidding on this one if it doesn't go too high.
 

removed account4

Subscriber
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
29,850
Shooter
Hybrid
David A. Goldfarb said:
Looks like someone is going to get a fabulous deal on an 11.5" Verito from an uninformed seller on eBay--

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4702&item=3853560055

From the q&a it sounds like the "inoperable" shutter is working normally (in its limited way, of course). I already have one, so I'm not bidding, and I have no interest in the sale. It covers 5x7" and at portrait distances should be fine on 8x10".

typically what happens is that the seller has no idea how to open and close the shutter. to they think it is just a lever shutter that closes and doesn't open :smile:

looks like a pretty good deal to me :smile:
 
OP
OP
BradS

BradS

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
7,539
Location
Sonora, California
Shooter
35mm
Oh man! I was afraid this would happen....

Well, best of luck to all of you and may the highest bid win.

Who ever get it, I hope they share some photos and commentary with us.
 

jd callow

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
8,451
Location
Milan
Shooter
Multi Format
GaussianNoise said:
Oh man! I was afraid this would happen....

Well, best of luck to all of you and may the highest bid win.

Who ever get it, I hope they share some photos and commentary with us.
Instead of bidding against each other we could set a price, bid that price and if we win draw straws (or digital equivalent) to see who gets it.
 

removed account4

Subscriber
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
29,850
Shooter
Hybrid
i can see it now ...

"apug" gets the lens, and rather than a negative/print exchange, there is a soft focus lens exchange and a gallery set up just for viewing images made using the lens that travels around the world making images .... <g>


john
 

blansky

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
5,952
Location
Wine country, N. Cal.
Shooter
Medium Format
mrcallow the witty devil that he is signs,

Originally Posted by John Ashcroft to his aids
"There are seasons in life. There is a season for detaining suspects without charging them with a crime; a season for holding secret military tribunals in Cuba; and a season for thumbing one's nose at the Geneva Conventions. But there is also a season for sanding and painting a birdhouse kit I bought a few years ago, and that season is upon me now."



What more can one add to that?
 
OP
OP
BradS

BradS

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
7,539
Location
Sonora, California
Shooter
35mm
jnanian said:
i can see it now ...

"apug" gets the lens, and rather than a negative/print exchange, there is a soft focus lens exchange and a gallery set up just for viewing images made using the lens that travels around the world making images .... <g>


john


COOL!

Or, what about a lens cooperative...???
It could be like NetFlix but with lenses instead of DVDs...
Hmmm, but wait...I wonder if I could rent the lens from K&S? I'm off to Palo Alto.

Good luck to all who bid on the verito. I'm going to sit this one out.
 

jd callow

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
8,451
Location
Milan
Shooter
Multi Format
J Moore and I are in. We will accept others as well -- fair is fair. We will place a bid and if we win we will ask a member to pick a number between 1 - 100 who ever guesses closest wins -- winner pays for the lens and supplies a print to the loser.

If I win I will certainly be willing to share. I don't shoot portraits all that much so would allow it out of my sight (with insurance and assurance) for a time.

I would also consider a time share...
 
Last edited by a moderator:

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
I just stopped by Photo Gizzmo and he had an 18" Verito in the case. I'm not sure how much he was asking, and I don't own a camera with big enough lensboards. It looked like the shutter had been removed.
 
OP
OP
BradS

BradS

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
7,539
Location
Sonora, California
Shooter
35mm
Lens and Repro has two Veritos and a Vaium but, for the prices they have listed you'd have to be able to earn a living with it. Wouldn't that be fun!
 

jd callow

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
8,451
Location
Milan
Shooter
Multi Format
David A. Goldfarb said:
Looks like someone is going to get a fabulous deal on an 11.5" Verito from an uninformed seller on eBay--

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=4702&item=3853560055

From the q&a it sounds like the "inoperable" shutter is working normally (in its limited way, of course). I already have one, so I'm not bidding, and I have no interest in the sale. It covers 5x7" and at portrait distances should be fine on 8x10".
Outbid :mad:
 

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
At least it stayed in the family. I think wfw is APUG's own WF Whitaker. It went for $36 less than I paid for mine recently.
 

jd callow

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
8,451
Location
Milan
Shooter
Multi Format
David A. Goldfarb said:
At least it stayed in the family. I think wfw is on APUG. It went for $36 less than I paid for mine recently.

I am also pretty sure he has bought goods from Laszlo's bottomless pit of photographic oddities and what nots.
 

fingel

Member
Joined
Feb 12, 2003
Messages
298
Location
San Francisc
Shooter
Multi Format
NICOLA PERSCHEID 21CM (210MM)

I saw one of these up for auction if you want something a little different. (ebay #3854453049) I bid on it but it is way over what I want to spend.
 

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH......

It's been on my watch list, but actually it's gotten to be more than I want to spend too.
 

David A. Goldfarb

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
19,880
Location
Honolulu, Ha
Shooter
Large Format
Okay, this Perscheid lens went for $2025.00. That's two thousand twenty-five U.S. greenbacks.

What is it that drives the collectors wild about these? Other than reproductions of a few photographs by Nicola Perscheid himself, which may not have even been made with the lens that bears his name, I don't think I've ever knowingly seen a photograph made with a Perscheid lens. I can't imagine they will hold this kind of value in the long term as investments, given what other classic lenses go for.

Here's a page with a sample image by Perscheid, a photograph of the lens, and an optical diagram:

http://www.cosmonet.org/camera/nicola_e.htm
 
OP
OP
BradS

BradS

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2004
Messages
7,539
Location
Sonora, California
Shooter
35mm
David A. Goldfarb said:
Okay, this Perscheid lens went for $2025.00. That's two thousand twenty-five U.S. greenbacks.

What is it that drives the collectors wild about these?

Well, apparently it's not about the technical details. Must be something emotional. -- Like art.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom