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View Full Version : Going SOFT in the Enlarging Stage. Soft focus from sharp negs.



Jim Galli
30-Jan-2016, 10:58
Here's a scan of a print I made from a sharp 6X9cm negative. Neg was made in a funny little Contessa I used to have that had a 155mm Turner Reich lens on it and was converted to American 2X3 film holders. I made the enlargement with the rear group of a 135mm Xenotar. Just the rear doublet as enlarger lens.


http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Contessa/atTheGetty.jpg
here's the original

http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Contessa/Getty1114_720.jpg
here's the soft enlargement

plaubel
30-Jan-2016, 11:03
Yes.
Now it's a Galli.

A really pictorial idea!
Ritchie

Peter De Smidt
30-Jan-2016, 11:07
With diffusion under an enlarger, the blacks will glow. With diffusion on the taking lens, the whites will glow. Both can be effective!

Jac@stafford.net
30-Jan-2016, 11:28
I'm sure some of our motion picture professionals can tell us about black dot filters.

jp
30-Jan-2016, 13:02
http://www.manray.net/images/man-ray-photo.jpg

I am wondering if the glow around Man Ray here is from soft focus enlarging, or if its a normal soft focus glow that is solarized, or what the special combination is? (Also curious about any guesses of the lens pictured)

jon.oman
30-Jan-2016, 13:48
http://www.manray.net/images/man-ray-photo.jpg

I am wondering if the glow around Man Ray here is from soft focus enlarging, or if its a normal soft focus glow that is solarized, or what the special combination is? (Also curious about any guesses of the lens pictured)

I'd say solarized...

Jim Galli
30-Jan-2016, 14:04
Perhaps it's a soft negative enlarged with a soft enlarging lens giving the black glow? Not enough definition left on the lens to make much of a guess. Looks like it could be an ordinary Velostigmat. 15" would have a flange with that screw pattern. But that's just a guess.

My hope is that other folks will give us some examples of softness achieved at the enlarger. Mine was just to get us started.

Tim Meisburger
30-Jan-2016, 16:32
This is a great idea for a thread. We keep trying to achieve pictorial effects in camera, but it is my understanding that much of what was done after the widespread adoption of enlargers was done in the darkroom. It would be interesting to shoot two identical images with an adjustable lens, one full sharp and one full soft, then use the same lens to enlarge the sharp negative at full soft and compare that to the in camera version. Unfortunately, I don't have a soft focus lens small enough to mount on my graflarger!

Mark Sawyer
30-Jan-2016, 18:46
http://www.manray.net/images/man-ray-photo.jpg

I am wondering if the glow around Man Ray here is from soft focus enlarging, or if its a normal soft focus glow that is solarized, or what the special combination is? (Also curious about any guesses of the lens pictured)

The image is solarized, but I think the phenomenon you're referring to is the Sabattier effect, which creates a line along edges between light and dark, called a "Mackie Line".


Perhaps it's a soft negative enlarged with a soft enlarging lens giving the black glow?

True soft lenses (those with spherical aberration) always make the lights glow, as light spreads, while dark doesn't. But in the enlarging phase, it's the darks that are light!

plaubel
31-Jan-2016, 04:49
Does anyone have some excamples of a "Pictrol" enlargement?
And have you ever seen a real "Flout Net" softener , created by Misonne?
I am really interested.

Thanks,
Ritchie

billie williams
31-Jan-2016, 09:45
Wow, Jim, I love this. And that's the Getty Center, I believe, which is also my favorite place to visit.

Jim Galli
31-Jan-2016, 09:50
Wow, Jim, I love this. And that's the Getty Center, I believe, which is also my favorite place to visit.

Hi Billie. Yes, the Getty with No cameras allowed inside, and No tripods. I had to set my little camera on the wall to steady it for the exposure. I recall that none of the locals were intrigued but all the folks from Europe and Japan were interested in the little antique camera.

bob carnie
31-Jan-2016, 13:10
that is a classic negative black makie line around his profile, negative solarization.

http://www.manray.net/images/man-ray-photo.jpg

I am wondering if the glow around Man Ray here is from soft focus enlarging, or if its a normal soft focus glow that is solarized, or what the special combination is? (Also curious about any guesses of the lens pictured)

Mark Sawyer
1-Feb-2016, 14:33
I've been going through a few old copies of Lensology & Shutterisms, little booklets published bi-monthly by Wollensak for its dealers. Here's page 1 from the Nov./Dec. 1919 issue. I've known that the star-shaped stops for the Verito were enlarging stops, but seeing references to Veritos used for enlarging reminded me it was once a fairly well-used option...

Peter De Smidt
1-Feb-2016, 15:32
That's interesting, Mark. I had no idea people used Veritos for enlarging!

Mark Sawyer
2-Feb-2016, 13:18
The Verito enlarging stops, for those who haven't seen them. These allowed one to close down the lens without losing all the softness, somewhat similar to the H-stops on an Imagon.

Randy Moe
26-Mar-2016, 07:23
Ah! This explains why the iris equipped Verito I bought from Jim Galli has a WH stop slot!

Now I must mount the lens for enlarging and make odd WH inserts!

I just bought a Wollensak lens brochere and it mentions Verito for enlarging but does not show the special Waterhouse stops.

And now it comes to me why Waterhouse stops are named thusly. They resemble flow control 'valves' used for millenia to meter water with boards. Duh!

Bill_1856
26-Mar-2016, 07:47
Edward Weston enlarged his sharp portrait Graflex negatives by copying them with a soft-focus lens (Verito?) on his 8x10, which were then contact printed. Nobody seems to know exactly how it was done, (there must have been a positive/negative stage somewhere along the process).

jnanian
26-Mar-2016, 07:59
I've been going through a few old copies of Lensology & Shutterisms, little booklets published bi-monthly by Wollensak for its dealers. Here's page 1 from the Nov./Dec. 1919 issue. I've known that the star-shaped stops for the Verito were enlarging stops, but seeing references to Veritos used for enlarging reminded me it was once a fairly well-used option...

lee carmichael used to have a verito lens on one of his enlargers, not sure if he used it, had the stops for it
or it was just something he had to play around with. i remember a someone and i had a conversation about it
because he was hoping to buy it from lee :) ( it was around 8" )

i use a very inexpensive option, a meniscus lens harvested from a box camera. softens just enough, and not too much.
if i can find the print scans i will post them .. they were taken with the same box camera with the f10 choke-down,
and then enlarged with the same lens ( without the choke ).
i heard that back in the day some folks did that - remove the lens from the camera
and stuck it on their enlarger, had some film and paper to burn so i played a bit.
- good to see i wasn't duped, as i usually am.

Marko Trebusak
31-Mar-2016, 03:22
And now it comes to me why Waterhouse stops are named thusly. They resemble flow control 'valves' used for millenia to meter water with boards. Duh!

Umm, just a reminder: Waterhouse stops are named after their inventor: John Waterhouse.

Randy Moe
31-Mar-2016, 05:54
Umm, just a reminder: Waterhouse stops are named after their inventor: John Waterhouse.

Was he a photographer with a family history of operating water houses? A little more info might be helpful?

I was simply connecting a name to object.

Seems our hero was born at Well Head House.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Waterhouse_(astronomer)

Jim Noel
31-Mar-2016, 09:24
I'd say solarized...

Yes, true solarization, produced by severe over-exposure of the negative. Another well known example is Ansel's "Black Sun".

Drew Wiley
31-Mar-2016, 12:18
Nonstandard lenses instead of enlarging lenses, a cheap enlarging lens wide open with vaseline on it, vaseline smeared atop the upper carrier glass (cool light
source only), all kinds of idiotic tricks that I've done myself when in an idiotic mood. But the effect is never quite like a good soft-focus lens, and just sometimes
like a soft-focus filter over a camera lens. Different. I kept a weird old lens around precisely for something a bit more subtle, but then stuck it on a Sinar board
instead because I like the effect so much directly on film; but I wouldn't classify it as soft-focus, merely non-clinical and subtle.

ic-racer
3-Apr-2016, 05:13
I was experimenting with that technique a few years ago.
149170

Zooming when printing is also possible. Giving results different than zooming when exposing in the camera.
149171

Marko Trebusak
4-Apr-2016, 01:50
Was he a photographer with a family history of operating water houses? A little more info might be helpful?

I was simply connecting a name to object.

Seems our hero was born at Well Head House.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Waterhouse_(astronomer)

I don't know. As far as I know he was also a photographer. That is written on wiki page you linked to. Who knows where his family name is comming from. I wasn't abble to find much about him. It's a shame how history of interesting people gets lost.

paricpo
8-Apr-2016, 23:39
Thats a creative art to capture images like soft focus.

Steven Tribe
14-Apr-2016, 08:28
There are a couple of "Famous" Waterhouses in the 19th century. All the good old English names are slowly disappearing. I remember reading a list of the names of the "brave englishmen" who were at the battle of Agincourt - many of the surnames of those who survived are now extinct

The Voigtlander WZ ( Weichzeichner ) 18cm was designed to add softness in enlargement using a periscope design and I have a no-name similar periscope which is clearly an enlarging lens.