PDA

View Full Version : Early 20th Century Lenses



Will Whitaker
15-Aug-2017, 12:01
Does anybody know or care to guess as to what lens Edward Steichen might have used for his early work?

What lenses were in vogue (no pun intended!) or available during that time? (Edwardian era and WW I). I would presume some sort of pre-anastigmat, perhaps a rapid rectilinear. Photographs of that period were heavily pictorial, of course and it's difficult to my untrained eye to tell where the lens ends and the artistic manipulations begin. But if I can find something similar or possibly have something already in my collection, it would be fun to experiment with.

Two23
15-Aug-2017, 13:53
Rapid rectilinear, Dagor......


Kent in SD

Jac@stafford.net
15-Aug-2017, 14:21
When you do find the appropriate lenses, also consider that the medium (glass plate or film today) of his era were slow and monochromatic, not panchromatic. That's important.

Good luck and please share your work.

Dan Fromm
15-Aug-2017, 14:25
Rapid rectilinear, Dagor......


Kent in SDTessars, Protars, Planars, ...

Mark Sawyer
15-Aug-2017, 17:45
In the early twentieth century? Looks like a Landscape Lens, and looks like not a Landscape Lens...

168521168522

Mind you, Steichen was, at various points in his career, a Pictorialist, a Hollywood glamor photographer, a cinematographer, a commercial photographer, a combat photographer for the navy...

(BTW, looks like an Empire State 8x10 [predecessor to the Kodak 2D] w/ the Landscape Lens, and an Anthony Imperial Climax 11x14 with the "not a Landscape Lens." I'd guess an early Cooke Portrait Lens, but there's really not enough to go on.)

Will Whitaker
15-Aug-2017, 18:11
In the early twentieth century? Looks like a Landscape Lens, and looks like not a Landscape Lens...

168521168522

Mind you, Steichen was, at various points in his career, a Pictorialist, a Hollywood glamor photographer, a cinematographer, a commercial photographer, a combat photographer for the navy...

Thanks Mark. Yes, early 20th C, as in very late 19th. The Pool - Evening is a good example of one of his works of the period of which I'm curious. It was purchased from the young photographer by none other than Alfred Stieglitz in 1900. The rendering of the trees in the background is an effect I'm looking for. My Darlot Landscape meniscus looks quite sharp by comparison. And a Verito looks critically sharp - which is strange. I have some ideas... And it's fun experimenting.:)

jp
15-Aug-2017, 18:49
I'd guess the left photo is probably some sort of soft focus meniscus/doublet which had the aperture at the front. There were many. Not much different than a landscape lens except the iris opened wider.

Russ Young's thesis gives reference to some of the soft focus lenses which Steichen used. Visit the link and do a text search for steichen.
https://research-repository.st-andrews.ac.uk/bitstream/handle/10023/505/W%20Russell%20Young%20PhD%20thesis.pdf?sequence=6

Our Veritos and other later generation soft focus lenses are a bit better behaved than what Steichen would have used for "The Pool - Evening". I would endorse your experimenting!

LabRat
16-Aug-2017, 00:39
And there was something about him rubbing his spit on his lens for enhanced pictorial effect with landscapes...

Steve K

karl french
16-Aug-2017, 07:30
The man on the right is a young Edward Weston.

Will Whitaker
16-Aug-2017, 07:36
Dapper fellows both.