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View Full Version : Kodak 305 mm portrait lens. Help Please!!!



pierre salomon
21-Jan-2008, 22:55
Hello All.
I need to purchase a Kodak 305mm Portrait lens or alike to shoot some Head & Shoulders portraits. I decided meanwhile to start a little project by mounting my old RB 150 soft focus onto my Sinar F2 w/ the auto shutter. Parts from a broken RZ became usefull and the the mamiya lens is used as a barrel lens.
Attached are 4 images shot recently and I would like to ask anyone who own the Kodak lens if the (softness) of these images can be compared to theirs. Like many others I cant afford the PS 945. Any replies will be greatly appreciated.
Pierre

Gene McCluney
22-Jan-2008, 00:38
Your images look good for a "soft focus" lens, however a 150mm lens is too wide-angle for pleasing Head & Shoulders portraits on a 4x5. You will get wide-angle perspective distortion of the face if you move close enough to fill the frame with a head and shoulders. You really need (if you have the bellows length to focus) a 300mm lens to get pleasing facial perspective when shooting head and shoulders on 4x5. With the Sinar, you could use a center standard, an extension rail and 2 4x5 bellows and have plenty of room to focus a 300mm for head and shoulders.
At the very minimum a 250mm might work, perspective wise.

pierre salomon
22-Jan-2008, 00:56
Thank you Gene
I should add that I used a 2x tele converter with the 150.
Pierre

panchro-press
22-Jan-2008, 05:25
I have the longer Kodak Portrait lens. Wide open, I'd have to say it is much softer than the photographs you're showing.

Brook Martin
22-Jan-2008, 05:45
I agree with pancho, wide open much softer. the kodak is also going to give very "pearly" highlights, espically if back lit.

Ron Bose
22-Jan-2008, 07:26
Pierre,

It took me a while to find my 305mm f4.5 Kodak Soft Focus lens in No.5 Ilex, but I did on Ebay.

It ain't leaving my possesion without a fight. Just wish I could use the damn thing, my darkroom is out of commission grrrrrr ....

Brook Martin
22-Jan-2008, 07:53
Lenses come and lenses go, but they willl have to pry my cold dead fingers off my 305 kodak portrait.

Mark Sawyer
22-Jan-2008, 08:09
All portrait lenses have their own personalities and there are quite a few differing opinions on them. I'll offer that the 300mm Imagon is a nice alterantive to the Kodak 305mm Portrait lens. It can be used with the standard f/stops, just as the Kodak lens, or with the h/stops. I'd recommend the earlier f/5.8 over the later f/6.3 version, in the compound shutter. The Imagon is a bit more easily found than the Kodak lens, and both are very nice.

Jim Galli
22-Jan-2008, 09:31
I just posted a thread here (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?p=311974#post311974).

Not a cheap solution for you but you would end up with a lovely triple convertible Protar VII plus the soft focus mod if you bought this from me.

russyoung
23-Jan-2008, 07:49
The Kodak 305 is a lovely lens and perhaps the easiest to learn of all of the soft focus lenses. Maybe the Verito would be next on my list. The 'pearly highlight' of the Kodak is truly marvelous.

I tested the PS945- straight from the factory in Leicester, making side-by-side shots against the Kodak and a Struss, both studio portraits (lit by strobe) and in the landscape. The PS945 was IMHO underwhelming.

Your mileage may vary but some of the old classics are hard to beat for performance or price. Another good lens is the late model Hyperion 12" which like the Kodak comes mounted in a shutter.

Russ

Harold_4074
23-Jan-2008, 16:32
Mark Sawyer: "I'll offer that the 300mm Imagon is a nice alterantive to the Kodak 305mm Portrait lens."

Not entirely sure that I would agree; not having a 300mm Imagon I can't make a side-by-side comparison, but the 250 Imagon (particularly with the H-stop disks) has a different "character" when compared to the Kodak. The Imagon seems to produce an image which "dissolves" much more quickly towards the edges of the frame, and transitions between a light edge and dark background have a very clearl boundary that I don't find all that attractive. The H-stops cause the highlights to have a "star pattern" that can be distracting as well.

pierre salomon
23-Jan-2008, 23:32
Thanks to all of you for the great replies and advises. This forum, to me, is sometimes better than an average library for its whealth of information and the willingness of so many of you to help so quickly.. Great work et Merci !!!!
Pierre

Mark Sawyer
24-Jan-2008, 07:59
Mark Sawyer: "I'll offer that the 300mm Imagon is a nice alterantive to the Kodak 305mm Portrait lens."

Not entirely sure that I would agree; not having a 300mm Imagon I can't make a side-by-side comparison, but the 250 Imagon (particularly with the H-stop disks) has a different "character" when compared to the Kodak. The Imagon seems to produce an image which "dissolves" much more quickly towards the edges of the frame, and transitions between a light edge and dark background have a very clearl boundary that I don't find all that attractive. The H-stops cause the highlights to have a "star pattern" that can be distracting as well.

If you use the Imagon only with the h/stops, you're missing out on a whole 'nother aspect or the lens. The Compound shutter has a conventional diaphragm, and it works quite well with the Imagon.

I'd love to see comparison images between the Kodak Portrait and Imagon lenses. From the different images I've seen from both, they don't seem that far apart in their effect, though I could be wrong.

A landmark event would be a soft-focus workshop/get-together where a number of us could bring together a wide selection of these beasts and put them through their paces...

pierre salomon
24-Jan-2008, 17:04
A landmark event would be a soft-focus workshop/get-together where a number of us could bring together a wide selection of these beasts and put them through their paces...
__________________
Jim Galli would have to bring a small tuckload.

Jim Galli
24-Jan-2008, 17:08
A landmark event would be a soft-focus workshop/get-together where a number of us could bring together a wide selection of these beasts and put them through their paces...
__________________
Jim Galli would have to bring a small tuckload.


Let's do it in Tonopah :D :p

Jan Pedersen
24-Jan-2008, 17:38
Let's do it in Tonopah

And let's do it in Easter weekend