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Thread: Best soft focus lens for the money?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Mississippi, USA
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    Best soft focus lens for the money?

    What is the best "soft focus" LF lens for the money? 5x7 to 8x10 size. Say around $500 or so.

    thanks
    J

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Hamilton, Canada
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quite seriously, a magnifying glass on your choice of strength put in a tube to fit.
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  3. #3

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    WoW....what a brilliant idea! Where did you study physics?

  4. #4

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Yes, a simple magnifying lens meets a lot of the criteria for a SF lens--spherical aberrations, chromatic aberrations, but with a lot of field curvature and bad performance around the edges, plus, no diaphragm. OK for some portrait work, not so hot for some other types of photos.

    You can buy one of Reinhold's new Wollastons for about $100, and for that you get a nice mount and waterhouse stops. It is a great deal. As with a lot of other SF lenses, you need to budget for a Packard shutter to go with--another $100 there.

    My current favorite is a shutter I emptied and screwed a two-element achromatic close-up lens into the back, $35 plus the shutter. This is not a lot different from some of the vintage SF lenses in both concept and results.

    IMO, don't bother with the Fujinon SF. It is simply not sharp, that is all. If you want that look spend twenty bucks on a diffusion filter for a lens you have. That is the shutter I gutted for my two-element close-up lens.

    Otherwise, the cheapest things you can get that are "real" vintage lenses are the various focal lengths Veritos, mostly under $500 and they are fine.

  5. #5
    multi format
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    durr3,

    do you need a shutter ?
    or is a barrel lens OK ?

  6. #6

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by wiseco View Post
    WoW....what a brilliant idea! Where did you study physics?
    High school. Not sure if you are being sarcastic or sincere.
    Perhaps I misunderstood the best value for money part. I assumed that meant the OP did not want a spendy lens. http://www.largeformatphotography.in...lenses-for-4x5
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...s-on-the-cheap
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ctorial-lenses
    Bill
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    I would like a shutter since I am planning on shooting film and wet plate, but I may have to buy the shutter after.

  8. #8

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    Oct 2016
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by cowanw View Post
    High school. Not sure if you are being sarcastic or sincere.
    Perhaps I misunderstood the best value for money part. I assumed that meant the OP did not want a spendy lens. http://www.largeformatphotography.in...lenses-for-4x5
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...s-on-the-cheap
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ctorial-lenses
    I was just playing with you. Thanks for the info

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    9

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    durr3,

    do you need a shutter ?
    or is a barrel lens OK ?
    I would like a shutter since I am planning on shooting film and wet plate, but I may have to buy the shutter after.

  10. #10
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Winona, Minnesota
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by wiseco View Post
    WoW....what a brilliant idea! Where did you study physics?
    Would you please tell us how physics relates to the aesthetics of soft focus lenses? Show your work and experience. This question determines 80% of you reputation here.
    .

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