Page 6 of 6 FirstFirst ... 456
Results 51 to 58 of 58

Thread: Best soft focus lens for the money?

  1. #51
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend, Washington
    Posts
    235

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    To follow up on COWANW's comments on the old Spiratone Portragon lens, its factory configuration provides a "somewhat" sharp central area. Unscrew the retaining ring in front, and reverse the single lens gives softness across the entire field.

    Keith

  2. #52

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    1,193

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by durr3 View Post
    What is the best "soft focus" LF lens for the money? 5x7 to 8x10 size. Say around $500 or so.

    thanks
    J

    "Best" does not exists in this case. It depends on what you want.

    There is a well stablished Soft Focus imaging culture, in 1905 opticians were dealing yet with the problem that lenses were too sharp for portraits.

    A DIY project is to convert a $500 Voightlander Heliar to $2500 Universal Heliar, this is making inner element position adjustable, to me the Universal Heliar is the glass I want, I'm considering that cheaper DIY choice.

    Here you can explore how Mr Biilman uses a number of weird glasses, like eyeglasses to get powerful results:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/johanbiilmann/page2

    Of course Rodenstock Imagons and Fuji SF are sweet options.

    I like the Universal Heliar because the adjustable sph aberration ( and "coma") it produces is projected inwards , delivering a very special look I like.

    You also have the option to soften the image in post, beyond Scan+PS it also can be done in the darkroom, expose paper as usual and when remaining 30% of the exposure time just defocus a bit the enlarger, or move up/dn a bit the enlarger head. This is not the same because the effect do not depends on the subject distance, but it is an important resource.

    Then there is induced Halo, just place an alluminium (kitchen) foil in the back of the collodion plate...

    Soft Focus images are easier than sharp ones , true, still taking advantage of SF it can be a very sofisticated labour.

    What I recommend to you is exploring flickr for SF styles and results, so you can have an idea of what different effects you can get and what you want to try to get, and perhaps you may also like more using defocus + movements rather than a pure SF style: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jay_de...125592977@N05/


    https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=...ocus%20%208x10



    Here you can see how Universal Heliar difusion works: enlarge the image and see coma of distant bright points

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/558734...-dndZW7-P3vjNj



    Also:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/558734...-dndZW7-P3vjNj




    Regards

  3. #53

    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Sheridan, Colorado
    Posts
    883

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    You have a LOT of options -- from FREE to INEXPENSIVE. Here is a summary:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	clarity.jpg 
Views:	45 
Size:	64.8 KB 
ID:	165105

    For details and links, check out:

    http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/close-up.htm

  4. #54

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    3,862

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    OK this is going to sound completely sacrilegious to some members in this group but is an interesting side note...

    I wanted to take a series of six images using a Petzval lens on my 11x14. Final Platinum/Palladium print size around 10x13". I have an 11x14 view camera but didn't have a Petzval lens to use on it. Purchasing a Petzval optic for this small project was totally cost prohibitive, never mind probably adapting a Sinar Copal shutter to it.

    After thinking it through and considering alternative ways of reaching my end goal, I bought a 100mm Spiratone Portragon lens for my Nikon D4 for under $30. The Portragon is 100% a Petzval optic but was made to cover the 24x36mm format. Shot many exposures with it and finally chose 6 final images to print. Made 11x14 digital negatives (per The New Inkjet Negative Companion by Dan Burkholder). Because I had already calibrated and made multiple Platinum/Palladium this way, made the 6 final prints quite easily (saved a lot of $$$ by not having to make test prints). The final prints were viewed by two experienced (one former) LF portrait photographers and they told me that there was no way that they could tell that the images hadn't been taken with Petzval lens on an 11x14 view camera.
    You realize that A) a Petzval is a sharp lens, and B) A Spiratone Portragon is a single meniscus lens, not a Petzval, right? Who were your experienced LF portrait photographers? Because it sounds like they've not seen a Petzval portrait, which is sharp. Show us a capture of your shot.

    UPDATE: sorry, I didn't see Mark and the others already told you the same thing.

  5. #55

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    1,193

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Just I'd like to point that a Soft Focus image is not a pure soft image.

    In general (IMO) we can consider a SF image has 2 overlaped image components. The base image can be a pretty sharp image, then we have an additional less sharp image overlaped on it, this less sharp component can be produced in more than one way: Aberrations can be used, diffraction, filters...

    The sharp component can have a bigger or smaller share in the result, and the less sharp component can have different difusion patterns, that also intereract with defocus.

    At the end SF is a pretty complex issue with a number of flavours.

    Perhaps we should look backwards, I feel that pre-WWI portrait photographers developed interesting aesthetic flavours with rich nuances from SF, that today are overlooked, while still being a powerful resource.

    So one thing is playing with softness, an another one is SF, this is Sharp+Soft.

  6. #56

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Collinsville, CT USA
    Posts
    634

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    You realize that A) a Petzval is a sharp lens, and B) A Spiratone Portragon is a single meniscus lens, not a Petzval, right? Who were your experienced LF portrait photographers? Because it sounds like they've not seen a Petzval portrait, which is sharp.
    You are totally right, the Spiratone Portragon lens is is a single meniscus lens.

    I was wrong... Memory had me using the Portragon lens, but when I looked at my notes, I wrote down that I used my unmarked "brass lens" which is a Petzval.

  7. #57

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Information on Petzval Lenses http://antiquecameras.net/petzvallens.html

    Information on Soft Focus Lenses http://antiquecameras.net/softfocuslenses.html

    Antique & Classic Camera Blog
    www.antiquecameras.net/blog.html

  8. #58

    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    1,193

    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by CCHarrison View Post
    Information on Petzval Lenses http://antiquecameras.net/petzvallens.html

    Information on Soft Focus Lenses http://antiquecameras.net/softfocuslenses.html
    This a great article !!

    I read it in the past, but I did it again. That advertising literature is just a wonder. The 1884 Dallmeyer advertisement is just fantastic, and perhaps a landmark.

Similar Threads

  1. How to focus a soft focus lens
    By Geoffrey_1456 in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 2-Aug-2012, 06:56
  2. DIY Soft Focus Lens
    By Ash in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 30-May-2011, 14:00
  3. UlF soft focus lens
    By Robert Musgjerd in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 2-Feb-2005, 19:50

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •