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Thread: "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    An other idea. Try spraying (lightly) the inside of a UV filter with hair spray. It will firm up with time. This will allow the UV to be used as a lens cap as well as a last resort defuser of sorts. Will wash off with soap and water. I use this idea on rangefinder lenses where the mess up of a hurried lens change renders the occasion not all lost. And it does work.....sort of.
    Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure... Life is either daring adventure or nothing: Helen Keller.

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    Actually Chris, I think you'd come closest with an early f4.5 Zeiss Tessar. 3.5 even better. Then seperate the front 2 elements mechanically. Unscrew the rear element a turn and a half or so, then re-assemble carefully leaving the entire group spaced the same distance aout from the barrel as what you seperated. You'd end up with something similar to what Wollensak did with the Velostigmat series II that had the 1-5 defocus ring. Hey, I've got a 3.5 Xenar out in the drawer, maybe I'll tinker with that tomorrow. To answer your original quenstion though, no. Since the whole de-focus idea was for portraiture, 135 on 4X5 was ruled too wide. No one would have wanted one. 135 would just start to be considered a portrait length on 6X6.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  3. #23

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    I did the same thing to a 14" carl meyer as Steve Hamly. I inverted the inner element on the backside of the iris. Kind of a dreamy soft look. When I get a good 14" I'll turn it around and use it that way. I have used a peice of celephane lightly crumpled and a 1/4' hole in the center. I now have a softar II that works quite nice. On the list is a verito.

  4. #24
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    If you want the effect to last longer than the Pam, use paint or clear spray varnish (or some other clear finish). I've put a blast of the aerosol into the air and moved the filter through it. One could also set it on something and put a blast above it and let it settle. The effect will last as long as the paint is on the filter. If it's glass, one can clean the filter and not remove the paint. Heating clear plexi is another way to get an interesting filter and using rippled glass, or textured glass is another.

    i've never seen or used one, but i think the beach portrait lenses were something like that - ripply rear glass.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Rondo, Missouri

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    In an interview, David Hamilton once said that his ethereal soft focus effects came from an old Minolta camera. I think he said it was one of the SRT series. How did he get the effect? In all the years he owned the camera, he never covered nor cleaned the lens. Each year his images got dreamier. And more perverted.
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  6. #26

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    Hi there,

    If you move the rear element closer than factory spec, it de-focuses very quickly for a soft-focus effect. I have a 14" Heliar with a factory installed 3mm spacer. Installed it's a very nice Heliar, removed it has a gorgeous soft focus that can be adjusted with the aperture. This should work for any style lens and different spacers would be a good thing.

    Just a thought.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Feb 1998

    "Portrait" lenses - a weird question

    > Each year his [David Hamilton's] images got dreamier. And more perverted.

    I haven't seen Hamilton's work in a while, 10 years and probably more. Has his work become perverted since then ? I didn't see any perversion in the work I've seen before.


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