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Thread: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

  1. #2801

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    181

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    The one from this series of OEM lenses i owned (labeled Eastman Portrait) was very soft, muddy soft. Worst petzval i've ever seen.
    btw - another one labeled Pinkham & Smith surfaced on ebay for $5k.

  2. #2802

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    AZ
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    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Perhaps someone lost the original glass from one of the elements, and replaced it with something that fit but was not correct. That's the only thing that could explain it to me, all Vesta's I've had are sharp.

  3. #2803

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    5,790

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    I'd guess the engravings and the "shiny" factor drew them in, as Garrett said. Maybe the loser can console himself with the similarly common f/5 Petzval engraved for re-sale by Pinkham & Smith for $2799...
    Now we'll be forced to look at a rash of shiny bright lenses since that's the formula apparently for massive dollars.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  4. #2804
    Foamer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    1,006

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by goamules View Post
    This common F-5 B&L (not Wollensak) Petzval is barely soft focus, because it has the "unscrew rear to unfocus" feature. But I'm sure a lot of you were watching the amazing bidding war by two people that would not let go. It sold for $2,000, instead of the usual $500-800. At least that's what I've sold several for the past few years, here and ebay. 201503795332

    Why did it sell so high? Here are my beliefs:
    - He polished it brightly, by soaking it in vinegar or citric acid. Notice how the barrel is copper colored from the leaching of the zinc, a telltale sign. - Bidder rationale? "It's in GREAT condition, look how shiney!"
    - The engraving is interesting, with words like "Portrait" and "Special" used. - Bidder rationale? "This must be a top of the line, rare portrait lens like I've heard about!"
    - He never mentions the focal length, which would be 14", so the bidders had to guess. But it is engraved 8x10, so they were confident it would cover that.
    - He goes into detail about the iris markings, but never mentions it's the old US scale, and not as fast as a novice would think, "1.5, 2, 4, 8, 16" Though he does list it as F5, as marked.
    - And it has the rear element fixture marked for the dubious "soft focus" feature.


    I was bidding on it early, but just wasn't going to go over $800. What did I like about it? It was from a seller in Atchison, KS. I grew up not far from there. The merchant then moved to Kansas City and opened a shop a few blocks from where I used to work. I also loved the nickel finish. My Korona is sturdy enough to hold the beast, but is only 5x7. I was aware the lens is basically a Wollensak Vesta, and those are plentiful. Really liked the lens for the cosmetics and historical connection, but for $2,000 I'd much rather have a pre-Civil War Petzval, or even a pre-1930 Leica. The good thing about ebay is there will always be something else I like, later.


    Kent in SD
    Die Gedanken sind Frei

  5. #2805

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
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    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Now we'll be forced to look at a rash of shiny bright lenses since that's the formula apparently for massive dollars.
    Bingo.

    Guess if my Visual Quality doesn't sell I'd better get a gallon of muriatic acid.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

  6. #2806

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    these are often above market forces price levels

  7. #2807

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Bingo.

    Guess if my Visual Quality doesn't sell I'd better get a gallon of muriatic acid.
    Or a gallon of black, gloppy paint. ;-)

  8. #2808
    (Shrek)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,545

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Bingo.

    Guess if my Visual Quality doesn't sell I'd better get a gallon of muriatic acid.
    There's a seller in India who seems to think that's the way to go...

  9. #2809

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Stockton, California
    Posts
    814

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    There's a seller in India who seems to think that's the way to go...
    My thought exactly and as far as I'm concerned, he was the first one I noticed on that site that would religiously fix all the brass for sale ... and he's selling more than in his early days ...

  10. #2810

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    AZ
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    3,867

    Re: Some Soft Focus Lens Sales Information

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Now we'll be forced to look at a rash of shiny bright lenses since that's the formula apparently for massive dollars.
    You probably remember people arguing against my post years ago, where I said buyers don't care about "patina." They care about "shiny". Historians and collectors know not to polish a brass lens. But the argument that polishing reduces value is proven wrong again and again.

    I'm a Historian and Collector, more than a "buyer", so I don't buy a vinegar soaked, copper washed lens. But there are 20 buyers standing in line for the lenses I pass on. There's no accounting for taste.

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