He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949
just recieved a Velostigmat Series II 9 1/2 inch f/4.5 with soft focus.
I I didn't browse the forum lately, and i missed most of the recent posts on this thread.
Probably i've also missed recent developments in the soft focus lens department, as my recent experiences seem to confirm.
Maybe my impressions are already old news, as i am left behind by at least two or three months.
From my recent Ebay searches, and the experience with a few new glasses i purchased, i learned a few things.
I have seen more than a few signs that the soft focus lens bubble has not burst, but at least got somewhat deflated.
Some higher value items, like Perscheids, Universal Heliars, P&S's, retain their prices, and may even cost more, while other easier to find items are going for cheaper (of course it's about auctions, not BIN).
I must admit that i have never spent more than 250 euros for a SF lens. The most desiderable items were going for far too much money for my taste (and for my budget), so i always refrained from getting too mad about a certain item, and i limited myself to the more affordable glasses, and to the occasional (rare!) too_good_to_be_true finds.
In the last couple of weeks i purchased a nice 14" Veritar in working No.5 Alphax shutter (446 USD + shipment), and a 420mm Imagon in barrel, without disks but with a LARGE and very robust diaphragm lens holder (212 euros + shipment).
I have seen other soft focus or "portrait" long focus lenses that were sold for much less than what i expected.
Some price tendencies are quite irrational though, why on earth a Verito in barrel should fetch more than a coated Veritar in a working shutter??
And why "brand" Petzvals, even projection ones, are continuing their slow but steady increase in price? I understand that Holmes, Booth and Haydens, Lerebours & Secretans, and other not_so_common Petzvals, are being sold for good money, but i really don't understand why a very common Darlot should fetch more than one hundred or so (for the more common FL's).
About the two lenses i have purchased, my max snipes were just a few $/€ more than the winning bid, and when i did it i was almost sure that i was going to loose them both.
In the end i won them, two on two. It was a surprise, i had the habit of loosing more than 90% of the auctions!
Now i am asking myself if the prices have gone down so much...
Last edited by cyberjunkie; 27-Apr-2012 at 17:18.
Cj, i have increasing the prices of petzvals also. The point is that wet plate photography is hot over here in Europe, but also in China, Australia etc. Those people are used to pay a lot of money for their digital gear. So a 150 year old petzval is still cheap compaired with a nikon.24-70 2.8 which they buy in a eye blinck
"You dont take a picture, it's given to you"
email : collodion-art dot onsmail dot nl
Whatever the reason, what's really amazing is the relationship between "brand" and price.
Barring the big cannons, and the adjustable (soft?) models with reversed back layout, when it comes to more conventional items (user lenses, not collectionables), FL and speed seem to count less that brand name.
If i have to name names, i see a steady increase in Darlots prices, even very common ones. Unbranded Darlot-made Petzvals come for a lot cheaper, even when the lens is exactly the same!
One example: i found a fast 190mm unbranded Darlot, missing the flange and the set of waterhouse stops, for just 60 euros.
After my previous post, i've read all the entries i missed, since late December.
A few points:
1) thumbs up for Dan! And thanks a lot for your good work. This thread (and even more your web site) are a must for everybody interested in SF lenses.
I don't think you are helping the price increase, or decrease... or whatever else. Honest information is GOOD. No information is BAD. Stop.
2) I don't think that only the highest prices are represented, and not the lowest.
Maybe some professional sellers have no interest in posting their nice finds, to help their sales.
On the other hand the are many more USERS, who are more than happy to report what they have scored.
BTW, most of the lenses changing hands are sold on Ebay, or on Internet auction sites, so the prices are public, aren't they?
3) From the prices i have seen (this thread and recently completed Ebay sales), i think that my first impression wasn't so far from reality.
Collectibles and the more desiderable SF lenses can vary quite a lot in price, but on average there is no devaluation.
Easier to find items, like a Velostigmat Series II, for example, seem to be back to more realistic prices.
Unfortunately, it's always small numbers, so you never know if it's a new price trend, or just price fluctuations, as usual
For those who really think that the "good finds" don't get posted, here are a few of my purchases, from the last eight months or so.
Of course i don't mention the two lenses of my previous post. ALL are from Ebay, shipment charges excluded:
SF 12" Velostigmat Series II in working shutter 262 USD (badly described)
Imagon 300mm in barrel 170 € incl. shipment (with flange, only one disk)
Eastman Portrait Series A 12" f/4 [adjustable Petzval, just like Dallmeyer Patent ones] 316 USD
5x7" Ilex Photoplastic f/4.5 in working shutter 257 USD (including Agfa Ansco 5x7" camera AND big Ansco wooden tripod)
Then there are two landscape lenses, which i purchased with the idea to "uncork" them, removing the front diaphragm assembly.
Unfortunately in the second one the top can't be unscrewed, it must be hammered out.
Both can be used as nice, low-cost, SF achromatic meniscii:
Lancaster 250mm ca. 50 GBP (bigger, faster)
Lancaster/Underwood 12" narrow angle 35 € (very small, quite slow with original iris)
Then there are a few "softish" lenses, which sit in between a conventional "portrait" lens and a mild SF one.
I report just a few, as examples.
The first one doubles as a softish lens if only one of the two halves is used.
Goerz Dogmar 12" f/4.5 in barrel 100 USD
Meyer Trioplan 360mm f/4.5 in barrel 101 €
Meyer Trioplan 210mm f/3.5 in barrel 67 €
Ross 420mm f/4.5 projection triplet 102 GBP
Then two off-topic lines about no-brand Petzvals:
very nice french made projection Petzval, 300mm FL and 16cm. total length 102 USD
Optische Werke Gottingen (before it became ISCO) 130mm FL ca., VERY fast Petzval 23 €
I leave out a couple of too_good_to_be_true bargains, cause i think they have no place here.
All purchases before Summer 2011 are left out as well.
You can see that ALL the lenses i purchased, before the Veritar, are well within the 250 euros limit i mentioned in my previous post, even my as-new 250mm SF Fujinon (total cost for shutter + elements).
I hope i have given my contribute for the lowering of SF lens prices
At least i hope i handed out a few good advices for the low budget folks out there.
Never mind if some lenses are just "softish"...
Just obtained a 9 1/2 inch Diffused Velostigmat in good shape for $191.00. Looking forward to comparing it to my 9 inch Verito.
"I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."
305mm f4.8 Kodak Soft Focus Portrait Lens
Item number: 300700543979
WOLLENSAK 14" 356mm f6 VERITAR
Item number: 270960528611
Item number: 200746961920
EIDOSCOPE N°3 5/275mm HERMAGIS
Item number: 120894860337
really? an hour after the close and no one has posted this one yet? come on!
dalmeyer five a sold for $9300 today.