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Thread: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

  1. #21
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Joroen - no need to take a lens apart. If you don't believe those of us who use these lenses on a constant basis (and are not speculating whatsoever), you can simply link the
    Fuji brochures with exploded diagrams on Kerry Thalmann's Fuji site. The current Fuji C's
    have very high contrast due to the multicoating, and also have better coverage than
    tessars. But color rendition, detail, and contrast are very similar to the late Nikkor M tessars. You would have difficulty telling shots apart if both style lenses were shaded.

  2. #22
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Gem - The CMW lenses are just the current offering of Fuji's W and NW series of plasmats.
    The C's are four-element airspaced dialytes, so with even fewer air/glass interfaces. The
    coating solved most issues of flare long ago. But I find I do have to be careful to use a
    deep bellows shade when using a 450C on high-flare open sky situations with 4x5 format
    due to the enormous image circle it takes in. But these kinds of modern lenses also involve
    various refinements from old school simple less classifications. When I want to know about
    the history in general I look it up in Kingslake.

  3. #23

    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    The Fujinon brochure (higher up in this thread) convinced me that the Fujinon-C is a Dialyte, and I changed the text accordingly. Thank you guys for pointing this out to me. It also shows that crowd-sourced editing is fast and efficient.

    Because of the superior quality of baryte contact prints, many photographers and their clients are drawn to large format, so I keep that at the top.

    Jeroen.

  4. #24
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Barendt View Post
    It's not a textbook.

    Really, are we to a point in this world where we can't show a bit of opinion about our craft?
    Agreed, but putting it on the reference page makes it a bit of a primer for someone looking for introductory knowledge about portrait lenses for large format. While it's an interesting sampling of whatever lenses were at hand, only one, the Heliar, was meant as a portrait lens.

    The others were general-use or meant for something completely different, like the Ronar and Artar. Those two process lenses fall far outside what is usually thought of as a portrait lens, (to dark, too sharp). Which isn't to say one can't use them as portrait lenses, but then, what lens can't you use for portraits? The Ronar seems to get the highest praise of all, ("Portraits shot with this lens feature an intergalactic gorgeousness... with a butter-smooth transition from sharp to unsharp areas, divine bokeh at all apertures, yummy tonality, and colors better than in real life...") But it would be near my last choice for traditional portraiture. So the article describes more what the author thinks portraiture should be, and less about what in the traditional sense makes a good portrait lens.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #25

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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay DeFehr View Post
    And that they have something useful to teach you places them beyond reproach? That's a strange attitude. The author wants his readers to have confidence in his judgement, as online images can't tell the whole story he intends to tell, but his judgement about subtle qualities is severely damaged (in my mind) by his careless and baseless comment about ink printing.

    As I've said, I did find the article as a whole interesting and useful, but that doesn't mean the article or specific comments are beyond critique.
    Nothing is above reproach and I have learned not to take anyone's word at face value, not even trusted sources.

    This article, as I view any article/book/..., is just an opinion as far as I'm concerned; even text books are flawed and skewed by opinion, right or wrong the winners write history.

    What can be important about an article like this is when the info matches other sources or my own experience and how the author describes the differences so that if I have one of the lenses I can have some feel for how another might relate.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

  6. #26

    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Opposite to "sampling of whatever lenses there were at hand", my sampling was quite thoughtful and based on extensive research, although confined to (approximately) post-1930 lenses, and with some omissions explicated at the end. Quite a few lenses were not mentioned not because of my ignorance about them, but because I do know them.

    For Ronars and all those other lenses that were not designed to be portrait lenses, it seems to me more useful to find out open-mindedly what those lenses can do for us, rather than to discard them for tradition's sake. Had we taken traditions too seriously, we would now be painters (on cave walls), as photography would not have been invented.

  7. #27
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    It's certainly a valid set of experiments, simply because we often find ourselves improvising with lenses we routinely travel with instead of something big and clunky we might prefer in the studio: how does a typical modern lens perform wide open, for example,
    with respect to out-of-focus characteristics. ... generally not very good, but some are
    certainly better than others in this respect.

  8. #28

    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    Hmmm.. I have 150/2.8 Xenotar, which indeed was doubling contours.. Until i realized it was not mounted properly. Once i took it apart and recleaned and mounted right (rear element was not screwed in properly) - presto.. It suddenly became deadly sharp at 2.8 and no funky odd double-contours, but pretty darn nice bokeh..
    I had my lens cleaned and serviced first, as the shutter was in-accurate. When I then mounted it, I could clearly feel that the rear part well-fitted the shutter, so this might not have been the problem. For sure, I didn't have "funky odd double-contours" with my 80mm Xenotar on my Rolleiflex, but neither of my Xenotars was very sharp wide open, and bokeh was a far cry from Heliar's or Lanthar's.

  9. #29

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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Agreed, but putting it on the reference page makes it a bit of a primer for someone looking for introductory knowledge about portrait lenses for large format. While it's an interesting sampling of whatever lenses were at hand, only one, the Heliar, was meant as a portrait lens.

    The others were general-use or meant for something completely different, like the Ronar and Artar. Those two process lenses fall far outside what is usually thought of as a portrait lens, (to dark, too sharp). Which isn't to say one can't use them as portrait lenses, but then, what lens can't you use for portraits? The Ronar seems to get the highest praise of all, ("Portraits shot with this lens feature an intergalactic gorgeousness... with a butter-smooth transition from sharp to unsharp areas, divine bokeh at all apertures, yummy tonality, and colors better than in real life...") But it would be near my last choice for traditional portraiture. So the article describes more what the author thinks portraiture should be, and less about what in the traditional sense makes a good portrait lens.
    So do the research, write, and submit an article that presents your point of view so that people looking for a primer can have two views.
    You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. ~ Mark Twain

  10. #30
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: New article: Large format lenses for portraits

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Barendt View Post
    So do the research, write, and submit an article that presents your point of view so that people looking for a primer can have two views.
    Is it not allowable if I post them here in the thread on the article so people can have two (or more) views?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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