Can anyone recommend and tell me the differences in “Look” of different old large format lenses used for photographing people? One for 4x5 and one for 8x10 or one that will work as a portrait lens on a 4x5 and as a wide on 8x10.
This is the objective: I am trying to find a good lens to photograph people, one that will give me a very smooth gradational tonal scale, looks very sharp but actually has very low resolving power, Let me explain, in photographing people I prefer to use a 6x7 Pentex over my a Hassalblad, because I have found after many years of use that the 150 Hasselblad lens which is sharper and much smother then the Pentax lens almost never makes people look as good (shot side by side under same conditions), this is because the Pentax 165 f/2.8 looks extremely sharp but it is actually not sharp and not smooth, but this however always gives you a cleaner look due to the contrast and lower resolution that magically removes small flaws and bad makeup that become awful looking with the Hassy and usually need retouching. This is why almost every fashion photographer that I know in NYC doesn’t use a Hassy (not because the cost).
In addition the larger actual usable size negative, allows you to “push the film” or use faster ASA film increasing the “cleaning up effect” on people, without seeing too much grain because the large negative size. Understanding this and realizing that by using a larger format size film you can retain the smooth gradational tonal values, the trick then is to find a lens that looks very sharp but has a low resolving to eliminate small unnecessary details. The large film format compensates for the lower resolving power because less magnification is needed to blowup and make a print, The final print size will be under 20x24 so I’m not still sure if I should use only 8x10 or I can get away with 4x5. Also keep in mind that any new lens on the market (for my taste) looks extremely boring and commercial if used for people, especially because you just can’t shoot fast with a large format and what you gain in quality you lose 1000x over in character, making for a pharmaceutical type image that anyone can do.
Also does anyone know of any resolution results tests or comparison of these lenses? Or samples done side by side: Kodak Ektar Commercial Dagor Wollensak F:3.8 Vitax No5-Huge Portrait Dallmeyer London 17"/4.5-Rare 8x10 lens Carl Meyer 305mm/4.5-Beautiful 8x10 lens
Thanks Enzo email@example.com