View Full Version : Agonizing on Apertures -- photos done wide open

Frank Petronio
26-Apr-2006, 19:59
Rather than hijacking another thread even worse than I already did (which was all Oren's fault really...), let's share our photos done wide open - or at the least done with more than seven aperture blades forming the iris.

Circular apertures in other words. None of that cheap hexagonal junk. Copals and Compurs need not apply.

Here are a few of my latest: Graflexing (http://frankpetronio.com/archive/graflexing.html) and Graflexology (http://frankpetronio.com/archive/graflexology.html). You might find a few others if you poke around.

Just to set the mood:





Oren Grad
26-Apr-2006, 20:55
< wallowing in hijacker's guilt >

Wish I could pitch in, but I still don't have a scanner for photos nor a convenient place set up to park files for web viewing. I do hope, at long last, to rectify both delinquencies shortly. In the meantime, your Graflex* stuff is really cool.

Just curious, what lens did you use for the log?

Frank Petronio
26-Apr-2006, 21:04
I started with the auto Ektar that most of the RBs come with but then Jim Galli - who owns all the lenses - sold me a sweet Heliar. The Ektar is fine - sharp - more like a Tessar-Xenar I used to have. The Heliar is more of a soft focus yet sharp, with even nicer bokeh and a half stop faster.

Oren Grad
26-Apr-2006, 21:38
Thanks... that distant background is a mite frizzy, so I wondered. It will be interesting to see how the 6 3/8" Kodak Anastigmat on mine does.

I'm on the lookout myself now for a nice Heliar to play with, having had my curiosity piqued by the likes of Messrs Galli and Goldfarb. Not sure yet whether it will be for the Graflex, though - it may be hard to find a Heliar of suitable focal length that also matches the thread of the Anastigmat, and I don't know how much of a production it is to replace the lens mount on the 3.25x4.25 B. Doesn't matter - I'm game to try a Heliar on 5x7 or 6.5x8.5 instead if that's what turns up first at a good price.

Frank Petronio
26-Apr-2006, 21:50
I can't quite hit infinity with the 6 inch 180mm Heliar. The 190mm Ektar is a better all arounder.

I think I saw where some wild man mounted an Aero Ektar on an RB Super D. I liked the bokeh from the Aero I had and I bet the f/2.5 would be beautiful to focus with - but what a beastly project! I should have downloaded the photos.

I started to use cheap reading glasses to focus the RB with -- whether it is my failing eyesight or of universial benefit, they paid for themselves in the first session by helping me hit focus.

To think I used to use Gaussian Blur all the time... I cringe now when I think back...

Patrik Roseen
27-Apr-2006, 05:32
Frank, do these pics qualify in this thread.
They are both shot wide open, but I have used tilt and swing to adjust plane of focus.
I really like my Symmar-S 180mm f5.6 since it gives such a short DOF when used wide open.

Still life (http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=4270615)

Boat among flowers (http://www.photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=3878889)

Ole Tjugen
27-Apr-2006, 07:16
Here's another one, shot wide open. In this case the aperture would have been round at any setting, it was a Xenar 300mm f:4.5 in Compound #5 shutter: 23 iris blades...

It's interesting to note the different "bokeh" on the left and right sides - in front of and behind the plane of focus.

BTW, I used 5x7" FP4+ in a Technika, and printed on POP:


Walt Calahan
27-Apr-2006, 07:23
Beautiful image Ole!

Steve J Murray
27-Apr-2006, 10:39
If not wide open, then almost. 10 inch Caltar on 4x5.


Jim Galli
27-Apr-2006, 10:40
http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Devil/WorkShoesS.jpgwork shoes

Done with an ancient "Ajax" (direct competitors to Acme which was always bugs bunny's fave) petaval lens of about 9 1/2" focus. 8X10 Century with paper negative. Wide open of course!

David R Munson
27-Apr-2006, 10:54
http://static.flickr.com/23/33006908_88e897814b_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidrmunson/33006908/" title="Photo Sharing)

From this (http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidrmunson/sets/733585/) series I did in college.

Patrik Roseen
27-Apr-2006, 12:25
The photographs in this thread are all very nice (and I'm not referring to my own) - my personal favorite so far being the 'work shoes' by Jim Galli.

As for hijacking another thread: The tilt/swing + short DOF is obviously something we who use LF really enjoy...but do people in general appreciate these pictures? I'm honest to say that it's good if I appreciate my own pictures, but I'm even happier if other people do it too. When posting a picture on e.g. photo.net for critique the feedback usually varies quite alot. I guess some people would take a quick glance at Ole's picture above and conclude that something must have 'gone wrong'' during exposure, development, or printing (I myself love it !) and give it a low score. I received feedback on a picture like that saying "it looks as if the negative curled up during scanning or something". Or "Just because you can tilt&swing doesn't mean you should".

What is your experience in this area...and do you at all care?

Richard Årlin
27-Apr-2006, 12:56
Wide open... nothing like a Noctilux f:1, but then that's not LF

Jeff Dyck
27-Apr-2006, 15:11
"Wide open... nothing like a Noctilux f:1, but then that's not LF"

While obviously the Noctilux is very fast, from the standpoint of depth-of-field, that f1.0 Noctilux will still have more depth of field wide open than say an 18" f4 portrait lens (a la Hurrell). i have nothing against Leica - they are beautiful cameras, but as much as the Leica-philes wax on about how great thier bokeh is, I've always figured that it is just because they are comparing thier shots to those made on other 35mm outfits only.

27-Apr-2006, 15:19
Darlot Portrait 8x10.


27-Apr-2006, 15:21

Walt Calahan
27-Apr-2006, 16:06
William - simply lovely.

27-Apr-2006, 16:48
i've been having fun shooting wide open too.

graflex d 21cm tessar - 3.5

ilex seminat -3.5

Don Hutton
28-Apr-2006, 20:30
Cooke PS945 Wide open(f4.5)


BTW Frank, every modern Copal shutter I own has 7 aperture blades making up the iris, not 5...

Don Hutton
28-Apr-2006, 20:38
Let me try again....


Oren Grad
28-Apr-2006, 20:49
Don, you're right, except that the error in the other thread was mine, not Frank's. I've gone back and posted a correction there, for the benefit of anyone who stumbles across it later on...

Don Hutton
28-Apr-2006, 21:47
I'm not actually picking a fight with anyone on it (!!) but it is a real feature of later as opposed to earlier Copal shutters. I don't know why my example wouldn't post either - I've given up... unless someone can tell me exactly what to do. I recently bought the Cooke and have been testing it against the other two SF lenses I own - a Rodenstock Imagon and a Fujinon SF. The Cooke is in a completely different league (and so it should be or I would have sent it straight back).

Oren Grad
28-Apr-2006, 22:04
I'm not actually picking a fight with anyone on it (!!) but it is a real feature of later as opposed to earlier Copal shutters.

Not to worry - I'd much rather someone correct me if I'm wrong, especially if I've posted in public where it might lead someone astray. Thanks...

Ken Lee
29-Apr-2006, 04:34
If, instead of a diaphragm, we were to rotate two polarizing filters, could we get a continuously variable neutral density filter - and thus shoot wide open under bright light, etc. ?

Donald Qualls
29-Apr-2006, 17:09
Accidentally wide open -- I had intended to stop down from f/4.5 to f/5.6 on this, and missed that step (doesn't seem to have hurt the negative to get an extra half stop of exposure).


Uncoated 13.5 cm f/4.5 Skopar, f/4.5 at 1/150 hand held with focal plane shutter in pre-War Anniversary Speed Graphic. Fomapan 100, Parodinal LF 1:50, 11 minutes with agitation every 3rd. Scanned from negative, no manipulation beyond exposure selection and levels.

C. D. Keth
29-Apr-2006, 17:53
"If, instead of a diaphragm, we were to rotate two polarizing filters, could we get a continuously variable neutral density filter - and thus shoot wide open under bright light, etc. ?"

Sort of. Yes, it does work but it sometimes does strange things to colors (like appearing to ND some colors stronger than others) and to reflections. it's a neat effect to try out, for sure.

Ralph Barker
29-Apr-2006, 18:44
Don's image:


Don - you were linking to the page, rather than the image itself. Once the page is up, right click on the image itself to copy the image location/URL.