View Full Version : Pinkham & Smith on ebay

stefan d
13-Oct-2006, 11:27
Hallo !
There is a Pinkham & Smith lens on ebay. Can anyone tell me what kind of lens this is? I only know the Series I V as described by Jay Allan in his book about Pictorial, Soft-Focus and Portrait lenses.
Thanks and greatings from Berlin

Jonathan Brewer
13-Oct-2006, 12:00
More knowledgeable folks will probably chime in later, it's clear from one of the thumbnails, this is a 14" not a 24", and it's the 'bi-quality', I have a remounted version of the 12" Visual Quality IV-#2.

One individual posting here, if memory serves me right, indicated that the 'bi-quality' is a later run the Visual Quality, someone else indicated that the bi-quality provides a similar effect as the Visual Quality, but the lens is different in some ways.

This is my take on this lens, I'll certainly welcome a clarification of just where the bi-quality stands in relation the other P&S lenses from the folks who know. It seems some folks from this forum are already in on the hunt, good luck.

Renee Galang
13-Oct-2006, 15:59
Hey Jonathan,
How do you like your visual quality vs you cooke? I love to know the diffrences and your opinion.

The ebay thing is a "pinkham bi-focal" not "pinkham and smith". How different is I don't really know. The former is more common on ebay compared with the later.

Jonathan Brewer
13-Oct-2006, 16:55
The Cooke has a modern coating, the P&S Visual quality IV #2 doesn't, I've got this lens set up along w/several of my other soft focus/portrait lenses to work w/the Ilex #5 shutter, S.K. Grimes mounted this on a Toyo 110 lensboard, so I can shoot either, 4x5 or 8x10 w/the 110 lensboard in the 810 adaptor, I haven't done any shooting w/the P&S because my Ilex shutter's flash sync doens't work, it's at S.K. Grimes being repaired.

After having S.K. Grimes remount the P&S, and before I shipped the shutter back to him, I had a chance to slap it on both my 4x5 and 8x10 Toyos, looking at the groundglass, the Cooke seems more 'contrasty', the P&S looks softer, that's my initial impression, how this translates to film, I'll do some test when I get the shutter back from Grimes.

I shot a couple of years w/the Cooke and there's a learning curve w/this type of lens, shoot 10 shots w/various types of lighting, lighting rations, selective focus, under-over exposure, so far-so close(distance affects the softness of the subject matter), wide open @F4.5 to approx F8(where the softness begins to go away), several may not be 'look' you're after, a couple may look like what you're after, so by doing the same thing you do w/a regular lens(whatever that means), process of elimination, you come up w/a combination which is too your taste.

What the hell does all that mean, in my case, I don't like to shoot w/the cooke wide open, I like to close down a little, to try get the 'smooth' look as if that were a texture of say somebody's skin, as opposed to so soft that you seem to be looking through some kind of fog, so I little close down, anywhere from F5 to may F7, about 6 feet from the sitter, using a lighting ratio w/a lot of fill on portraits.

Go to Per Volquartz website for still life shot w/the Cooke, I hope this helps.

Jonathan Brewer
13-Oct-2006, 18:24
FTM Jim Galli's fine work w/the P&S, several images of which are uploaded here.

Renee Galang
15-Oct-2006, 00:51
Yeah I've seen J Galli's work. They are nice actually. I had a a chance to buy a P&S 12 inch and/or 14 inch lenses just recently but the guy is asking 2g's which I think are too much. Anyway, I moved up to 11x14 so those lenses would have been useless for my one and only camera now. If I come across with an 18 inch one day then that might become a different story. Keep telling us how are you going with your soft lenses.

Jonathan Brewer
15-Oct-2006, 11:05
Yes will do, yes the prices for these lenses has gotten crazy, Arsenal a while back was trying to sell a soft focus/portrait lens for 5k. One lens that I consider to be in the same ballpard as the P&S and a number of the others and still sells for relatively peanuts, is the Wollensak Velostigmat II w/soft focus, a very underated lens.

Just a thought, but it might be fun to throw one of these lenses on your 11x14 and see just what happens, regarding whether any vignetting looks lousy or possibly gives the image something interesting, I plan on shooting some 8x10 w/the PS945 to see what happens.

I've always been intrigued by Jim Galli's still lifes and Portraits because his work is an example of how striking selective focus can imbue a feeling of depth to image particularly in LF in shooting wide open w/ some of these classic lenses.


Renee Galang
15-Oct-2006, 14:52
Verito 18 inch will do 11x14 so I might go for that lens one day. Hey it is good enought for Weston and Hurrell!

Jim Galli
16-Oct-2006, 08:31
Kind words, thank you. For ULF don't rule out your smaller Verito's and / or Pinkham Smith. My first (and only successful of 2 possibles) shot on the 14X17 camera was with a diminutive 11 inch Verito. Just the rear group alone. Covered very nicely at portrait distance and had a fine look to it. Either of the elements from the Pinkham would have worked also but didn't have quite the fizz that the single element from the Verito had.


Jon moved 1/2" and I missed the focus I wanted on his eyes. You get what you get with a 14X17 I suppose.

Renee Galang
16-Oct-2006, 14:13
Thanks for the idea Jim! I can't wait until I use a verito and contact print 11x14, am sure it will be awesome as you know right? If I get the focus right I mean.......