View Full Version : Not a Pinkham & Smith, or even a Struss!

Chauncey Walden
19-Nov-2008, 18:24
But I like what it does on the film. I recently got a chance to try my old brass lens from an unknown maker on a proper pictorial subject. I had just picked up a copy of "Pictorialism in California" and, as we had a quick trip to the left coast in the works, took along the 4x5 Speed Graphic and the lens. I had one hour and six sheets of FP4+ to find something interesting at San Juan Capistrano. The attached image (I hope it is anyway!) is my favorite. The lens is a 190mm f/11, apparently a Rapid Rectilinear in construction, but not like any of my other RRs in effect. I had a green filter on which limited my exposure to 1/30. The film was developed in PMK and printed on Fomatone Warm Tone developed in Ansco 130 and toned in thiocarbamide. A thanks to Mark Sawyer for turning me on to the paper. I think it is perfect for this lens. Mark doesn't like to tone it, and it does look great untoned, but I had an extra work print so tried it.

19-Nov-2008, 19:08
You did GOOD!

Jim Galli
19-Nov-2008, 19:45
Yes, it has a classic look doesn't it. Nice find.

Chauncey Walden
20-Nov-2008, 13:41
Thanks, RK. The challenge at San Juan Capistrano is to avoid getting signs, modern lighting, tents, trash cans, other tourists, etc., in the picture.
Jim, do you think this is just a lousy RR (maybe indicated by not even going to the trouble to mark it) or one that was designed to produce these effects? Were there "portrait" RRs? Or course, it is f/11, which seems slower than most ones this length.

Jim Galli
20-Nov-2008, 15:01
No idea. I had a little lens that Dan Fromm sent me one time and it looked for all the world like an RR of the 1880's period but it turned out to be 2 opposing glasses 2 groups. Like 2 menisci looking at each other. It had a look similar to yours. You couldn't make a sharp picture with it no matter what you stopped down to.

Mark Sawyer
20-Nov-2008, 16:27
Lovely image, Chauncey! The water lilies give it an Impressionist touch of Monet, which goes very nicely with the Pictorialist aesthetic, even if it is "California Pictorialist".

I have a few unmarked lenses too, some RR's, some triplets, and a couple of Petzvals. It comes from the old practice of manufacturers leaving the engraving to the local retailers, who often didn't bother. No telling what yours is, or whether the lenses are in their proper places... but it looks like they're in the right place for you!

And I'm glad that paper is working for you. It really is a lovely paper to work with, kind of like the old Ektalure papers, but it does need a certain kind of image to be appropriate. I think you hit it right on.

Chauncey Walden
22-Nov-2008, 17:31
Jim, after what you wrote about the lens Dan sent you, I had to take out the lens and give it a careful inspection. Definitely an RR, 2 strong, 1 weak reflections all moving in the same direction on each end. Anyone else out there who has an RR of similar length and aperture who has shot it wide open? Results?