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CCHarrison
2-Feb-2010, 13:27
Cooke lenses, Gundlach Meniscus, Vitax, Bodine Verito, Velostigmat II, Port-land, Goerz Hypar, and Struss...

See http://antiquecameras.net/softfocuslenses2.html

Corrections, additions and edits welcomed.

Thanks,
Dan

Marko Trebusak
2-Feb-2010, 13:34
Cooke lenses, Gundlach Meniscus, Vitax, Bodine Verito, Velostigmat II, Port-land, Goerz Hypar, and Struss...

See http://antiquecameras.net/softfocuslenses2.html

Corrections, additions and edits welcomed.

Thanks,
Dan

Dan, while writing about Cooke, you should mentione Cooke RVP as their first soft focus lens:
http://www.cookeoptics.com/cooke.nsf/history/1910s.html

Othervise, thanks again for good information.

Cheers,
Marko

CCHarrison
2-Feb-2010, 13:37
Hi Marko

To my knowledge , the RVP was not originally marketed as a soft focus lens - but it was used as one. The Cooke Portrait Achomratic - which is basically an updated RVP - is included in the article as it was sold as a soft focus lens. A reference to the RVP is also included.

thanks
Dan

Chauncey Walden
2-Feb-2010, 17:12
Great articles! But, where is the Wollensak Vesta Portrait?

CCHarrison
2-Feb-2010, 17:26
Hi CW,

The Vesta is not a Soft Focus lens...Its a modified Petzval type Portrait lens...see attached where it notes it is unlike the Vitax in that it has no diffusing attachment.

Dan

Marko Trebusak
2-Feb-2010, 20:36
Hi Marko

To my knowledge , the RVP was not originally marketed as a soft focus lens - but it was used as one. The Cooke Portrait Achomratic - which is basically an updated RVP - is included in the article as it was sold as a soft focus lens. A reference to the RVP is also included.

thanks
Dan

Hi Dan,

OK, you are right. It was late in the night I went through your article.

Thanks again for all the information.

Cheers,
Marko

Jon Wilson
3-Feb-2010, 07:24
Dan, great contribution to this field. Would you consider the Wollensak Varium lens as a soft focus lens in your article, e.g., Verito, or would it be more like the Vesta?

Thanks again for your continued contributions.

Jon

Chauncey Walden
3-Feb-2010, 09:44
So, Dan, where is the "diffusion attachment" on the Gundlach Achromatic Meniscus Portrait Lens? Wouldn't the diffusion decrease on any portrait lens when it is stopped down? Perhaps a definite statement of what you consider a "soft focus" lens for your article would help me. My favorite soft focus lens happens to be what is apparently an f/11 rapid rectilinear.

CCHarrison
3-Feb-2010, 10:13
Hi Chauncey,

The Gundlach was designed to be a soft focus lens - aberrations have been left in the design (or have a lack of attempting to correct the aberrations) on purpose, to create varying degrees of softness. The Vesta was designed as a Portrait lens with a different purpose - speed and central sharpness...

I am defining a soft focus lens as being a lens in which it was specifically designed by the maker to create diffusion or was built with aberrations purposely left in with the main goal (or optional goal ) of creating "artistic" or "pictorial" images. If you read Russ Young's thesis, I think he also took this approach.

Just because a lens is soft, doesnt make a "Soft Focus Lens" in my mind....

One can add softness to most any lens if one wants to... unscrew an element, scratch the heck out of the surface, smear vaseline on the glass etc....

In summary, I am trying to cover lenses that manufacturers determined were "Soft Focus."

Thanks
Dan

Diane Maher
3-Feb-2010, 10:26
Neat articles. Are the Wollensak Varium and Crown Anastigmat considered to be soft focus lenses?

CCHarrison
3-Feb-2010, 10:50
The Varium was not a "soft focus" lens per Wollensak's catalogue page of 1928. Thats not to say it didnt produce softer images, but it is not a "soft focus" like the Vitax, Verito or Velo II. It was also only the market a few years and is uncommon.

I will have to check my notes on Crown - I believe they did sell/produce a SF lens or two.

Thanks
Dan

Chauncey Walden
3-Feb-2010, 11:54
Thanks, Dan, I'm with you now. So these lenses are to produce an even softness across the field, what I have always referred to as "pictorial". Therefore, Jim Galli's Pinkham Smith 12" Series I Semi Achromatic image "trees near hot springs, markleeville, ca" in the image examples doesn't really fit because it is sharp in the center and progressively softer at the edges - like a portrait lens?

CCHarrison
3-Feb-2010, 12:12
Chauncey,

The Pinkham & Smith lenses were made and sold as Soft Focus Lenses.

Eveness of diffusion across the field is different for different SF lens types. Types that use chromatic aberrations ( Struss ) tend to be soft everywhere. Other types that use primarily spherical aberrations for diffusion will tend to be softer at the edges than in the center....and well stopped down, these lenses will be a bit "sharper" across the field as the aperture cuts off some/much of the spherical errors.

I would suggest you read Russ Young's thesis for a full explanation of all these issues.

Thanks
Dan

This all doesnt mean Soft Focus lenses can't be sharp ( Verito's are "sharp" at f/11 and smaller ), and it doesnt mean "regular" lenses cant be soft. Again, I am just writing about lenses that were made and/or marketed with Soft Focus as their primary (or secondary) purpose.

As a further example, Dagors can be soft wide open, but were not intended for pictorial imagery.

CCHarrison
3-Feb-2010, 16:21
Diane,

Here is what I dug up on the Crown Anastigmat Series I - see the attached ad. It does mention the ability to soften with a slight and even diffusion.... Since the line drawing doesnt show the "easily operated device" to do so, I imagine it is turning the front or rear element a bit.... likely very similiar to the Velo Series II, which despite its markings of up to 5 diffusion stops, actually provides fairly mild diffusion....

So, it seems to be a "true" Soft Focus lens - however I have so little data, I dont have much else to write about it....

The ad was from "Photography at Home" 1911



Dan

Diane Maher
3-Feb-2010, 18:44
Thanks Dan. I have the 19 in. f/4 Varium in a Studio shutter. I also have the Crown Anastigmat Series I, 6x8 in a Compound Shutter.

CCHarrison
3-Feb-2010, 19:01
Hi Diane

do you see a way to apply diffusion on the crown lens ?

Thanks
Dan

Diane Maher
3-Feb-2010, 21:42
No, there doesn't seem to be one other than just shooting it wide open at f/4.5.

Diane

Paul Fitzgerald
3-Feb-2010, 22:28
"Corrections, additions and edits welcomed."

Goerz Dogmar, Heliar smooth/sharp complete, pictorially soft when converted, overly swirly with the front cell and overly soft with the rear cell, either needs stopping down.

CCHarrison
4-Feb-2010, 04:52
Thanks Paul and although that's extremenly useful information for us all, for my purposes of the article, neither the Dogmar nor Heliar would be included as a "Soft Focus" lens, converted or not. The Universal Heliar, of course, will be.

The uncoated 240mm Heliar was my all time favorite all around lens...I would use it to shoot Polaroid 55 film/neg and the results were smooth & creamy at wider apertures....loved that lens.

Dan

Perhaps I should also have a page with "non-SF" lenses that can produce SF effects? I believe most convertible lenses will produce some modest diffusion wide open as the corrections for any given lens will be lessened upon utilizing only one cell/group. I would also love for someone to take some shots with a converted Verito to see what those images look like....

Wimpler
4-Feb-2010, 07:08
CC Harrison & others:

I have articles on:
- Ars Koristka: The "Little Ars" Soft Focus Lenses
- "The Possibilities of the Single Lens"
- Dallmeyer-Banfield lens: "A New Soft Focus Lens" (basically just an announcement)
- "The Dallmeyer-Banfield Lens" (review of the lens)
- "The Wray Diffused Image Lens"
- "Dallmeyer Soft-Focus Lenses"
- "Makers of Soft Focus Lenses" (lists adresses of several makers)
- Ars Koritska: "Experiments with a Soft Focus Lens"
- "The Hyperion Soft-Focus Lens"
- ""Hermagis" Lenses" (mentions the eidoscope)

(All these are from "Amateur Photographer" 1923)

I can scan and e-mail them, if you would like.

goamules
4-Feb-2010, 07:28
Hey, one I think you might not have covered yet is the Beach. Or did I miss it?

CCHarrison
4-Feb-2010, 07:45
Wimpler - I believe I have some of the same data - but I'd be happy to post the article(s) on my pages. I will PM you my email.

Thanks
Dan

CCHarrison
4-Feb-2010, 07:46
The Beach will be mentioned in an upcoming part of the article

Thanks
Dan

seven
4-Feb-2010, 12:51
Wimpler, it would be really nice if you could scan and post this articles !

Wimpler
4-Feb-2010, 14:31
I will share the articles as soon as I find the time to scan them (probably this weekend).