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View Full Version : What Lens to Complement These SF Lenses?



Richard K.
27-Jun-2010, 11:25
I have a small but nice and useful collection of Soft-Focus/Portrait lenses but have room in my case for one or two more. The ones I have difffer a bit (or a lot!) in character and I would like to find something to complement them. Which one or two of:

P&S VQ
Heliar
Velostigmat Series II
Port-Land
Hermagis Eidoscope
Gundlach Hyperion

would you buy to add to the following:

Kodak Portrait 305mm
Taylor Hobson Cooke 12.75" Portrellic Knuckler
Veritar 14"
Ross Petzval 10.5" from 1842 (not really SF but pretty groovy)

Thanks for your opinions!

IanG
27-Jun-2010, 11:34
Of all the lenses you own or lust after I'd only buy the TTH Cooke soft focus lens, then I'd have to decide what size & which Series :D

IAn

Steven Tribe
27-Jun-2010, 11:42
How about something completely different - like a Zwierzina Plasticca? I garantee it is another ballgame with the challenge of no iris!

seven
27-Jun-2010, 13:07
P&S VQ
Heliar

Emil Schildt
27-Jun-2010, 14:36
How about something completely different - like a Zwierzina Plasticca? I garantee it is another ballgame with the challenge of no iris!

indeed - OR the Oskar Simon Kronar or Kronarette ( even though it is mentioned in the soft focus articles by CC Harrison that the Plasticca and the kronar/kronarette might have been built at the same plane, I own both types of lenses, and they are quite different..)

FUN to use, and producing beautiful images!

Steven Tribe
27-Jun-2010, 15:09
OK - from the list you present I would definitely choose the Port-Land.

carverlux
27-Jun-2010, 15:47
I have a small but nice and useful collection of Soft-Focus/Portrait lenses but have room in my case for one or two more. The ones I have difffer a bit (or a lot!) in character and I would like to find something to complement them. Which one or two of:

P&S VQ
Heliar
Velostigmat Series II
Port-Land
Hermagis Eidoscope
Gundlach Hyperion

would you buy to add to the following:

Kodak Portrait 305mm
Taylor Hobson Cooke 12.75" Portrellic Knuckler
Veritar 14"
Ross Petzval 10.5" from 1842 (not really SF but pretty groovy)

Thanks for your opinions!

Richard,

These are all nice lenses but they do very different things, and I personally would earmark them for different applications

For flattering portraits:

P&S VQ
Heliar
Velostigmat Series II
Taylor Hobson Cooke 12.75" Portrellic Knuckler
Veritar 14"

For rather softer portraits and pictorialist-style landscapes:

Port-Land
Kodak Portrait 305mm
Hermagis Eidoscope
Gundlach Hyperion

At least to me, only Spencer Port-Land and Kodak Portrait (305/405) on this list are truly capable of the pictorialist landscapes. if that is what you want to o. The Veritar is a "modified" doublet so it comes the closest to the true doublets like Port-Lan and Kodak Portraits, the RRs not too bad (P&S VQ, Eidoscope, Hyperion), but the triplets and variants are not very good at it (Heliar, Cooke), an the Tessar (VeloS2) a very distant third.

Have fun!
Carver

goamules
27-Jun-2010, 17:56
Show your favorite pictures you've shot with your current lenses, and tell us what you like about them. Then a more informed suggestion for a compliment can be made.

jnantz
27-Jun-2010, 18:04
how about just a simple meniscus?

i don't know their makers, but i think
there was a "french landscape lens"
that was just a big cell, and the image
character was very different than the lenses
you currently have

have fun
john

Steven Tribe
29-Jun-2010, 01:45
As other people probably also did - I made a quick calculation of the investment needed by Richard K to supplement his user "soft" lens collection. And I sure the results have influenced my answer. Like Jnanian, I too thought about suggesting a "reasonably priced" meniscus landscape/portrait - eventually gutted la Galli.

This made me think of a suggestion which I have not aired publically before for fear of ridicule and "let market forces decide" arguements.

I have a small collection of early advertising for the big manufacturers of the past. In the 20's at least - when times were comparitively tough - most of the makers' offered free trial for their objectives. The general period seems to have been 2 weeks - but whether or not there were conditions attached to this loan (deposit, preliminary purchase contract or rental fee) I cannot see from the adverts.

My humble proposal is that we should think about regional "private" libraries for a wide range of objectives which require a considerable investment to own. There is really no foolproof way to judge whether the effects are those suit a potential owner. As far as effecting market forces goes, I would have thought that physical confirmation that an objective "Does what I wanted it to do" would counteract the "Interesting - but not for me and my photographic goals".

I personally would have this as more than just a preliminary to sales - I would like to share my good luck with others who are geographically near me and who would like to experiment with some of the less common soft/pictorial lenses.

Perhaps this way we could get a Kalosat to a certain German Dr?

I am certain that there is already a good deal of private loan between members here. What is their experience?

Is it possible to arrange some kind of regional listing here for people who would be prepared to lease/lend in this way? The biggest problem I can see is lensboards - I wouldn't be too happy about flange being removed and remounted.

Jim Galli
29-Jun-2010, 12:24
I have a small but nice and useful collection of Soft-Focus/Portrait lenses but have room in my case for one or two more. The ones I have difffer a bit (or a lot!) in character and I would like to find something to complement them. Which one or two of:

P&S VQ
Heliar
Velostigmat Series II
Port-Land
Hermagis Eidoscope
Gundlach Hyperion

would you buy to add to the following:

Kodak Portrait 305mm
Taylor Hobson Cooke 12.75" Portrellic Knuckler
Veritar 14"
Ross Petzval 10.5" from 1842 (not really SF but pretty groovy)

Thanks for your opinions!

Heliar and Cooke knuckler and Velostigmat all have similar look and the Cooke trumps imho, so you're already there, Port-Land is not really as good as the Kodak you already have, so since Pinkham's are so DARN spendy, I'd jump on either an Eidoscop or Hyperion, whichever offered itself first at a decent price. Hyperion is perhaps a little softer wide open than Eidoscop but both are gorgeous. I'd replace the Veritar with an earlier Verito.....just me perhaps. I have a soft spot for Hermagis Petzval's. They are ill behaved femme's and I love them, especially the f3.5 ones. Not mentioned but also worth considering are some of the fast dialyt's like Celor and Dogmar and Cooke Aviar. Sometimes flare is your friend.


http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/MemDay2010/CoffeeServiceAviar10.jpg
coffee service, Cooke Aviar 10 1/2" wide open