View Full Version : Some barrel distortion concerns

3-Nov-2011, 23:42
Hi all,

Here a recent shot of mine, shot with an 8 3/4" Verito. It is part of my architecture series, some sort of "dialog" with Sugimoto's approach to architecture - for those interested in the approach (irrelevant in this context), there's a brief description here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/csant/sets/72157626592854458/).

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6036/6309105695_6a8d9c3a23_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/csant/6309105695/)

I am not yet bothered by the distortion visible on the pillars - but just…

Would anybody know of a small, lightweight, soft focus, convertible lens, somewhere in the 9" range, that covers 8x10 - which does not exhibit such a distortion?

I am very happy with the 8 3/4" Verito: it's a beautiful "all-purpose" lens, works well for portraits, landscapes, architecture, soft when open, sharp when stopped down, it's small and light, it's convertible… But I am seeing some limitations when shooting architecture… I know you can't have always everything, but if there's a worthy alternative, I'd be happy to learn about it.

Thanks in advance!

4-Nov-2011, 03:39
try longer verito

8.75" may be way outside at the "edges" of coverage for 8x10....like outside of the limits---so things go way to hell real fast....verito catalog says 8.75" verito is supposed to cover 5x7...so maybe verito will work better if you don't "overtax" one of them

4-Nov-2011, 07:35
Are you looking for 8x10 coverage so you use movements on a 4x5? 14" lenses are probably about where soft focus "officially" starts for 8x10 film, though you can get away with much shorter lenses if you don't mind vignetting, softer on the edges, field not being flat, in similar softer ways that people use petzvals at this time.

You're not going to find much for wide soft focus, and requiring no barrel distortion at wider than intended uses is asking a lot.

Pinhole might be OK if you want soft but not the soft/sharp combo you get with a verito.

Reinhold's wollaston meniscus lens also covers a lot wider than one would expect. I have no idea how the barrel distortion is yet. Here's a building shot with the f/4 waterhouse stop http://www.f64.nu/photo/tmp/lff/img445.jpg It gets less bloom and sharper as you stop down, but still flares a little more than the veritos. It also seems to have a shorter focal length (wider view) than a more complicated lens of the same focal length; perhaps the measuring method is not compatible; I think normally focal length is based somewhat on the location of the aperture, and on this lens all the glass is to the rear of the aperture.

http://www.f64.nu/photo/tmp/lff/img415.jpg is a kodak 305 soft focus on 8x10 film; you see there is noticable distortion on the shape of the lamp post on the right. It's not extreme though. This lens is made for 5x7 rather than 8x10, but I like it with 8x10 too.

4-Nov-2011, 09:41
Having used Graf Variable lenses, I have no noticeable barrel distortion regardless of the amount of softness or focal length.


Paul Fitzgerald
4-Nov-2011, 21:27
post #19 in the soft focus landscape thread may be what you are looking for, a WAR (wide angle rectilinear) if you can find one.

Good luck with the hunt

6-Nov-2011, 15:13
Thank you very much for all feedback! It is actually true that I am "overdoing" the 8.75" lens on 8x10… But it does (mostly) work, with added benefit of lightweight… the bigger Verito (I own one, too) doesn't have all the charm of this smaller one, and I find myself constantly attracted to this shorter one… except that I get a bit frustrated when I push it way beyond its limits… I'll keep my eyes open for a WAR, and mostly I'll try to find as many images as possible shot with it…