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Thread: Best soft focus lens for the money?

  1. #41
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    I think you're thinking Velostigmat Series II. The Verito's softness is only adjustable by changing the aperture.
    You are right. Thanks for the correction!

  2. #42
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Hard to keep those Wolly V-lenses straight! Either the Verito or the Velostigmat Series II (with the fuzz-o-matic diffuser) would be a fine choice for someone wanting a true vintage soft-focus lens for a reasonable price.

    Of course the OP's "for the money" caveat renders the whole issue dependent on what deal one finds. I'm still hoping for that elusive $50 Pinkham & Smith...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  3. #43

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Hard to keep those Wolly V-lenses straight! Either the Verito or the Velostigmat Series II (with the fuzz-o-matic diffuser) would be a fine choice for someone wanting a true vintage soft-focus lens for a reasonable price.

    Of course the OP's "for the money" caveat renders the whole issue dependent on what deal one finds. I'm still hoping for that elusive $50 Pinkham & Smith...
    Mark, If you find two of them, I will buy one! Maybe give you a small profit too!!

  4. #44

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by durr3 View Post
    ...Now to get one!
    Your PM box is full.

  5. #45

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    OK this is going to sound completely sacrilegious to some members in this group but is an interesting side note...

    I wanted to take a series of six images using a Petzval lens on my 11x14. Final Platinum/Palladium print size around 10x13". I have an 11x14 view camera but didn't have a Petzval lens to use on it. Purchasing a Petzval optic for this small project was totally cost prohibitive, never mind probably adapting a Sinar Copal shutter to it.

    After thinking it through and considering alternative ways of reaching my end goal, I bought a 100mm Spiratone Portragon lens for my Nikon D4 for under $30. The Portragon is 100% a Petzval optic but was made to cover the 24x36mm format. Shot many exposures with it and finally chose 6 final images to print. Made 11x14 digital negatives (per The New Inkjet Negative Companion by Dan Burkholder). Because I had already calibrated and made multiple Platinum/Palladium this way, made the 6 final prints quite easily (saved a lot of $$$ by not having to make test prints). The final prints were viewed by two experienced (one former) LF portrait photographers and they told me that there was no way that they could tell that the images hadn't been taken with Petzval lens on an 11x14 view camera.

  6. #46

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Your favorite current lens, a jar of Vasoline, and a UV filter.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  7. #47

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Found a really nice example of the 9 inch Verito ... just have to get the shutter CLAd .... photos to come!

  8. #48

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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    OK this is going to sound completely sacrilegious to some members in this group but is an interesting side note...

    I wanted to take a series of six images using a Petzval lens on my 11x14. Final Platinum/Palladium print size around 10x13". I have an 11x14 view camera but didn't have a Petzval lens to use on it. Purchasing a Petzval optic for this small project was totally cost prohibitive, never mind probably adapting a Sinar Copal shutter to it.

    After thinking it through and considering alternative ways of reaching my end goal, I bought a 100mm Spiratone Portragon lens for my Nikon D4 for under $30. The Portragon is 100% a Petzval optic but was made to cover the 24x36mm format. Shot many exposures with it and finally chose 6 final images to print. Made 11x14 digital negatives (per The New Inkjet Negative Companion by Dan Burkholder). Because I had already calibrated and made multiple Platinum/Palladium this way, made the 6 final prints quite easily (saved a lot of $$$ by not having to make test prints). The final prints were viewed by two experienced (one former) LF portrait photographers and they told me that there was no way that they could tell that the images hadn't been taken with Petzval lens on an 11x14 view camera.
    This interested me so I googled. What is on the web describes the lens as a single element lens, with just one aperture and is designed as a soft focus lens. Petzvals are really quite sharp in the centre where they were designed to be used; even the periphery cannot really be called soft focus, more like distorted with aberrations. It is cool that you got what you want. Can we see the pictures?

    PS it is a +10 close-up lens in a focusing mount

  9. #49
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    The Petzval is not a soft focus lens by nature. It does have a curved field which can throw the focus off in the corners, and a few had a "diffusion" adjustment that, in my experience, doesn't introduce softness (spherical aberration) so much as cause even more field curvature. Stop down any lens to f/11 or so and they all start to look about the same...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  10. #50
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Best soft focus lens for the money?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill_1856 View Post
    Your favorite current lens, a jar of Vasoline, and a UV filter.
    Oh, ya big silly.

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