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Thread: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

  1. #31

    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    Nope I was heavily into the Pentacon Six/EX66 system at the time for focal plane MF. But I was daring enough to use those on commercial assignments without ever a fail. As a supplement to my Hasselblads.

    Later I gravitated away from the P6 and sold the 120 & 150 set to my internet friend "Mr. Pentacon Six". He documented these lenses configured by Glenn Evans on his extensive P6 website.

    http://www.pentaconsix.com/imagon.htm
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  2. #32

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    Follow-up:

    First step decision: Thanks to the discussions here, I "thought" long and hard about the Rodenstock Imagon and "looked" as much as you can on the internet about some of the other options. Came back full circle to a Fuji Fujinon 180mm SFS F/5.6 lens with a Copal shutter and ordered it. Yes, I actually buy off ebay. And no, it's not a Cooke, but it's also not expensive. But it is probably as good a place to start and enough different from my 135mm and 240mm to double in offering a different length... which is to say I did not go for the same make lens in the 250mm option. I've got a lot to learn, but perhaps as much of that will have to do with lighting as with handling a lens of this sort. For now I have the relatively modest ambition of learning how to take good enough portraits that I can compliment the women in my life from 88 to barely 6 months. Yes... simultaneously my biggest fans and toughest critics. Are men even close to as picky? Not sure. Maybe we'll find out.

    Side note
    : I've a Richard Avedon book or two, but my idea of portraiture is for something a little less dramatically staged (not that all of his fit that by any means). I've read that many of us get into still life, landscape and architecture BECAUSE we're not enthralled with portraits. Maybe that's more true than I like to admit. But if you have any suggestions or suggested texts and care to point the way... I'm all eyeballs, ears, and yeah... "the rest of me".

  3. #33
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    Enjoy! Focusing can be tricky, but, like anything, the more your practice, the better you'll be. Try more contrasty lighting than you'd use with a non-soft-focus lens.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  4. #34

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    180mm focal length is a bit short for 4x5 portrait work, the 180mm was intended to be used on 6x7 to 6x9 roll film head-shoulder and similar portraits. The 250mm is preferred for 4x5 portrait work. At this point, it matters not as this is part of getting on the learning curve. Your challenge is learning to focus a sorta-focus lens. Suggest practicing on some area of high contrast ratio in the subject (eye lash to eyes white area) on the ground glass image illuminated with hard or hot lighting. If diffused lighting is used, learning to focus will be more difficult.

    At some point, there might be the discovery and realization that lighting and all non-camera image making related stuff is more important than the camera-lens alone.

    As for portrait examples, Know Richard Avedon made his reputation on tradition busting. Many of his famed portraits were done using a BIG soft box, strobe and "sharp-harsh" images. Better would be to spend LOTs of time at your local art museum studying portrait paintings, then getting good books

    by Edward Steichen:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ghlight=Edward

    Any of the famed pre WW-II Hollywood portrait photographers including George Hurell:
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...ll-Documentary

    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...d-Photographer


    At this point, it is much about learning how best to used the "tools" and process related to using these tools as a means to achieve a image goal.
    Once this learning of technique and what the tools are capable of, comes the time to develop your own style and means of portraiture. Previous works by other portrait image makers should be applied as examples of what is possible, what has been done. Challenge is, formulating your own style and means of portraiture.


    Enjoy this ride
    Bernice



    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    Follow-up:

    First step decision: Thanks to the discussions here, I "thought" long and hard about the Rodenstock Imagon and "looked" as much as you can on the internet about some of the other options. Came back full circle to a Fuji Fujinon 180mm SFS F/5.6 lens with a Copal shutter and ordered it. Yes, I actually buy off ebay. And no, it's not a Cooke, but it's also not expensive. But it is probably as good a place to start and enough different from my 135mm and 240mm to double in offering a different length... which is to say I did not go for the same make lens in the 250mm option. I've got a lot to learn, but perhaps as much of that will have to do with lighting as with handling a lens of this sort. For now I have the relatively modest ambition of learning how to take good enough portraits that I can compliment the women in my life from 88 to barely 6 months. Yes... simultaneously my biggest fans and toughest critics. Are men even close to as picky? Not sure. Maybe we'll find out.

    Side note
    : I've a Richard Avedon book or two, but my idea of portraiture is for something a little less dramatically staged (not that all of his fit that by any means). I've read that many of us get into still life, landscape and architecture BECAUSE we're not enthralled with portraits. Maybe that's more true than I like to admit. But if you have any suggestions or suggested texts and care to point the way... I'm all eyeballs, ears, and yeah... "the rest of me".

  5. #35

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    Peter: Thanks!
    Bernice: Yes, I agree it's a bit short. Figure with the Fuji A 240 which ISN'T soft, I kind of felt I had that length covered. So the 180 is more coverage than I'd like, and the 240 more like my 85mm in 35mm film... a sweet spot. Glad to hear you echo an emphasis on lighting. Thank you!

  6. #36

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    At this point, don't worry about the focal length, far more important is to USE this Fuji SF to gain experience. After burning LOTs of film and image making, then the tuning process begins.

    ~Again, concentrate on lighting (reflectors & negative fill are your FRIENDs) , less on the lens for now.



    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by roscoetuff-Skip Mersereau View Post
    Peter: Thanks!
    Bernice: Yes, I agree it's a bit short. Figure with the Fuji A 240 which ISN'T soft, I kind of felt I had that length covered. So the 180 is more coverage than I'd like, and the 240 more like my 85mm in 35mm film... a sweet spot. Glad to hear you echo an emphasis on lighting. Thank you!

  7. #37

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    As an infrequent user of Fujinon SF 250... Bernice speaks my (probably much more limited) experience also.

    Question to Skip... did you get both “strainers”?

  8. #38

    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    For smaller format Imagon sittings I would often use a set of snooted Photogenic Mini-Spots. They are small and plentiful and sometimes cheap. Don't touch them you will brand yourself :/

    Broncolor has an extensive system of optical spots for their strobe heads and I have some of those around as well. Get or make some fill panels and material to make Gobos and subtractive panels

    And Have fun Take extensive notes

    Buy this book and enjoy/study it Available for as low as $30 on Amazon

    https://www.amazon.com/Edward-Steich...6862310&sr=8-1
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

  9. #39

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    Brian: The 180mm "coming" does have both + the Fuji box and instructions. Most re-sale units have only one strainer. but this has both "Red" and "Yellow" dot strainers.

  10. #40

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    Re: Portraits: Fujinon SFS lenses vs. Fujinon 240 A + Soft Focus filter

    Yay!

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