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Thread: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

  1. #11
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Bill and Will, thanks, I'll consider anything.
    Will, I may have been at fault when I used the Heliar, or it may have been a dud. I'm open to it, but prices are no longer reasonable.
    Bill, I'll research the Raptar, thanks for the suggestion.

  2. #12

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by Whir-Click View Post
    If you found the uncoated Wollensak Velostigmat Series II lacking a bit of punch for your taste
    Find one that the front element screws out. I think there were 6 marked (degrees of softness) settings. "Soft focus" effect I found to be quite pleasing for portraits when I was shooting with the lens in the late 1970s. Usually mounted in a Betax #5 shutter which I would compare to a classic VW Beetle... simple, reliable, and actually quite easy to fix if it breaks. Presently use one that doesn't have the softness setting feature. 8x10 Platinum/Palladium prints made from the negatives (all shot at f/64) just have that pre turn of the century (1900) look to them that I have found no other lens to give me... very subjective opinion being expressed here.

  3. #13
    William Whitaker's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    When in doubt, a Dagor is always a good choice!

  4. #14
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    I forgot the Dagor, I did have one for a while, but found it too harsh-looking.
    A friend later told me he thought it was luck of the draw with Dagors, some excellent examples mixed in with some less-than-stellar copies.
    Anyway, they're out of my budget, not too many available.

    Speaking of availability, the Fuji lenses seem to be the last ones left at closing time. I may have to spring for one soon.

  5. #15
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Thanks for everyone's help, if you have any other suggestions, post 'em.
    I know I'm picky and fussy and not making it very easy. I can only apologize for my difficult, contrarian nature.
    For now I'll go for something kind of middle-of-the-road, something coated, maybe multi-coated, that doesn't cost too much.
    Just want to get back to shooting some more portraits soon.

  6. #16
    Exploring Large Format Exploring Large Format's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Fujinar 30cm?

    Tessar, single-coated, f/4.5. Covers 8x10. Within your budget, even allowing for shutter (assuming it can be mounted on one).

    I'm too new to have much to compare to, but I dig it for portraits (4x5 for me). I'd describe it as having a softish presence, but not a soft focus lens. Others more experienced would have more to say.

    Mine is not in a shutter. Possible to put in a Shanel shutter? 25cm works, not sure about 30cm. Otherwise, maybe not ticking that box.

    Happy hunting!


    Sent from my SM-G981V using Tapatalk

  7. #17
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Just as a passing mention, the Tessars will mostly have the same look, with the variations being coatings and maximum aperture. So the Zeiss Tessars, Velostigmats, Raptars, Commercial Ektars, Paragons, Fuji-Ls, Xenars, etc., fall into the same category.

    That said, the Kodak f/4.5 Ektar, also a Tessar and often single coated, is a fine choice most people overlook. But an f/4.5 of any design is going to require a big shutter, which can be worth as much or more than the lens.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  8. #18
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    I like Raptars, too. I have a 240. The problem, and the problem with Ilex lenses, are the shutters. I'm just not a fan. I prefer how modern Copal, Compur and Prontor shutters work. For instance, with my 159 WA Wollenstock, it's hard for me to tell if I've successfully closed the shutter. It's hard for me to read the settings.....
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  9. #19

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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    Quote Originally Posted by William Whitaker View Post
    When in doubt, a Dagor is always a good choice!
    ++1 What I use. Great lens in a Copal3. Also try to find a 12” G Claron. Both are single coated.

  10. #20
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Suggest a 12" (300mm) lens for portrait work on 8x10?

    I have a 12" f/2.5 Aero Ektar that holds the door open. But no shutter or iris. I wonder how it would be for portraits.

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