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Thread: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

  1. #1
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    Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    I have a Kodak 2D with extension rail and a tripod block. I've mostly been shooting wet plate with the camera, sometimes FP4+, and just a few portraits. I already have a 12 inch Voigtlander Petzval, 14 inch Darlot Petzval, and a 375mm Iliex Accutar in Ilex shutter. I'm thinking of doing more portrait work now that I've gotten decent with wet plate and braver with film. I've been looking at: 36cm standard Heliar, 14.25 in. Verito, 375mm Eidoscope. I don't want to spend more than $1,500--just don't take enough portraits to justify that. Verito--looks like it will do what I want and I like the look. What about the 18 inch lens on a 2D? Heliar--love them and already have a 15cm and 240cm prewar uncoated. I note these aren't true soft focus and don't want to spring for Universal 36cm. Eidoscope--have the image quality I'm after, just not sure if they have a diffusion control and apertures. Right now I'm leaning toward the Verito 14.24 in. but would likely be happy with any of them.

    I mostly photo outdoors but do have some high powered monolights. Using wet plate I don't need a shutter, but with film or dry plate I probably do. Don't have a Packard shutter for the 2D and really don't want to install one permanently in it. My big Petzvals won't fit through them and to balance them on the front standard I crank them back into the bellows as far as I can. Might be a way to mount a Packard to a lens board, don't know. Or I could just shoot wet plate with these barrel lenses.


    Kent in SD
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  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    I can see an 18" Verito from where I'm sitting, and I used a 2D for years. Do not use one on a 2D without providing auxiliary support. The front standard of a 2D is not up to the task. That said, it wouldn't be too hard to make an auxiliary support, and you could use a Packard on the front of the Verito, assuming you can get the shutter speed you need.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  3. #3
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    In the past I shot film with the Petzvals using enough ND filters to stop exposure down to 1 or 2 seconds. This actually works.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    Hard choice between Heliar 36cm and Eidoscope #2. Heliar is not a soft focus lens, but a great all around lens for portrait. I used a 36cm Heliar on a Kodak 2D before without issues. Eidoscope is a soft focus lens where diffusion is controlled by aperture, like that of Pinkham, Port-land Spencer and Kodak portrait lenses. Eidoscope #2 is lighter than Heliar 36cm and you can use a single element of lens as a long lens.

  5. #5
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    Considering what you already have, I'd say the Eidoscope or Verito. The Verito is the best buy at going rates, because it was so popular there are a lot of them still around. And there's a very good reason Veritos were so popular: they are wonderful lenses. But the Eidoscopes are pretty special too. If you want a soft lens, it's hard to go wrong with either. The Verito is convertible, btw. Not sure about whether the Eidoscope is recommended as a convertible...
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  6. #6
    Philippe Grunchec's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    Imagon?
    "I believe there is nothing more disturbing than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept!" (Ansel Adams)

    https://philippe.grunchec-photographe.over-blog.com/

  7. #7
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    Quote Originally Posted by Philippe Grunchec View Post
    Imagon?
    I had one for 4x5 but we never really got along. I think it works best in the studio with flash.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  8. #8
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    The verito look changes quite a bit in one stop.. I think it would be a versatile and affordable choice. Try some different aperture choices for different amounts of sharpness, and also try different lighting contrasts because that goes with the soft focus style (err toward contrastier light)

  9. #9

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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    I have a 11.5" Verito, a few 12" Tessar types, 36cm Heliar, the 375mm 4-element Caltar, a 333mm Wollaston, and that's the order I prefer them in for portraits.

    The Heliar is needle-sharp, almost wiry, and if you really want a SF lens, that's not anything like what you say you want.

    The Tessars have nice transitional tones and focus, and I like them a lot, but slightly prefer soft focus. I have a SF Velostigmat 12"/f4.5 that I haven't used yet that I hope will combine the look of the first two lenses in my choice order.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  10. #10
    popdoc's Avatar
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    Re: Portrait Lens 8x10, soft focus

    Love the way this lens works for me...

    (Straight scan of the latest negative)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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