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Thread: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

  1. #1

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    Mar 2012
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    Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    I would like to dip my toes into the world of soft focus imagery.
    It would be for portrait & landscape use.
    I shoot 4x5 & 5x7 formats.

    Nothing too extreme just nice highlight bleeding if that is the term & a softer smoother feel to the imagery.
    There are so many variables - it's hard to pin down where to start exploring.
    Was thinking imagon or fuji soft focus or verito or Velostigmat (without the soft focus dial) or some other suggestions...

    I like the 210 focal lens - but a slightly longer lens would be fine..9 inch / 9 1/2 in?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
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    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    How about a Wollanston meniscus with a Packard as a good start? https://www.re-inventedphotoequip.com/Home.html

    Otherwise, I like Imagons without the sink strainer aperture. It's easy to make your own aperture, or use the one in a shutter. Or a Verito.

    I'm a big fan of Fujinon lenses, but I don't like their soft focus lenses, as they don't have enough character.
    Last edited by Peter De Smidt; 3-Jul-2022 at 21:31.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

  3. #3

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    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    I like my Imagon 250mm for 4x5 and 300mm for 5x7. Imagon lenses produce nice soft focus images.

  4. #4
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Stuck inside of Tucson with the Neverland Blues again...
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    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    Quote Originally Posted by Serge S View Post
    Was thinking imagon or fuji soft focus or verito or Velostigmat (without the soft focus dial) or some other suggestions...
    The Imagon and Verito are both fine choices. Like Peter, I prefer using the conventional aperture in the shutter over the h/stop disks. The Velostigmat Series II without the diffusion is not soft focus, but does have the beautiful rendering of a Tessar. I've been unimpressed by the Fujinon soft lenses, though they do have the advantage of a modern shutter.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  5. #5

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    Loganville , GA
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    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    The Imagon and Verito are both fine choices. Like Peter, I prefer using the conventional aperture in the shutter over the h/stop disks. The Velostigmat Series II without the diffusion is not soft focus, but does have the beautiful rendering of a Tessar. I've been unimpressed by the Fujinon soft lenses, though they do have the advantage of a modern shutter.
    Later Imagons came in modern Copal shutters as well as Prontor Professional and Compur shutters.

  6. #6

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    Feb 2015
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    Sheridan, Colorado
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    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    How about a Wollanston meniscus with a Packard as a good start? https://www.re-inventedphotoequip.co...htmlWollanston
    I don't know why but that link does not work for me.

    Here's a different one on DIY Wollaston & Verito lenses:

    http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/softfocus.htm

    You might also be interested in:

    https://research-repository.st-andre...=6&isAllowed=y

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Dec 2018
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    718

    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    Wollensak made a 9 1/2" (241mm) f4.5 Velostigmat...with and without the soft-focus Fuzzulator. It was intended for Whole Plate (6 1/2" x 8 1/2"), so it should fit your needs. They would fit in an Alphax or Betax #4 shutter, which have almost perfectly round apertures. We also have an expert Alphax / Betax repair person here who can assist you with a shutter CLA, as necessary.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Tokyo, Japan
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    195

    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    Have you seen Emil’s examples of different portrait lenses yet?
    Maybe you can find your preference and choose a flavor….
    https://www.largeformatphotography.i...rsonality-quot
    And here.
    http://wideopen1.squarespace.com

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Washougal, Washington
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    580

    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    Let's see if this link works...
    http://re-inventedphotoequip.com/Home.html

    Reinhold

  10. #10

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    Feb 2015
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    Sheridan, Colorado
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    Re: Soft focus lens suggestions requested

    That one works -- thanks.

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