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Thread: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

  1. #1

    Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    I've been researching the photoplastic 4.5 but have had very little luck finding any information. Is it a variable diffusion lens and has anyone used one?

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Melbourne, Australia
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    537

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    I've got a 16" version but haven't got around to testing it out yet.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    144

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    I own the 10 1/2 inch version in a #5 shutter. When new they were offered with 3 different rear element groups, each one producing a different level of softness. The level of softness is controlled by f-stop, soft wide open and sharpening gradually as you close down the aperture. I find it a lovely lens, as nice or nicer than my pinkham. Wide open the out of focus areas are truly beautiful. Huge coverage, my 10 1/2 covers 8x10 at infinity with full movements.

  4. #4

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    lecarp, I appreciate the info. I found one on the auction site in 9-9.5 condition in a properly working universal shutter for $298. It's nearly new condition 10.5 in. and has the extreme soft back element. Thought it might be a fun lens and not a bad price for that condition.

    Thanks!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
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    237

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    lecarp,

    To which P&S are you comparing the Ilex? I think that each model had its own character (and maybe variations within each version since they were hand-ground) and I'm just curious which one you are comparing.

    Thanks,

    Paul

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    144

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    Paul, First let me say, I love the Pinkham and have no complaints. The one advantage of the Photoplastic is a wider range of softness, the lens sharpens more slowly as it is stopped down.
    My Pinkham is the 14 inch series IV. It was coated and re-lacquered by the Burke and James Lens Bank.

  7. #7
    Hopelessly Lost
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Nashville
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    408

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    can we see an example of the photoplastic wide open???
    www.hollisbennett.com

    Huh? Oh, right, keep moving.

  8. #8

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hollis View Post
    can we see an example of the photoplastic wide open???
    I would love to see a few examples. Which back element do you have? Extreme soft or what?

  9. #9
    Jon Wilson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Idaho
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    648

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    This shot was not taken with an Illex photoplastic, but by its brother, i.e., an Illex Portrait 15.5 inch f5 lens in a #5 Illex shutter. The shot was taken with out of date Kodak Pro100 negative 8x10 film and scanned by my local media specialities shop. The shot was taken at f8 and 1/2 second exposure. I would have preferred to set up for a closer shot, but this one does show how this lens will certainly create the diffussion outside the center of focus.

    I hope to try it out more and compare it with my 15.5 inch Wollensak Velostigmat Series II with a diffuser ring in a studio shutter (just got the studio shutter working tonite...yeah!) and a 14.5 inch Verito f4 also in a studio shutter.

  10. #10

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic soft focus lens?

    Thanks for posting the image. Very interesting DOF. When My photoplastic extreme soft arrives I'll post a couple of images at first opportunity. The curved DOF reminds me of a recently acquired petzval. No swirls but that curved DOF.

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