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Thread: Ilex Photoplastic images

  1. #1

    Ilex Photoplastic images

    Well I finally got around to scanning a couple of negs shot with the Ilex Photoplastic extreme soft 10-1/2 inch f4.5. I've found very little info on this lens and have only seen one other for sale but it was attached to an 8x10 with no information as to the configuration of the lens. I understand the lens came with three options, the extreme, soft and normal back element set. My lens has the extreme soft back group and it is exactly what it says, extremely soft. As a matter of fact it's still soft at f11 but does get some sharper as it's stopped down from f4.5. My particular lens is in a Ilex #5 ?? but will accept a larger lens then my Ilex 5 on my Kodak 10" WF Ektar. It's actually the largest opening shutter I've seen. I had the shutter CLA and it works very well from 1/2 to 1/20 and is off on the higher speeds.

    One interesting thing you'll see is the swirls it makes somewhat like a Petzval.

    Both images are at f4.5 . It also makes beautiful portraits under contrasty studio light.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Van Buren, Arkansas

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic images

    The old "hollywood" style of portraits were using hard focused lights, and a soft lens, then further retouch work was done on the 8x10 negative to idealize the face.

  3. #3

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic images

    I will scan a portrait shot with fairly contrasty tungsten light. I will pull out the 1K spots one day and make some shots. It's true that hard light is what these were designed for. Even as late as 40 years ago when I started in commercial work we lit most of our portraits with spots and a photogenic portrait light that was very directional and had a hard center and soft edges so it could be feathered.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Tonopah, Nevada, USA

    Re: Ilex Photoplastic images

    Don, that lens has a grand look to it. I've never had one, and in fact avoided them because they're almost always incomplete. I'd only be interested in this version I think. Anxious to see more.

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