Pantyhose (enlarger lens diffusion)

Discussion in 'Enlarging' started by arigram, May 30, 2005.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    After wearing women's underwear and pantyhose for some time in private occusions, I have decided to put them in good use.
    I have heard of the use of feminine hosiery in use under the enlarger lens to create diffusion and soften the enlarged image.
    I did try it the other day and have to say I was astonished by the effect. I also liked a lot the bleeding of the darks in the other values.

    My question is this:
    Do materials create a different diffusion effect?

    I used a white pantyhose for example of visible mesh. I am sure fishnet would not work, not atleast for this effect, but what other choices do I have? How does the mesh or the color affect the diffusion?
    Maybe a woman photographer can help with this one. :smile:

    And how about filters? Would filters such as the softening or fog ones create a different effect?

    I noticed that the pantyhose diffusion did not affect the quallity or sharpness of the original Hasselblad neg.
     
  2. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Nice confession...
     
  3. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I shouldn't mention in public what the High Priest wears in those Rodinal Worshipping Orgies. Atleast I am man enough to come forward. :D

    Ok, anyone on the technical subject?
     
  4. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    Oh no....that is a secret! Only the involved will know!

    About the primary subject: I always use black pantyhose for diffusion as I suspect the white fabric will reflect light.
    I diffuse either in the darkroom or when taking the picture. It slips nicely over the lens.

    Just remember to take them off your loved one beforehand. Else it will bring a lot of hassle to your work.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 30, 2005
  5. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    A man after my own heart! Try the black variety and see what you think about effects. tim
     
  6. gma

    gma Member

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    You might prefer using diffusion filtration over the camera lens rather than on the enlarger. On the camera the highlights bleed into the other tones. On the enlarger the dark tones bleed into the other tones. Very different effects.

    Another effective diffusion material is wrinkled cellophane.
     
  7. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use dark nylon , black under the enlarger , sometimes I use the mesh in the split filtering method.. This is when I want he highlights and upper midtones softer but the blacks well defined I will use the nylon during the 0 exposure and not for the 5.
    If I want the shawdows to be soft and blurry and the highlights and upper midtones well defined I will use the nylon under the 5 exposure and not for the 0 exposure.
    Works well .
     
  8. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    The only worthwhile sugesstion that I can give you is to remove the garments before using for diffusion purpose...you wouldn't want to spread yourself to thin.
     
  9. Seele

    Seele Member

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    Also try a piece "anti-newton" coverglass in the double-glass 6X6 slide mount too, held under the lens; you might like the subtle result.

    By the way, adding a sight tough of diffusion during printing will also reduce the apparent graininess of the image, but you might have to crank up the contrast too. Just a thought.
     
  10. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Printing through the back of the paper (on purpose this time :wink: ) gives an interesting effect. I have also used soft focus filters and AN glass as suggested above. All good fun. Shooting moss covered forest trees and diffusing in the enlarger gives a very spooky effect...

    Bob.
     
  11. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    White or black net tule from a fabric store works wonders. Hold on an embroidery hoop for 10 to 70% of the total time. I like two laysers of the course at 35% for portraits. The fine gets too mushy.
    black spreads less light.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    SNIP
    the plastic that boxes of tea are wrapped in works the best.
    don't print through it ( stationary ), but pass it through the projected image - once, twice &C depending on how much you want to soften the image.

    -john
     
  13. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Not a fan myself of diffusion under the enlarging lens for the reasons GMA states, but sometimes it's an interesting effect.

    If you're after a natural look, try a #1 softar under the enlarging lens for maybe 40% of the exposure time.
     
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  15. arigram

    arigram Member

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    A new technique I developed is with multigrade papers:
    I use the diffusion on a soft grade, like 0 and then burn with a harder greade like 5
    -without- the pantyhose. The effect gives you soft and dreamy highlights devoid of
    grain and sharp outlines and shadows. It works very well with close up shots of women and the greek sun drenched landscape.
     
  16. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Ahah....that explains the underwear and pantyhose...
     
  17. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    A visit to a fabric store will show a number of fabrics that work well for spreading shadows into highlights or vice a versa. A material called black Toole works very well, for less difussion burn a hole in the center. The wedding department has all kinds of material used for veils. To hold the diffusion material use embroidery hoops, I like the wooden ones, they match my old woodie cameras and give me a since of continuity. A slight spritz of hair spray on clear glass under the lens is one of the best diffusors I know of.
    If you don't like what you get clean the glass and try again. Less seems to work well for me.

    A piece of wedding veil with a hole in the center over or slightly in front of your lens where a bit of your main light can hit it really helps to soften edges of "high Key" photos. Kleenix, even colored with a hole gives great results.



    I am also not a fan of this procedure, but I have tried it and on some occasions and have used it.
     
  18. Christopher D. Keth

    Christopher D. Keth Member

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    I have a friend that has made some beautiful prints by immersing the paper in a water bath BEFORE exposure. Then he floats a sheet of tissue paper on top of the water and lifts the paper out, sticking the wet tissue paper to the printing paper. He then exposes the print as usual, develops, et cetera. It makes a very slightly soft rendition and any slight wrinkles in the tissue are a quite beautiful effect too. Before development, I should add, he uses a water bath to remove the tissue, it will float right off if you do things with the right touch.
     
  19. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    This sounds like and amazing technique, thanks for sharing this one.
     
  20. smieglitz

    smieglitz Member

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    To the tune of "Walking in a Winter Wonderland"

    Lacy things, the wife is missin'
    Didn't ask for her permission
    I'm wearin' her clothes
    Her silk pantyhose
    Walkin' 'round in women's underwear

    In the store, there's a teddy
    Little straps, like spaghetti
    It holds me so tight
    Like handcuffs at night
    Walkin' 'round in women's underwear

    In the office there's a guy named Melvin,
    He pretends that I am Murphy Brown
    He'll say, "Are you ready?" I'll say, "Whoa Man!"
    "Let's wait until our wives are out of town!"

    Later on, if you wanna
    We can dress, like Madonna
    Put on some eyeshade
    And join the parade
    Walkin' 'round in women's underwear

    Lacy things- missin'
    Didn't ask- permission
    Wearin' her clothes
    Her silk pantyhose
    Walkin' 'round in women's underwear
    Walkin' 'round in women's underwear
    Walkin' 'round in women's underwear


    - Bob Rivers

    This all makes me wonder how you really broke your toe. Heel break?

    In any event, mend fast.

    Joe
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2006
  21. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    On an enlarger, white will tend to diffuse blacks, and black will tend to diffuse highlights, however the heavier the net, the more effect it will have overall. I usually find fabrics provide too much effect , and have better luck with camera filters. Harrison diffusion is a favorite of mine and comes in grades 1/2 through 5. Does this have anything to do with your broken toe?
     
  22. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    The perforated wrappers used for packaging crusty breads works well for me. I cut out a piece to fit into the under-the-lens Ilford holders. One thickness for subtle diffusion and double for stronger effect.
    I used to use crumpled cellophane wrap, but have better control with the perf. wrap.
     
  23. Ronald Moravec

    Ronald Moravec Member

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    Black net tule from a fabric store stretched over an embroidery hoop. Get the 1/8 square. Stretch two layers over the hoop out of register and use for 20/60 % of the total exposure.

    Women`s hose is too fine and too light.

    A real soft focus lens is better, but this works for SLIGHT diffusion effects.

    You can also mount the fabric behind the rear element for nice softening. Use finer mesh for this. There used to be commercially made ones for Hasselblad 150mm.
     
  24. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    All right.

    I have it, I've tried it, but it seems to be about time I used it for its intended purpose.

    What "it" is? A 180mm Voigtländer WZ, of course - to the best of my knowledge, the only intentionally soft enlarger lens ever made!
     
  25. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    They used to make a plastic contraption which clamped to the enlarging lens. Turning it would bring clear plastic fingers into the light path. The more they were in the light path the greater the amount of diffusion.
     
  26. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    The only comment I would have on your choice of undergarments, would be, "Whatever works for you, but it ain't my cup of tea."

    Now to the meat of the matter. A hundred years ago, or a period of time that seems that long, we would stretch a piece of panty hose over the front of our camera lens and then touch a lit cigarette in the center, to create an area of sharpness. Guess it would still work, but today I'd have to borrow the cigarette from someone else. Bill Barber