Soft Focus Enlaring Lens!

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Dan Dozer, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Dan Dozer

    Dan Dozer Subscriber

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    So - a couple of weeks ago, I was working with another photographer shooting portrait type of stuff. The attached image was shot with a 360 G Claron and is pretty sharp. When shooting this image, I was wanting to do it soft focus. However, certain issues required me to only shoot sharp with the G Claron.

    I like the image sharp, however, this little voice in my head kept calling out "soft focus" to me. So, the thought occurred to me why couldn't I use one of my soft focus type of lenses on the enlarger instead of my usual enlarger lens.

    I set up the 8 x 10 enlarger and put on the Eidoscope - couldn't get it to focus. Got out my little (half of a projection petzval) 10" soft lens that I shoot a lot with. It has no iris and is about F4 5 or so. It produces a sort of soft look in the center of the image and gets fuzzy pretty quickly out to the corners. This lens is actually from an Ilex projection lens. Surprize - using it as an enlarger lens is sort of what it is designed for anyway as used in a projector.

    It worked beautifully and gave me the exact look I was aiming for. One added very unexpected feature - the image perimeter was a little smaller than the easel blades and the result was this very strange extremely soft edge treatment to the image.

    I may try this more often.

    This image is a lith print on Emaks K 888 grade 2 paper with Arista Lith Developer.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. E76

    E76 Member

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    Looks great! Depending on the effect you're going for a soft-focus lens/filter on the enlarger can be just the thing. The only disadvantage is that when it's done in camera the affect appears around the highlights, but when done with the enlarger it occurs around the shadows. Sometimes it can look a little depressing.
     
  3. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Yes. In diffusion it's the light that always bleeds outward and produces denser surrounding areas on the sensitive medium, regardless of how the diffusion is achieved.

    For negatives in a camera that means highlights (denser areas on the negative) bleeding out into the shadows (less dense areas on the negative).

    For positives under an enlarger that means shadows (denser areas on the print) bleeding out into the highlights (less dense areas on the print).

    These are two decidedly different visual and emotional effects. Neither is always right or wrong. They're just different.

    Ken
     
  4. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I think the print is fantastic. You should do more of them.
     
  5. Bob Carnie

    Bob Carnie Subscriber

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    I use a Pictrol under the enlarger lens for this.. wonderful little device that you can adjust the softness, they were made for in front of a lens, I used them on a hasselblad back when I was doing weddings in the late 70's.
    I think you can buy them from B& H or Freestyle for not much $$
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Wow blown away. Beats the black netting under the enlarger lens. Looks Pictorial.
     
  7. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    Nice I like it:smile:
     
  8. rrankin

    rrankin Member

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    Not many people realize it, but there were actually petzval enlarging lenses. I've only ever seen two, so I doubt they were big sellers. I have one made by Fallowfield and saw another one on Ebay that, I think, was a Lancaster.

    Richard
     
  9. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    That looks amazing. I love it!