<warning> Boring BS Soft Focus Pics </warning> Spencer Portland Achromatic Meniscus!

Discussion in 'Ultra Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jimgalli, Jul 7, 2007.

  1. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    :D:D

    You know the drill by now.

    Here's a link that illustrates what an Achromatic Meniscus will look like at different apertures, same subject.

    Some AM's are; the Venerable Kodak Portrait lens, The Spencer Portland I used, Gundlach Achromatic Meniscus, and a host of others. None are common except perhaps the Kodak.

    They have a fine look both sharp and soft. Tell me what you think, and list your favorite AM's that I didn't mention.

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com/Achromatic_Meniscus/Achromatic_Meniscus.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2007
  2. CRhymer

    CRhymer Subscriber

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    Hello Jim,

    I think your first link has a space rather than underscore between the second Achromatic and Meniscus. The second link works.

    Cheers,
    Clarence
     
  3. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Thanks Clarence. I always seem to get some little booger to mess it up :rolleyes:
     
  4. Lachlan Young

    Lachlan Young Member

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    There is something about the eyes on that owl that make it look somewhat freakish - that and the fact that it is sat atop a cigar...

    The range of sharpness that lens covers is certainly pretty dramatic - very handy, I imagine, in the studio!

    Lachlan
     
  5. athanasius80

    athanasius80 Member

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    I had no idea a meniscus could be that sharp!
     
  6. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Wow, I had long ago forgotten about White Owl cigars! I vaguely remember them being advertised in the 1960's which, by then, would NOT have been blended with Havana (while not a cigar smoker, I can still commiserate with the loss of Havana's [legally, that is] in the U.S. - stupid embargo - glad to know many honor it in the breach!)

    Anyway, as you might guess, I favor the sharpest shot - especially as it shows the "HTL" inside the tobacco leaf stencil. But that might be because the close-up shot seems to be like an advertisement where you expect to see sharpness to read all the text.

    Still getting over seeing the name White Owl again!
     
  7. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I have a funny story about "White Owls".

    Seems one of my best buddies girlfriends really had a profound dis-like for me. I know, it's hard to believe. So she asks me and my new bride over for fancy dinner. About a week prior she calls Pam and asks, is there anything that Jim really doesn't like? Pam says, yeah, he doesn't like mexican food. So we get over on the evening and she has 7 fancy courses of diabolical mexican food. All I could eat was bread and butter.
    Well, not being a person to get mad or hold a grudge, I visit their home about a week later with some of those White Owl Cigarillo's. Smoked a whole pack of 'em in her living room. Smog so bad in there you couldn't see across the room. I believe she probably had to re-paint to get rid of the smell :D :D
    My wisdom rubbed off and my pal got rid of her within the month. That was about 1976 iirc.
     
  8. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    Actually, unless I am mistaken, White Owl cigars (in some form) are still available. One of the cheap "drugstore" brands now, along with Roi-Tan, and Phillies and Kind Edward.
     
  9. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Well, at least she didn't leave the mayonnaise jar in the sun and have you over for a tuna fish sandwich! :tongue:

    Ach! He taunts us with his pretty glass! Great lens, that Spencer!
     
  10. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    I love the way the highlights go diffuse. That lens earns its reputation.
     
  11. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Jim,
    your images are never boring. If the image itself isn't of high interest to me, the dialog with it always is informative and interesting.

    Keep boring us like this.

    Jim
     
  12. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    I think I remember when I was a kid George Burns smoked White Owls and was a spokesperson in the 60s or early 70s.

    Thanks for the new lens postings Jim. I have read a couple of articles recently bemoaning the fact that today's photographs have become all to sterile with perfectly sharp lenses and photoshop tweaking. These are once again good examples of how you don't need a $2000 lens to provide an image with both quality and character.
     
  13. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    Jim and now lets talk about money. I have a Imagon and 5-6 other SF lenses but for all others which need it, how much do you want in hard USD for this baby!
    Do not tell me you want sell it;--)))
    Chears Armin
     
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  15. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Armin, it WAS for sale. It is on it's way to the UK. Wish I had a half dozen of them. Cheers. Jim
     
  16. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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  17. keeds

    keeds Member

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    Some samples...

    Obviously not up to Jim's quality but here are a couple of quick portraits with said lens. One is wide open at f/5.6 the other at f/11. Please excuse the exposure/contrast/dust/scan. Need some practice with Jim's patented shutter and my contact printing technique (oh and composition etc........)

    Details:
    Spencer Portland 15"
    Fomapan 100 8x10
    Ilford WTFB
     

    Attached Files:

  18. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Off to a lovely start. Hope you have some fun with that.
     
  19. keeds

    keeds Member

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    Looking forward to playing with it. More film supplies have just arrived. I need to do some testing but f/5.6 with more contrast or f/8 will probably be the sweet spot by the looks of it. Thanks again Jim.
     
  20. Charles Webb

    Charles Webb Member

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    Wow, what a terrific demonstration, but I do, or must have some sort of problem, heck I like em all, can't pick one over another.

    Thank you Jim for sharing with us, Wow again!!


    Charlie................................................
     
  21. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Jim,
    The image at f8 is the most pleasing to me. The 5.6 seems a little too unsharp on my monitor.
    Jim
     
  22. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Hi Jim and Charley...

    You've found the most difficult aspect of using one of these lenses!

    Where do you set the aperture? How much fuzz do you allow / want?

    Different subjects require different settings and therein lies the whole problem of the choices you need to make for a successful photograph.
     
  23. Alex Hollmann

    Alex Hollmann Member

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    I hope this is not a stupid question, but here goes anyway: how do you produce those different speeds with a Packard Ideal shutter? I thought it was either B or 1/25 (sort of, if you're lucky). Or is this holding the Packard open and then using your patented shutter system (two black cards at right angles to each other)?
     
  24. Mark Sawyer

    Mark Sawyer Member

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    Butting in, I'll note that using the Packard is a bit of an art, even in the "Instant" mode. Squeezing the bulb with different presures can give results from about 1/25 to 1/8 or more, though risking shutter-stutters and hang-ups at slower speeds. An evening with a shutter-speed tester and the Packard teaches a lot, and I still make a few practice squeezes before pulling the dark slide.

    One can also do multiple instant exposures, though reciprocity failure can creep in with many films.

    Neutral density filters are also handy, as soft focus lenses do well in hard (meaning often bright) light, and get their effect at wide apertures. It's nice to have the option of a multiple-second exposure in sunlight on a 400 speed film wide open...
     
  25. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    I'll add a little to Mark's excellent answer. Most Packards have a pin that selects for instant and bulb. In bulb mode it is very responsive to negative air pressure. So you squeeze to open and release the bulb to "suck" it closed again. It's possible to get about 1/8 second doing this. Slower is simply holding the air pressure a moment longer before the bulb sucks it closed. With practice you can listen to a Nikon FM's 1/4 second and get a perfect 1/4 with the packard. Same for 1/2, 1, etc. In instant, a hard squeeze will give a very repeatable 1/25th 1/30th. An easier squeeze will give a longer exposure. I've grown so comfy with them that it's rare indeed for me to be spoiled these days with a modern shutter.
     
  26. Alex Hollmann

    Alex Hollmann Member

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    Thanks a lot, Mark and Jim! I have a Packard on a 9 inch board that came with my 360mm Heliar, and haven't got round to using it. This will help a lot when I get started. And once I order a bulb.