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.