I sometimes play with single element home made lenses in large format and they get serious "glow" in areas of high contrast. In 35mm, I believe the LensBaby lenses are single element and show that feature now. I don't seem to have any decent images on my computer with the home made lenses but I've attached a test shot I did with my latest (not yet perfect) creation.
The best "darkroom antiglow" I have got by using an anti-newton MF slide frame under the lens for 1/6th to 1/3rd of the total exposure time.
Totally different but at least as good is using a 180mm Voigtländer W.Z. enlarger lens, possibly the only enlarger lens designed to be soft. Great for 9x12cm to 5x5", a bit too long for MF and too short for 5x7". It was only made in 180mm. And it costs a lot more than a pack of 6x6cm AN glass slide frames...
It reminds me a little of the Imagon images I made.
This effect could be obtained by 2 lenses at least: the Imagon and the Mamiya RB 150SF.
You will need to have a bit of contrasty light to make full use of it.
Have to get back to that kind of photography again when I am in Holland again.
I read somewhere in the thread about the Lensbaby: I don't think it is suited for it with its curved field focus.
For a slightly diffused effect, I like to use a Hasselblad soft focus filter. Usually a #2 works well. Just hold it under the lens for as little or as much of the exposure as you want.
It must be image appropriate of course, but on the right image it looks very nice.
Try it you might like it.
I often like it very much, but diffusion is not glow. Glow has to do only with tonalities. Diffusion has to do with sharpness.
The article was full of inaccuracies. Just a few of them:
There are no thick emulsion films available any more. None. Plus-X was never one of them anyway, at least not for the last 35 years or so.
I can make glowing prints from negatives shot with my Red Dot Artar, a very bright and contrasty lens, or my Dagor, which isn't even coated (but actually sharper than the Artar) or my large format Nikkor lens. The lens make virtually no difference at all.
Do not use a conventional developer, especially one with hydroquinone in it like D-76 or HC-110. These developers yield way too much contrast because of the extra kick from the hydroquinone. (D-23 is ok. It's basically D-76 without the hydroquinone. They're very different and he should not recommend them together.) Use either a soft working non-staining developer like 777 or Crawley's FX-2, or use Pyrocat HD, which is inherently self compensating. The idea is to compress the scale from the bottom up by increasing exposure while simultaneously limiting the highlights through less development.
Basically you want to expose more and develop less. I rate my 400TMax at 200, and put the deepest shadows on Zone IV. There are those who might say that I actually am therefore rating the film at 100. Could be, but I get beautiful prints easily.
The best way I have found to get the glow in my prints is to expose generously as Mike Johnston says and use a developer that exhibits good microcontrast like Rodinal 1:50. Develop gently with not too much shaking the tank and develop just enough and no more. Keep those highlights in check and you will be able to print straight with a bare minimum of burning and dodging. Used in this way with a film like Tri-X or Neopan 400 and agitating minimally, the whites will take on a delicate glow with all values discernably separated.