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  1. #21

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    Russ Young of Santa Fe gave a great presentation at APIS a couple years ago on the soft focus lens. Never realized there was so much to soft focus. I don't use them but found the information very interesting.

  2. #22
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    My second Verito, recently acquired, is the 11-1/2". I'm having SK Grimes make an adapter ring so that it can mount on a Linhof board via the rear filter threads (LF portrait lenses tend to be really big, so this is the only way it will fit), and I'm really interested to see how it works for 4x5" and maybe 5x7" (I need to make an adapter for Linhof boards on my 5x7" Graflex).

    Studio Shutters are quite simple in design. They have two settings--open and closed. There's a lever to open the lens for focusing, and some have an air release fitting (like my 14.5"), and some have a cable release fitting (like my 11.5"). Once you get the hang of it, you can press and release the shutter in about 1/5 to 1/15 sec., depending on how big the shutter is. If you've got a working one, that's great. Old ones usually would require some remanufacture of worn parts to repair, but there aren't too many parts to fix, so it shouldn't be impossible.

    Open flash technique is not that hard to do in the studio, and of course it's easier for us than for the old guys who had to deal with flash powder. You just work with the lights a little dimmer than normal in the studio (i.e., don't keep the modeling lights on full power, but maybe 1/4 or 1/2 power), open shutter, fire strobes, close shutter. Once you've got the routine, your human-sync speed ("H sync"?) should be around 1/2 to 1 sec., and the strobes will be bright enough compared to ambient that you shouldn't get any ghosting.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  3. #23

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    Clay brings up a good point which I overlooked. The smaller Veritos (up to the 8 3/4") were available in shutters according to the catalog at the link I gave previously, so you might find one of those. I have a 9" in a Regular shutter (double air piston) which must be an earlier lens.

    For longer focal lengths you're really stuck using a Packard. A problem with any of the longer focal length (fast) portrait lenses then or now is that the glass is big and the available shutters (short of a Packard) are not.
    My Verito page

    Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.

  4. #24
    lee
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    I have a 7.25 inch Veritos that was on an Elwood enlarger I bought several years ago. It is a barrel mount and I don't use it at all.

    lee\c

  5. #25
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Another option is the Luc shutter, which mounts via three set screws in front of the lens. It has three settings--focus, bulb, and instantaneous (again 1/5-1/15 sec, depending on the size of the shutter. I use one of these on the 360/4.5 Heliar, and eventually I'll have strobe sync added to it, so that I can use it on different big lenses. They also came in smaller sizes.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  6. #26
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee
    I have a 7.25 inch Veritos that was on an Elwood enlarger I bought several years ago. It is a barrel mount and I don't use it at all.

    lee\c
    Probably a Verito enlarging lens! They made them for adding diffusion at the enlarging stage, and I think they were even made to work with the Kodak autofocus enlarger, which is a strange concept, since focus is a subjective thing with a soft focus lens. (Linhof, for instance, will sell Linhof-select Imagons, but they won't make rangefinder cams for them).

    There was a great article on focusing a soft focus lens that someone posted a while back on the lfphoto.info forum. It was from a magazine in 1921, where several portrait photographers were asked to photograph the same model with the same soft focus lens, and each one focused in a different place:

    http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and...?msg_id=003WxF
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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  7. #27
    lee
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    David,
    Thanks for the info. I did use it for a time on the Elwood but I had to focus with it stopped down. Too diffused to work at wide open.

    BTW, I still have not received the traveling portfolio.

    lee\c

  8. #28
    Cheryl Jacobs's Avatar
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    Softening in printing is an interesting effect, as is using a diffusion screen or Softar or other lens attachment, but these are different effects from a soft focus lens, just as soft focus lenses are different from each other. Diffusion under the enlarging lens sprays the shadows into the highlights, which can be done subtly or not-so-subtly to produce a kind of ghoulish effect (not always a bad thing). You see this on some Mapplethorpe portraits. For a non-ghoulish softening under the enlarger effect, the most natural result I've seen is with a Zeiss Softar #1 on the enlarging lens for part of the exposure time.
    Darkroom diffusion can either look markedly different or remarkably similar to soft-focus lenses, depending on how and how much it's done. I've diffused with a variety of materials, and never gotten "ghoulish" results. I'm sure it's possible, but IMO it would have to be way overdone to achieve that effect. Although the two techniques can usually be distinguished from one another, I still find that the overall impression can be the same, and the the post-processing effect is so much more versatile that it's much more appealing to me.

    Just thought I'd throw in my two cents.

  9. #29
    JohnArs's Avatar
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    Your right Cheryl!

    But the purist LF shooter will do it with a truly SF lens at the camera most of the time. But to be honest I do it also sometimes in my darkroom!
    And as a Sinar shooter I use the Sinar Copal behind the lens shutter for my Heliar and also for some other lenses, works perfect for me.

  10. #30
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I don't really have an argument with that view, Cheryl. Diffusion at the printing stage adds softening to the whole image (unless obviously you use a diffuser with a hole in it), and has a bit of a muting effect. This is just the unavoidable consequence of diffusing light from a negative where the shadows are going to spill over a bit into the highlights. This can look good and serve some kinds of purposes and has one kind of flexibility in that you can obviously choose whether to print sharp or soft.

    In the Mapplethorpe prints that have diffusion at the print stage, it looks like he (or his printer) used it with more elderly subjects to soften some wrinkles, but then let it go just across the line, so they would look a bit sinister. I think it's very effective.

    A soft focus lens has a different kind of flexibility, because you can vary the effect by changing the aperture or changing the focal point. Some SF lenses (Veritar, Imagon) create a kind of overall diffusion, but the ones I like are both sharp and soft at the same time, and have something of a glow. You can't really get the Verito-glow by diffusion at the printing stage, and no kind of diffusion screen either on the taking lens or the enlarging lens has the effect of both sharp and soft like a Heliar wide open or a Verito around f:5.6 or f:8.

    My point is just that each of these approaches is a specific effect, and one is not really a substitute for another, and which one you choose is going to have an overall impact on your style, just like having a preference for, say, softboxes as opposed to umbrellas, or Tri-X as opposed to HP-5+, or Forte Polywarmtone as opposed to Gallerie. They're all interesting, just not all the same.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
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