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Thread: 4 x 5 Newbie

  1. #11

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    Thanks all. I guess I have to settle for 210mm f/6.8 for a moment. Any good lens to recommend for portrait? I like to do nude photography. One of my friends recommends cooke 229 lens if I have the budget. What you guys think?

  2. #12

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    The Cooke 229 is soft focus when opened wider then f11. After that it is a normal sharpness lens. There is a review of it on the View Camera web site

    www.viewcamera.com

    in the Free Articles section.

    steve simmons

  3. #13
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    By all accounts from the few who can afford one the Cooke is a great lens, but if you're really interested in the classic soft focus look, you could buy an 8x10" setup and a classic lens like a Verito (in fact, you could buy a few classic lenses) for the same price, and arguably have a better tool for the job.

    The main attractions of the Cooke over an 8x10" setup are--the specific look of the Cooke (if that happens to appeal to you more than some other soft focus lens), modern shutter, and a good focal length for 4x5", if you are committed to 4x5". If you use strobes, the modern shutter is irrelevant, because you can add strobe sync to an old shutter or use a synched Packard shutter. If you use hot lights or natural light, a modern shutter is more of an advantage.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
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  4. #14

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    We are doing an article on soft focus lenses in the November/December issue.

    steve simmons

  5. #15
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    The main attractions of the Cooke over an 8x10" setup are--the specific look of the Cooke (if that happens to appeal to you more than some other soft focus lens), modern shutter, and a good focal length for 4x5", if you are committed to 4x5". If you use strobes, the modern shutter is irrelevant, because you can add strobe sync to an old shutter or use a synched Packard shutter. If you use hot lights or natural light, a modern shutter is more of an advantage.
    Does anyone have an opinion on the Fujinon SF lenses? They will also have the modern shutter and seem to fall into an appropriate range for 4X5 portraiture at 250mm. Depending on the disks included they range from $250 to about $400 at KEH.

  6. #16
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I haven't tried the Fujinon, but I've seen a few sample images. It's a different look from the Cooke (diffuse image layered on a sharp image)--more like an Imagon (more diffuse all over). Which of these lenses you like is very much a matter of personal taste, and there isn't much correlation between price and what one person or another person likes.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  7. #17
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    I have mixed feelings all the way around on soft lenses, but based on your statement about the benefits of modern shutters, the Fujinon popped into my mind. I can't tell from the original posted whether he wants soft focus or not, except for the mention of Cooke.

    By the way, to the original poster, what lens do you have? You say it is a 210mm f/6.8, that sounds like a Geronar/Caltar IIE to me. From what I have heard, and from Brad's comments, they are not quite as brutally sharp as a higher end lens and might be great for portraiture. Since it is what you have, I would start out using it.

  8. #18

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    Paul, you are right, its the Caltar lens. Someone offer me another lens which is the Rodenstock APO-Sironar-S 210mm/5.6 for US$500.00 (Mint Condition). What do you guys think of this lens? Is it worth the money? Thanks for your advise again.

  9. #19
    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobman
    Paul, you are right, its the Caltar lens. Someone offer me another lens which is the Rodenstock APO-Sironar-S 210mm/5.6 for US$500.00 (Mint Condition). What do you guys think of this lens? Is it worth the money? Thanks for your advise again.

    That is about the sharpest lens money can buy in the 210mm length (the new APO Symmar-L is arguably as good or better). However, it is probably not the right lens for portraits. It is just wickedly sharp and contrasty. Give the Caltar that you already own a try. I suspect it may be all the lens you'll ever need for people pictures.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by BradS
    That is about the sharpest lens money can buy in the 210mm length (the new APO Symmar-L is arguably as good or better). However, it is probably not the right lens for portraits. It is just wickedly sharp and contrasty. Give the Caltar that you already own a try. I suspect it may be all the lens you'll ever need for people pictures.
    Thanks Brad.

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