Thanks. It is, it actually is spotless, and honestly looks 'new' (as does the shutter...its really incredible)...Which is why I decided to mount it up and use it in the first place. I'll learn to deal with the contrast issues in one way or another as you all have suggested. Its not really a lens that I'll be using all the time, but it does give me a really nice effect. On the unfortunate side of things, its really motivating me to plunk down some cash on more old lenses .
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
Yes, Dan, you're right.
To underscore your comments, I have a pair of Heliars which are, as you put it, cleaned as cleaned can be. One is coated, the other uncoated. They both are lower contrast than just about anything else in my kit. Still, the Heliar effect can't be denied.
Maybe Steve will find a nice film/developer/process-time combo that helps make images from his low contrast lens somewho "sing".
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
I own waaaaaay too many old cameras and lenses. I've discovered that I prefer the look when used with at least a yellow filter. So whenever possible I try to use one, if not an orange or red, especially for landscape shots.
You're on the slippery slope ...
Originally Posted by SteveH
Given my little sow's ear from Goerz, if I were you I'd be cautious about uncoated dialytes that were the low-cost option. In fact, I'd be cautious about the low-cost option in general. Its time for you to buy a copy of the Vade Mecum so you'll know, for some but not all plate cameras, what the options were.
I didn't notice a suggestion that if you're shooting b/w you can print on a harder grade of paper. Too obvious, I guess.
I believe that the correction in printing may be best, as I tried the yellow filter yesterday, and it didn't do much (although it did make me waste some film, as I was too busy trying to hold the filter on rather than giving one extra stop of exposure...).
I ordered a copy of the Lens Vade Mecum on Monday....Hopefully it'll be here today or tomorrow (I ordered it from the source in the US).
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Try using a red filter to increase contrast. Read what Ole wrote the man has obviously used many old lenses and what he has written is correct about getting more shadow detail. I recently started shooting seriously with very old uncoated lenses and found the shadow detail to be quite a nice surprise. There are many ways to add contrast including the red filter, increase developement, selenium tone or chromiun intensify the neg, print with hard paper, use high contrast paper developer like dektol etc etc etc. In practive I find myself printing on mg paper using a 4-4.5 filter when I use my oldies.
Contrast in an image infers many things,
and they way we use the term creates a lot of problems.
The nature of an old lens is to soften the blacks in a print through a bit of flare, ( flare is most apparent in the low densities of the negative). Increasing the development time, then adjusting the Exposure Index, is the simple way to accomodate this. Using a different paper grade is sometimes needed to complete the process.
Shooting through colored filters will alter the relationship of some tones within an image, but it doesn't compensate for the 'low contrast' of an old lens.
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"