Soft Focus with a Bausch & Lomb Tessar??
(also posted for my friends over at LFForum)
This weekend I made some soft focus images with one of the most ignored of all lenses. Nobody cares for old B&L Tessars. Why is that?
If you like soft focus, click on the link to see what an $80 lens can do. Let me know what you think?
Nice photos! Great tones and bokeh, well done.
I have this B&L 1C on my bookshelf - bought it as part of lot from UK 6 months ago.
I will try it out
When studio portraitists ventured outdoors a hundred years ago,
they gleefully ditched their brass honkers and embraced Tessars, and the other anastigmats.
First, they could focus and shoot wide open. Second, if they needed to 'soften' the image, they simply racked the lens out to put the offending sharpness between the subject and the camera.
It seems the prejudice against Tessars (and B&L were as good or better then Jena at any given time) began in the Internet Era, when lots of folks could talk about stuff, without ever seeing the resuts.
The reasoning against Tessars goes like this:
A hard to find lens has to be better than a common lens, yes ?
After all, if a Tessar was any good, then why did they make so many of them ???
Forty two ears ago, I was a teenage kid helping out a retired master photographer of the old school. I was going out with a TLR to make some snaps, and he tossed me a roll of Verichrome Pan. I turned my nose up at it, that crap film I had used in a Brownie. I said, "I'm not going to use that stuff, I'm going to get some Plus-X !"
The old man sighed, and asked, "If Kodak is going to sell plastic cameras with a plastic lens that everybody has to get good pictures with, are they going to use their worst film or their BEST film ?" I felt suitably idiotic, accepted the VP120, remembered my manners and thanked him, and once I began to respect the film began to get great images from VP.
That's the same thing as the Tessar. Great lens. Wonderful portrait lens. Great find, Jim.
i love the tessar i have with my slr!
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Long been a Tessar fan. They can be plenty sharp when they need to be (at least my Rollieflex 3.5 certainly is) cheap and plentiful. Thanks to you now, Jim, the rest of the world will start bidding them up! Beautiful shots, though... Thanks for sharing them.
Glad I got my 16" f4.5 Tessar monster before Jim did this. Maybe in a year or two I can pay off the house with it
Yes, and why was the list price for a 30 cm f4.5 Zeiss Tessar 450 Mark back in 1911, when a 30 cm Goerz Dagor was only 305 Mark?
Originally Posted by df cardwell
Very nice photos Jim.
Thanks everyone. So if you run 450 mark through an inflation and $$ conversion what does it turn out to be in 2009 $$ besides half again more than the Goerz?
Originally Posted by Uhner
Probably within a few weeks these will be selling for $400 on ebay.
Originally Posted by jimgalli
The universe is a haunted house. -Coil