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Thread: old lenses

  1. #31
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
    But if you want, I can give the number of the US patent that covers Kodak's heliar types.
    Thanks, but no thanks. I mean "please, NO"! I already know far more than I want to know about the different configurations possible in 2+1+2 lenses - I really don't want to learn more.

    I would rather get to grips with the plusses and minuses of 1930's triplet lenses, next time I have a spare century with nothing better to do.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
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  2. #32
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    Kodak did to the heliar what they did to the tessar: treat the basic design as a starting point, then perfected it.

    .
    "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"

    -Bertrand Russell

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ara Ghajanian
    I'd have to say that the subject matter and lighting are just as important in giving something a vintage look. I took the shot below about a month ago. Most people who I showed it to thought that it was shot in the 50's.

    I'd guess it's the hair style more than anything else...



    Richard

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Kelham
    I'd guess it's the hair style more than anything else...


    Yeah, and all the other 50's cliches, too. Beatnik/coffee house ambience, mike stand, suit rather than jeans and too-tight muscle shirt, *sitting* while playing, double bass (while there a very few bands today that actually use one, it is still somewhat rare to see one on stage), etc.......Damn, Ara, I wish I shot that one! Amazing what serendipity can do for an image.

    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by df cardwell
    Kodak did to the heliar what they did to the tessar: treat the basic design as a starting point, then perfected it.

    .
    df, that's an interesting point. For curiosity, have you ever shot an f/6.3 Commercial Ektar against the equivalent pre-war (I, not II) CZJ or B&L Tessar IIb against the equivalent post-war (II, not I) coated CZJ f/6.3 Tessar? I mean, I know that the Commercial Ektars are highly respected, am not aware of aged and modern Zeiss equivalents' reputations, except that the Vade Mecum says that early f/6.3s are the connoisseur's choice. I know that the Yamazaki CE equivalents aren't beloved, also that although the one I have is in poor condition -- horrible cleaning marks -- it still is usable.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  6. #36
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    Yep. Shoot the Commercials today, and a couple nifty CZ and B&L s.

    The Tessars have been continuously evolved. re computations, new glasses, better manufacturing technique, cements, coatings... better and better.

    The Hawkeye Works under Kingslake was a well funded and superbly staffed program that had the new glasses from Corning in their backyard. Kodak made good stuff. They were not merely state-of-the-art, they WERE the art.

    I think the last-off-the-line Tessars from CZ were even better. Progress is a cool thing. I like the choice of 110 years of Tessars to choose from: each era's lens has something to offer.

    What do you think about the different lenses ? Fun to shoot.

    .
    "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"

    -Bertrand Russell

  7. #37

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    oh and one more thing...

    I have this handycap that I can't distinguish "looks" in BW very good, some people are color blind, I'm BW blind probably.

    For example, when seeing a movie or photo in color I can in 1 second tell you roughly from what time it came from, and sometimes even what kind of film it was shot on. But when I see a BW image, I'm stumped, I can't figure out such things.

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    Thought this has turned to be an interesting thread, I get the feeling that most posters who tried responding to me (thank you by the way) didn't even read my first post.

    I didn't say I am looking to emulate some look I've seen somewhere, nor did I say I'm trying to emulate anything.

    What I was asking is someone to describe to me that look that vintage lenses can give. I don't know what is it because I've never shot with any lens older than 70's.

    Thanks for the advices, but I'm not trying to emulate anything, I was just asking what is all that that people are often speaking when saying such things about old uncoated lenses.

  9. #39

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    df cardwell asked "What do you think about the different lenses ? Fun to shoot."

    Well, I don't yet have a set of comparable tessars. 100/6.3 Neupolar (reversed tessar), 101/4.5 Ektar (1946, 1948), 127/4.7 Tominon, 5 3/8"/6.3 B&L (~1912), 150/6.3 CZJ (1912, en route), 6"/9 Cooke Copying, 6 1/4"/6.3 B&L (pre-WWI), ~ 7"/6.3 B&L (~1920), 210/4.5 Industar 51, 10.16"/9 Taylor Hobson Copying, 30cm/9 Apotal. Don't have the 150/6.3 in hand, haven't shot the 5 3/8"/6.3 yet.

    The uncoated 1946 101/4.5 Ektar is my preferred normal lens on 2x3 even though with it the corners are, when examined closely, softer than the center. Best from f/11 down, at f/11 the corners suffer a little. From f/5.6 - f/11 my 4"/2 TTH Anastigmat is better.

    The Neupolar is astonishing, simply astonishing. From 1:4 to 4:1, sharper than a 100/6.3 Luminar. At distance, barely covers nominal 6x6 but is very sharp.

    All of the others have much more coverage than I need on 2x3. And all except the I-51 are very very good on 2x3. The 127 Tominon shoots very well on 2x3, I think its a tad better than my 135/5.6 Symmar (convertible). Haven't done the 150/9 Apo Ronar vs. 6"/9 TTH shootout yet, but the TTH is much better than ok. I prefer 180/10 Apo Saphir to B&L ~7"/6.3. I much prefer 210/7.7 Beryl S and 210/9 GRII to I-51. Haven't done a full 260/10 Nikkor-Q (= Process Nikkor) vs. 10.16/9 TTH shootout; preliminary indications are that the Nikkor is a little better. Also haven't done a full 305/9 Apo-Nikkor vs. 30 cm/9 TTH either; again, preliminary results are that the Nikkor is a little better.

    With reference to the original poster's question, all of the lenses I've mentioned except the I-51 shoot beautifully. 2x3 color transparencies shot with them can't be put in "age of lens" order. When exposure is correct they all give well-saturated sharp undistorted images. One could be happy with any of my lenses. The differences on which my preferences rest are pretty minor and are easily swamped by sloppy technique.

    My I-51 stands out from the rest for unsharpness, but since I've tried it only the one time I can't be sure whether this is due to the lens or to me. I thought I was careful, but if I didn't focus it quite right or ...

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed_Davor
    Thought this has turned to be an interesting thread, I get the feeling that most posters who tried responding to me (thank you by the way) didn't even read my first post.

    I didn't say I am looking to emulate some look I've seen somewhere, nor did I say I'm trying to emulate anything.

    What I was asking is someone to describe to me that look that vintage lenses can give. I don't know what is it because I've never shot with any lens older than 70's.

    Thanks for the advices, but I'm not trying to emulate anything, I was just asking what is all that that people are often speaking when saying such things about old uncoated lenses.
    You know, Ed, that's the problem with the internet, isn't it ?

    I read your post, and did my best to explain that '70s lenses are basically TODAY'S lenses, for most of us, and that for 'vintage' you have to go older than that.

    Some folks explained, and illustrated, that the 'vintage' effects had to do with lighting, and other elements.

    Now YOU need to do YOUR part. Go look at pictures. Lots of books out there. Check the Magnum site, thousands of great images going back to the '30s.

    I was just asking what is all that that people are often speaking when saying such things about old uncoated lenses

    If we couldn't answer your question, it'll just be better for you to LOOK for yourself. Go back and take a look at the two images I posted for you, and the excellent examples from Ara, mcgratten, and David.

    Here's a question: what are the characteristics that you see in color images that place them in time for you ?

    d
    "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"

    -Bertrand Russell

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