Remember, these are just tools that allow your vision to be recorded. Regardless of how the lens signature looks. Many people are using these older lenses in a way they were not initially created to do. Like you said Thomas, the lenses like the old petzvals were made large and fast to cover a relatively small area in the sweet spot of the lens, for the processes of the day. Now, everyone and their monkeys uncle are using them for creative or pictorial effect. I'm guilty of it too.... However, i go back to my original statement about them just being tools to achieve a creative goal based on the vision of the photographer. I never thought i'd be where i am with wet plate was it not for the look of the images, taken with old glass. I used to think like many others that photos were meant to be sharp front to back. I still like and make images like that, but i also grew an appreciation for pictorialism, and the way they can take you to a more emotional state about a scene/portrait. It doesn't have to be perfect to make a superb image. The equipment that is available to us to realize these images, goes through many fads/phases. Sometimes we jump on the train, and have a blast creating something new and different to our normal comfortable way of image making. Currently, i am liking older glass as it is less clinical, less contasty, and more importantly, EASY to use. It does not get in the way of image making.... Certainly wet plate has a learning curve especially the chemistry and maintenance. But the equipment... cameras, lenses are as basic as you can get. It is the antithesis of being in control and opens the artist up to chance, serendipity and uniqueness of each image they create. As you know, i have also spent a lot of time making old lenses fit modern camera bodies, and made some images that became a theme for me, that i was able to complete, and show. During that time, it was the shake up i needed to finally cut loose and bring back the passion. I realize I am only one voice in the choir here, its a personal choice, but I do believe that older glass, and sometimes legendary examples of it can open up opportunities to an artist. It just depends on how your style and vision evolves. I'm not saying the images are better for it, as in some situations, the bokeh, signature can look over done, and cliched. Remember, EVERYTHING has been done before, its just a choice where it takes you and how your creativity exploits these lens features, or a choice not to exploit them. Doing it without it getting in the way of the creative process is the key for me.