Re: Home made Lenses ( soft focus )

From: Tom Ferguson ^lt;[email protected]>
Date: 03/04/05-03:08:53 PM Z
Message-id: <>

There are two things going on with my "Quartsite fleamarket lens".

1) I almost always use it wide open (about F/4.5) because the lens
itself has no adjustable aperture. I made a set of waterhouse type
stops to put in front of the lens, but like the wide open effect better
for this project.

2) As Richard pointed out, the extreme loss of focus/resolution as you
travel out of the center of the circle is probably coma error (actually
I always say the word "croma", but suspect that Richard knows better
than I do!). I love it (for this project). I use camera movements on
the 4x5 to "put" the sweet in focus spot where I want in the
composition. Great fun.

My experience with soft focus lenses is that they are all different and
interesting. There is no one "magic set of errors" that make a great
soft focus lens. It isn't that simple. You try a few and see what works
"for you and your project". I doubt many would find my "Quartsite
fleamarket lens" a great choice for a soft focus portrait lens. "I"
would much prefer my Wollensak for that use.

On Friday, March 4, 2005, at 11:04 AM, John Cremati wrote:

> Examples of Tom Ferguson photos:
> Hi Tom,
> Wow! Your depth of field on those photos is almost nothing!
> Plus
> you have center focus and then it fades to the edges....... I think
> you got
> real lucky on that lens..... Is the effect controllable? Is this
> chemical
> focus or is it mechanical?
> I bought a book published by Jay Allen called" Pictorial
> Soft-Focus
> and Portrait Lenses from the Past" ... He has been researching Soft
> focus
> Lenses since the 1980's when he found out that almost everyone that
> knew of
> them extensively had died......... In his book he lists the different
> makers
> of such lenses and the model and series number of their SF models....
> Most
> importantly he lists the coverage of the lenses ( It is hard to
> believe that
> many of the 14 inch SF lenses do not even cover 5x7 as they commonly
> have
> a very low angle of view) All most all of his information came from
> the
> manufacturers catalogs and pamphlets.......
> He talks on the correct use of the lenses which do not operate
> as
> conventional lenses for the most part.....The differences in the use
> of
> chemical focus and mechanical focus for starters......
> What little I know has come from his book ( 50 pages Xerox copy bound
> together) ...I have been making steady progress........
> John Cremati
Tom Ferguson
Received on Fri Mar 4 15:09:03 2005

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