FW: dreamy Nikon lenses
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- Subject: FW: dreamy Nikon lenses
- From: BOB KISS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Thu, 17 Jul 2008 22:04:57 -0400
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From: BOB KISS [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 10:02 PM
To: 'Richard Knoppow'
Subject: RE: dreamy Nikon lenses
I have a 210 mm Dagor and agree that it goes a bit "soft" wide open.
However, it is AMAZINGLY sharp when closed up more than one stop. I shot a
4X5 T-max 400 neg of a wave about to break on a rock. You can see it at
http://www.bobkiss.com/gallery/just_before.htm I was very happy with the
16X20 prints that I made from that neg. Then an interior decorator wanted a
mural size print of it so I scanned it, Frotoshopped the file, and had a 60
inch high print output on one of those BIG Epson printers. Amazing! That
Dagor is phenomenal when closed down.
I also recall, when I worked in Holography and vibration analysis at
General Electric for two summers during my studies at RIT, I visited the R&D
lab there to chat with the director or research. He had an optical bench
set up and was using a Dagor for the imaging step (also on 4X5 film). I
will try to remember what he was doing but he stated that, at 2 stops or
more above wide open, the Dagor was diffraction limited, i.e. the
aberrations were insignificant compared to the image degradation from the
diffraction effects associated with any aperture of the same size
(regardless of the lens design). That is pretty impressive considering
that, in most lenses, two stops above wide open is where the combination of
the diffraction effects and aberrations reach a minimum and NOT where
aberrations become insignificant.
Sooooooooooo, while you might find some softening at wide open,
Dagors are superior lenses when closed up even a stop or two.
From: Richard Knoppow [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 7:16 PM
Subject: Re: dreamy Nikon lenses
----- Original Message -----
From: "Judy Seigel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: dreamy Nikon lenses
> I've enjoyed this thread, while reflecting that these
> things (duh!) do go in cycles... I remember reading
> Gernsheim's furious contempt for Julia Margaret Cameron's
> "dreamy" tableaux, tho he did like her portraits of famous
> Somehow the matter came up in a class I was teaching in
> the '90s, I mentioned that Julia Margaret had a lens
> *specially made* to be "bad," and the class leapt up,
> almost as one, wanting to know where to get one...
> Nobody mentioned smearing vaseline on the lens, tho I've
> heard about that, and a friend of mine sticks a magnifying
> glass in front of some camera or other and gets a great
> "bad" image with that (wracking my brains trying to
> remember who that was !!!).
> But Rudolpho's e-mail makes me wonder what I was wondering
> already. I happen to have a Goertz Dagor, and even (think
> I) know where it is. Can I fasten that in front of a
> digital camera... ? I suppose the answer is "try it,"
> but... any hints?
The Vaseline trick was made famous by Bob Guchione
(sp?) of Penthouse magazine although I suspect it is a very
old trick. I am not sure I want to do this to any of my
Tessars will produce just awful images when the front
cell is removed. The back cell contains most of the power
and most of the correction is in the front. I don't think
you would want this effect except for some special effect.
I don't know how to adapt the Dagor to a digital camera
because I suspect its focal length may be much too long
although Goerz made some short FL versions of the lens. The
soft focus effect is small and exists when the lens is wide
open, nonetheless it gives a pleasant softness for some
types of work. The effect is best when the complete lens is
used. A single Dagor cell is useable with about 1.8X the
focal length of the combined lens but the most obvious
aberration is coma which is not very pleasant. Coma
subtracts when two identical lenses are used back to back,
as they are in the combined Dagor, but spherical adds so
that the complete lens actually has more zonal spherical
than a single cell.
You might be able to expeiment with an adaptor as simple
as a cardboard tube and some tape.
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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