U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | JMC lens was/Re: dreamy Nikon lenses

JMC lens was/Re: dreamy Nikon lenses

Oh, lordy Peter,

I can't remember where I put an extremely important letter from a lawyer last week, or the recipe for the cranberry relish I have cranberries rotting on the stove to make, and I should remember where I read a few lines on Julia maybe 20 years ago?

When you're as old as I am and have a house crammed with important evidence from all your goose chases, you may sympathize. For the moment, I can say only that it was in something biographical about her, that it may not have been built specifically for being "bad," but had a different purpose, that the distortion or softness came along for no extra effort, and she then clung to it.

I'll check one or two sources aroound here I think of (and can probably find), but... don't count on getting that particular item... (I do however count on being sucked in near terminally--- thanks a lot !)

Meanwhile, who wrote the book about her and/or the Isle of Wight...I think the local historical society. There may have been a clue there. I have the P-F story by Cynthia Larson of her visit there... I'll check for a clue,



On Fri, 18 Jul 2008, Peter Marshall wrote:


I'm not aware of JMC having a "bad lens" specially made - do you have a reference for this?

She did us a fairly long focus lens for some of the pictures, and did deliberately manipulate (shade) the light, which resulted in longer exposures (and thus subject movement) but I didn't know she used any special lens, though it might well have been a landscape rather than a portrait lens.

You can put anything in front of a digital camera. I've taken quite a few pictures with a Nikon D100 body using a pinhole rather than a lens, and it works rather nicely with a zone plate.



Peter Marshall - Photographer, Writer: NUJ
petermarshall@cix.co.uk +44 (0)1784 456474
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The Buildings of London etc: http://londonphotographs.co.uk/
and elsewhere......

Judy Seigel wrote:

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 men.

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?


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