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Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality Motion Picture lens-- 75mm f/3, on Nikon D3


Here you will find information on my use of soft-focus and Pictorialist lenses, and my techniques for mounting, using, and processing images from these lenses in this very digital world.

In addition, I will expound from time to time on the subject of "The New Pictorialism", and the development of a reflective style in current circles. Topics from Google Plus posts will find a home here, and perhaps some relative permanence in the ever-renewing world of social networking.

--Bruce Hemingway

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Old lens: the Graf Variable

Left lens: Graf Variable 8.5-9.5" f/3.8-f/4.5

This lens can function as a sharp anastigmat lens working at f3.8 maximum or a diffusion lens working at f4.5 maximum.  The adjustment from sharp to diffused focus is by turning a calibrated control ring at the front of the barrel, moving the front cell in or out about ¼”.  When it is out, the lens is a sharp f/3.8 – when it is in, the lens is a soft focus f/4.5, and the amount of rotation controls the diffusion.  The lens is calibrated with two scales of f stops – one each for sharp and soft focus, and will cover a 5"x7" format. This lens works best with stitching on the CameraFusion sliding back.

sharp setting, wide open aperture 

soft setting, wide open aperture

medium soft setting, f/5.6 aperture

full soft setting, wide open aperture
I have two Graf Variables in my collection: the 8.5-9.5" shown above, and a smaller 7.5-8.5" lens which I use with a helical focus unit. They deserve to be used more.

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