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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 2, 2014

Pinkham & Smith on the Fujifilm X-T1

Pinkham & Smith on the Fujifilm X-T1

The Pinkham & Smith Visual Quality Motion Picture lens works well on the Fujifilm X-T1, and focusing is excellent with Fuji's manual focusing aids. This opens up a host of possibilities for making pictorialist images in unexpected places. The 75mm focal length (108 mm equivalent) works well with the X-T1, and complements the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 lens.

I also plan to use this lens with the Metabones Speedbooster Ultra, which will shorten the effective focal length back to 75 mm equivalent and give a wider view.  

From The New Photo-Miniature, Volume 16, Issue 1, January 1, 1921:

The "Smith" Lens.

Series I, F: 6 (Pinkham & Smith Co.), a single combination, semi-achromatic lens and The Semi-Achromatic Doublet, Series II, F: 6, were the original American soft-focus lenses, made twenty-odd years ago by Walter G. Wolfe, of this firm, at the suggestion of F. Holland Day, Francis Watts Lee, and other well-known pictorialists of that time. In loving and skillful hands the Semi-Achromatic lens gave results so pleasing and won such wide favor that, until within recent years, this was the soft-focus lens most generally used by pictorial photographers. In practice, however, the effects obtained with it were so variable and uncertain that it was decided to introduce a lens giving a firmer quality of definition, with a flatter field, and capable of bringing the chemical and visual images closer together, thus permitting of simpler and more certain use. This resulted in The Visual Quality Lens, F:4.5, made in doublet form, this permitting of its better correction and the use of larger apertures, without flare or halo and with a wide angle of field. As so made, this lens was adapted for handcamera and motion-picture work. It was suggested by J. Wallace Gillies and is widely used by professionals in pictorial portraiture, giving diffusion effects between the extreme softness of the S. A. and the precise definition of the portrait lens.

The Visual Quality M. P. Lens is an adaptation of this lens to the special requirements of motion picture photography, by J. Wallace Gillies,introduced within the past two months.