Radius II - Brass Petzval


This and another Petzval shot are in my Kodak 305mm Kodak Portrait gallery, because the subject matter and the way the Petzval renders it are so similar to what the Kodak does w/the rear group of the Petzval unscrewed so that the rear elements are quite a ways from each other.  I've taped the unscrewed rear elements into this position permanently w/metal plumbers tape.

This is the same set-up as the 'Radius shot' which I've left in place w/o moving a thing, 'cept I moved the camera almost down to the floor to look up at the magnifiers and compass sitting on top. 

I had to saw the center column/pipe of my Gitzo which can raise/lower the height of my Arca Swiss M/ball independent of the tripod legs in half to so that I could flatten out the Gitzo legs to an incredible 5 inches off the floor w/o the center column interfering w/getting the tripod this low to the floor.  

After getting the tripod flattened out this low to the floor, I inserted the ball head/center column back into the Gitzo down to where it hits the floor, this ends up w/the cam about 15 inches off the floor, so that I'm looking up at the above mentioned set-up. 

I've never before flattened out my smaller Gitzo this low before, and liking the results, I'm going to try this angle again when the SM warrants.

When trying to get the patterns/distortions like these from a magnifier, and to render them on film, we're talking extremely low illumination, NOTHING else will work.   This kind of works into the hands of shooting w/these kinds of lenses wideopen. 

Illuminating this SM and glass/crystal in general, from the rear, does some really interesting things as photons bounce around and through glass.  What excites me and mystifies me about this shot, is the way the light produces an almost metallic texture in the distortions in the magnifier, considering that the only things in the shot are 3 transparent magnifiers and a transparent compass. 





Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009 at 10:47PM by Registered CommenterJonathan Brewer | CommentsPost a Comment

Lilly Pond, Eagle Creek Park

I spent the morning at one of my favorite places to photograph with a friend, introducing him to large format photography.  He had never handled a view camera previously, but was seriously hooked by the end of the morning.  While he was busy learning the basics of camera movements, I made some exposures with my P&S 7" lens and a "new" front-mounted Packard shutter.  I thought this one came out rather nicely.

Posted on Saturday, October 10, 2009 at 09:53PM by Registered CommenterDaniel Lin | Comments1 Comment

Radius - The 305mm Kodak Portrait Lens


I guess the end of my obsession will have to wait for one more shot. 

This shot was the result of my past penchant of stacking playing cards to relax/pass the the time.   I leaned these three magnifiers together and put my radius rule on top of 'em and shined some illumination through the radius from above, which to my surprise, formed a glow in the form of a crescent on the magnifier directly facing the lens. 

Hopefully I can take a break now and end this on a high note.  I want to finish my 'Black Mask' project if I can ever find the right faces for that, and then I want to shoot some more infrared.



Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at 01:30AM by Registered CommenterJonathan Brewer | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Octagonal Ice Chest - 300mm Wollensak Velostigmat II


I was going to shoot the ice chest w/my Visual Quality but the shot looked almost the same on the groundglass as my original shot, so I turned to the Velostigmat II.   I don't think much of the Velo II w/its 1-5 diffusion control, so I've had the stop which limits the diffusion on my Velo removed, and this shot is w/front diffusion ring unsrewed out to about 3/8" from the barrel, which is quite a ways.

This point is a 'sweetspot' for me and I've this position taped so that it'll never change.   For me, w/the diffusion ring screwed out to this point, I consider the Velostigmat II the equal of the Pinkhams, the Kodak Portrait, the Heliars, the Struss et al.   The Velo costs about 1/10 of these other lenses, and is the lens you want to get if you don't have deep pockets.

The Kodak Portrait glass is coated, the Velo isn't, yet I like the color better on this shot, and while there is a difference bet. this shot and the Kodak version, they're very close.   I love 'em both.

The focus doesn't carry forward as much on the Velo II as it does the Kodak, and there seems to be a noticeable diff. in contrast(maybe I'm seeing things).

Another thing I want to touch on...............Photographing glass from the front, and illuminating that glass from the rear, tends to make the glass glow, but sometimes the illumination goes another way and the glass in some areas tends to take on an opaqueness that gives it the look of something other than glass.  You can see this by looking at the differences between the Kodak and Velo shots and my shot of the set-up.  

Looking at the set-up, you can see the walls of this ice chest are clear glass..........photographing this as I have straight on, the walls of the ice chest almost look metallic in some areas.

$250.00 versus $2,500.00..........................................That's the difference between the Velo and some of the lenses I've mentioned here, but you can't see it, or at least I can't.


Posted on Sunday, October 4, 2009 at 04:15AM by Registered CommenterJonathan Brewer | CommentsPost a Comment

Octangonal Ice Chest - The Kodak Portrait Lens


This is an octagonal shaped and very thick crystal ice chest I've balanced on it's side on top of brushed aluminum w/the lid shifted over to the side.  You're looking through the top to the bottom of the chest.

I was going to do this in b&w, but after working on the color shot, I'm not going to do it.  Again I did this shot w/backlight which goes through the glass and bounces around in all kinds of interesting ways as opposed to going for the reflections from frontal illumination.


Take care




Addendum:  Steve.......I know you like checking out the set-up, here it is, thick aint it!!!!






Posted on Friday, October 2, 2009 at 04:48PM by Registered CommenterJonathan Brewer | Comments2 Comments