A big part of the enjoyment I receive from my large format
hobby is buying and testing vintage lenses.  This of course
is an expensive and bottomless pit.  So I thought it might
be fun to expand that idea a bit and post images made with
certain lenses on pages here so that others could get a
feel for what different vintage lens designs might offer.

The first one is an ancient Bausch & Lomb projection lens.
I had bought it maybe 18 months ago and it languished until
 last weekend (Memorial Day '05).  I've been taken with the
possibilities of Petzval type lenses for portraits.  After
spending some mega $$$ for several large antique lenses
I rediscovered the old B&L and checked it for type.  To
my surprise it is also Petzval, and a good focal length.  15".
Since it is a projection lens from some ancient magic lantern
it has no aperture and it is smaller in max aperture than
the big dedicated portrait types.  To make a long story short
it's small enough to fit a 4 1/2" board on the 5X7 Kodak
and that makes it attractive for travel.

The first group of photos are portraits all shot within
several minutes of each other.  The subjects are in open
shade but the far background is in direct sunlight.  My
intent right from the start is portraits with some tack
sharp features that fade into complete blur with excellent
Bokeh.  These are milestones for me as they are the first
of hopefully many more where I feel I accomplished
exactly what I wanted.  The 15" Petzval was at 22-24"
for most of these and the depth of focus is shallow indeed.

Mason & Caedon



Mason Profile


The next group are of a hoary "Cletrac" tractor.  I've photographed
it many times because it resides at a campground where our
large family meets for re-unions twice yearly.  It gets "watered"
daily by sprinklers and the result is a rather spectacular patina
of rust and oxidation from the minerals in the local H2O,  I was
extremely pleased with these found shots.  All else same as above.

Cletrac 1

Cletrac 2

Cletrac 3

Cletrac 4

Cletrac 5

Let me know what you like or dis-like.