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Glen's Garage

Jim Galli

Member

glen's garage

Soft focus is an acquired taste. No harm no foul if this isn't your cup of cappuccino. That's perfectly OK. But before you leave, note that every detail is present. The photograph glows but the core image is actually sharp.

I was sitting in a 1930's porch swing enjoying a glass of good wine with my 50 year high school buddy, Glen, when suddenly I was inspired to go get the camera and bang off a few pics.

So the camera is an Eastman Kodak 8X10 2D with accy 6.5X8.5 back on it. Film is Eastman Aerial Reconnaissance Panatomic X from long roll, cut to fit the holders. All of that is ordinary compared to the lens.

The lens is a prototype Pinkham Bi-Quality 16" f5. As far as I know, the only one in existence. About 1954 the nephew of the original Pinkham did a run of the best of the best, the Visual Quality Series IV, and since he couldn't use the old name, he called them Pinkham Bi-Quality. They were all 14" f4, except this one which was obviously a test prototype to decide if they should also do a run of 16" lenses. They did not.

The other story is my friend of 50 years. No, I didn't go on Shorpy.com and download a picture from the depression era. My old friend is actually the artist in the group. Everything you see in this scene is not only in use, just as it would have been in 1937, but it's carefully placed to have an authentic look of a days gone by small farm garage and workshop somewhere rural.

btw, this is current work. Friday the 13th July this year. Another note, if you're curious about the lens, I did a page about it a few years ago at my web site with a bunch of pics done with it.
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hey, Tonopah,

Long time no see! How has life in the desert been?

Wonderful shot, and a great story about the lens.

I had a Kodak 2D once but only for exhibit. Great machine.

The setup is so nicely authentic. I did note the power strip and spray can of WD-40, though!

Thank so much.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Jim Galli

Member
Thriving in the desert. A lovely monsoon year. Beautiful storms.

There's a shed roof on the right with a workbench that gets used for just about everything, so yes, WD-40 and if we had full res, I think a can of RAID on the left.

Glen isn't trying to create art on purpose. It just falls out that way. To him this is just a logical shelter and work area.

But you prove my point. WD-40 is quite readable in the soft focus. Most people respond that this is mush. The beauty of lots of real estate, ie. 55 sq. in. of film is that the lens can do it's magic but the brute force of large image plane keeps the detail intact.

Thanks for the comment.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

glen's garage

Soft focus is an acquired taste. No harm no foul if this isn't your cup of cappuccino. That's perfectly OK. But before you leave, note that every detail is present. The photograph glows but the core image is actually sharp.

I was sitting in a 1930's porch swing enjoying a glass of good wine with my 50 year high school buddy, Glen, when suddenly I was inspired to go get the camera and bang off a few pics.

So the camera is an Eastman Kodak 8X10 2D with accy 6.5X8.5 back on it. Film is Eastman Aerial Reconnaissance Panatomic X from long roll, cut to fit the holders. All of that is ordinary compared to the lens.

The lens is a prototype Pinkham Bi-Quality 16" f5. As far as I know, the only one in existence. About 1954 the nephew of the original Pinkham did a run of the best of the best, the Visual Quality Series IV, and since he couldn't use the old name, he called them Pinkham Bi-Quality. They were all 14" f4, except this one which was obviously a test prototype to decide if they should also do a run of 16" lenses. They did not.

The other story is my friend of 50 years. No, I didn't go on Shorpy.com and download a picture from the depression era. My old friend is actually the artist in the group. Everything you see in this scene is not only in use, just as it would have been in 1937, but it's carefully placed to have an authentic look of a days gone by small farm garage and workshop somewhere rural.

btw, this is current work. Friday the 13th July this year. Another note, if you're curious about the lens, I did a page about it a few years ago at my web site with a bunch of pics done with it.


I remember this car, Jim!

It’s a good subject to return to. It gives me memories of my very first car and the first of so many clashes with “authority”!

I had to get me driver’s license in Birmingham UK in 1965 as I was flying that evening to take up a medical post in Harare Central Hospital in Zimbabwe, (then, Salisbury, Rhodesia).

To be sure of passing the much feared and absolutely required “emergency highway braking test”, I had the brillian idea of having new “original old stock” T-Ford Brakes installed to be absolutely prepared.

....and as second thoughts a new-fangled invention for the car of an after-market seat belt which I clipped in place!


Well, before we left Birmingham on the test, on a particularly overcast day, the examiner warned me that he would not say “brake now”, but simply signal the critical “emergency stop” by, at any moment, dropping his clipboard on the dashboard without a single word of earning. Well I was fully prepared and like a tiger, wound up and ready to pounce!

Well we drove about 6 miles out of town and picked up speed on an empty road as instructed and suddenly the heavens opened and we were flying along like a bullet, when the fellow looked at the horrible sky and struggle of the wiper to clear the windshield and became so startled. The dreaded clipboard fell to the dashboard.

I was so ready. I slammed on the breaks and that T Ford screeched to a halt so perfectly....and he went flying into the windshield.

“Was that perfect or not?” I proudly declared.

“You idiot, I had to put the bloody thing down, as it was impossible to see through your damn windshield...and you failed your test!”

So I restarted the engine, slowly drove to the edge of the highway and opened the irate examiner’s door.

“So sorry, old chap, but since I failed the test, I cannot take responsibility of driving 6 miles with a valuable man like you. So walk back!”

“But look at the rain! He argued.

“But look at the perfect skid marks on the wet road!” I replied.

I flew out of the country that night!

In the British Colony, the next day, to pass the test, I had to adjust the mirror, kick all four tires, say I was a doctor and simply start the engine and drive hundred yards!

Now thatcwas a great test and I have never looked back, but I do miss my 1937 T-Ford!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well, Jim,

This is wonderful to see and I am so happy you are back!

At the dawn of photography, the brilliance of the optical engineers was affecting the appearance of masses of portraits. They were so perfectly sharp and lacked the atmosphere studio portraits by painters. So began a revolution in thinking. How to tame the lenses and make the pictures less stern and clinical.

Folk invented all sorts of stratagems to return romance to the pictures that flooded all levels of society. Techniques like smearing Vaseline on a sheet of glass in front of the lens, shooting through silk stockings or even a miniature whirring airplane propeller device, (built into in front of the lens), all helped return some of the desired magic.


glen's garage

Now came these softfocus lenses which perfectly focussed the subject but then, when wide open, added a defocussed brushing of “angel dust” from the glass periphery.

The “Pinkham and Smith” lenses were the choice of photographer of the movie stars.

Asher
 
Gosh I must be missing something, I just don't see anything in focus in this image , the closest being the lettered signs.

Exactly!

You see Peter, this image is in several layers. One is in stunning sharp focus and the other layer is from the lens periphery and blurred!

It’s meants for movie star’s portraits!

Asher
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Jim Galli

Member
Here is a 2242X2942 version for anyone curious enough to want to zoom in a bit. Look at the rock screen at the glass area of the gas pump. It's a good representation of both sharp and glow. No, these will never look like a Nikon D850. That's sort of the point.
 

Jim Galli

Member
Yes, I noticed that too. Not sure how to fix that.

OK, fixed. Went in and did a control x and saved and then a control V to put it back and saved again and it seems happy now.
 
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