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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:24 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Petzval was a guy who designed a lens in the mid-1800s, the optical design of which is now called the Petzval lens. They were designed to overcome a few problems of the time - it gave both nice sharpness and speed (f/3.5 or so for portraiture, compared to the much slower lenses of the time in the f/16 range). antiquecameras.net has an article on the Petzval wherein its claimed that the petzval gave birth to commercial portrait photography, which had been almost impossible previously. These lenses have become a bit of a fad lately because when pushed beyond their limits they give a characteristic signature in the bokeh, commonly called the Petzval Swirl or Swirlies. Frankly I rarely like the effect and often find it quite distracting from the image, but as a fad it means these lenses have a particularly inflated value. Some of the bigger portrait petzvals for 8x10 and 11x14" formats can go for $500 to $1000 in brass barrel mount.

I bought this little Dallmeyer projection Petzval for $15 + shipping from New Zealand (another $15)... and if I get sick of it I can probably pawn it off for $100 to $150, if the swirlies fad doesn't die down in the meantime :) It's a nice convenient size for using on a 4x5 speed graphic so it's quite a nice lens, actually. And it has an unscrewing set of rear elements for introducing soft-focus aberrations, which is also popular.

Here's an overview of the swirlies effect, in an extreme display to show what it looks like (ugly photo!) - from Jim Galli's site:

Image

And a somewhat more moderate use in a portrait (someone on Flickr):

Image

And this image stands out as a typical naked-chick-in-the-woods-surrounded-by-petzval-swirl shot:

Image

My lens mounted up on a speed graphic board. I'm gonna go try to shoot some stuff with it this afternoon to see what it can do.

Image

If I want to I can use it in a way that minimizes the "swirlies" so it may have some creative use for me. They do give a nice sharp image with soft out of focus transitions and the swirly aberrations disappear when you focus close. A nice macro lens, in other words.

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Last edited by walter23 on Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:18 pm 
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Still hanging around
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Weird effect. I can see how it could work in small doses...

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:19 pm 
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Actually that shot kind of depicts how I guess I might feel if I were to be confronted by a naked chick in the woods... kinda whoozy, lightheaded, and ultimately drawn in one direction....

Petzval porn, gotta love it.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:40 pm 
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Das Kapital
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My post got flagged NSFW? Hah! I still can't get over the hangups of my culture. It's a freakin' boob, not a japanese bukake session.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 6:45 pm 
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Well the way she is holding that long tree is kinda suggestive, don'tcha think? :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:33 am 
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Das Kapital
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Well, I went out and shot some swirly (and some non-swirly) photos with the speed graphic. I also found that the way I mounted the lens lets me close up the speed graphic if I put it on backwards. But, if I dare operate the shutter curtain in this configuration it catches on the lens. Almost broke the speed graphic discovering that one.

Pictures to follow.

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Last edited by walter23 on Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:47 am 
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That naked chick in the forrest has one hell of a long arm. The swirls reminds me of what a LensBaby wants to be.

Gary

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:16 am 
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Das Kapital
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Seefutlung wrote:
That naked chick in the forrest has one hell of a long arm. The swirls reminds me of what a LensBaby wants to be.

Gary


Now that you mention it, that is kind of freaky.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:52 am 
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I've got to find different woods to hike in, I never find naked women in the woods around here...could be the midwestern "sensibility" at work.


erie

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:05 am 
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walter23 wrote:
My post got flagged NSFW? Hah! I still can't get over the hangups of my culture. It's a freakin' boob, not a japanese bukake session.

I marked it NSFW. Why? Because I opened this post at work, and whether I have a hangup about the boob or not (I don't) it could get me fired. It likely wouldn't, since I do have a reasonable (female) boss, but not everyone is so lucky.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:35 pm 
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Das Kapital
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mikealex wrote:
walter23 wrote:
My post got flagged NSFW? Hah! I still can't get over the hangups of my culture. It's a freakin' boob, not a japanese bukake session.

I marked it NSFW. Why? Because I opened this post at work, and whether I have a hangup about the boob or not (I don't) it could get me fired. It likely wouldn't, since I do have a reasonable (female) boss, but not everyone is so lucky.


That's absolutely ridiculous, but I can understand not wanting to be fired.

I know I'm not going to be a good match for that kind of environment. I shudder to think of the kind of job I might end up with when I finish this damned degree...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:02 pm 
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Well, then I hope you never get a job in a typical North American office, but I can't imagine any of them being any different. Some prude looks over your shoulder and sees a breast, and they're off to HR. Hell, they're complaining about Mrs. Obama wearing a sleeveless dress!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 10:17 pm 
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mikealex wrote:
Well, then I hope you never get a job in a typical North American office, but I can't imagine any of them being any different. Some prude looks over your shoulder and sees a breast, and they're off to HR. Hell, they're complaining about Mrs. Obama wearing a sleeveless dress!


I hope to avoid the typical North American office, but a guy's gotta make a living, so who knows. I suppose I'd rather live with the nosy prudes than keep slinging groceries at the supermarket (my current part time job, which is only better than crab fishing in that it's slightly cleaner) :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 6:56 pm 
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I doubt even the biggest prude would have a problem with this photo but how do you make a rule that separates tasteful nudes from porn so the workplace rules will disallow all nudes. The other side is Walter looks at these type of photos and maybe I pull up the Playboy site and Packard is into Hustler so it becomes a slippery slope of ever lowering standard of behavior. I can remember my first job was at a hotel and the mens locker room had all sorts of adult material kicking around courtesy of what guests left in the rooms, today I imagine that having a centre-fold taped to the locker door would be an offense requiring discipline. Over all I think the change is mostly positive especially in mixed gender environments since there is always at least one creep that will try to make someone uncomfortable with their behavior.

Gerhard

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