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Roger Hicks
09-17-2008, 15:22
Any other Thambar pics from anyone?

M8, 640 ISO, f/9 as far as I recall.

Cheers,

R.

helenhill
09-17-2008, 15:36
Wow...Love it Roger
Elegant & Hip....Lovely Character

Now i'm Suffering w/lens Lust

Best-H
:)

charjohncarter
09-17-2008, 17:02
Helen, I'm lusting over this lenses,too. Anything to get away from the incessant sharpness of today. I've resorted to my old Polaroid camera, but maybe a Thambar is in my future:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3230/2748040727_d5dfc761f8.jpg?v=1218379244

Polaroid ColorPackII- 1970 (purchase date)

maddoc
09-17-2008, 17:23
I like that portrait, Roger ! It is actually the first time that I see a photo taken with this lens. I might have a chance to try one in the next couple of weeks ... :)

noimmunity
09-17-2008, 18:13
Excellent portrait!

What is the sound of an already expensive lens rising in price?!

cam
09-18-2008, 00:14
there is one on ebay right now, but like all collector lenses, i'm sure it will end up being too rich for my blood. it's happened to me a few times already :bang:

i do get cranky when i think of all the gorgeous lenses that are regulated to shelves, rather than actually being used as they were intended!

god forbid i find a beater without the filter... Roger, i recall you saying that you didn't particularly care for the filter, true?

and closest focusing is 1 meter, i think, or am i just remembering that in hopes that it has one flaw?

maddoc, if you get this lens (along with having the Nocti), i may have to stop speaking to you :p

maddoc
09-18-2008, 00:26
maddoc, if you get this lens (along with having the Nocti), i may have to stop speaking to you :p

:D:D:D ... It is impossible for me to "get" the Thambar ! I might have the chance to "try" it ...

Roger Hicks
09-18-2008, 01:03
Thanks for the kind words. It was a shot of one of the fellow members of an arts association to which I belong, at the Annual General Meeting. Well, you have to do SOMETHING at AGMs.

Here are some more Thambar shots. I'd been holding off because most people think of them as portrait lenses, and I don't use mine that much for portraits. Water gate shows, well, yes, a water gate on the river Dive (pronounced 'Deeve'); River + Ian's house is another Dive shot; and I'm especially fond of the zinc drainpipe, which seems to me to have a richness that is hard to obtain otherwise. The artificiality of digital images -- the 'airbrushed' look -- seems to me to match the Thambar very well.

You're right, Cam, I don't like the centre spot filter: I'm not sensitive to bokeh but that one is horrible, and only works against neutral backgrounds. Closest focus is 1m, but that's pretty close for a 9cm: about 1/10 life size, as illustrated by the drain.

Gabor: if you get a chance, try it -- but be warned, you may fall in love with it.

The joke is that when I got mine (originally on loan, for review) I expected to dismiss it as 'Interesting lens for its time, but over-priced for what it is'.

Ummm...

Cheers,

R.

cam
09-18-2008, 01:20
there is something so lush about that lens! sigh...

i've read numerous threads of people trying to emulate the look with other lenses (stockings over the lens, nickels affixed to filters, softars) or various PS maneuvers. none of them close, imho, to the actual character of the Thambar.

and whilst it's know as a portrait lens, i think my favourite shots from it have been still-lifes. rich and soft, another dimension altogether. they evoke a feeling of actually being there. not just tactile, but all the sensations of time and place.

Roger Hicks
09-18-2008, 01:39
Dear Cam,

A fascinating evocation of the Thambar look!

Some time in the next few months we have to go to Paris to renew my wife's passport; when we do, maybe we could meet and you could take a couple of shots with it. Don't hold your breath, but equally, bear it in mind...

Cheers,

R.

David Goldfarb
09-18-2008, 03:19
Nice stuff, Roger. The thing about the classic large format portrait lenses is that they don't translate well on smaller formats in general. They're great for a contact print or maybe 2x or 3x enlargement, but put a rollfilm back behind one and try to enlarge any more and it all turns to mush. It's amazing how smooth the Thambar is in this regard.

cam
09-18-2008, 03:41
Some time in the next few months we have to go to Paris to renew my wife's passport; when we do, maybe we could meet and you could take a couple of shots with it. Don't hold your breath, but equally, bear it in mind...


i'm already turning blue :eek:

(they don't have a proper emoticon of a blue smiling idiot)

Roger Hicks
09-18-2008, 03:48
Nice stuff, Roger. The thing about the classic large format portrait lenses is that they don't translate well on smaller formats in general. They're great for a contact print or maybe 2x or 3x enlargement, but put a rollfilm back behind one and try to enlarge any more and it all turns to mush. It's amazing how smooth the Thambar is in this regard.

Dear David,

Thanks. I completely agree about soft focus large format (SFLF?) which is why I was prepared to dismiss the Thambar. In fact I don't even like 4x5 SF much.

I also have Dreamagon and Lensbaby soft focus for SLRs, though, and they're quite good too.

Cheers,

R.

cam
09-18-2008, 12:57
more, Roger, please! make me drool!

i think i've been turned off on getting a used M8 because it has no discreet advance (and some very sexist pigs in that forum space), which means i may be able to get a new lens...

Roger Hicks
09-18-2008, 13:50
Calm down, Cam! You'll get me all excited, and I'm a married man..

I'll try and post a few more tomorrow but it's a busy day: doctor's appointment for Frances 20 miles away in the morning, friends in for a barbecue in the afternoon. And we leave for photokina on Tuesday morning.

Warning: the Thambar is perfect on an M8.

Cheers,

R.

charjohncarter
10-07-2008, 09:46
Here is my answer to those that want a poor man's Thambar; 135mm Hektor with a piece of duct tape on the center of a UV filter:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3016/2922388100_09911d39f0.jpg?v=0

shadowfox
10-07-2008, 11:15
Hmmm... Pardon me, Roger.
But I don't think I see the greatness of this lens.

The first portrait is very interesting, subject and color -wise, but the eyes are a bit soft (at least on my monitor).

And from the subsequent samples, I take it that sharpness is not this lens' greatest strength is it? :D

raid
10-07-2008, 11:44
My optically challenged Summarit gives me soft focus that was not intended from this lens, but it has become my "softer focus" lens. Most likely, there are optical challenges inside the lens, but I will keep them intact. I am not a soft focus fan, but the portaits resulting from my Summarit look really nice to me.

As for the Thambar, it is a collector's lens after all.

LeicaTom
10-07-2008, 12:09
My 1936 f1.5/50 Leitz Xenon is a "poor mans" Thambar......mine has "minty" glass and about 15% haze and cost me only $200!!!

http://modelmayhm-8.vo.llnwd.net/d1/photos/080513/01/48292d5a9358e.jpg (http://www.modelmayhem.com/pic.php?pid=4995472)

Thambar`s, though they are amazing pieces of glass, they are more a collectors item then something to use everyday, it costs just too much to get the entire kit together with the rare "spot" filter, caps and hood.

Xenon`s and Summarit`s with a % of haze can give a very similar effect, especially in black n white films. :)

Tom

Roger Hicks
10-07-2008, 13:11
You can joke, but I never saw the interest of buying a "soft focus" lens.

A little like buying a blunt pencil.:confused:

Dear Richard,

Sort of. There are some pics it suits, and some it doesn't. I expected to be underwhelmed by the Thambar -- but there's something I like about it. I suspect it's an acquired taste, and one that not everyone will care to acquire.

That's no statement of superiority. Some people like Holgas; some like ULF. I'm not among them. I am among those who like Thambars, much to my own surprise.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
10-07-2008, 13:15
My 1936 f1.5/50 Leitz Xenon is a "poor mans" Thambar......mine has "minty" glass and about 15% haze and cost me only $200!!!

Thambar`s, though they are amazing pieces of glass, they are more a collectors item then something to use everyday, it costs just too much to get the entire kit together with the rare "spot" filter, caps and hood.

Xenon`s and Summarit`s with a % of haze can give a very similar effect, especially in black n white films. :)

Tom

Dear Tom,

Possibly you're right (though I'm not convinced) -- but it was the Thambar on the M8 that amazed me.

Trying to collect the components separately sounds like hard work, but having bought the complete outfit, the spot filter is a waste of time in my book.

It's a lot cheaper than a Noctilux, though!

Cheers,

R.

LeicaTom
10-07-2008, 13:59
Dear Tom,

Possibly you're right (though I'm not convinced) -- but it was the Thambar on the M8 that amazed me.

Trying to collect the components separately sounds like hard work, but having bought the complete outfit, the spot filter is a waste of time in my book.

It's a lot cheaper than a Noctilux, though!

Cheers,

R.

Yes, I`d like to see my Xenon work on a M8 too, someday....I have to say when I buy rarer lenses, I try to buy everything together with them, I don`t like the factory hood for the Xenon it`s a "barndoor" just like the Summitar design, but I have an early 1950`s Japanese WALTZ Summarit hood on my Xenon now and it works fine.

.....yeah the Thambar is cheaper then the Noctilux, but harder to find with "minty" glass......I think the Xenon is the most exotic lens I`ll be using on my IIIC`s ;)

Tom

shadowfox
10-08-2008, 07:15
You can joke, but I never saw the interest of buying a "soft focus" lens.

A little like buying a blunt pencil.:confused:

Richard, from my art classes back way when, there are some masterpieces that won't come to fruition without using blunt pencils :)

Soft lenses have their uses.

David Goldfarb
10-08-2008, 07:34
The point of a soft focus lens is that it does things that can't be done otherwise. The most interesting soft focus lenses, to my taste, produce a kind of layered effect, with a sharp subject that has a diffuse glow. It is very different from diffusion, as might be created by putting a mesh screen over the lens, or a black dot filter, which diffuses the whole image uniformly or a center spot, which puts the sharp area in the center instead of wherever you want it.

Diffusion under the enlarging lens sprays the shadows into the highlights--the opposite of what diffusion on the taking lens does. Done subtly it's not a bad effect. Done heavily, it can produce a ghoulish effect, which is sometimes interesting as well. The most natural version of this that I've seen was with a Softar I on the enlarging lens for about 1/3 of the enlargement time. Neither effect, though, looks like what an interesting soft focus lens looks like, and different soft focus lenses look different from each other.

I have yet to see any kind of convincing soft effect produced digitally that looks like the effect of a Verito or the Cooke PS945 or Pinkham and Smith Visual Quality IV or Universal Heliar or the Thambar. That isn't to say that one can't get interesting diffuse focus or soft focus effects digitally, but they won't look like the effects you can get with a classic soft focus lens.