Saturday, July 19, 2014

Using a Goerz 304mm f/5 Missile Tracking lens for Wet Plate

The Goerz lens I used for the two photos below was designed for a missile tracking system used back toward the beginning of the Cold War - it covers 11x14 and beyond but only has a small center area of sharpness. I couldn't find much information on the camera it came from, except for a website from a private collector in Australia -

The Goerz lens came from a rocket tracking camera like this one

Thanks to Holger for letting me use his photo. The 304mm Goerz lens works great as a portrait lens, and gives a beautiful soft bokeh anywhere beyond the sweet spot in the center.

C. P. Goerz E. F. 304mm f/5 on Deardorff 4x4 lens board by Zbyszek
What's incredible about this lens is its huge coverage, albeit way out of focus with radial or spherical aberrations, anywhere beyond the sweet-spot. I've shot on 11x14 paper with this lens and the results were interesting, see my other blog post: blogspot/more-tests-more-photos.html

Lily, 8x10 Shot with Goerz lens
Daniel, 8x10 Shot with 304mm f/5 Goerz lens
I'm happy with the results I'm getting on 8x10. I use lens shift and lower the lens to move the sweet spot around eye level. I focus on the eyes and the rest of the plate becomes a creamy blur the further away from the sweet-spot.