360mm Imagon; any experiences?

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I looked at a 360mm Imagon (in a Compound shutter, I believe)recently, contemplating a move to 8x10 I'd like to eventually make. Eventually I'd like to work in 8x10 Polaroid -- money willing.

I'd originally thought I'd use a 360mm G-Claron when I made the jump, but I thought I'd never run across an 360mm Imagon. My use for the lens would be close portraiture and found still life: my subject sizes are usually between 5"x5" and about 10'x15'. I'll only need to contact print the results.

I have no doubt that I'd find the adjustable soft-focus effect useful with the Imagon. My questions are:

1) will it cover 8x10?

2) how sharp is it at the smaller apertures (per markings on the disks)? Sharp enough for contact prints, I assume, but if I try to use it on my 4x5 will it be OK for 11x14's? 8x10's?

3) what will it stop down to with the disks? has anyone used waterhouse stops with these lenses?

4) or is the 360 G-Claron so good I shouldn't imagine using anything else? (I've had some success using my 150 Sironar at f/8 for a softer look without the flared highlights, a technique which I would assume works on the G-Clarons at f/9 or f/11.)

Guess I'll have to get serious about a camera now...

-- John O'Connell (boywonderiloveyou@hotmail.com), August 16, 2000


I saw (though I can't remember exactly where and I'm at work so I don't have my stuff) a 14" Wollensak Verito. I have had the 7" on 4X5 for a month or so and love it (way better than those diffusion filters). Just a different lens to think on. It adjusts by the aperture alone.


-- Dean Lastoria (dvlastor@sfu.ca), August 16, 2000.

I don't know about the 360 but I have the 250 Imagon for my 4x5 (in a compound also). The smallest disk... I think it is f11, is like using a Tiffen Soft FX 1 filter. I just takes the edge off. I really like the lens and use it for not only portraiture but for close up flowers and the like. It has a beautiful look but it really has a longer bellows draw than my regular 240mm. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), August 17, 2000.

One Rodenstock brochure lists the following recommended maximum film formats for Imagons: 200 mm will do 6x9 cm, 250 mm will do 4x5, 300 mm will do 5x7. If a 200 mm lens can't cover 4x5, then a hypothetical 400 mm probably won't cover 8x10, and thus a 360 mm probably won't cover 8x10.

Another Rodenstock brochure states that the 200 mm Imagon covers 4x5, but recommends the 250 mm if movements are to be used. The image angle is stated as 40 degrees, which would be 260 mm diameter coverage for a 360 mm lens. This also indicates that a 360 mm Imagon probably won't cover 8x10.

You could always try it, perhaps the quality would suffice for contacts or if there isn't much detail in the corners, but I wouldn't count on it working.

-- Michael Briggs (MichaelBriggs@earthlink.net), August 20, 2000.

John, Unlike with some other soft focus lenses with a different design, the Imagon will not give you a sharp image when you close it down. In fact, the less effect it can produce is about the maximum you will find acceptable. It's even hard to focus correctly. In fact the effect is of a relatively sharp image blurred in diffusion. I didn't know there was a 360mm. The 300 covers 5x7 so I guess the 360 will cover 8x10 if you focus closer than infinity"but will be soft in the corners!". It's a lens you will love to use in some occasions, but not an allrounder like the G-Claron. Make sure it has a proper shutter. Some where made to be used on Sinar shutters and if you have to buy a new Copal#3 and have it mounted, this might considerably encrease the initial price.

-- Paul Schilliger (pschilliger@smile.ch), August 23, 2000.

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