The Great soft focus thread - Page 3
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Old 05-07-2011   #21
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Default Re: The Great soft focus thread

excellent stuff, ed, thanks very much.
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Old 05-09-2011   #22
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Thank you Ed for the in-depth explanation. I was right to not even think about trying vaseline on my filter/lens. Instead I stole my wife's sock and put it on my lens. I also made a filter (using old UV filter) with the stretched stocking "mounted" in it. I have not tried experimenting with various lights though and neither I tried making holes in the "softenizer". Thank you for suggestions.
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Old 05-14-2011   #23
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A year ago I purchased a used Canon 135mm f2.8 soft focus lens. The following photos were taken with different settings of soft focus (maximum =2, no soft focus =0) and the aperture was wide open. Enjoy
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Old 05-14-2011   #24
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Side by side comparison
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Old 08-24-2011   #25
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I've been thinking about this lately. As per the diffusion disc, every example I've seen has the primary aperture centered and surrounded by the smaller, secondary apertures. But, what if your subject (as in portraiture) is not always in the center? The article below discusses putting a home made disc into a filter ring between two +5 close up filters. But, would it make more sense to put the primary aperture off center and mount it in a rotating polorizer ring?

I am gathering materials to try this as per the article, I also have an Olympus B-300 I'm thinking about using instead of the +10 lens. All mounted on a bellows (if the bellows accommodates the diameter of the B-300).

I don't think the B-300 will work, after eyeballing the focus distance, it's well beyond the 150mm travel of a cheap bellows.

Yesterday I tried a quick experiment of making the discs out of matt board and using with an original "Lensbaby" but did not like the result (holes too big I think).

Any thoughts on why the main aperture must or must not remain dead center?

Soft Focus Revisited, Digitally; How To Make Your Own Soft-Focus Lens Like The One I?ve Used For 40 Years Page 2 | Shutterbug
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Old 08-24-2011   #26
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Bob! I am switching to a Canon system just so I can have that lens. I had one on loan for a few days and it is perfect for mu purposes.

Alan- If you are not going in for a prime soft focus lens try this. get you hands on a Zeiss Softar- it will hive you a uniform soft focus effect on the entire image at all f/stops. Do not confuse a vignetter with a soft ficus lens or a good supplementary attachment.

Another home made item that works well is to use an old skylight or UV filter and coat the edges with clear nail polish. This works well as an all over soft focus filter at wider f/stops.

One of my favorite DIY soft-focus devices is a small patch of Nylon hosiery knitted fabric tightly stretched across shallow lens shade or in a frame that can be inserted in a bellows type lens shade. All over softness will be achieved- you will loose about 1 stop with a light gray material.

Let me know if you try any of this.

Ed
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Old 08-24-2011   #27
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Can someone post the actual, physical diameter of the diffusion discs for both the Mamiya RB and the Fujinon large format soft focus lens? If the diameter is right it could save some time in the shop. My little "Lensbaby" cheapy takes nominal 1" or slightly smaller aperture discs.
Thanks,

Ed,
I don't have the Softar, but have several of the Tiffen FX filters, just thinking about tinkering with something a little different.
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Old 08-24-2011   #28
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Ed by all means make the switch. The 135SF lens is a real beauty.
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Old 08-24-2011   #29
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The disks in the Mamiya 150SF, the Fugi soft focus lens and the classic Imagon are nor "diffusion" filters NOT lensers - there is no glass, the are aperture disks. . The actual glass lenses had strategically placed aberrations on their edges. Those disks were meant to expose more or less of theses zonal aberrations which enables a wide range if softnesses Right up to pretty sharp when the disks with smaller apertures are used. With the Imagon. the small holes at the edges on the circumferences of the disks are adjustable and therefore enable finer tuning of the soft effects at each fixed Aperature.

None of theses disks can be used with other lenses as a softening device. The Softars work on an entirely different principle that the Tiffen FX series. The Softars have small "optical bubbles" built in to the plastic material of which theses filters are made and produce a marked spreading of the highlights into the shadows. The results kind of simulate the effect of the Imagon with the soft seemingly superimposed over the sharp image. The FX and the Harrison & Harrison versions have more of a "hazy"/soft look which is also rather effective. Some of the less expensive soft focus attachments simply degrade the image and do not work well with enlargement.

Rinse! If I get the lens, I will pick up a Rebel and use it exclusively for that lens. In the offing is the full frame Canon- I am looking for a good deal $$$.

The Softars are available in 3 strengths and up to 77mm in diameter. There are special Softars in various bayonet mounts for Hasselblad and Rollei cameras.

Ed
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Old 08-24-2011   #30
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Oh! I forgot!


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File Type: jpg Filter Frame Reduced.jpg (33.4 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg Spots.jpg (59.0 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg SF Disks Reduced.jpg (67.6 KB, 34 views)
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