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Soft focus
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:50 am    Post subject: Soft focus Reply with quote

Some time ago i've decided to make myself a true soft focus lens, so today i've gave it a try. Please bear in mind that it is still in very alpha stage, mostly because of lack of necessary tools. Soon i'll post a improved version of it.
Basically i drilled some holes in a thin aluminium foil, pait it black and mounted on a filter (i don't have an extra clear glass filter - UV, skylight etc - so i've used a yellow one. This will change soon) Smile



At the begining, I've used the soft filter on a Nikkor 18-135mm AF lens, only because the diameter fits

but soon afterwords i've remember i have a Sima lens, a singlet that has all the chromatic aberrations i need, so i've used it with this lens:

I calculate that the diaphragm is somewhere around f8-f10. Next, there's a pic taken with Sima wide open ( f2.8 ), no filter attached:


You can clearly see the glowing highlight so this encouraged me to continue. I need to make a bigger central hole, so the diaphragm will be around f5-f6, and also more and concentric small holes Smile Also, a uv filter will be nice, although i can compensate in post process for the yellow cast.

Next step is to use the helix from a broken Helios that i put somewhere, together with the rear element and i will have a brandnewhomemadepoormanshacksoftlens to play with Smile


Last edited by piticu on Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:58 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like my Fuji 85mm f4 not worst at all Wink congrats!


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never heard of that lens. Can you please tell me more?


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't like at all I sold immediately after a few shoots, people from some reason love it and high priced lens. It has inside a similar metal plate what you did. Not my taste.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you like the soft focus, you can get a Porst (Tomioka) 50mm 1.2 and use it a 1.2, the DOF is so small that you get a creamy soft focus in most of the image. An expensive and not an easy lens to use wide open ....

This shot taken with it and the 350D (on a PK-EOS adapter).



Otherwise (smaller apertures) is a clear and precise lens.


Kind regards,
Jes.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard that stretching tights over the lens produces the same effect.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your suggestion Jes, but what i'm looking for is a sharp image overall and glowing highlights. Also some chromatic aberrations towards the sides will be great to see Smile
http://hdl.handle.net/10023/505


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too experiment with soft focus. My favourite at the moment is the single meniscus lens from a Box Brownie. It is used 'wide open' by cutting off the built-in aperture behind the lens. However, my next one I will leave the aperture as it was surprisingly sharp before I removed it:





PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

piticu wrote:
Never heard of that lens. Can you please tell me more?


Similar concept than the famous IMAGON (not my pics, "found" on the net...)









PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot, I have that Kenko Soft Focus MC f2.5/85mm also, delivers nice true soft focus images...but works differently, without the "sieve" plates.



Control to SHARP


Control to SOFT




Looks great for silverware...(increasing level oft softness...)







Women LOVE that effect...very romantic...




[btw. I have two and one sits around unused....lenses I mean Wink Wink ]


Last edited by kds315* on Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:59 pm; edited 6 times in total


PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget the Tiffen "Softnet" filters.They are like the womens hose idea, but with it sandwiched between glass in a filter.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got couple of "soft" filters but the mostly diffuse the light, lowering the contrast also. What i want to get is the glowing highlights too, similar to Imagon or that Kenko lens (any price drop on that one, Keith? Very Happy).
Anyway, i re-made the "filter" this morning:





The first pic is taken with Sima f2.8 wide open, second with my "filter" attached and the last one with a Nikkor 18-135 at 100mm f5.6. In all pic i used also a flash for fill:




Now i'm waiting for a sunny day to test it outside. Also i'm looking for a model too Very Happy


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the lens piticu....


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apologize for that Klaus, now i remember: you got two of them, right? I'm telling you: I'm getting older
"spent cartridge" means the bullet thing? I've used it to smooth the edges of the holes Smile


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We all do piticu, no offense taken!!

I wish you best of success with your contraption!!


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MartinSmith99 asked me to post as I have used a pair of ladies neutral tights as a filter!!

Take a cokin (or similar) filter adaptor, make a frame the size of a filter and stretch a piece of the tights across the cut out, secure the edges with some glue. Depending how much you stretch the nylon depends on the level of softness on the final image. Ideal for weddings and location portraiture


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the fujinon 85 SF.

It's not esay to use, but it's a portrait tool, and in the hands adecuates it will be usefull.

First you have to focus. After pressing together the barrel and a plated ring beside that, till one mark red where stop automatically.

This is for compensate the little puple of focus when you use F/4 and 5,6. Not with smaller apertures.

If you use the lens at F/ 5,6-8, and F/8 you will see only an halo out of focus and the center very sharp.

Great halo? F/4 with center unsharp and F/5,6 with center more sharp but no much.

More sharp? F/ 11 with very little halo less sharp and a center very sharp. At F/ 16 is a common very sharp 85 mm lens .

You have in this lens all the possibilities, in your hands is the hability to do this in the artistic way.

I didn't like this lens, because i didn't know it well. I'm begining to do this.

Rino.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking at this thread, I find myself continuously trying to clean my eyeglasses. Wink

Sorry guys, just kidding Laughing


PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, there is just something about a soft focus lens that just can't be done in photoshop.
I seldom use mine but this gave me an excuse.




145mm Mamiya medium format lens, 40D body. Nothing done to the pic except resizing.

Jules


PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for coming in late.

Apart from the Sima, I also have a Spencer Port-Land from Buffalo NY, also of the same design type. I have to say that the Spencer is a bit of a handful to use: its degree of diffusion is dependent on the aperture used, and to use it at full aperture (maximum diffusion) focussing is very tricky as the axial rays can overpower the on-axis rays, so what seems to be in focus could be out of focus on the negative.

For quite some time now, I have been thinking of making an Imagon-type "sink strainer" discs for both the Sima and the Spencer; been hoping to find the exact specs of them: the bigger hole in the middle would be one producing the "core" image, while the secondary holes surrounding it produce the secondary "halo" images. So the design of the sink strainer disc determines the imtensity ratio between the core and halo, and the rate of the halo dissipates.

Ideally, the sink strainer disc should have an adjustment to shut down the surrounding holes, for the purpose of focussing, then the other holes can be opened up to obtain diffusion.

My problem is to find a way to get the sink strainer discs designed and made to give a known f/stop: no TTL metering with my 4"X5" cameras!


PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

if you take into account only the central hole, and if you know the focal lenght, it's easy to calculate the diameter of that hole to match the wanted fstop but still, you'll want to waste some films to know exactly what you get (trial and error procedure) Smile


PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some samples with a cheap Kood Pro Series Strong Diffuser Df2. It's a square filter that fits to the usual holders.
#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good example to show the differences between a real soft focus lens (which achieves a glow around the subject) and a diffusing filter or PS action which, as the word implies, just diffuses the image and makes it a bit dull and softer - and with those I would agree with Orio that I have a tendency to wipe my glasses clean...

This was shot using the Kenko MC 45mm soft focus lens, straight from the cam (just cropped, resized):



Last edited by kds315* on Wed May 06, 2009 10:37 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
Good example to show the differences between a real soft focus lens (which achieves a glow around the subject) and a diffusing filter or PS action which, as the word implies, just diffuses the image and makes it a bit dull and softer - and with those I would agree with Orio that I have a tendency to wipe my glasses clean...

This was shot using the Kenko MC 45mm soft focus lens, straight from teh cam (just cropped, resized):



Well that explains something Wink


PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Rodenstock Imagon 120mm, also use on my Hasselbald 205TCC...