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08-12-2014, 03:25 PM   #31
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Yes, soft focus lenses aren't easy to use. Compared with my old trusty Pentax 6x7, with the 120mm soft focus, the use of soft lenses with digital cameras is definitely a pain where the sun doesn't shine...
Practice helps a LOT. Just imagine how difficult it was, for the portrait photographer (or the pictorialist) of more than 100 years ago, to focus the subject on the ground glass, then rack back the front standard of the right amount, based on experience, to have a properly focused image on the film!
Live view helps as much as practice, that's why i'm happy with my K-01.
Btw, does any reader know about a cheap chinese shade for the display of the K-01?
I'd like to buy one on Ebay, i've seen a few adjustable ones sold for quite cheap, but i'd like to know how they fit the K-01, if they are a pain to attach/remove, etc etc
The only real complaint about mirrorless cameras is that when there is too much back light the screen is unreadable, and when there is too little light... the AF system goes mad!

cheers

Paolo

08-12-2014, 07:53 PM   #32
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It isn't difficult to focus an image on a ground glass, its easier than focussing an image in an optical viewfinder for me. Focus aids help with the ovf and close that gap.


35mm and to some extent 6x6 roll film made some things harder as well as making other things easier.


You just work out your system and stick to it.
03-04-2016, 01:43 PM   #33
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Hello, I wanted to create a new SOFT lens club, then I discovered that thread that does exactly what I intended to do : i.e. to see some sample shots made with these soft "special" lenses. I know we can achieve the same effect with other means, but I'd be more interested to see what those special lenses can do...
I recently acquired a FA 85 mm SOFT and I started to play with it (one example here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/315172-nature-up-tree-squirrel-view.html), but I find it hard to find a good context for it... so if more people post examples, it may inspire others on its best use...


Here are a couple shots I have done in recently...


Some street photography at night



Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC at Night
by Sylvain Cote, sur Flickr



Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC at Night
by Sylvain Cote, sur Flickr






at around f5.6

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC at Night
by Sylvain Cote, sur Flickr


same at near f2.8

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC at Night
by Sylvain Cote, sur Flickr





Les Tissus du Québec
by Sylvain Cote, sur Flickr



Restaurant le Comptoir
by Sylvain Cote, sur Flickr
03-05-2016, 03:49 AM - 1 Like   #34
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I cant see any comment on Tamron SP 70-150/2.8 soft focus.

I have this lens. It is razor sharp when used with no soft focus, one of the best zooms. Use with Pentax A adapter, or any mount you want.
Soft focus is challenging. The lens has different soft characters for
- distance
- zoom setting
- aperture setting
- soft focus setting

Finding the right balance among these 4 dimensions was not easy, but I had, and still have, a lot of fun when I use the lens.
Here are some old samples:
Tamron 70-150 f2.8 soft focus

03-05-2016, 10:01 AM   #35
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I found some other samples too, but on nikon D800:
Tamron SP 70-150mm f2.8 soft focus D800
03-05-2016, 02:11 PM   #36
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I see that my thread is still alive...
I'm pleased!

I just received the Tamron SP f/2.5 70-150mm Soft Focus. I've been waiting for a decently priced one for quite a long time.
I found one!
I will do my best to test it.
Lately i couldn't use my SF lenses that much. Absolutely zero with my large format lenses (i don't shoot large format anymore, but i still treasure my vast collection of LF glasses), and i had very few chances to enjoy those usable with my Pentax digital camera.
I live abroad and i mostly do travel photography, and the only manual focus lenses i take with me are a f/1.2 50mm and a macro 90mm.
Now i'm back home for some time, i intend to put through its paces each of the SF lenses i own.
Those readily usable with an APS-C sensor are those present in the list linked in my signature (click on "LENSES USED WITH DSLRs").
The large format glasses have too long focals to be really usable. The only one worth a try is a very old "Plasticca" (in barrel, of relatively short focal), which could be adapted in some way to a focusing helicoid or bellows. I'm dubious, though. Good luck mastering a lens affected by strong chromatic aberration!

Here are two portraits taken by my girlfriend (poor focusing!), as simple tests.
shot with the old 85mm series K, at different diaphragms:







EDIT:
Removed the first pic because it was taken with a Helios 44-2 2/58mm wide open. Not tack sharp but definitely not SF either!

Cheers

Paolo

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 03-29-2016 at 05:21 PM.
03-29-2016, 05:38 PM   #37
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Posted a review of the Tamron 70-150mm Soft Focus Adaptall-2 lens, with sample pics.
There are even the links at 72dpi/full size, for pixel peepers. Not that pixel peeping makes much sense with soft focus lenses... but at least the particular rendition (sharp layer + glow) can be inspected with ease.
After a few shooting sessions with the 85mm series K, and now with my new Tamron zoom, it's time to test the 135mm Sofy Focus for the Pentax 6x7.
I used a borrowed one long time ago, on film.
The results were astounding: the best 6x7 portraits i've ever done.
I'll see how it performs on digital. Waiting for the K-1, i'll try it on my K-5 II and K-01.
Here are a few pics of the lens alone, of the original Pentax adapter, and of the lens + adapter:









I'll post a couple of sample images as soon as i have time to try it.
In the meantime, if you like to see a few samples taken with the Tamron, go to
Third Party Lens Reviews; Adaptall-2 Tamron Zooms; last review of the 70-150mm SF

cheers

P

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 03-29-2016 at 05:48 PM.
03-30-2016, 04:10 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Weevil Quote
Hello, I wanted to create a new SOFT lens club, then I discovered that thread that does exactly what I intended to do : i.e. to see some sample shots made with these soft "special" lenses. I know we can achieve the same effect with other means, but I'd be more interested to see what those special lenses can do...
How come I didn't see these beautiful night pictures earlier? Thank you so much for sharing them!

By the way, I would like to see how the guy who was advertising the Nik plug-in as a much more convenient solution than a real soft-focus lens would emulate these results! The FA 85 Soft Focus lens is able to deliver stunning images, with a combination of a diffuse layer and a beautiful glow. The Nik Soft Focus Effect is nothing more than a gaussian blur layered on top of a sharp image. There is also a Nik Glow Effect, which is not bad, but doesn't come close to the effect delivered by a real soft focus lens.

Cheers!

Abbazz

03-30-2016, 01:15 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
How come I didn't see these beautiful night pictures earlier? Thank you so much for sharing them!

By the way, I would like to see how the guy who was advertising the Nik plug-in as a much more convenient solution than a real soft-focus lens would emulate these results! The FA 85 Soft Focus lens is able to deliver stunning images, with a combination of a diffuse layer and a beautiful glow. The Nik Soft Focus Effect is nothing more than a gaussian blur layered on top of a sharp image. There is also a Nik Glow Effect, which is not bad, but doesn't come close to the effect delivered by a real soft focus lens.

Cheers!

Abbazz

Thanks!
I really like the effects of soft lens at night


Actually, I started a Lens Club Lenses where anyone can post their photos (not as technical as this thread, just show us your photos with soft lenses)


https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/316386-soft-lenses-club-sh...al-lenses.html
03-30-2016, 02:05 PM   #40
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I love soft-focus lenses, and am glade to see this thread. I do agree it deserves a "soft" club.

But I found they are a little hard to use in digital, at least on APS format. I have FA 85 and K85, and a very interesting sears 135/2.8 with soft control, and an almost toy-like sima (not sigma) plastic soft lens.

I used FA 85 one on film before, and now on DSLR, I always feel it is "too soft" on digital and I have to stop the lens quite a lot to get the right amount of "glow". But I remember on film camera, even F 2.8-4 was usable. i bought K85 soft recently and found the same thing.

Does any one noticed same issue? Is it possible the "crop" sensor amplifies the glow? Or the digital sensor is more sensitive to show the glow? Or only because the film photos were not printed large enough to see the problem?

So I was looking for a Tamron 51A for a while, since it has its own softness control aside from aperture ring.

BTW, here is one of the first two photos I took with the "sima 85". It has quite strong chromatic aberration for "soft", so the color is quite out of control, but it could be fun

The other lens gave pretty "right amount of glow" is Tokina 80-400, although it is not a soft-focus lens. here is one from 400mm end, wide open

Last edited by grahame; 03-30-2016 at 02:15 PM.
03-31-2016, 09:53 AM   #41
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You're right, the two Pentax 85mm optical projects (F/FA and K) are easier to use on film.
Achieving proper focusing isn't a breeze either, due to the small ground glass of the APS-C format.
Not the same with the Tamron 51A, though.
The soft focus effect is subtler, and easier to control. Actually i'm pumping up the SF most of the times.
The more the light is diffused, the more you need to do it. At least according to my personal taste.
I'm still mid-way of the learning curve, it takes a while to "understand" soft focus lenses.

cheers

P
04-01-2016, 11:43 PM   #42
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Cyberjunkie - I'm pretty certain you missed focus on those portraits. Kind of illustrates the difficulty in nailing focus manually with these lenses, especially the K version. Take this photo from my old house's front yard, the flowers and bee are still in focus, just rendered glowing and soft. At 2.2 or 2.8 probably...



QuoteOriginally posted by grahame Quote
85 one on film before, and now on DSLR, I always feel it is "too soft" on digital and I have to stop the lens quite a lot to get the right amount of "glow". But I remember on film camera, even F 2.8-4 was usable. i bought K85 soft recently and found the same thing.
Does any one noticed same issue? Is it possible the "crop" sensor amplifies the glow? Or the digital sensor is more sensitive to show the glow? Or only because the film photos were not printed large enough to see the problem?
I think it's at least partly due to the crop factor (getting only the middle of the image circle instead of getting the whole picture as the lens was designed for) and partly due to the much less forgiving nature of a digital sensor. I don't have anything uploaded but have tried a few rolls of color neg film with the K85 on my now departed LX and I seem to remember the effect being still pretty crazy at f2.2 and f2.8. The subject matter has a lot to do with whether or not it's effective imo.


I should add some of my sample shots from 2014 with a K85 f2.2, from f2.2 to f5.6







(this shot really illustrates what I was trying to say above about the crop)



Yellow flower, also at the Hot Springs, from f2.2 to f5.6










Finally, a comparison of a the K85 at f5.6...



...and the DA18-135 @88mm and f5.6 as well I think.

04-02-2016, 03:01 AM   #43
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Yes, focusing is off!
My girlfriend doesn't feel very comfortable with the live view of the K-01...

Here is a shot with the Tamron:



Diffused light, f/3.5, SF ring to 3.
Focusing is tricky, i should have focused on the flowers on the foreground, and not on the branch behind them.

cheers

P

Last edited by cyberjunkie; 04-02-2016 at 03:25 AM.
04-02-2016, 07:34 AM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by cyberjunkie Quote
I'll post a couple of sample images as soon as i have time to try it.
Paolo,

Enjoyed your review of the Tamron 70-150 and am looking forward to seeing how the Pentax 120 works on digital. I used one when I had a 6X7 and I agree it was fantastic portrait lens. I haven't used soft focus lenses as much on digital cameras but just recently, after our discussion on lenses, I pulled out my K85 2.2 and started shooting with it again. I seems that it had a better look on film than it does on my ASPC digital cameras, but that could just be user error. As Skierd pointed out it is probably due to the sensor only seeing the center of the lenses image circle. If this is the fact I wonder how the 120 will fare on an ASPC camera. I am hoping that it works well, because if it does I'm going to have to pick up an adapter and try it out myself.

Steve
04-03-2016, 11:13 AM   #45
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Another possible reason:
focusing problems.
With the Tamron it is not so evident, but both 85mm's are very difficult to focus on modern DSLR cameras.
There are a number of concurring reasons.
1) the APS-C sized ground glass is smaller than the 35mm one
2) digital cameras have very finely ground focusing screens (the image is more luminous, but precise focusing with MF lenses, especially fast ones, isn't easy at all!)
3) i don't trust the focus confirmation "beep" anymore; some shots that are clearly off were taken after the focus confirmation led lit at the right spot. There could be a fron/back focus issue. I have to check.

I'd like to try to focus with my K10D, which is fitted with a cheap chinese ground glass (microprism and split image).
It is a perfect solution for fast primes, maybe i could work well with SF lenses too.
I don't have the camera here, but i ope i will get it soon...

cheers

P
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