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03-03-2019, 06:09 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Love / Hate with the HD D FA50/1.4

I'm a fan, don't mistake the title but I'm finding I'm hating it for portraiture, it just resolves too much detail even at f/1.4! Case in point, we had a couple of models in my local photoclub last Tuesday, a 60 something gentleman and a 20 something woman. Now either he had a seriously close shave that afternoon that distorted the result but I can make out more hairs on her face

I have seen that the 'experts' on the interweb demand more and more sharpness across the frame but if this carries on I can see Pentax dusting off the designs for the 85 Soft series and creating a whole new lens design dynamic.

I'd expect this and want this from a macro but a standard lens?

03-03-2019, 06:19 PM   #2
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There are times we don't want to see unattractive details. Use a soft none directional light and a wide lens opening. In severe cases, put on a filter that can diffuse the light (Vaseline trick).
03-03-2019, 06:20 PM   #3
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Just shoot with the trusty Tak 50 1.4
03-03-2019, 06:32 PM - 1 Like   #4
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Smear vaseline on the front element - case closed!



03-03-2019, 06:49 PM - 4 Likes   #5
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It's easy to apply softening in post processing, either selectively or globally. Much harder to (reliably) go the other way.
03-03-2019, 09:11 PM   #6
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Retouch artists probably rejoice seeing such problems
03-03-2019, 10:27 PM   #7
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I'm absolutely in love with the DFA*50! I guess I'm just a warts-and-all kinda guy.
03-03-2019, 10:58 PM   #8
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Love/hate is good. I have DA*55 and it is more gentle on portraits, just because. But It would be great to have love/hate relationship with DFA*50/1,4..

03-03-2019, 11:45 PM   #9
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Just de-focus it by a millimetre. Problem solved

But seriously, starting with sharp is a good place to be. B&W make a 72mm soft focus filter. Cinematographers used to stretch a stocking over the lens hood.
03-04-2019, 12:57 AM - 1 Like   #10
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As already said: vaseline on front element protective filter, stockings, soft focus lens or filter. I personally use soft focus DIY lenses or diminish High frequency layer opacity in post-processing. Soft focus lens has less contrast but beautiful softness
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03-04-2019, 01:31 AM   #11
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I've still got some soft focus filters that I occasionally used back in my film days when I shot more portraits and used the mighty FA* 85mm F1.4. I used to sometimes deliberately over-expose shots as well, as that helped smoothing skin tone - especially in B&W.

I haven't done much portraiture with the FA* 85mm F1.4 and my K1 since I got the latter, but suspect I might need to dust down the soft-focus filters.
03-04-2019, 02:02 AM   #12
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If it's too sharp use photoshop to blur it. You can always blur things, but you can't get back the details from a soft image.
For me it's only a few seconds to do it in lightroom with the brush tool.
03-04-2019, 02:19 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Smear vaseline on the front element - case closed!
You can smear vaseline on the back element too ...!
03-04-2019, 02:32 AM - 1 Like   #14
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Lets put an end to this smear campaign on HD fa 50/1.4. Leave its front element clear to look out to its bright future on the horizon.
03-04-2019, 03:01 AM   #15
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There is a process in photoshop to apply slight gaussian blur to areas of the face that don't need to be sharp, I think it can be done in about 5 minutes or less per photo once you get the hang of it.

I would say it's basically a requirement when using an ultra sharp lens if you want the subjects to feel good about the photos, unless they have flawless skin to start or they know how to do make up very well/you're working with a make up artist.
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