Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-25-2009, 06:26 PM   #31
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
post-process, since having a soft filter nor soft lens wouldn't require you to do post-processing just to achieve that same and similar effect. when I said same, that would mean completely identical.
A soft focus lens will deliver results that are often not achievable -- or very difficult to emulate -- in post processing or by using a filter, whatever the amount of time you spend to tweak your picture in Photoshop.

Here are a couple of pictures taken with the Fujinon 85/4 Soft Focus lens:





These were taken with the Pentax FA 85/2.8 Soft Focus lens:





And a few with the Tamron Adaptall SP 70-150/2.8 Soft Focus Zoom:









Cheers!

Abbazz

12-25-2009, 09:43 PM   #32
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,134
Soft focus lenses have an aperture "stopper" consisting of a centre hole, usually around f/8, surrounded by smaller holes in a circle. As you open the aperture, more and more of the light rays striking the film/sensor are from the other holes. This creates a glow around subjects that is impossible to get any other way, except for really tricky darkroom (or light room) work.

To do it in the darkroom, we exposed the printing paper with a sharp image, then defocused the enlarger and exposed again to provide the glow. It was very, very tricky to get exactly the effect we wanted. The two exposures were neither full, but the ratio between them, and the amount we defocused the enlarger were variables whose effects were only visible after the paper was developed. Others were quite good at it, but I never, ever, got the effect on the first, third or nth try.
12-25-2009, 10:49 PM   #33
Veteran Member




Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The Untied States
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,882
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Soft focus lenses have an aperture "stopper" consisting of a centre hole, usually around f/8, surrounded by smaller holes in a circle. As you open the aperture, more and more of the light rays striking the film/sensor are from the other holes. This creates a glow around subjects that is impossible to get any other way, except for really tricky darkroom (or light room) work.
That's one way of achieving a soft effect, but there are numerous others. I believe Pentax lenses work different.
12-25-2009, 11:08 PM   #34
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,134
QuoteOriginally posted by wallyb Quote
That's one way of achieving a soft effect, but there are numerous others. I believe Pentax lenses work different.
Thanks for the information! I just looked up the specifications for the Pentax soft focus lenses. They did not use the multi-hole method. They incorporated a lens without spherical aberration correction in front of the aperture. This has a much similar effect to the "holy" disk method I described above. In both cases, out of focus images are produced around the perimeter. Stopping down hides the out of focus images. This effect is what produces the glow that is so attractive, and almost impossible to attain after the image is recorded.

Thanks again for sending me out to look!

12-25-2009, 11:14 PM   #35
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Soft focus lenses have an aperture "stopper" consisting of a centre hole, usually around f/8, surrounded by smaller holes in a circle. As you open the aperture, more and more of the light rays striking the film/sensor are from the other holes. This creates a glow around subjects that is impossible to get any other way, except for really tricky darkroom (or light room) work.
This is true for some soft focus lenses, but not for all. For example, my Fujinon 85/4 has a perforated aperture disc -- the rather particular specular highlights on the above pictures are a telltale sign. The most famous lens with a "tea strainer" aperture disc is the Rodenstock Imagon, an expensive large format portrait lens. The perforated disc has a central hole to let the light rays pass through the sharper central zone of the lens and smaller holes at the periphery to block all but a small amount of aberrant light rays coming from the outer area of the lens. The Imagon has three different discs with peripheral holes of increasing diameter in order to control the amount of softness. Here's a picture of the Fujinon showing the perforated disc:


Picture linked from Yorisan's website

On the other hand, neither the Pentax FA 85/2.8 nor the Tamron Adaptall SP 70-150/2.8 has a perforated aperture disc, despite the fact they also rely on under-corrected spherical aberration, just like the Fujinon. With the Pentax lens, one has to use the aperture setting to control the amount of softness in the image, (the softness is maximal at F/2.8, and disappears at F/11 and above) while the Tamron lens is equipped with a dedicated "soft" ring, which allows the user to adjust the amount of softness independently of the aperture setting by moving an optical element inside the lens.

Cheers!

Abbazz

Last edited by Abbazz; 12-25-2009 at 11:19 PM.
12-26-2009, 12:03 AM   #36
Loyal Site Supporter
Canada_Rockies's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sparwood, BC, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 9,134
Thanks, Abbazz. That Fujinon is what I remember about softs. I did look up the Pentax method, and it uses a lens that is not corrected for spherical aberrations.
12-26-2009, 11:54 AM   #37
Veteran Member
Ben_Edict's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SouthWest "Regio"
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,303
QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Thanks, Abbazz. That Fujinon is what I remember about softs. I did look up the Pentax method, and it uses a lens that is not corrected for spherical aberrations.
The Nikon 135 soft focus takes that even further, as you can dial in the amount of spherical correction, from corrected to under- and overcorrection, to achieve the desired result. It's a wonderful lens, though much more expensive than the Pentax one.

Ben
12-26-2009, 06:27 PM   #38
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
The Nikon 135 soft focus takes that even further, as you can dial in the amount of spherical correction, from corrected to under- and overcorrection, to achieve the desired result. It's a wonderful lens, though much more expensive than the Pentax one.
Ben, if you are talking about the Nikon 135/2 DC, then technically it's not a soft focus lens but rather a lens with "variable bokeh," as it allows the user to control the amount of spherical aberration in the out of focus areas. For further details, you may want to see Ken Rockwell's web page or Dante Stella's web page about the 105/2 DC.

On the other hand, there are a few lenses with a ring to control the soft focus effect independently of the aperture. One of them is the elusive Tamron Adaptall SP 70-150/2.8 zoom (model 51A) already mentioned in my previous post. It's a very sharp zoom when used with the "Soft" ring on "0" -- and fast too -- but it becomes increasingly soft when the ring is switched to "1," "2" or "3." This incredibly useful lens is one of my favorite Adaptall lenses (together with the 06B Adaptall SP 350/5.6 mirror lens). Here's a picture of it mounted on my (now defunct) K10D -- you can see it's not to bulky for an F/2.8 constant zoom:



And here are a few more pictures taken with it, with various positions of the Soft control:













Cheers!

Abbazz

12-26-2009, 08:11 PM   #39
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,043
QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
Ben, if you are talking about the Nikon 135/2 DC, then technically it's not a soft focus lens but rather a lens with "variable bokeh," as it allows the user to control the amount of spherical aberration in the out of focus areas. For further details, you may want to see Ken Rockwell's web page or Dante Stella's web page about the 105/2 DC.

On the other hand, there are a few lenses with a ring to control the soft focus effect independently of the aperture. One of them is the elusive Tamron Adaptall SP 70-150/2.8 zoom (model 51A) already mentioned in my previous post. It's a very sharp zoom when used with the "Soft" ring on "0" -- and fast too -- but it becomes increasingly soft when the ring is switched to "1," "2" or "3." This incredibly useful lens is one of my favorite Adaptall lenses (together with the 06B Adaptall SP 350/5.6 mirror lens). Here's a picture of it mounted on my (now defunct) K10D -- you can see it's not to bulky for an F/2.8 constant zoom:



And here are a few more pictures taken with it, with various positions of the Soft control:













Cheers!

Abbazz
Wow, that lens gives UGLY rendering doesn't it?
12-26-2009, 09:15 PM   #40
Senior Member




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 121
Here's a pair of pics from the K series F/2.2 85mm for reference

Last edited by ga-hing; 03-24-2010 at 01:10 PM.
12-26-2009, 10:58 PM   #41
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Israel
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 943
Here is a shot that I made with F 85/2.8: http://not.contaxg.com/document.php?id=11097&full=1

It also got accepted in PPG.
12-27-2009, 03:43 AM   #42
Veteran Member
Abbazz's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Myanmar
Posts: 510
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Wow, that lens gives UGLY rendering doesn't it?
The bokeh is usually not very pretty with modern soft focus lenses, because they use spherical aberration, which makes the background highlights turn into bright circles. To be able to get the maximum soft focus effect, one has to use the lens in a controlled environment (studio) or to make sure to shoot against a neutral background (sky). Most pictures in my above post were deliberately shot at maximum aperture with the soft effect ring on the maximum setting for illustration purposes only. I wouldn't shoot a portrait using these settings, except for a special effect look. Here are some pictures taken wide open with this superb lens with the "Soft" ring on "0" or "1" -- as you can see, the rendering is rather beautiful (click on any picture to see it full size):









Another side effect of the spherical aberration is to increase the apparent depth of field. Here are two pictures taken at F/4. The first one had the "Soft" ring on "1" and the second one had the ring on "3" (maximum):





Cheers!

Abbazz
12-27-2009, 04:19 AM   #43
Veteran Member
georgweb's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Berlin, Germany
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,381
Abbazz, the boy swimming is a really beautiful photo imo. Some more Pentax soft focus here http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Pentax+Soft+Focus

Here's a ghetto soft lens,


This lens has been stripped of the back unit. AFAIR many dedicated soft lenses only have a few front elements and nothing in the back, quite similar.
What you get here is a sharp center and all kinds of abberations into the corners. More about this lens and other follies here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/64271-impossible-lens-club.html

As far as the 'is it good' question is concerned, I always translate this to: Will its worth increase in the cabinet. In that regard soft focus lenses seem to be less
desirable than 'sharp' lenses, although quite rare.

Best, Georg (the other)

Last edited by georgweb; 12-27-2009 at 04:30 AM.
12-31-2009, 06:52 AM   #44
Veteran Member
Ben_Edict's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: SouthWest "Regio"
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,303
QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
Ben, if you are talking about the Nikon 135/2 DC, then technically it's not a soft focus lens but rather a lens with "variable bokeh," as it allows the user to control the amount of spherical aberration in the out of focus areas. For further details, you may want to see Ken Rockwell's web page or Dante Stella's web page about the 105/2 DC.
I know that lens, I have used it myself.
Also, just let's have a look at Nikon's official description, which seems to match exacly, what I would expect from a soft focus lens:

"DC
AF DC-NIKKOR lenses — unique NIKKOR lenses for unique portraits
AF DC-NIKKOR lenses feature exclusive Nikon Defocus-image Control technology. This allows photographers to control the degree of spherical aberration in the foreground or background by rotating the lens’ DC ring. This will create a rounded out-of-focus blur that is ideal for portrait photography. No other lenses in the world offer this special technique."

This is a very similar effect to any other specialised soft focus lens, except that the Nikon one allows the spherical aberration control independently of the aperture (quite similar to your Tamron zoom,, after which I was chasing some time ago...), whereas most other SF lenses will have an out-of-focus effect very much dependend on the aperture. What we commonly call "soft focus" lenses always produces a sharp "core" image, overlayed with an image softend by spherical aberration or a multi-opening aperture (the Imagons of this world).

You may argue with some right, that then the term "soft focus lens" is simply wrong. That's true. On the other hand, it is just a convention, to use that term.

Ben

Last edited by Ben_Edict; 01-01-2010 at 08:33 AM.
12-31-2009, 10:16 AM   #45
Pentaxian
Mike.P's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Coast .. UK
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,734
I have the Adaptall 2 70-150mm, used it once and never bothered again. It sits in a cupboard now, never used. Just didnt like the output.

Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
focus, focus lenses, k-mount, lenses, pentax, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Soft Place: Post Your Soft Focus Images jeffkpotter Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 64 04-22-2014 05:39 PM
The Soft Place: Post Your Soft Focus Images jeffkpotter Post Your Photos! 22 04-23-2009 09:04 PM
soft or out of focus kiwao Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 13 10-01-2008 02:02 PM
soft focus TheFunk Photographic Technique 2 03-04-2008 10:01 PM
Soft focus lenses, any experience out there? Ole Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10 06-09-2007 09:48 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:57 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top