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09-15-2011, 04:58 AM   #1
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Pentax K 85mm f/2.2 Soft

Here's a sample from this great old soft focus lens.

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09-15-2011, 08:33 AM   #2
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Normally most of us look for the sharpest high contrast lenses we can afford. This lens is anything but sharp. I rented one of these a few years ago. Perfect lens for producing soft out-of-focus images. A lot of folks like the flattering way it smoothes out wrinkles and other misfortunes of the face. If you do a lot of portraiture it produces better results than spreading gel over a filter. A specialty lens for sure but an iteresting one.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 09-16-2011 at 04:53 AM.
10-23-2011, 07:11 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Normally most of us look for the sharpest high contrast lenses we can afford. This lens is anything but sharp. I rented one of these a few years ago. Perfect lens for producing soft out-of-focus images. A lot of folks like the flattering way it smoothes out wrinkles and other misfortunes of the face. If you do a lot of portraiture it produces better results than spreading gel over a filter. A specialty lens for sure but an iteresting one.

Tom G
The beauty of a good soft focus lens is the fact that they are are not "out-of-focus". A quality soft focus lens will almost give a layered look (focused but with highlights diffusing into the shadows). This dual nature (sharp and soft) is why it is hard to dublicate it in photoshop. This sharpness within the veil of diffusion is also why just using a crappy lens that is extremely soft wide open cannot duplicate the look (also the reasons that vaseline on filter and other tricks fail as well). That being said, 90% of the population probably won't notice the difference because they don't take the time to really look at the photo - they just chalk it up to being soft and move on.

Quality soft focus lenses have exploded in popularity (and price) in the large format world the within the last 5-10years. I wouldn't doubt that the smaller formats will follow the LF lead and also become more popular with time. I think it is probably a backlash against the perfect/sterile look of most modern lenses (probably the same reason that lomography is thriving).
07-04-2014, 12:14 AM   #4
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Picked up a nice copy from Japan on eBay earlier this week, and I think this going to be a lot of fun to use when the situation arises. I've had fun over the last couple days trying to figure it out and I'm really starting to like it. All shots are straight out of the camera jpgs out of a Pentax K30, going from softest (2.2) to sharpest (5.6), shot on the aperture detents at 2.2, 3.3ish, 4.5ish, and 5.6. I haven't seen much out there as far as good examples of shots from this lens yet so I figured I'd add to the knowledge base!

Bike rack at Chena Hot Springs Resort outside of Fairbanks, AK










Yellow flower, also at the Hot Springs










It definitely is going to take some getting used to, and it's certainly not an everyday lens, but if you're willing to explore it's effects and what it can do there's a lot of potential for some amazing shots with it.

07-04-2014, 03:26 AM   #5
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the 4,5 / 5,6 aperture value would probably gives great results on film, with a background full of leaves.
08-06-2014, 01:17 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I can't remember what aperture i was using, definitely not wide open


quite difficult lens to use
04-23-2016, 10:31 AM - 1 Like   #7
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A few shots with this charismatic little beauty taken this afternoon, one stop up from the smallest aperture (I find wide open too much for most subjects)...







04-26-2016, 04:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by oceanpriest Quote
I can't remember what aperture i was using, definitely not wide open


quite difficult lens to use
Nice series. I have the SMC Pentax-F 85mm f 2.8 and will try to start posting some work from this interesting lens.

04-26-2016, 04:47 AM   #9
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Posted an album of 3 shots.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/74826-denik/albums/10478-pentax-8...cture96239.jpg
04-26-2016, 04:48 AM   #10
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Soft focus flower

Here one from my garden . . .
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04-26-2016, 07:07 AM   #11
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Few more softies Pentax-F 85mm soft

Wondering whether the moderators would permit setting up a Softie Lens Club--intended for display and discussion of images taken with the soft apertures of lens such as the SMC Pentax-F 85mm f 2.8 soft and similar lens/
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