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questions on new soft focus

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questions on new soft focus posted by Lash October 25, 2009 10:26PM reply | quote
posted by Lash
I have looked at the photos in the gallery, and I have some questions. (Like to understand before I buy.) If anyone has some experience that will help me understand the distinctive qualities of this optic, I would be grateful.

Since this optic does not have a "sweet spot," does bending the lens have any effect? I can imagine that it would change the diffraction of the light, and thus of the colors, but is this speculation correct?

And how does this one compare to the plastic optic? If I read the specs correctly, the new soft focus will be equally soft everywhere, whereas the plastic has differential softness, i.e., the "sweet spot" is less soft than the edges. Is this true?

How does the visual quality of the softness of the new soft focus compare to the visual quality of the plastic optic?
Re: questions on new soft focus posted by kskinner October 30, 2009 11:35PM reply | quote
posted by kskinner

I haven't tried bending with it, but the recommendation is to keep everything straight. And there is something of a sweet spot, it just has a softer focus. You get 3 apertures so you'd be able to experiment with making the central focus more/less sweet. Each aperture has a different configuration of additional holes of different sizes. These "leak" light at different levels onto different parts of the exposure, creating halos of varying types in the picture. In reality, you have a big aperture and a dozen or so small ones. The transitions in soft focus are more gradual and the softness is more granular. The results are nothing alike. I shoot plastic too and would recommend you get the soft focus. It would not be redundant, if that's your concern.

Keith Skinner
Berkeley, CA
Re: questions on new soft focus posted by classcams October 31, 2009 05:38AM reply | quote
posted by classcams
FUJI had a lens that incorporated this soft focus inside the body, then MAMIYA fitted the disc inside one of their medium format lens. On Fuji you had to do a small adjustment to the focus.
Re: questions on new soft focus posted by ranfoto November 08, 2009 07:54AM reply | quote
posted by ranfoto

The new soft focus optic......is probably more for portraits, thus you don't want to think of it as a Bendy optic .

I have owned the Imagon portrait lens that was originally designed for large format view cameras, I used it on my Hasselblad, the focal length became a 250 mm optic so very long, but perfect for those dreamy portraits images.

I wanted a similar look but not so long a focal length, so I started making some multi holed apertures for my single optic Benders.

I think that's why Craig also went in this direction.....for portraits, but of course it's never going to be like a true Imagon lens.......but hey ......for the investment you may get some very nice softy images .

Just remember this ol' trick, when using these soft focus optics use a very direct or hard light source.....you want as much contrast as possible .....you don't want too mushy of an image, the contrast helps the apparent sharpness for a more pleasing rendition......in my opinion that is .

There's no hard and fast rules in Bending, so test and see what you like .
Re: questions on new soft focus posted by Bender November 08, 2009 08:16AM reply | quote
posted by Bender

I agree about trying to capture scenes that have a lot of contrast. I've noticed that if I adjust contrast too much in post processing I will lose some of that soft effect so better to get it right from the start rather than try to fix it later.

Re: questions on new soft focus posted by ranfoto November 09, 2009 04:23AM reply | quote
posted by ranfoto

Right.....digital and post processing is wonderful up to a point, but getting it together in capture is the best way.

That's part of the learning curve, in the ol' days when all we had was film to capture our images with, you had to test and experiment .

Digital and all the great post processing software has made us lazy, but if you want you aRt to be first class, you've still got to figure it out and then capture it .

There's still a big debate on wheather to capture on film first, then convert to digital for the best quality or just buy the latest digi sensors available.

I haven't thrown my film cameras away yet, but keeping up with the latest digiware is just getting too expensive .

Film keeps one honest, but someday we won't be able to get any.....so you have to keep up with technology.....at least learning never gets old :))

Hee!.....how's that for getting off topic ?

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