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© Ute Reckhorn

Soft Focus II Impressions


  • 3 min read

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 160 | 1/250 | Sony a7rIII


In February of 2021, I challenged myself to shoot my self-portraiture for 30-days using only Lensbaby lenses and optics. Self-portraiture can prove intimidating, and adding a creative manual focus lens into the mix can feel like a formidable feat. These lenses and optics soon proved to be the missing pieces to bringing my visions to life. Over a year later, I'm still shooting my work primarily with Lensbaby gear, and I haven't looked back.

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 320 | 1/250 | Sony a7rIII
 
 

Recently, I had the opportunity to be a beta tester for a new optic, The Soft Focus II, by Lensbaby. The Soft Focus II optic fits into my Composer Pro II and judging by my results, it will stay there for a long time to come. This new optic has significant potential in aiding me in my future work.

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 160 | 1/800 | Sony a7rIII

 

My first impression was that it gave a similar feel to my Velvet 56 when I shot between f/2.8 and f/2.5. There was a familiar smoothness and a glow reminiscent of the Velvet line, but I felt the glow was more substantial than the Velvets upon deeper inspection.

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 320 | 1/250 | Sony a7rIII


"The softness, blur, and luminous glow immediately brought me into that dreamworld atmosphere I am drawn to so deeply."


I usually shoot fairly wide as a self-portrait artist, only stopping down to f/2.8 at most. When I began testing the Soft Focus II, I shot at f/2.5 - f/2.8. The softness, blur, and luminous glow immediately brought me into that dreamworld atmosphere I am drawn to so deeply. I then decided to try out f/4 and was pleasantly surprised with my results.

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 320 | 1/250 | Sony a7rIII

 

There was a level of detail and structure brought out in the image, yet it still had a smoothness and softness to it. I usually use three editing software programs for my black and white images. When shooting at f/4, I achieved the same qualities as I typically do in my second editing program. It could essentially allow me to skip a step in my editing process.

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 160 | 1/800 | Sony a7rIII

 

I want my art to give the viewer the feeling of looking through an old vintage book of fairytales. I'm not looking for sharp, precise details, and I like the imagination to come into play. I want the viewer whisked away into another world and time. The process of creating is of vital importance to me. Similar results may be possible in post-processing, but I want to spend as much time in the creative moment as possible. I want to look through my viewfinder and already begin to feel I'm there in that far away land. I want to see the results on the back of my camera and feel the excitement of knowing I was able to achieve my vision. Lensbaby's products help make all of this possible for me.

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 320 | 1/120 | Sony a7rIII

 

I am looking forward to the Spring and Summer months when the foliage begins to fill in the empty gaps, and I can test out the magnetic drop-in aperture disks as a new way to bring more wonder and enchantment into my imagery. The Soft Focus II optic will now be on my camera until further notice!

 

Lensbaby Soft Focus II | ISO | 160 | 1/200 | Sony a7rIII


 

Want your shots featured by Lensbaby?⁠
Be bold and shoot extraordinary! Make sure to tag your photos on IG with #Lensbaby, #ShootExtraordinary, and let us know what gear you’re using. 📸 ⁠

 


Sharon Covert

Sharon Covert resides in Tinton Falls, New Jersey, along the Jersey Shore. With a strong focus on conceptual self-portraiture, Sharon teaches multiple online classes, including her 4-week course, Expressive Self Portraiture. She believes self-portraiture helps artists process their emotions and life experiences through art and creativity while giving them a healing outlet through self-expression. Sharon's work has been published and featured in numerous magazines and juried art exhibitions worldwide. She is proud to be both a Lensbaby Ambassador and Click Pro Ambassador.

 

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