Soft focus lenses in 35mm

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Softie, May 19, 2009.

  1. Softie

    Softie Member

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    I'm looking to make up a 35mm kit around a few soft focus lenses. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any central listing of soft focus lenses produced for 35mm cameras. Furthermore, no manufacturer appears to have made a complete set of wide, normal, and telephoto soft focus lenses (Pentax seems to have come the closest with a 28mm and an 85mm).

    So I thought I'd ask and see if the community could list all of the known 35mm format soft focus lenses. I'll kick it off with Nikon:

    105mm f/2 DC
    135mm f/2 DC
    90mm f/4.8 fun fun lens
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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  3. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Stick a cheap filter on whatever focal length lens you wish was a soft-focus, and dip a Q-tip in a bit of vaseline, and apply some of the vaseline to the filter. Start with a very little bit, and add more for the effect you are seeking.
     
  5. tomkatf

    tomkatf Member

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    Canon FD 85mm f/2.8

    Had this lens briefly in the '80's and have missed it ever since... beautiful "real" soft focus by introducing varying degrees of spherical abberation when used in the soft modes, unlike filters, vaseline, etc. which just blur or fog... Also can be used as a normally sharp lens... Have considered buying this lens and a Canon body for dedicated soft focus shooting!
    See here:

    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/fdlenses/85mmsoft.htm

    HTH,
    Tom
     
  6. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Softie;

    If you do not like Doug's suggestion, Adorama has a special on right now for Zeiss "Softar" filters you can put on the front of just about any lens. Most of them are B+W filters, although there is a Heliopan "Softar" at Adorama that has a special on right now that includes free shipping.

    Just for reference, these are listed there from $ 191 up to $ 282. Just a thought.
     
  7. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Tamron made an SP soft focus 70-150 f2.8 Adaptall 2 Zoom, which is not too easy to find. The Zeiss Softar I and II filters can be used to give a soft focus affect to your existing lens. Others made soft focus filters, however the Zeiss were top rated ones. They also cost more. Your might also try a little vasoline around the edges of clear filter or maybe even a little sandpaper to sand the edges of an old filter. Panty hose stretched over a lens with a central hole burned with a cigarett works. This may keep you going for awhile. Bill Barber
     
  8. JohnArs

    JohnArs Subscriber

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    I have the Imagon 120mm, the Dreamagon 90mm, and a Simda 100mm,the lens baby about 50mm, further also the 135 DC all with Nikon mount.
    All have variable SF setting.

    Cheers Armin
     
  9. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    I know that Canon EOS is not terribly popular in film circles. But in that particular system, the only soft focus lens available is the 135/2.8.
     
  10. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Oh, yes there is the Sima Soft Focus 100mm f2 soft focus + macro. Low tech and usually not very expensive when you find one. Bill Barber
     
  11. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    My list:

    Imagon 120, 150, 200, 250 and 300mm: I have the 200 and 250mm
    Mamiya RB67 150SF

    Lensbabies are not real soft focus lenses, they are "fun" lenses, as they have a curved field focus, opposed to the Iamgon's and
    Mamiya's, whitch have a flat field focus.

    Peter
     
  12. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Canon EOS makes a 135 f/2.8 soft focus. The auto focus ain't so great (no USM), but real photographers manually focus anyways. If you don't mind medium format, and who doesnt like a larger negative, pentax made a 120mm SF lens for the 67, but I don't know anything about that lens.


    Still, the best, easiest, and most cost effective solution is to buy a cheap UV filter or something to that effect, rub some vaseline on, and be happy with the super cool effects you get.
     
  13. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Not terribly popular? I love my cheap EOS film camera. I covet a 1v very much, and I know a lot of film photographers who use EOS either as a principle system or as a 35mm system to back up their bigger cameras. And why not? Great lenses, ubiquitous, built like tanks (the expensive ones at least, mine...not so much) Where did you get the idea that EOS is unpopular?


    Now I second my camera purchase choice. Shoulda gone for that F5! OH WELL...
     
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  15. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    There are a number of triplet lenses in the 100-135mm range made by (mostly) German manufacturers (Zeiss Jena, Meyer, Schacht Munich [not Ulm]) which deliver lovely portrait and other soft images.
    Mostly in Exakta and M42 mounts. Very cheap if you find one.
     
  16. Kerik

    Kerik Member

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    I've got one of these and like it both on the 67 and with an EOS adapter on a... well let's just say it kind of looks like a 35mm SLR...
     
  17. luvcameras

    luvcameras Advertiser Advertiser

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    Here are a few more 35mm Soft focus lenses

    Pentax 85mm f/2.2 k mount
    Pentax 85mm f/2.8 FA AutoFocus
    Canon EOS 135mm f/2.8
    Canon 85mm f/2.8 FD
    Spiratone Potragon 100m f/4
    Minolta 85mm F/2.8 Vari-Soft MD mount
    Minolta 100mm f/2.8 AF
    Sima 100mm f/2.8 T Mount
    Fujinon 85mm f/4 M42 and Fuji mount
    Leica Thambar 90mm f/2.2 LTM
    Kenko 85mm f/2.5 multiple mounts
    Kenko 45mm f/4.5 multiple mounts
    Sony 135mm f/2.8 STF Sony Alpha Mount

    Dan
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  18. StorminMatt

    StorminMatt Member

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    Because, at least in film circles, everybody raves about Leica and Nikon F-series. You don't hear ANYTHING about Canon EOS outside of digital circles (where EOS is EXTREMELY well-regarded and popular).

    Besides being somewhat noisy and not allowing for full-time manual focus, there is nothing wrong with micromotor autofocus. It is not less accurate. So if you can get around these issues, don't let the absence of USM deter you from buying a lens.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2009
  19. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The quality of autofocus depends on the system controlling the motor as much as on the moving parts.
     
  20. Hamster

    Hamster Member

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    Better still use K-Y jelly instead of vasaline, K-Y is water based and cleans off much easier.
     
  21. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    I generally have even better uses for K-Y Jelly than smearing it on a UV filter. OTOH, Vaseline really has no higher purpose than blurring the focus.
     
  22. sidearm613

    sidearm613 Member

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    Well, you heard it from me, I love my EOS camera. Not to discredit the F-series, which are great cameras, but I always preferred Canon, even when I was twelve and all I wanted was a d****** P+S.

    I do agree with you about micrometer AF. It works for me, and at the moment none of my lenses for my EOS system are USM anyways, so it had better work for me. I hardly ever autofocus anyways, so I couldn't care less, but when i actually have to autofocus, then for a second I see the brilliance of the USM.

    p.s. - At this point in my life, I can't afford to talk about Leica, much less own one. :smile:
     
  23. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Manual focusing on a camera designed and optimized for autofocus (and there's more involved than simply changing the focusing screen) seems an odd way of making one's life more difficult...
     
  24. Softie

    Softie Member

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    Thanks for all the input. I guess I'm surprised that no one other than Pentax ever made a wide angle soft focus lens in 35mm, and apparently the 28mm Soft is pretty uncommon. I'm also surprised that the only normal lens option is the 45mm Kenko. It's actually beginning to look like an easier task to assemble a wide angle & long normal soft focus lens set for my 8x10. . .
     
  25. Vanishing Point Ent.

    Vanishing Point Ent. Member

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    100 mm Sima Soft Focus + 1.4 Teleconverter = Something Amazing.

    I would like to let you in on a little secret. Just between you & me, LOL.

    If you add a 1.4 teleconverter, behind the 100 mm Sima Soft Focus lens, something amazing happens.

    All of the flare disappears, but the image stays soft. Let me explain. Joan Rivers used to allow
    photography during her shows. You weren't allowed to use any flash, but if you weren't disruptive,
    it was O.K. This was at a nightclub / restaurant, called " Carlos' & Charley's ". It doesn't exist
    anymore.

    Now this was back in the day, before Ms. Rivers got the talk show on Fox.
    She had wrinkles commensurate with a woman her age.

    The lighting was normal performance spot lighting.

    With the Normal Lens, the images looked normal. With the Sima S.F. & the 1.4 Teleconverter, all of her wrinkles disappeared. It was amazing.

    After her talk show was cancelled, I was allowed to shoot her again. She had, had the first of her face lifts. So, the S.F., wasn't needed, anymore.

    For my money she looked better, without the face lift, but with the Soft Focus & 1.4 Tele.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2009
  26. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have the Canon FD 85mm f2.8 S/F lens that are quite rare these days, and with soft lighting ladies of a certain age certainly seem to appreciate it .