View Full Version : Which Way Works? Soft Vss. Sharp, a continuing drama....

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09-17-2008, 12:46 PM
This is little meadow falls, a lovely little spot in a slot canyon in Railroad Valley, Nevada. Just so happens I did it both with 150mm Super Symmar XL and a 12 inch Darlot Landscape Meniscus with no stops, wide open at f6 on the 5X12.

little meadow falls, 150 Symmar XL

little meadow falls, Darlot meniscus

The soft one works well for me. It transports me.

What say ye?

Sorry Ian, posted for my friends over at LFForum also :)

09-17-2008, 12:55 PM
Good subject for the Darlot's particular look. Transports me, too.

09-17-2008, 01:05 PM
I really like the soft look, it creates an ethereal feeling. Wonder shot.

André E.C.
09-17-2008, 01:15 PM
Well Jim, I'm a sharpness sucker, therefore, I take the Symmar one.;)

But the most important thing here is, which one you really prefer as the creator? Take the Darlot's and be happy!:)



09-17-2008, 01:29 PM
I like 'em both. The soft one is more intriguing...I think...

09-17-2008, 01:30 PM
Sharp. But I'd be curious how the Darlot handled that highlight area, which I find a bit distracting.

Ian Grant
09-17-2008, 01:37 PM
No problem Jim :D I don't like either that much :)

Well that's not strictly true, the sharper shot is OK but I find the framing far better in the Darlot shot, I'd prefer to see a bit of sharpness. Like André I'm sharpness fanatic with my own work, however I often like softer work by other photographers, your images included.


Thomas Bertilsson
09-17-2008, 01:49 PM
I'm a Softie. The Darlot shot is just gorgeous! It speaks to me in heaps. The other one is a wonderful composition, but it doesn't really communicate with me. That's just me, speaking my heart. The quality of light comes through much better with the Darlot, and to me that's what it's all about.
Logically - the Symmar is probably more in tune with most people.
- Thomas

09-17-2008, 03:13 PM
Of these, I like the Symar shot best, but I find the Darlot shot a little too tight, more than too soft. I'd love to see a shot with the Darlot that's in between this one, and the Symar.
Like Ian and Andre, I like sharpness, at least in my own work, but your stuff done soft is really special.

For me, even when I try to work with a soft lens, it comes out sharp.:confused:

09-17-2008, 03:26 PM
Thanks for all the interesting comments!

sun of sand
09-17-2008, 04:40 PM
have to go sharp

09-17-2008, 04:53 PM
I vote for sharp also, just a taste thing I guess. Some cropping, more from the bottom (gravel) than the top would be something I would try.

09-17-2008, 04:54 PM
I would say that both works really well, but I find the Darlot more interesting. It caught my eye.

09-17-2008, 05:53 PM
I'll have to go with the Symmar. I like soft focus or motion blur in some cases, but not this one. To me, it calls for sharpness in the rocks.
But it's your photo, so please yourself first!

09-17-2008, 06:21 PM
I have to vote for the sharpe image. The soft image just looks, well, like an accident----I certainly like a little softness in moving water in an otherwise very sharp landscape. I guess I feel that "soft" images are better left for portrait photography. JMO.

09-17-2008, 06:38 PM
The soft one speaks to me, but then I'm kind of a pinhead. The nice thing is you can have it both ways. <{B^) Bill Barber

11-11-2008, 04:58 PM
Problem with these comparisons is that these are 2 very different compositions.

df cardwell
11-11-2008, 05:03 PM
How about using the sharp lens, and using a softer tonal palette ?

Sometimes a new lens is too clinical, the soft lens too... obscure.

But there IS a middle way !

11-12-2008, 12:21 PM
Wish to add my too cents in the form of a Negative scanned , that was taken by me last sunday at winchester, Ma. shot with a Bausch & Lomb - Planatograph F-8 4x5 size which turns out to be about 195mm,wi9th Fp-4 film at F32 at 9 seconds and no adjustment made used a 3x red filter again, developed in ID-11 with 1-3 dilution for 9-1/2 Minutes, I think there is a place still for these lenses : Lauren

df cardwell
11-12-2008, 07:07 PM
...I think there is a place still for these lenses : Lauren

And very nice, too