# The art of the soft portrait

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• 01-18-2011, 05:50 PM
CGW
Quote:

Originally Posted by gandolfi
gotta love this sentence.

doesn't Sally Mann use true soft focus lenses all the time....:cool:

Lens or process--you tell me.
• 01-18-2011, 05:58 PM
gandolfi
lens - definitively lens...

She is a master in a darkroom, but ...
• 01-18-2011, 06:04 PM
greybeard
2: "easily replicated with PS"...
well - we're talking analouge photography here, aren't we?
And even if we were not - the true SF (at least in LF) isn't easily replicated. And if it were, then it just look exactely like that: a replica..

(I have never seen a SF picture made in PS that looks right....)

Gandolfi, that's because the PS images weren't done right.

All you have to do is separate the pixels according to distance from the focal plane and radial distance from the lens axis, then apply a mathematical transform to replicate the effect of each pixel at its particular "depth" being defocused as it would be due to the effects of spherical aberration. Of course, Photoshop has no way of knowing how far from the focal plane a given pixel is, so for a high-resolution digital picture you are going to be at this for a while.

Or you could just use a soft focus lens in the first place ;)
• 01-18-2011, 06:08 PM
gandolfi
Quote:

Originally Posted by greybeard
2: "easily replicated with PS"...
well - we're talking analouge photography here, aren't we?
And even if we were not - the true SF (at least in LF) isn't easily replicated. And if it were, then it just look exactely like that: a replica..

(I have never seen a SF picture made in PS that looks right....)

Gandolfi, that's because the PS images weren't done right.

All you have to do is separate the pixels according to distance from the focal plane and radial distance from the lens axis, then apply a mathematical transform to replicate the effect of each pixel at its particular "depth" being defocused as it would be due to the effects of spherical aberration. Of course, Photoshop has no way of knowing how far from the focal plane a given pixel is, so for a high-resolution digital picture you are going to be at this for a while.

Or you could just use a soft focus lens in the first place ;)

:laugh:
• 01-18-2011, 07:01 PM
jnanian
Quote:

Originally Posted by greybeard
2: "easily replicated with PS"...
well - we're talking analouge photography here, aren't we?
And even if we were not - the true SF (at least in LF) isn't easily replicated. And if it were, then it just look exactely like that: a replica..

(I have never seen a SF picture made in PS that looks right....)

Gandolfi, that's because the PS images weren't done right.

All you have to do is separate the pixels according to distance from the focal plane and radial distance from the lens axis, then apply a mathematical transform to replicate the effect of each pixel at its particular "depth" being defocused as it would be due to the effects of spherical aberration. Of course, Photoshop has no way of knowing how far from the focal plane a given pixel is, so for a high-resolution digital picture you are going to be at this for a while.

Or you could just use a soft focus lens in the first place ;)

:)
• 01-18-2011, 07:25 PM
lxdude
Quote:

Originally Posted by CGW
Whatever. SF lenses are really one trick ponies. The images have a stale look however rendered or manipulated that's worn out its welcome.
Maybe the look will come back sometime but for now the PS versions trump in camera versions for photo editors.

Unless you're submitting work to them, who cares what photo editors think?
• 01-18-2011, 07:50 PM
cowanw
Quote:

Originally Posted by gandolfi
gotta love this sentence.

doesn't Sally Mann use true soft focus lenses all the time....:cool:

Maybe not. I don't think the lenses she describes here are true soft focus lenses in the way we are talking about them:blink:
http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/mann/clip2.html
MANN: Well, you know I told you that none of my equipment has ever been any good, I certainly could go out and buy a good, tack-sharp lens that would take the perfect picture that's in focus from end to end. But instead, I spend an awful lot of time at that antique mall looking around for these lenses with just the right amount of decrepitude. The glue has to be peeling off of the lens elements, it’s great if its mildewed and out of whack—a lens is made up of several different pieces of glass which are supposed to stay glued in the right relationship with each other—but my most prized lens has one of the pieces of glass askew, so when the light comes in it it's refulgent. It just bounces all around and does this great sort of luminescent thing on the glass. You can tell a good ruined lens right from the get-go....they are the ones you find in the trash cans of old photo studios, in some ghost town in Iowa. I mean, that's the kind of lens I'm looking for.
• 01-18-2011, 08:57 PM
michaelbsc
Quote:

Originally Posted by lxdude
Quote:

Originally Posted by CGW
Whatever. SF lenses are really one trick ponies. The images have a stale look however rendered or manipulated that's worn out its welcome.
Maybe the look will come back sometime but for now the PS versions trump in camera versions for photo editors.

Unless you're submitting work to them, who cares what photo editors think?

I've never submitted anything to an editor. It never crossed my mind to think about them.
• 01-19-2011, 12:25 PM
Diapositivo
Information on the Minolta Rokkor 85/2.8 Varisoft, in Minolta SR mount (aka MC/MD mount). Spherical aberration can vary continuously from "0" to a "high value".

http://www.cameraquest.com/minsoft.htm

They cost a lot on eBay when you find one. I think collectors are not extraneous to the price tag, those are rare lenses and therefore intrinsically valuable for a collector.

Fabrizio
• 01-19-2011, 04:28 PM
jnanian
is it "good" vs "bad" ?? ..
like photography in general ( and it doesn't matter F or D ) there is lots of bad and a lot less good ..
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