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  1. #1
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Softening wrinkles with a Schneider Hollywood Black Magic Filter

    Have any portrait photographers used this lens before? the Schneider Hollywood Black Magic Filter

    I work in the movie industry and ESPECIALLY with older actors they of then use this to soften skin and make them look younger, I've never been able to see what one looks like through an SLR and video through a monitor doesn't really help me evaluate.

    They seem to have up to 5 different versions from 1/4 stop to 2 stops

    and it's not cheap.

    I'm curious to the preference anyone who's used them has as far as how strong a filter, I would be buying the 77mm version and they are VERY expensive, but I recently shot a female actor who was much older and she was unhappy with all the wrinkles that shone on her face, I don't use photoshop much and don't have the skills to soften her skin, but thought of this.

    There are also a few other brands that make a Hollywood Black Magic but this seems to be the most popular? I can't be sure, I'd like input.

    Anyone? Thanks!

    ~Stone

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Softening wrinkles with a Schneider Hollywood Black Magic Filter

    If I want diffusion, I prefer to use a classic portrait lens (Verito, Heliar, Petzval) and large format, but David Mullen gives an excellent taxonomy of diffusion filters here--

    http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=42112

    Other ways to smooth out wrinkles are softening the light, increasing the fill in relation to the main light, and retouching the neg of course.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    Jim Noel's Avatar
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    A soft light as close to the lens axis as possible does a good job of reducing wrinkles. When used with a Verito or variable softness Velostigmat or similar the wrinkles all but disappear.
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]Films NOT Dead - Just getting fixed![/FONT]

  4. #4
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    ...I've never been able to see what one looks like through an SLR...
    ???

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    Stone you dont' mention which camera system you are using.

    I agree lighting is a big factor. I prefer actual soft lenses rather than the filters that were much abused for normal portraits in the 1970's/80's. Much practice is required and you can't see the actual result on the groundglass when using a soft focus lens; something close to it yes, the actual result come from experience not wysiwyg. Particularly the detail might be too little or much until you display it at the intended final size. An old soft focus lens on LF would be my choice because that's what I have. I like the Kodak 305 portrait and Reinhold's wollaston meniscus 190mm lens. I'd use the kodak at about 6.3 and the wollaston at f8 for a head and shoulders softly lit photo. I've use pentax's 67 and soft focus, but not enough to promise results. I've seen other people's excellent work with hassy+imagon combinations.

  6. #6

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    I think the deal with these is they have less highlight glow and veiling flare.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

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  7. #7
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Softening wrinkles with a Schneider Hollywood Black Magic Filter

    Hey guys, until I buy a body, I don't have any LF cameras to use so any comment about ground glass is over my head as I have no experience with any of that. I don't want to buy a soft focus lens, they are even more expensive than these filters, the reason I'm looking at a 77mm filter is that I can use it on any system I own, (see my signature).

    If the movie industry uses them, then they must be fairly good, they are very particular about the kinds of filters they use in the movie industry.

    AgX what are you confused about? I've only seen them used on cinematic motion picture cameras and not on still cameras.

    I'm not looking for other options besides filters, I don't have the ability to buy all sorts of crazy specialized lenses, but the filter seemed like a good option. Just curious if anyone has used one before?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

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    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  8. #8
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Softening wrinkles with a Schneider Hollywood Black Magic Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    A soft light as close to the lens axis as possible does a good job of reducing wrinkles. When used with a Verito or variable softness Velostigmat or similar the wrinkles all but disappear.
    I won't always be using lighting, I had a situation with an older model and was using diffused window light, unfortunately I can't post an example since I was shooting "that other medium that shall not be named".

    I don't know what a Verito or Velosrigmat is... Are those lenses?


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  9. #9
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Softening wrinkles with a Schneider Hollywood Black Magic Filter

    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    If I want diffusion, I prefer to use a classic portrait lens (Verito, Heliar, Petzval) and large format, but David Mullen gives an excellent taxonomy of diffusion filters here--

    http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=42112

    Other ways to smooth out wrinkles are softening the light, increasing the fill in relation to the main light, and retouching the neg of course.
    This article was VERY helpful, as David puts it the 1 and 2 stop black magic filters are too obvious. Good to know.

    I have NO CLUE how to retouch a negative, I only shoot 135 and 120, seems too tiny a format to be trying to alter by hand, at least for me, my fine motor skills aren't that great.

    Thanks for that. I don't always shoot with lighting so I was looking for a solution like this one, so more wondered about what type of filter to get for this rather than buying specialized lenses.


    ~Stone

    The Noteworthy Ones - Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1 / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  10. #10
    Diapositivo's Avatar
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    You could try the old trick of using a piece of stretched nylon stockings over the lens. I think it was the common technique for female "portraits" (movie) in the old days. Bogart was portrayed from below, no stockings, probably harsher light and Bergman was portrayed from above, with piece of stockings in front of the lens, probably softer light. I don't know if it is a solution which satisfies you, but cheap it is.

    An expensive alternative is the Minolta Rokkor 85/2.8 Varifocus lens, which has a ring allowing the photographer to set the desired degree of spherical aberration.

    http://www.rokkorfiles.com/85mm%20Page%201.htm (bottom of page)
    Fabrizio Ruggeri fine art photography site: http://fabrizio-ruggeri.artistwebsites.com
    Stock images at Imagebroker: http://www.imagebroker.com/#/search/ib_fbr

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