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Re: Macro for Portraiture

 
 
Don Stauffer
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      12-30-2008
Alan Smithee wrote:
> The two sharpest images I have seen from the D3X and the 5D II have been
> portraits shot using macro lenses. Although I understand that sometimes
> for portraiture you don't want the images to be too sharp, for years I
> have noticed people using macro lenses for portraits and wondered why,
> but never asked. Is sharpness the reason they use macro lenses over
> normal primes?
>
> D3X (60mm macro):
> http://chsvimg.nikon.com/products/im...g/pic_001b.jpg
>
>
> 5D II (100mm macro):
> http://www.afashionshooter.com/wp-co..._0015-copy.jpg
>
>

Better for softening is a softening filter. Some folks used to make
their own softening filters by putting a nylon stocking in front of the
lens, stretched across. These filters work by diffraction, and
diffraction effects are a bit softer than that from most lens aberrations.

Very high f/stops would also give diffraction softening, but also put
the background into sharper focus, an unwanted effect. Most sharpening
filters are not real expensive, and are a good accessory if you do many
portraits.

One can probably also play with the unsharp mask or a gaussian blur to
get a similar effect.
 
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Michael Benveniste
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      12-30-2008
"Alan Browne" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> Don Stauffer wrote:


>> the background into sharper focus, an unwanted effect. Most sharpening
>> filters are not real expensive, and are a good accessory if you do many
>> portraits.

>
> Actually the better softening filters (B+W "Softar") are fairly expensive
> at $250 or so, but worthwhile for one who does a lot of portraits. The
> less expensive ones (Hoya) render horrible results.


I own both softening filters of both the microlens (softar) and
mesh (softnet) types, but I consider them a third option, preferring
either the use of makeup or digital post-processing.

Another "old school" trick is to place Vaseline on the outer portion
of a UV filter, but I've never had the guts to try that one.

--
Michael Benveniste -- http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Clarification required)
Nid wif yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch ar unrhyw waith w
gyfieithu.

 
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J. Clarke
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      12-30-2008
Michael Benveniste wrote:
> "Alan Browne" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>> Don Stauffer wrote:

>
>>> the background into sharper focus, an unwanted effect. Most
>>> sharpening filters are not real expensive, and are a good
>>> accessory
>>> if you do many portraits.

>>
>> Actually the better softening filters (B+W "Softar") are fairly
>> expensive at $250 or so, but worthwhile for one who does a lot of
>> portraits. The less expensive ones (Hoya) render horrible results.

>
> I own both softening filters of both the microlens (softar) and
> mesh (softnet) types, but I consider them a third option, preferring
> either the use of makeup or digital post-processing.
>
> Another "old school" trick is to place Vaseline on the outer portion
> of a UV filter, but I've never had the guts to try that one.


FWIW, Canon's 135mm variable soft focus 135mm goes for 300 bucks on
Amazon, not a whole lot more than the Softar. There's an 85 up on
ebay right now that looks to be likely to go for about the same, if
you have the FD-EF adapter. Of course if you've got bucks and a Leica
there's always one of the 3,000 or so Thambars ever made <grin>.

--
--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
(was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)


 
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