Re: Macro for Portraiture

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Don Stauffer, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Don Stauffer

    Don Stauffer Guest

    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/imaging/lineup/digitalcamera/slr/d3x/img/pic_001b.jpg
    >
    >
    > 5D II (100mm macro):
    > http://www.afashionshooter.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/img_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.
     
    Don Stauffer, Dec 30, 2008
    #1
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  2. "Alan Browne" <> 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 -- (Clarification required)
    Nid wif yn y swyddfa ar hyn o bryd. Anfonwch ar unrhyw waith ïw
    gyfieithu.
     
    Michael Benveniste, Dec 30, 2008
    #2
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  3. Don Stauffer

    J. Clarke Guest

    Michael Benveniste wrote:
    > "Alan Browne" <> 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)
     
    J. Clarke, Dec 30, 2008
    #3
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