Unsharp photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by eNo, Sep 25, 2009.

  1. eNo

    eNo Guest

    eNo, Sep 25, 2009
    #1
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  2. Robert Spanjaard, Sep 25, 2009
    #2
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  3. In article
    <>,
    eNo <> wrote:

    > Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm putting
    > too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of my musings
    > on the subject at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=702.
    >
    > ~~~
    > eNo
    > http://esfotoclix.com/blog1


    It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who create art
    can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect ones, but the
    curiously flawed ones too.

    --
    I will not see your reply if you use Google.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Sep 26, 2009
    #3
  4. eNo

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    > In article
    > <>,
    > eNo <> wrote:
    >
    >> Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm putting
    >> too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of my musings
    >> on the subject at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=702.
    >>
    >> ~~~
    >> eNo
    >> http://esfotoclix.com/blog1

    >
    > It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who create art
    > can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect ones, but the
    > curiously flawed ones too.
    >


    This brings up the topic of portraiture. There were some lenses that
    were not the sharpest that were sought after for portraiture. Not all
    blurs were good, but there is a spot profile that does look good for a
    portrait, that has a narrow central peak, but a lot of stuff out in the
    wings.

    A quick approximation are the softening masks made by stretching a
    fabric screen in front of the lenses. The diffraction blur profile is
    the proper type blur, and the nets or screens produce this type of blur.
    Don Stauffer, Sep 26, 2009
    #4
  5. eNo

    eNo Guest

    Interesting... I started thinking about sharpness, and both here and
    at my blog, I am learning a lot about blurring. Good deal.

    ~~~
    eNo
    http://esfotoclix.com
    eNo, Sep 26, 2009
    #5
  6. eNo

    J. Clarke Guest

    Don Stauffer wrote:
    > Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    >> In article
    >> <>,
    >> eNo <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm putting
    >>> too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of my musings
    >>> on the subject at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=702.
    >>>
    >>> ~~~
    >>> eNo
    >>> http://esfotoclix.com/blog1

    >>
    >> It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who create
    >> art can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect ones, but the
    >> curiously flawed ones too.
    >>

    >
    > This brings up the topic of portraiture. There were some lenses that
    > were not the sharpest that were sought after for portraiture. Not all
    > blurs were good, but there is a spot profile that does look good for a
    > portrait, that has a narrow central peak, but a lot of stuff out in
    > the wings.


    There are lenses made specifically for portraiture that introduce a certain
    amount of spherical aberration. The Lietz Thambar is probably the most
    famous, but not the only one--there are such lenses in the Canon and Pentax
    lines and maybe Nikon--I'm not clear on what exactly the "DC" feature on the
    DC-Nikkors does.

    > A quick approximation are the softening masks made by stretching a
    > fabric screen in front of the lenses. The diffraction blur profile is
    > the proper type blur, and the nets or screens produce this type of
    > blur.
    J. Clarke, Sep 26, 2009
    #6
  7. eNo

    Eric Stevens Guest

    On Sat, 26 Sep 2009 12:04:07 -0400, "J. Clarke"
    <> wrote:

    >Don Stauffer wrote:
    >> Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    >>> In article
    >>> <>,
    >>> eNo <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm putting
    >>>> too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of my musings
    >>>> on the subject at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=702.
    >>>>
    >>>> ~~~
    >>>> eNo
    >>>> http://esfotoclix.com/blog1
    >>>
    >>> It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who create
    >>> art can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect ones, but the
    >>> curiously flawed ones too.
    >>>

    >>
    >> This brings up the topic of portraiture. There were some lenses that
    >> were not the sharpest that were sought after for portraiture. Not all
    >> blurs were good, but there is a spot profile that does look good for a
    >> portrait, that has a narrow central peak, but a lot of stuff out in
    >> the wings.

    >
    >There are lenses made specifically for portraiture that introduce a certain
    >amount of spherical aberration. The Lietz Thambar is probably the most
    >famous, but not the only one--there are such lenses in the Canon and Pentax
    >lines and maybe Nikon--I'm not clear on what exactly the "DC" feature on the
    >DC-Nikkors does.


    The brochure of the time (yes, I've still got one!) says:

    "AF DC-Nikkor lenses - Unique Nikkors for unique portraits.

    AF DC-Nikkors feature exclusive Nikon Defocus-image
    Control technology. This allows photographers to contro
    the degree of spherical aberration in the foreground or
    background by rotating the lens DC ring. This will create
    a rounded out-of-focus blur that is ideal for portrait
    photography. No other lenses in the world offer this
    special technique"
    >
    >> A quick approximation are the softening masks made by stretching a
    >> fabric screen in front of the lenses. The diffraction blur profile is
    >> the proper type blur, and the nets or screens produce this type of
    >> blur.


    Another trick was smearing the front of the lens with vaseline.



    Eric Stevens
    Eric Stevens, Sep 26, 2009
    #7
  8. "J. Clarke" <> wrote:

    > There are lenses made specifically for portraiture that introduce a
    > certain amount of spherical aberration. The Lietz Thambar is probably
    > the most famous, but not the only one--there are such lenses in the
    > Canon and Pentax lines and maybe Nikon--I'm not clear on what exactly
    > the "DC" feature on the DC-Nikkors does.


    Funny thing is, at one time people used their soft-focus lenses for
    landscapes and the sharp ones for portraits, then after the death of
    Pictorialism it switched to being the other way round!
    Marty Freeman, Sep 27, 2009
    #8
  9. Marty Freeman <> wrote:
    > "J. Clarke" <> wrote:


    >> There are lenses made specifically for portraiture that introduce a
    >> certain amount of spherical aberration. The Lietz Thambar is probably
    >> the most famous, but not the only one--there are such lenses in the
    >> Canon and Pentax lines and maybe Nikon--I'm not clear on what exactly
    >> the "DC" feature on the DC-Nikkors does.


    > Funny thing is, at one time people used their soft-focus lenses for
    > landscapes and the sharp ones for portraits, then after the death of
    > Pictorialism it switched to being the other way round!


    A British landscape photographer whose name I've forgotten used to
    search the second hand and junk shops for good sharp old lenses which
    had some tiny bubbles in the glass. As lens technology improved it
    became impossible to buy such lenses new. The bubbles had the effect
    of lowering the contrast in the image, and one of his fortes was
    sunlit landscapes with detail in both the highlights and shadows.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Sep 27, 2009
    #9
  10. eNo

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, John Navas
    <> wrote:

    > Nikkor AF 2.0 135 mm DC is another famous portrait lens,
    > considered by many to be one of the very best Nikkor lenses ever.
    > <http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/10-best.htm>


    although the 135 dc is a very good lens, listing it along with the
    18-200, 18-55 and the 28-80 as the 'best ever' is a joke, not to
    mention citing kenny boy as a credible source is a joke in and of
    itself. he even hints his list a joke.

    the 28-80 is barely even mediocre. the only thing good about that lens
    is that it's often given away for next to nothing, mainly because very
    few people would actually pay for one. he's also wrong about it
    focusing closer and faster than other nikon lenses (and he's on some
    serious drugs if he thinks it's faster than an af-s lens). in fact, the
    18-55, which he also claims is the 'best ever', focuses closer.

    what's really unfortunate is a lot of people believe his crap.
    nospam, Sep 27, 2009
    #10
  11. eNo

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, John Navas
    <> wrote:

    > >not to
    > >mention citing kenny boy as a credible source is a joke in and of
    > >itself. he even hints his list a joke.

    >
    > Not so.


    very much so.

    citing a reference where the referenced individual brags about
    fabricating information just for kicks is a joke. it ranks right up
    there with citing a tabloid newspaper as a reference.

    it didn't even take long to find a couple of errors on that page, and i
    didn't even look all that hard. i'm sure there are many more lurking,
    just as kenny says there will be.

    <http://www.kenrockwell.com/about.htm>

    I offer no warrantees of any kind, except that there are many
    deliberate gaffes, practical jokes and downright foolish and made-up
    things lurking...The only thing I do guarantee is that there is
    plenty of stuff I simply make up out of thin air, as does The Onion.

    that is certainly *not* an attribute one associates with a credible
    reference.
    nospam, Sep 28, 2009
    #11
  12. eNo

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, John Navas
    <> wrote:

    > >citing a reference where the referenced individual brags about
    > >fabricating information just for kicks is a joke. it ranks right up
    > >there with citing a tabloid newspaper as a reference.
    > >
    > >it didn't even take long to find a couple of errors on that page, and i
    > >didn't even look all that hard. i'm sure there are many more lurking,
    > >just as kenny says there will be.
    > >
    > ><http://www.kenrockwell.com/about.htm>
    > >
    > > I offer no warrantees of any kind, except that there are many
    > > deliberate gaffes, practical jokes and downright foolish and made-up
    > > things lurking...The only thing I do guarantee is that there is
    > > plenty of stuff I simply make up out of thin air, as does The Onion.
    > >
    > >that is certainly *not* an attribute one associates with a credible
    > >reference.

    >
    > I hope you'll forgive me for having far more respect for him than I have
    > for you, an anonymous poster with no credentials at all who bashes
    > people who do have them.


    it has nothing to do with me, who i am or my credentials, nor am i
    bashing anyone.

    ken *himself* admits he's a liar. *he* made the statement, not me. if
    anyone is bashing anyone, it's ken bashing ken.

    i'm only citing *his* claim. since you think he's credible, you have to
    accept that what he writes is correct, including statements about
    himself. you can't pick which ones to accept and which ones to reject.

    furthermore, there are statements on the page you linked that are
    factually incorrect, which can easily be determined by looking at
    nikon's specs for the various lenses. if *nikon* says it's wrong, it's
    wrong.
    nospam, Sep 28, 2009
    #12
  13. eNo

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Mike Russell
    <> wrote:

    > > it has nothing to do with me, who i am or my credentials, nor am i
    > > bashing anyone.

    >
    > But you are - it's the "perfect sting" trash other people's opinions,
    > accuse them of lying, and try to put them down, while keeping hidden
    > yourself. Enjoy your game, but don't expect any respect for it.


    except i did no such thing.

    ken *himself* said he makes up stuff, and i just linked to *his* words.

    "please treat this entire site as a work of fiction."

    <http://www.kenrockwell.com/about.htm>
    nospam, Sep 29, 2009
    #13
  14. nospam <> wrote:
    > In article <>, Mike Russell
    > <> wrote:


    >> > it has nothing to do with me, who i am or my credentials, nor am i
    >> > bashing anyone.

    >>
    >> But you are - it's the "perfect sting" trash other people's opinions,
    >> accuse them of lying, and try to put them down, while keeping hidden
    >> yourself. Enjoy your game, but don't expect any respect for it.


    > except i did no such thing.


    > ken *himself* said he makes up stuff, and i just linked to *his* words.


    > "please treat this entire site as a work of fiction."


    > <http://www.kenrockwell.com/about.htm>


    It seems to me that Ken has little tolerance for photographic fools.
    He teases them partly by parodying them and partly to lead them up an
    entertaining garden path. It also means, as he points out, that not
    everything he says is true, or even something he perhaps mistakenly
    believes. He could be pulling your leg. Which I suspect makes one of
    the points he wants to make, that the search for Authorities whose
    Word Is Truth is folly. Among other things he hopes to encourage an
    appropariately alert scepticism towards all authoritative opinion.

    So as he points out you cannot trust what he says because sometimes he
    makes stuff up. It doesn't alter the interest and enjoyment to be got
    from his erudite writings. Unless of course you happen to be the kind
    of literal minded photographic pilgrim who is searching for The
    Trustworthy Authority, in which case he hopes you will be suitably
    startled and apalled by his confesion that he makes stuff up.

    --
    Chris Malcolm
    Chris Malcolm, Sep 29, 2009
    #14
  15. eNo

    nospam Guest

    In article <17r2cfvghrimo$>, Mike Russell
    <> wrote:

    > He signs his name to what he writes. Perhaps, if you want a measure of
    > respect, your should consider doing so yourself. Otherwise, you're just a
    > rant in a teapot, signifying nothing.


    look at my words not my name. all my posts are archived in google
    groups and you can see if what i write is correct and how often it is.
    however, if you are too shallow to not see past the name at the top
    rather than what's actually written, so be it. in other words, you
    can't refute what i said and resort to attacking me.

    as for ken rockwell, he says a lot, but a visit to nikon's site usually
    tells a different story.

    personally, i'll go with what nikon has to say about their equipment.

    the only thing ken does well is stir up controversy and drive traffic
    to his site, generating himself income.
    nospam, Sep 29, 2009
    #15
  16. eNo

    Karl Atkins Guest

    On Tue, 29 Sep 2009 09:23:36 -0700, nospam <> wrote:

    >look at my words not my name. all my posts are archived in google
    >groups and you can see if what i write is correct and how often it is.


    That's precisely how all of us know that you're nothing but an ignorant
    pretend-photographer troll.

    Thanks for reminding everyone how to find out the same for themselves.
    Karl Atkins, Sep 29, 2009
    #16
  17. eNo

    Paul Furman Guest

    Don Stauffer wrote:
    > Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    >> In article
    >> eNo wrote:
    >>
    >>> Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm putting
    >>> too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of my musings
    >>> on the subject...

    >>
    >> It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who create
    >> art can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect ones, but the
    >> curiously flawed ones too.
    >>

    >
    > This brings up the topic of portraiture. There were some lenses that
    > were not the sharpest that were sought after for portraiture. Not all
    > blurs were good, but there is a spot profile that does look good for a
    > portrait, that has a narrow central peak, but a lot of stuff out in the
    > wings.


    For example:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edgehill/3249348966/in/set-72157603231101723/


    > A quick approximation are the softening masks made by stretching a
    > fabric screen in front of the lenses. The diffraction blur profile is
    > the proper type blur, and the nets or screens produce this type of blur.
    >



    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Sep 29, 2009
    #17
  18. eNo

    Paul Furman Guest

    J. Clarke wrote:
    > Don Stauffer wrote:
    >> Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    >>> In article
    >>> <>,
    >>> eNo <> wrote:
    >>>
    >>>> Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm putting
    >>>> too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of my musings
    >>>> on the subject at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=702.
    >>>>
    >>>> ~~~
    >>>> eNo
    >>>> http://esfotoclix.com/blog1
    >>> It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who create
    >>> art can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect ones, but the
    >>> curiously flawed ones too.
    >>>

    >> This brings up the topic of portraiture. There were some lenses that
    >> were not the sharpest that were sought after for portraiture. Not all
    >> blurs were good, but there is a spot profile that does look good for a
    >> portrait, that has a narrow central peak, but a lot of stuff out in
    >> the wings.

    >
    > There are lenses made specifically for portraiture that introduce a certain
    > amount of spherical aberration. The Lietz Thambar


    Ha, I'd never heard of that one. It looks like the effect can be
    achieved by putting a piece of round tape in the middle of the front
    element... surely that isn't the only thing going on?
    glennview.com/35.htm
    -long load & scroll to 3/4 down on that page


    > is probably the most
    > famous, but not the only one--there are such lenses in the Canon and Pentax
    > lines and maybe Nikon--I'm not clear on what exactly the "DC" feature on the
    > DC-Nikkors does.
    >
    >> A quick approximation are the softening masks made by stretching a
    >> fabric screen in front of the lenses. The diffraction blur profile is
    >> the proper type blur, and the nets or screens produce this type of
    >> blur.

    >



    --
    Paul Furman
    www.edgehill.net
    www.baynatives.com

    all google groups messages filtered due to spam
    Paul Furman, Sep 29, 2009
    #18
  19. eNo

    J. Clarke Guest

    Paul Furman wrote:
    > J. Clarke wrote:
    >> Don Stauffer wrote:
    >>> Kevin McMurtrie wrote:
    >>>> In article
    >>>> <>,
    >>>> eNo <> wrote:
    >>>>
    >>>>> Lately I've been wrestling with the question of whether I'm
    >>>>> putting too much emphasis on sharpening in my photos. See some of
    >>>>> my musings on the subject at http://esfotoclix.com/blog1/?p=702.
    >>>>>
    >>>>> ~~~
    >>>>> eNo
    >>>>> http://esfotoclix.com/blog1
    >>>> It matters which part is sharp. That's why photographers who
    >>>> create art can be so picky about lenses. Not just the perfect
    >>>> ones, but the curiously flawed ones too.
    >>>>
    >>> This brings up the topic of portraiture. There were some lenses
    >>> that were not the sharpest that were sought after for portraiture.
    >>> Not all blurs were good, but there is a spot profile that does look
    >>> good for a portrait, that has a narrow central peak, but a lot of
    >>> stuff out in the wings.

    >>
    >> There are lenses made specifically for portraiture that introduce a
    >> certain amount of spherical aberration. The Lietz Thambar

    >
    > Ha, I'd never heard of that one. It looks like the effect can be
    > achieved by putting a piece of round tape in the middle of the front
    > element... surely that isn't the only thing going on?
    > glennview.com/35.htm
    > -long load & scroll to 3/4 down on that page


    There's more going on than the center filter. Soft focus comes from
    undercorrected spherical aberration. The Thambar allows the degree of
    undercorrection to be adjusted with a control ring. The center filter
    intensifies the effect.

    You can decrease the sharpness of any conventional lens by obstructing the
    center but on a well corrected lens that decrease wouldn't be immediately
    obvious unless you were pixel-peeping or making very large prints.
    J. Clarke, Sep 29, 2009
    #19
  20. Karl Atkins <> wrote:
    > On Tue, 29 Sep 2009 09:23:36 -0700, nospam <> wrote:


    >>look at my words not my name. all my posts are archived in google
    >>groups and you can see if what i write is correct and how often it is.


    > That's precisely how all of us know that you're nothing but an ignorant
    > pretend-photographer troll.


    Ah, "Karl Atkins" is the new name of the group troll. Only the
    group troll calls others what it itself is: "an ignorant
    pretend-photographer troll".

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 30, 2009
    #20
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