sharp focus

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by oneThousand, Aug 16, 2003.

  1. oneThousand

    oneThousand Guest


    I have been having a problem w/sharp portraits.
    Any recommendation on my technique?

    I often use a Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5

    I also have a Nikkor 85mm fixed at f/1.8, should I be using this instead for
    less sharpness?

    Any other recommendations on technique would be greatly appreciated!

    oneThousand, Aug 16, 2003
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  2. The latter is a very sharp lens. If your problem is to get soft
    portraits, maybe a high quality diffusion filter is very helpful.
    Silvio Bacchetta, Aug 16, 2003
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  3. oneThousand

    Ken Cashion Guest

    To experiment easily, tape a single ply of sheer panty hose
    over the lens.
    Try two layers...I did this for young men with bad
    complexions. (I had the hose mounted in a polaroid mount and could
    turn one slightly for a little control.)
    If you are doing your own printing, consider going for the
    sharp negative and using a diffusor on the enlarger. This will give a
    little different result.
    One way may give a glowing-skin aspect to the print.
    The other way the reverse. This is less attractive for
    females but I found it good for a grizzled old man with rough hands
    and dark background.
    If you put a diffusor on the camera and on the enlarger as
    well, it puts everything back like it was. (No! I am just joking!
    Just joking!!!)

    Ken Cashion
    Ken Cashion, Aug 16, 2003
  4. There are soft focus filters that would solve your problem admirably, or you
    can take a cheap throw away UV filter and either smear vasoline on it, or
    stretch a piece of nylon stocking over it to achieve a similar effect.
    Skip Middleton, Aug 16, 2003
  5. oneThousand

    Don Stauffer Guest

    Actually, many portrait photographers LIKE a softer lens :)

    Anyway, you did not mention if you were using a tripod. Are you? Even
    85 mm is long enough you probably should be.
    Don Stauffer, Aug 16, 2003
  6. oneThousand

    oneThousand Guest

    Thanks folks!
    These comments are great!!!
    I think I will try a soft focus or diffusion filter (is there a difference?)
    Can anyone recommend any high quality ones (with experience using it... not
    reading an article :) )


    As for the tripod I seldom use one as my shutter speed permits hand holding.
    Besides, I also do fashion and 'active' shooting which makes a tripod
    difficult to use at times.

    Thanks a mill.!
    oneThousand, Aug 16, 2003
  7. Yes, there is.
    Softars are by far the best.
    Michael Scarpitti, Aug 16, 2003
  8. oneThousand

    Polytone Guest

    pantyhose? clean or worn?

    Polytone, Aug 17, 2003
  9. oneThousand

    snaps! Guest

    The filter you need is called Duto. It softens the lines in people's faces.
    Hoya make a good one. Smearing anything on a lens is totally unpredictable.
    Sometimes I huff on the lens but this too is unpredictable. Using a stocking
    is overkill and will not result in soft portraits... More like murkey ones.

    snaps!, Aug 17, 2003
  10. (Thud![sound of forehead hitting desk!]) It would depend entirely on your
    source, I'd think...
    Skip Middleton, Aug 17, 2003
  11. Ideally, you ask the model to borrow hers........
    William Graham, Aug 18, 2003
  12. oneThousand

    Gordon Moat Guest

    I nominate Polytone's question for "Question Of The Month". He should be
    awarded an expired roll of Kodak Gold for that one!


    Gordon Moat
    Alliance Graphique Studio
    Gordon Moat, Aug 18, 2003
  13. heheheh

    Skip Middleton
    Skip Middleton, Aug 18, 2003
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