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Is your lens too sharp...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by OzRay, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
  2. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    yeah I hear that sometimes :)

    to say bringing down sharpness in PS takes experience (article says) they should learn to bring it down before it gets to PS :) shoot raw go into LR and control it before you tweak it more

    IMHO I would prefer the razor sharp to begin with and bring down the parts I do not want you can't get sharpness when its not there back into the eyes and things without looking sharpened but softening many ways to do that and look just fine IMHO at least :)
     
  3. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    my wife complains about the 12-40/2.8 all the time. i think i know what she's talking about now. I've been using negative values on the LR5 clarity to compensate. and spot corrections.

    my legacy lenses have a softness that you can't argue too much with for portraiture... until you print bigger than 4x6
     
  4. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Certainly in the film days portrait photographers much preferred softer lenses for portrait work, as they were more gentle on features, especially women's features. In those days, there was no Photoshop to assist with making life easier. Though sometimes I think Photoshop actually makes life harder, as some tend to not put the effort into getting the shot properly in the camera, preferring to try and fix things post.
     
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  5. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  6. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I can't say I have ever had a lens that was too sharp but I do use many lenses that are softer because that is the effect I am going for. I say it is using the right lens for the job at hand.

    I do agree that too many people get lazy and just fix it in post.

    One thing that can be done for a softer effect with a sharp lens is a soft filter. Or go cheap and use pantyhose. Not kidding it is a very old trick to stretch hose over the front of the lens for a softening effect. It was also used a lot for movies but they usually put it on the back end of the lens instead of the front.
    http://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2012/05/diffusion-for-the-digital-age-part-2/
     
  7. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Yep. I generally don't like close portraits that are too sharp. I carry two 50mm lenses to weddings exactly for that reason. I also have a very lovely CV 75mm 1.8 that is beautiful with bridal portraits. Environmental portraits I like razor sharp.

    There's also a big difference between sharpness and contrast in a lens. It's the combination of the two, plus colour that give some lenses a particular feel.

    Gordon
     
  8. godwinaustin

    godwinaustin Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 23, 2014
    Jackson, WYO
    Jon
    absolutely, you hear the term clinical sharpness thrown around for good reason. a blurry polaroid can tug on the heart strings, like a perfectly focused ultra sharp image of the same scene may not.
     
  9. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
  10. godwinaustin

    godwinaustin Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 23, 2014
    Jackson, WYO
    Jon
  11. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hasse
    Heard that its ok for a sharp lens to be used for portraits for gents. Thoughts?
     
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Generally yes, to enhance the masculine look; unless you're a metrosexual, then only soft focus will do. That's why green filters were often used in B&W photography of men to emphasise a rugged look and red filters for women for the exact opposite.
     
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