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Close-up & Macro Macro and Micro Plants, insects, ice and other micro or macro artistic work

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  #1  
Old November 6th, 2007, 07:27 AM
Bev Sampson Bev Sampson is offline
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1DMKII 1/25 F22, Canon macro 180



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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:35 AM
Edward Bussa Edward Bussa is offline
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Yes! Its a rose!

What were you looking to accomplish with this rose?

I was drooling over this lens on Dell yesterday, wondering if there is a 180mm macro made for Pentax!
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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:58 AM
Bev Sampson Bev Sampson is offline
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I was looking to create an image that was a replica of what my eyes were seeing, against a non cluttered background. An image that was not overly sharpened but soft and appealing to the eye.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 04:01 PM
Edward Bussa Edward Bussa is offline
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I can vouch for the non-cluttered background. I see it too :) I thought the image was "soft" as well.

What were the challenges you faced in creating those effects?
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Old November 7th, 2007, 02:13 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bev Sampson View Post
I was looking to create an image that was a replica of what my eyes were seeing, against a non cluttered background. An image that was not overly sharpened but soft and appealing to the eye.
Hi Bev,

The crop is a bit, not much just a bit, too tight for my taste. I'm not sure if you deliberately used the small aperture to create softness (diffraction blur), or whether it is the result of your attempt to get enough depth of field. The downside of using diffraction to add softness is that nothing is really sharp anymore, unless you downsize the image. At its full output size, nothing really 'pops' anymore and the amount of softness changes with output size.

If you really like the soft/dream-like look, which can be quite effective, maybe you should experiment with a softening filter on the lens, or a postprocessing simulation of one. That will allow to also have a good result as a full size print or enlargement, your lens is certainly capable enough for that.

The IMHO best optical filters for adding 'softness' are the Carl Zeiss 'Softar' ones (sold by B+W and Heliopan). They are not cheap, and come in 3 different strengths, so you may want to try them first if you can to see which one suits your needs best. One of the benefits of Softars is that their effect doesn't change with aperture, unlike some competitive types of softening filters. They also don't blur as obvious/in-your-face as some others but they rather add a very subtle (depending on strength) haze/flare on contrasty edges while maintaining focus where you put it.

Bart
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Old November 7th, 2007, 02:22 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Hi Bart,

Do you have any Zeiss Softars? I'd be interested in seeing a new thread with examples. I've often thought about this, but never tried itout. We work very hard to make everything sharp. So there is not very much attention to this important subject.

I wonder whether there are filters with adjustable softness?

Glad you brought this us!

Asher
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  #7  
Old November 7th, 2007, 06:40 AM
Bev Sampson Bev Sampson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf View Post
Hi Bev,

The crop is a bit, not much just a bit, too tight for my taste. I'm not sure if you deliberately used the small aperture to create softness (diffraction blur), or whether it is the result of your attempt to get enough depth of field. The downside of using diffraction to add softness is that nothing is really sharp anymore, unless you downsize the image. At its full output size, nothing really 'pops' anymore and the amount of softness changes with output size.

If you really like the soft/dream-like look, which can be quite effective, maybe you should experiment with a softening filter on the lens, or a postprocessing simulation of one. That will allow to also have a good result as a full size print or enlargement, your lens is certainly capable enough for that.

The IMHO best optical filters for adding 'softness' are the Carl Zeiss 'Softar' ones (sold by B+W and Heliopan). They are not cheap, and come in 3 different strengths, so you may want to try them first if you can to see which one suits your needs best. One of the benefits of Softars is that their effect doesn't change with aperture, unlike some competitive types of softening filters. They also don't blur as obvious/in-your-face as some others but they rather add a very subtle (depending on strength) haze/flare on contrasty edges while maintaining focus where you put it.

Bart
Bart, thank you very much for your very useful comments especially relating to defraction blur. I did try to soften in this manner. Most of my photos tend to be too sharp after editing and that is not always very appealing especially on portraits where skin pores are prevalent. I have tried a small amount of gaussian blur but did not like the effict at all. I will search Adobe for some post processing techniques.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 07:29 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Do you have any Zeiss Softars? I'd be interested in seeing a new thread with examples.
Hi Asher,

I currently have a Softar I, the most subtle one of the two grades (I erroneously remembered there were 3, but you can combine I+II). My personal preference for filters is that you don't see the effect immediately, but then I like subtle, almost subliminal. Even with my polarizing filters I often only use half of the maximum effect, unless I deliberately need to kill reflections or over-dramatize blue skies.

In case of Bev's 'soft and appealing' goal, a Softar II might be a better choice but that's a matter of taste.

Quote:
I've often thought about this, but never tried itout. We work very hard to make everything sharp. So there is not very much attention to this important subject.
Well that's the beauty with Softar filters, you get the best of both worlds, sharp and dream-like (very useful with romantic portraits), so it doesn't look like an out-of-focus image. The filters mix OOF in with the focused image, and their effect is very predictable, unaffected by the other lens settings.

Quote:
I wonder whether there are filters with adjustable softness?
There are filters that somewhat change their characteristics with aperture, but then you mix the effects of both DOF and spherical aberration. That's a bit too much of a compromise for me, I like to control them seperately. Filters like 'Duto' types have concentric circles etched on their surface which can change highlights, but they tend to have a different effect towards the corners as well.

Quote:
Glad you brought this us!
You're welcome. It's one of the benefits of forums, one thing can lead to another, because we get inspiration/mental triggers from the remarks made by others. Bev's 'soft and appealing' remarks triggered me to mention it, so thanks go to Bev.

Bart
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