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Thread: Softar 1 filter on 70-200??

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    Softar 1 filter on 70-200??

    Anyone used a Zeiss softar 1 on Nikon 70-200. I'm thinking it might save me buying 100 f2 for portraits. As it's an unusually constructed piece of glass I was wondering how if it affected Nikon's AF.
    David

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Softar 1 filter on 70-200??

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidL View Post
    Anyone used a Zeiss softar 1 on Nikon 70-200. I'm thinking it might save me buying 100 f2 for portraits. As it's an unusually constructed piece of glass I was wondering how if it affected Nikon's AF.
    David
    The Softars have been around for a long time and were really popular on the older hasselblads . They create a unique and attractive soft focus affect . Using film you really had to get in right in the camera....no digital magic to soften the look. Retouching was quite difficult. Thus the softar was popular to reduce the harsh look of the zeiss lenses and particularly for portraits of women could create a flattering look.

    I use softars on my Leica R lenses but more to just create something different.

    Not sure why using a softar has anything to do with needing a prime 100/2 verse the zoom. The prime if anything will be sharper and more likely to need to be softened in post processing.

    My biggest issue with the zoom is just the handling of a large lens.. I would much rather have a short fast prime for portraits . I enjoy the f2 for limiting DOF but from a practical POV f2.8 is fast enough and will produce a smooth out of focus background.

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    Re: Softar 1 filter on 70-200??

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post

    Not sure why using a softar has anything to do with needing a prime 100/2 verse the zoom. The prime if anything will be sharper and more likely to need to be softened in post processing.

    My biggest issue with the zoom is just the handling of a large lens.. I would much rather have a short fast prime for portraits . I enjoy the f2 for limiting DOF but from a practical POV f2.8 is fast enough and will produce a smooth out of focus background.
    Thanks for the prompt reply. Sorry I didn't explain myself too well. I'm really busy at the moment and "Somewhat slightly dazed" getting work out.
    I may be doing portraits for an agency in the near future which the 70-200 is too sharp for due to age of models, and as you say too big. I didn't want to buy the 100 f2 until I'm sure I have the work. As a stop gap I remembered the Softars but wasn't sure if or how they would work with Nikons AF system.
    The work will be mostly done with studio lights and I tend to shoot head shots at around 200mm (35mm). Old habits die hard as I shot wildlife for twenty years, 200's were wide angles so even the 100 is a bit short on a crop and certainly would be, for me, on full frame.
    I'm also of an age where stabilisation is a good thing to have.

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Softar 1 filter on 70-200??

    I believe you would be better looking into your post processing techniques. Kevin Ames has a nice series of books on beauty processing with photoshop. There are a lot of experts on this forum..but you might want to consider your lighting techniques and what you can accomplish in Photoshop.

    I think the softar is too one dimensional for what you are trying to do. I do like the effect but not for a series of portraits. Try posting in the lighting or processing areas.

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    Re: Softar 1 filter on 70-200??

    Thanks again for your time. The portrait work is starting to come in so I'll give up on the softar on the 70-200 and get a portrait lens. Currently I'm going towards the 105mm f2 DO to put on my D300's. When the D700 falls a bit more, currently 1600, it will make a great portrait outfit.
    David

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