Canon 135mm 2.8 Soft Focus

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jeeper, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    Does anybody have this lens? I'm thinking of buying this pretty soon and I just want to make sure I'm not throwing money away.

    A sample photo or two would be great (especially of the soft focus feature).

    Since I know someone will ask, I plan on using it mostly for portraits, but I may use it for other things as well. I realize that 135mm might be a little long for portraits on a crop body, but I think I can live with that.
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I don't have that lens, I don't think I know of anybody that does. I do seem to remember seeing some images, and the soft focus effect was rather nice.

    However, in the digital age, I can't image why anyone would want to get an effect like this, in camera. Globally applying an effect like 'soft focus' is very easy with a good image editing program. And of course, when applying it digitally, the effect is infinitely adjustable...you can even apply it to different parts of the image, selectively. Not to mention that if you take the shot without the soft focus effect...you have a base image that can be processed anyway you choose...not just 'soft focus'.

    I understand that some people like to get the image 'in camera'...but I would think that those people are just afraid of Photoshop. It's not that hard.
     
  3. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    I haven't tried doing it in Photoshop yet. I'll try that this weekend.

    I have seen people use things like nylons to get a soft focus effect, but I didn't find that too appealing. Shooting slightly out of focus (I know, which is not the same as soft focus) is even less appealing to me.

    I think I'll still buy this lens. The 135mm 2.0L is beyond my budget right now, and the 2.8 Soft Focus (the soft focus effect can be turned off) seems to be a good alternative. Actually, I think it's the only alternative.
     
  4. hamster

    hamster TPF Noob!

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  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmm if you want a professional lens type effect I would personally look at a lens without a useless (IMO only because there's other non-dedicated ways to do it) feature.

    B+W make some lovely soft focus filters. As I am sure many other companies do too. As mentioned above it can be done with photoshop too. Or how about the old classic of putting a UV filter on the front element and smearing it with gel.

    Too me this lens is just like buying a #25A red filter for a digital camera. Why do it when it's just 2 clicks in photoshop. Just my 2c.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    My first impression of the 135 soft focus, build was not great.
    My second impression of the 135 soft focus, soft focus feature wasn't all that useful.

    on the other hand...

    I was already pretty much decided on the 135mm f/2L at the time I looked at the soft focus lens AND the 100mm f/2.

    I would highly recommend either saving for the 135L or settling with the shorter 100mm f/2. The 100mm f/2 is a high bang for the buck lens just like the 85mm f/1.8

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-135mm-f-2.8-with-Softfocus-Lens-Review.aspx
     
  7. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    The 135f2.0L is much more bang for the buck. For that soft focus look use photoshop or one of the old tried and true methods from film days.

    You can get some nice soft focus filters but the cheapest and most adjustable is a simple UV haze and a swipe of nose grease from your own face. Vasoline works real nice as well. Put it on the filter with your fingertip and create the effect you want with it. It takes very little to get a great effect. Get to much, a bit of lens cleaning solution and lens tissue and start again. Just make sure that this filter is dedicated for soft focus effects only and keep it in a good case so it will not contaminate any others.
     
  8. jeeper

    jeeper TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advise everyone. I'm still undecided on what to do, but I'm leaning towards picking it up anyway. For $280 it's not that expensive, and it will be a very long time until I can hide enough money from my girlfriend to get the f/2L.
     

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