Interested in lenses for Canon EF mount that have unique signature

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Iron Flatline, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. Hi all.

    I am VERY tired of super-sharp lenses. I know sharpness is all the rage on the internet, but the images I'm most interested in tend to be softer.

    For my Leica M-series, I've been shooting with a 50mm f/1 Noctilux, and absolutely LOVE its uniquely soft, painterly image quality. I'm considering adding the 40mm f/1.4 Nokton for the same reason. They just have more character.

    Are there lenses you can recommend for a Canon with an EF mount? I have a D60 and a 5D. I have a LensBaby, but that is a different beast alltogether.

    Ok, below some images shot with my Noctilux, to give you an idea of what I mean:

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  2. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    Canon does make the EF 135 f/2.8 L Softfocus if that's what your looking for. They also have three tilt-shift models in 24,45 & 90 mm. Don't have any experience with them though.
     
  3. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Why not do it the old fashion way. Good filter (uv or skylight) some nose grease or a little jar of petrolum jelly. Oh yeah, Lens cleaning solution and lots of lens tissues.

    With this method you can experiment with softness. You can also create a center spot that is either untouched or lightly softened. Want to change, just clean the filter.
     
  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi again Iron... you and I are in the same boat. I haven't made much use of my fast primes since the Noctilux.

    Canon EOS is a double edged sword. They are one company that has pushed the technology of producing wonderful lenses which means sharpness was one of their goals. Unfortunately for you, the "painterly" look you are looking for will have to be obtained through the "old fashioned" way as gryphonslair99 suggested. Coken makes wondeful attachments for use with gels (colored ones too).

    I personally wasn't too impressed with the soft focus lens from Canon. Didn't like the build... it is an old Canon design that has survived years without update.

    Another option is to get an M42 adapter and experiment with older uncoated lenses... Those old lenses produce results that kinda look vintage. Some will require a boost in saturation and contrast to complete the effect.

    I found high contrast film, Kodak portra VC, with an older lens will probably give you the same "painter" look...

    Then there is photoshop.... anything is possible there.

    I personally would just stick to the noctilux and the M8 (for me the R-d1) for this type of images. May I also suggest an adapter for Leica screw mounts too. The Nokton 35mm f1.2 has pretty similar look tot he noctilux if you are looking for something in 35mm focal lengths. The r-d1 has been known to produce more "painterly" results than your M8 which some used as a reason to trade in for the M8. I personally don't mind:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Oh yeh.. you brave enough to take apart a "spare" parts lens? Someone in another forum purchased one such lens with an almost opaque front element. They removed it, polished it, and recoated with an eye glasses repair kit (some later did the same without recoating). The sample photos had an interesting look to them.
     
  6. Interesting usayit - as usual. Thanks for chiming in.

    Yes, I'm really considering the Nokton. Apparently the Nokton 40mm comes with an M mount, but I've heard great things about the 35mm.

    I think I'm pretty close to unloading my Canon stuff. I think I'm just going to get a Digilux with a couple of lenses to shoot the kids with, and wait for the R10 to come out.

    Also... I'm probably going to Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia for two weeks. I'm worried about the M8, and thought about getting a second body. But I think this may be my excuse to get an R-D1 instead :sexywink:
     
  7. Jeff Canes

    Jeff Canes No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You could develop a PS action that would give you that effect or you could just shot film
     
  8. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    Will you stop trash talking film already? Why don't you just take it back over to dpreview.
     
  9. shorty6049

    shorty6049 TPF Noob!

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    i dunno if he was or not.... isnt film naturally softer? those shots reminded me of film photos more than digital...
     
  10. Relic123

    Relic123 TPF Noob!

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    Yes film is naturally "soft" whilst digital is "Sharp". I am not commenting on the quality of either format, just stating the nature of said formats
     

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