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Thread started 21 May 2014 (Wednesday) 19:46
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135 f/2.. too sharp?

 
Aki78
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May 22, 2014 07:46 |  #16

Absolutely Fabulous wrote in post #16921907 (external link)
Not always


I had the 135 and sold it, same issue. Not ideal for portraits. If you are shooting something else, maybe it is more suitable

I read some opt for the soft focus version if not a different lens when doing headshots.




  
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May 22, 2014 08:10 |  #17

InfiniteDivide wrote in post #16921298 (external link)
Well the sharpness on my 100L that I use is not always ideal, just as you describe.
However I find it quite easy to low the 'clarity' slider in Lightroom.
On another note. Many users say the 50L is not sharp enough, but even when taking photos last week
I found myself turning down the 'clarity' on a set I took for my friends. (unpaid) even with my 50L

I agree that it is much better to 'dial it down' in post processing than to over-sharpen an image in post.

I agree that the 100L is VERY sharp too. Before I didn't know how to smooth out skin very well so I had to avoid using it for portraits as my PP skills couldn't fully conceal all the tiny skin imperfections it brought out.


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digital ­ paradise
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May 22, 2014 09:01 |  #18

There are many methods to blur and then bring back the sharp key areas like eyes, lips, etc. I'd rather have that option than a less sharp lens. Look up some methods. I have a PS book by Scott Kelby that show you how to do that with Gaussian blur. You can create an action and make it quick. Gotta be similar presets out there for LR.

You can never make the eyes, which to me is the most important feature too sharp.


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yamatama
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May 22, 2014 09:01 |  #19

clarnibass wrote in post #16921742 (external link)
I don't know if you took the photos in RAW or JPG and if RAW, what kind of processing (or not) you've done. Also there is some difference between sharpness and details.

I guess you had a bunch of other photos, but in these two examples the magnification of the 135mm lens photo is significantly larger so it gives more details and seems "sharper". It also looks sharper in general.

The 70-200mm lens photo looks slightly blurry, difficult to say why. Her right eye looks ok I think (hard to be sure behind the hair) but the left eye is more blurry.

The lighting is also different between the two photos.

So I think the lens itself probably contributes very little to this and anyway it's not really a problem :)

The photos were taken in RAW, no processing and yes.. indeed there is a difference in sharpness and details :)


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yamatama
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May 22, 2014 09:07 |  #20

digital paradise wrote in post #16922162 (external link)
There are many methods to blur and then bring back the sharp key areas like eyes, lips, etc. I'd rather have that option than a less sharp lens. Look up some methods. I have a PS book by Scott Kelby that show you how to do that with Gaussian blur. You can create an action and make it quick. Gotta be similar presets out there for LR.

You can never make the eyes, which to me is the most important feature too sharp.

Thanks! I try to nail everything as close as I want in camera so I dont have to do a lot of PP. I dont like to use blur on my pictures.. I like the detail, but not in excess.


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May 22, 2014 09:44 |  #21

That is a good start. Just the thought of giving up a sharp lens made me cringe. It is usually the other way around but you need to do what works for you.


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Eyal
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May 22, 2014 09:55 |  #22

yamatama wrote in post #16922174 (external link)
Thanks! I try to nail everything as close as I want in camera so I dont have to do a lot of PP. I dont like to use blur on my pictures.. I like the detail, but not in excess.

There are so many methods to blur skin, to increase the eye pop-ness (if you can say that), which makes a great shot just a bit of an extra edge.

You can do so by gaussian blur, or using high-pass / invert, surface blur, airbrushing. Each technique is different and some might take more time than others, but details can be saved better on some than others.

And as said, its better having sharper details which you can work with vs softness which will make it harder to work with when you need to.


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May 22, 2014 12:15 |  #23

Absolutely Fabulous wrote in post #16921907 (external link)
Not always


I had the 135 and sold it, same issue. Not ideal for portraits. If you are shooting something else, maybe it is more suitable

I disagree - for a lens! Though sharpness is not the end all be all, it is always preferable to the opposite in a lens. The Reason - read timbop's answer in post two. As nightcap said timbop's answers says it all - nothing else needs said.


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
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May 22, 2014 12:55 |  #24

http://www.photoshopes​sentials.com/photo-editing/smooth-skin/ (external link)

You can create an action and put in stops for the opacity and painting portions. I bet you could edit in less than 2 minutes.


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Absolutely ­ Fabulous
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May 22, 2014 15:28 |  #25

jimewall wrote in post #16922513 (external link)
I disagree - for a lens! Though sharpness is not the end all be all, it is always preferable to the opposite in a lens. The Reason - read timbop's answer in post two. As nightcap said timbop's answers says it all - nothing else needs said.


sharp is better than soft but you can have too sharp, of course you can!


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jimewall
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May 22, 2014 18:51 |  #26

Absolutely Fabulous wrote in post #16922931 (external link)
sharp is better than soft but you can have too sharp, of course you can!

IMO no you can't - in a lens (which is what I said). In a specific image/shot/picture, yes but not in a lens (this stated by my wording).

(If there were such a thing) I would prefer (if and when possible) the absolute sharpest lens with the absolute best resolution possible over a similar lens with less than that description (all other things being equal).

The reason is simple, there are times where you want that ultimate sharpness, and a lens must provide that. (Yes) There will be be times you don't want (or need) that ultimate sharpness, but either while taking the shot and/or post processing you can lessen sharpness.

So you can make a sharp lens "act" less sharp for a shot (if that is needed for the effect), but you cannot make a less sharp lens sharper pre- or post- shot. Though post processing (sharpening plus other edits) may help, it is not quite the equivalent of a sharp lens.

So sorry, I do not believe a lens can be too sharp. In an image yes, but not lens. That is my opinion, and I don't think I am alone in that belief.

But you can believe that a lens can be too sharp if you want. For some maybe that is true - but not me.


Thanks for Reading & Good Luck - Jim
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May 22, 2014 19:25 |  #27

Funny, I just don't expect to see/hear people complaining about a lens being "too sharp"!:)

But:

Aki78 wrote in post #16922014 (external link)
I read some opt for the soft focus version if not a different lens when doing headshots.

This is something I've heard of that goes a ways back, that some portrait photogs (maybe many?) have chosen to use "soft focus" lenses...I've never messed with one, I don't know if there is a Canon 135 lens of that description, I plead ignorance and non-experience, but at least I've heard of it!

For myself, though, I wouldn't choose to go that route, but that's because I'm not a working portrait photog, the vast majority of the photos I've taken over the years benefit from sharpness, even though sometimes I've had to compromise, or have flubbed from lack of skill...:(

At any rate, I'd probably fall into the camp of adding a bit of PP if needed. Someone also brought out an important point: you may want a bit of softening with the skin, but not the eyes! I'd think that point would stand out, and the fact that you can apply some softening in PP but specifically omit the eyes (and other details you want sharp), well, that says a lot for the "digital darkroom"!


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May 22, 2014 19:30 |  #28

tonylong wrote in post #16923405 (external link)
This is something I've heard of that goes a ways back, that some portrait photogs (maybe many?) have chosen to use "soft focus" lenses...I've never messed with one, I don't know if there is a Canon 135 lens of that description, I plead ignorance and non-experience, but at least I've heard of it!

Check out my sig - Canon 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus. Pretty cool, for all intents and purpose it is a normal 135mm 2.8 lens but it has a dial that I can rotate the setting to 2 different levels of in lens softness (Or I can turn it to 0 and it acts like a normal 135mm). Giving that "glamour shots" look. Haven't messed with it much since it is pure hobby for me. Bought it simply because it was a fairly well priced prime lens for me starting out.


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May 22, 2014 20:09 |  #29

draculr wrote in post #16921842 (external link)
I'd say your lighting and exposure levels are playing a bigger part than the lens.

The more I look at the OP shots, the more I think this is the case. What sized and type of modifiers were used here? Positioning?

I do like the shots, but it might be a little too contrasty/hard for this subject.


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May 22, 2014 20:33 |  #30

werds wrote in post #16923408 (external link)
Check out my sig - Canon 135mm f/2.8 Soft Focus. Pretty cool, for all intents and purpose it is a normal 135mm 2.8 lens but it has a dial that I can rotate the setting to 2 different levels of in lens softness (Or I can turn it to 0 and it acts like a normal 135mm). Giving that "glamour shots" look. Haven't messed with it much since it is pure hobby for me. Bought it simply because it was a fairly well priced prime lens for me starting out.

Ah, good to know, maybe the OP can get something out of that!


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