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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre People Talk 
Thread started 23 Mar 2016 (Wednesday) 01:44
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Senior portraits - can they be too sharp?

 
icor1031
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Mar 23, 2016 01:44 |  #1

Practically, would the client prefer his/her photograph taken with a less-sharp lens, like the sigma 85 - rather than an otus 85, to hide flaws?

Or, better to shoot with the otus and remove the obvious flaws like acne, and retain the rest of the detail?


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
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Nogo
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Mar 23, 2016 03:32 |  #2

I would use lighting to control the sharpness rather than doing it with the lens. Use a large modifier to soften the faults in their skin. Then for the typical teen skin blemishes correct the problems in post.


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travisvwright
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Mar 23, 2016 07:13 |  #3

Easier to soften a sharp image than to sharpen a soft image. I would say there are elements of nearly all images that can be "too sharp", and in nearly all images there are elements that cannot be too sharp (too sharp being completely different from over-sharpened). Doing portraits I'd say eyes can never be too sharp.


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TeamSpeed
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Mar 23, 2016 07:47 |  #4

There are more than enough glamour and portrait software filters out there that can take a very sharp image and tastefully soften them up. They are also configurable so you can alter the amounts/types of filters during the processing. I would rather have all the detail up front and use the filters to reduce sharpness later for different effects.


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morganlindsay
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Apr 13, 2016 14:16 |  #5

This was huge for me when I first switched from the canon 85 1.8 to the canon 85 1.2 lens. While I also switched from the rebel t1i, to the 5Dmark III.

I quickly noticed it captured every flaw and I was now spending hours editing the flaws, instead of before only trying to manipulate the light to make it appear like it was a higher quality lens.

I had to change my set up and learn how to become a better retoucher. I shoot only senior pictures in Nashville Tn (external link) and luckily I enjoy retouching. I think having a quality lens that captures everything is best. Using a sharp lens captures more rawness of the subject. Flaw's or not, it's true to them.

If you do not like to retouch, there are so many re-touchers on linked in who do it solely as their main job. You can always hire out, which would give you way more time with you fam! Hope I helped!

What camera are you shooting with?




  
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AnnYoung
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Dec 27, 2016 07:25 |  #6

You should be careful with sharpness. Check the level on eye lashes.


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fhotoace
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Dec 28, 2016 02:08 |  #7

Maybe.

We shoot senior portraits using a Phase One with IQ 250 back and either an 80 mm for full body shots or a 120 mm macro for head and shoulder shots.

Our philosophy is to get everything in the camera as sharp as possible and then when necessary do some light retouching.

We are photographers, so we leave the retouching to the professional retouchers.

The cost of retouching is included in the final cost of each print purchased by the parents.

Having a makeup artist on site is helpful and can reduce the amount of time a retoucher needs to spend on each purchased print, however a sharp lens, medium format camera does show up many flaws in a person's skin.

Attempting to defocus or soften the shot means that you will never have a nice sharp image as your starting point.




  
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bobbyz
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Dec 28, 2016 22:12 |  #8

Lowly 85L here and I never felt the need to do any softening in post. Maybe I am just lazy. Maybe OP can show some too sharp shot to see what we talking here as I never shot with Otus before.


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icor1031
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Jan 14, 2017 00:56 |  #9

bobbyz wrote in post #18226147 (external link)
Lowly 85L here and I never felt the need to do any softening in post. Maybe I am just lazy. Maybe OP can show some too sharp shot to see what we talking here as I never shot with Otus before.

Dang, this thread is still going?

Here: https://www.flickr.com …/albums/7215766​7228291102 (external link)

Most telling... at f/1.4: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157667228291102/ (external link)


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
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bobbyz
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Jan 14, 2017 09:02 |  #10

icor1031 wrote in post #18243867 (external link)
Dang, this thread is still going?

Here: https://www.flickr.com …/albums/7215766​7228291102 (external link)

Most telling... at f/1.4: https://www.flickr.com …/album-72157667228291102/ (external link)

I thought we talking high school senior portraits.:)


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icor1031
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Jan 14, 2017 12:25 |  #11

bobbyz wrote in post #18244058 (external link)
I thought we talking high school senior portraits.:)

Do you not see those too?


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Post edited over 1 year ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Jan 14, 2017 12:28 |  #12

I am pretty sure the only time we don't want images showing too much detail is when there is vanity involved. In any other situation it seems, we want the sharpest lens we can find. I don't think the animal kingdom cares if we capture every single flaw of their existence. ;)

I remove things that might not be desirable with post where I can protect the details and hide the flaws. There are some very nifty tricks in using the history brush and a blurred layer underneath to help hide flaws.


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bobbyz
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Jan 14, 2017 12:36 |  #13

icor1031 wrote in post #18244228 (external link)
Do you not see those too?

Just saw them, didn't see it was an album. Yes it is sharp but not sure what the problem is. I assume you didn't apply any sharpening in post. It you think too sharp, just a 5 sec softening in LR will fix it.


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icor1031
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Jan 14, 2017 12:43 |  #14

bobbyz wrote in post #18244241 (external link)
Just saw them, didn't see it was an album. Yes it is sharp but not sure what the problem is. I assume you didn't apply any sharpening in post. It you think too sharp, just a 5 sec softening in LR will fix it.

It's an old thread, I can't remember my reasoning. I might not have had an otus when I asked, and was trying to decide if it was a worthy investment. I see photographers, even popular ones, making their images softer than even what a cheap $80 lens would produce. I wondered if people hate sharp images of themselves.


(2) Canon 6D || Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/2 || Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 || Sigma 85mm f/1.4 || Helios 44-2 58mm f/2 || Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art || Canon 24mm f/2.8 || Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 || (2) Eg-S Focusing Screen
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Jan 14, 2017 12:46 as a reply to  @ icor1031's post |  #15

Some do, and the older crowd always asks if I can do anything about wrinkles and blemishes. However I would rather be selective on what gets smoothed over instead of affecting the entire image. Just a subjective view though...


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Senior portraits - can they be too sharp?
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