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Ben J.

DIY softening filter?

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I have a sony camera which has more than enough sharpness. For 50mm for closeups, I want a softer look without lowering contrast or affecting bokeh (as most softening filters do with making the bokeh look like you have dust particles on your lens). I know this is unorthodox, but if I touched the lens with my finger and put a bunch or finger prints on the lens, wouldn't that do a better job of softening the lens without lowering the contrast that much? I'd use my hbm 1/2 softening filter, but the bokeh gets affected. I know people recommend rubbing petroleum jelly and stuff like that, but I don't like the uneven look/over the top look.

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs
23 minutes ago, Ben J. said:

I want a softer look without lowering contrast or affecting bokeh (as most softening filters do with making the bokeh look like you have dust particles on your lens). I know this is unorthodox, but if I touched the lens with my finger and put a bunch or finger prints on the lens, wouldn't that do a better job of softening the lens without lowering the contrast that much?

Of course, don't put the "schmear" directly on the lens element -- use a clear UV filter or some other separate piece of clear glass in front of the lens.

 

Finger grease is usually more subtle than petroleum jelly, but finger grease will still lower contrast a little.

 

Most "black dot" style diffusion/softening filters will give the effect of softening while still maintaining contrast.

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There's a bunch of Tiffen Pro Mist videos on Vimeo, here's one example: 

These types of filters typically perform 3 main functions: soften image, reduce contrast / boost shadows, provide glow / halation around bright elements. One of the secrets to providing the film look.

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5 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

Stockings?

 

Cool, thanks for the suggestion. I forgot about stockings. Not sure how I feel about the light loss, but oh well, can't have everything I guess ;)

 

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