U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: dreamy Nikon lenses

Re: dreamy Nikon lenses


I get that dreamy, glowy look by adding a soft filter or diffusion filter in front on my Nikon lens.

How do you think they got those soft dreamy faces on Greta Garbo or Katherine Hepburn and other stars from the 40's and 50's? Hollywood cameramen would use a special soft lens for these shots, especially when they were doing close-ups. The last thing you want is a super sharp lens for portrait photography or movie close-ups that brings out every line, dot, crease, wrinkle and pimple on the star's face. You can use the same soft lens or filter for landscape photography. Some of the old uncoated large format lenses were specifically designed to be soft. Of course, you can also use a Summar on a Leica and get the same soft effect.

Depending on the look you are looking for, the right lens is available.

Personally, I think lens sharpness is overrated; some lenses now are so sharp, you can cut yourself on them ;)


Christina Z. Anderson wrote:

Good morning!
Some of you are quite knowledgeable on lenses. Do you know of a Nikon 35mm lens that would have been in use in, say, the 40's, that produced really dreamy, glowy images?

The slides I have are from the 40's to the 70's and there is a major difference in lens between earlier and later. Or was it the film? I pulled apart one of the glass slides and it is Kodak "safety" film.

Bogdan Karasek
Montréal, Québec bogdan(at)bogdanphoto.com
Canada www.bogdanphoto.com

"I bear witness"