Re: dreamy Nikon lenses
FYI, there was an interesting article describing variable soft
focus portrait lens for Minolta 35mm camera written by their
soft focus lens engineer several months ago on the Journal of
the Society of Photographic Science and Engineering of Japan
(article in Japanese, except for the figure captions, I think).
Also, Konica Hexar AF uses a lens whose spherical aberration
is intentionally undercorrected. It produces very nicely
"soft" image superimposed on sharp image, and with crisp
contrast, at wide open at f/2. It becomes more or less usual
"excellent" performer at about f/3.5. Of course, due to the
focusing error caused by the residual spherical aberration,
rangefinder cameras and SLRs cannot afford to leave this much
spherical, but Hexar AF calculates the focus error and
compensates in its AF algorithm. Very clever.
One thing I wish existed was a camera just like Hexar but uses
6cm square format.