Soft filter useful in LF? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

There is a softar I for sale at ebay right now, the seller offers a tip--NEVER CLOSE DOWN TO BEYOND F/5.6 WHEN USING THE SOFTARS. If it is true than softar will be useless in LF portrait right?

-- Aaron Rocky (, May 25, 2000


No. One distinguishing feature of the Sotar is that is's effect does not change with aperture. It is an excellent lens at portrait apertures.

however Sotar copies do not work the same way. With that type of advice one would assume that it is a copy on e bay.

-- Bob Salomon (, May 25, 2000.

That listing says it is a "B+W Softar". Softar is made by Zeiss. The listing is misleading.

-- Mark DeMulder (, May 25, 2000.

One Rodenstock catalogue I have includes Zeiss Softars in its listings. They could be made under Zeiss license, I do not really know. These are really marvelous things. I have used the Softar 1 in conjuction with the Zeiss Superachromat in the Hass. the SA is an extremely sharp lens and with the Softar the results are superb, even though the SA 250mm is a little on the long side for portraits and does flatten perspective because of the greater distance required. ( This can be flattering to long noses!) I look forward to use the Softar in LF, the results ought to be better still. As another respondent correctly observed, the Softars performance does not change with aperture. The Softar induces spherical aberrations but although it softens the image by "spraying" the highlights over the shadows in the same way as so called portrait lenses, leading to a softer image, otherwise, it does not seem to degrade the image at all which is amazing.

-- Julio Fernandez (, May 25, 2000.

"One Rodenstock catalogue I have includes Zeiss Softars in its listings"

All Softars, weather sold by Heliopan, B+W, Rodenstock, Contax, Hasselblad or Rollei are only made by Zeiss.

-- Bob Salomon (, May 26, 2000.

I think there was an Imagon on ebay also. Although a filter such as a Softar is great, you have more adjustments with an Imagon. I have one and love it. It uses disks that you can change your softness factors and has a look that no filter can reproduce IMHO. Cheers, Scott

-- Scott Walton (, May 26, 2000.

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