Pentax 85mm soft focus lens

Started May 9, 2013 | Discussions
brianphoto
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Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
May 9, 2013

Hi everyone. I just joined DP Review. I want to ask my fellow Penatxians a question. Back in the days of film, I bought the 85mm soft focus F2.8 lens. Ever since Pentax came out with the built in digital soft filters in their cameras, this lens has been sitting in my spare lens bag for years. It's in 100% mint condition, same for the lens hood. Question is, should I sell this lens? Or should I keep it as a nice little oddity. It's kind of rare since I hardly ever used copies of this lens turn up on the used market. But I have seen it occasionally on ebay. I even have the manual to the lens. Any thoughts on this?

paulkienitz
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 9, 2013

It would be nice to see a sample pic with it.  The quality of soft focus it gives might be quite different from a digital filter.

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Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

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dick eduard
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This lens is special and I would keep it.
In reply to paulkienitz, May 9, 2013

paulkienitz wrote:

It would be nice to see a sample pic with it.  The quality of soft focus it gives might be quite different from a digital filter.

-- hide signature --

Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

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brianphoto
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Re: This lens is special and I would keep it.
In reply to dick eduard, May 9, 2013

You're right. I did love it when I was using it and it does create an effect that is different from the digital look. I should take it out again and celebrate it's uniqueness. Thanks for your input.

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Ned-B
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 9, 2013

Hi everyone. I just joined DP Review. I want to ask my fellow Penatxians a question. Back in the days of film, I bought the 85mm soft focus F2.8 lens. Ever since Pentax came out with the built in digital soft filters in their cameras, this lens has been sitting in my spare lens bag for years. It's in 100% mint condition, same for the lens hood. Question is, should I sell this lens? Or should I keep it as a nice little oddity. It's kind of rare since I hardly ever used copies of this lens turn up on the used market. But I have seen it occasionally on ebay. I even have the manual to the lens. Any thoughts on this?

Welcome Brian,

What a coincidence, I've been looking for this lens on and off for a few years. There are a few listed on eBay but they're all in Japan.

While there are some great soft filters like those from NIK software, it'd still be fun to have an optically created solution for certain portraits.

Should you ever decide to sell it send me an email

Cheers,
Ned

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brianphoto
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to Ned-B, May 9, 2013

Thanks for the welcome!

Just for fun, I went to the KEH website to get their online quote on what they would give me for this lens. I was surprised considering how long ago I bought it, that based on the condition of my lens, the original price of what I paid for, was pretty close to what they were offering. Seems that this lens has held it's monetary value over the years.

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britcam
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 9, 2013

I've had mine about a year now, and its one lens I doubt if I'll ever want to part with. Its unique - doesn't get used a lot, but I've a few projects coming up where it should pay dividends.

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britcam

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brianphoto
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to britcam, May 9, 2013

Those are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I remember that Pentax also had the 28mm version too. I ended up chosing the 85mm since I mostly do glamour and portrait work. So I didn't think a soft focus 28mm would suit my needs.

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britcam
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 9, 2013

brianphoto wrote:

Those are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I remember that Pentax also had the 28mm version too. I ended up chosing the 85mm since I mostly do glamour and portrait work. So I didn't think a soft focus 28mm would suit my needs.

Thanks.  I jumped on the 85mm version too as it seemed to offer the most potential in all sorts of circumstances. Floral close ups such as these, to outdoor dreamy stuff ...!

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britcam

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Brentliris
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 9, 2013

I'm interested in Soft focus, I've got a cokin soft focus filter that I use, on a whim sometimes for street, I especielly like the effect combined with rain shots, as often the light can be somewhat boring here, so the soft focus accentuates a quality of light here that I find interesting...

I don't think that digital filters can do the same thing as filters or softfocus lenses as the light gets smudged or refracted at capture and it seems to me not all wavelengths are affected equally, highlights get a glow, mids and shadows get creamy and muted. I think it's a kind of contrast limiting/ compressin as well..

Some examples with the Cokin diffusion filter I inherited from a relative.. I've been eyeing an expensive B+W diffusion filter but for now this works fine. And for street I find it nice and flattering and perhaps is at tad more "friendly filre" candids when you don't show every wart and blemsih..

All from a rainy morning in Brugge Belgium on a recent visit..

My point here basically is that I don't feel these types of soft effects are so easily acheived in post, and it's fun to just experiment sometimes in the field, get something perhaps a little diffrent from just sharp perfection, and just leave it at that.. I don't think I would go out of my way to invest in a dedicated soft focus lens though as I'd like the flexibliity to try it on different focal lengths..

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britcam
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to Brentliris, May 9, 2013

I still have lurking in a box somewhere, a cheap UV filter still smeared with vaseline! Used in my student days a long time ago ...!  It worked well - and by slightly clearing a small or large central circle depending on the effect I wanted, I had a very effective filter. Cost nothing - yet gave great creative results - all highly unpredictable on film of course!

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Brentliris
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to britcam, May 9, 2013

britcam wrote:

I still have lurking in a box somewhere, a cheap UV filter still smeared with vaseline! Used in my student days a long time ago ...!  It worked well - and by slightly clearing a small or large central circle depending on the effect I wanted, I had a very effective filter. Cost nothing - yet gave great creative results - all highly unpredictable on film of course!

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britcam

That made me laugh! Why not! The film days were fun but expensive when experimenting...

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Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

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paulkienitz
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Re: This lens is special and I would keep it.
In reply to dick eduard, May 9, 2013

That effect gives it a very old-school feel, like a picture made in 1928.

dick eduard wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

It would be nice to see a sample pic with it.  The quality of soft focus it gives might be quite different from a digital filter.

-- hide signature --

Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

-- hide signature --

Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

 paulkienitz's gear list:paulkienitz's gear list
Pentax Q Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +4 more
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brianphoto
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to Brentliris, May 9, 2013

Those photos were GREAT! Thanks for sharing.

Yes, it's true that having only one focal length is limiting sometimes. That's probably why they offered it as a 28mm lens as well.

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Ashurbanipal
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to Ned-B, May 10, 2013

Ned-B wrote:

What a coincidence, I've been looking for this lens on and off for a few years. There are a few listed on eBay but they're all in Japan.

While there are some great soft filters like those from NIK software, it'd still be fun to have an optically created solution for certain portraits.

Should you ever decide to sell it send me an email

Cheers,
Ned

There's one available now from KEH. It's been there for a while--it tempts me every time I see it but I wouldn't use it enough to justify the expense.

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Brentliris
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 10, 2013

brianphoto wrote:

Those photos were GREAT! Thanks for sharing.

Yes, it's true that having only one focal length is limiting sometimes. That's probably why they offered it as a 28mm lens as well.

These were shot with a Pentax M 200mm F4 at 5.6, and worked out quite well in the slightly thinned out people density in the rain. Thanks for the compliment. And enjoy your llens..

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Brentliris
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Re: This lens is special and I would keep it.
In reply to dick eduard, May 10, 2013

dick eduard wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

It would be nice to see a sample pic with it.  The quality of soft focus it gives might be quite different from a digital filter.

-- hide signature --

Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

Thanks for posting these. Have any more?

-- hide signature --

Reflections, understandings, discoveries and intimations..

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sbc
sbc
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Re: This lens is special and I would keep it.
In reply to dick eduard, May 10, 2013

dick eduard wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

It would be nice to see a sample pic with it.  The quality of soft focus it gives might be quite different from a digital filter.

-- hide signature --

Q with 02 zoom and Nikkor 180/2.8 ED for birding
K10D, Sig 17-70, DA 55-300, FA 50/1.4 "billy bass"
discards: DA 50-200 "zipper", F 100-300, Sigma 135-400 "piglet", M 400/5.6 "the Great Truncheon"

This is a 'classic'!

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brianphoto
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to Ned-B, May 10, 2013

There is an 85mm soft focus at KEH right now. You better grab it!

http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Autofocus-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-AP06999045048N?r=FE

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Ned-B
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Re: Pentax 85mm soft focus lens
In reply to brianphoto, May 10, 2013

There is an 85mm soft focus at KEH right now. You better grab it!

http://www.keh.com/camera/Pentax-Autofocus-Fixed-Focal-Length-Lenses/1/sku-AP06999045048N?r=FE

Thanks. There's also one in Japan that's LNIB mint with packaging etc for $400 which I have my eye on

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