Putting the Old Canon 135mm Soft Focus Lens to Test

This lens has intrigued me forever – there are people who say that soft focus lenses are obsolete in the digital world because you can easily replicate the effect in Photoshop, and then there are those who say that it is not possible to exactly create the effect in Photoshop, mainly because the Photoshop effect is “flat” and there is something 3d-ish about the glow and softness created by the spherical aberration in the lens. After trying it out briefly, I have come to the conclusion that it will take some practice to know exactly when to use the effect and how much to get the most out of it. What I can say, however, is that it is a really fun lens to play around with and I was rather pleased with what it’s capable of without the soft focus effect turned on. I also find the bokeh it creates rather pleasing to the eye. Below are two of the shots I took using this lens – the first one with soft focus set on 1 and the second one without the soft focus turned on.

(135mm, ISO 100, f/4.0, 1/80 sec)

Baby with Soft Focus Lens

(135mm, ISO 500, f/4.5, 1/200 sec + a silver reflector)

Canon 135mm SF without the SF

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