Softly, softly.

I recently dusted off my soft-focus lens and tried it on my Panasonic GF1.  It’s a simple plastic tube, with a plastic lens element at the end nearer the camera, inside another plastic tube.  You focus by sliding the outer tube relative to the inner tube.  The lens is made so that it produces a lot of spherical aberration.  This appears to blur everything, whilst keeping the edges sharp.  It’s an effect that is very pleasing under the right circumstances.

"Soft focus maple" by Derek Gale

The image, of wet, newly-emerging maple leaves against the blue background, fits into those circumstances.  There’s a sort of dream-like look, a bit like shooting through mist or gauze.

So don’t worry about getting every image super crisp, try being a big softy!

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