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Monday, 12 April 2021

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I have the 75-150 series E Nikon, terrific general use lens that made me often leave the excellent 105mm f2.5 at home on outings.

One lens that I liked as a portrait lens is one of Nikon's least well regarded models, the 43-86mm f/3.5. I have a later model (serial number over one million), and all the negative press is probably well deserved... it's not super sharp, it has both excessive barrel and pincushion distortion in a very short zoom range. At full aperture and at 86mm, it has just the right compression and image softness for portraits of less than perfect models... AKA, real people, particularly women.

Most lenses today are brutally sharp and render details that only a few could tolerate the scrutiny with.

I still have that Nikkor 105 /2.5 and indeed it is a lovely lens, and I believe Canon still makes their 135mm f/2.8 SF (Soft Focus)
It is quite sharp at all apertures in its normal state, but has a ring with 3 positions which lowers sharpness and introduces some Spherical Aberration. I also have the 135 f/2 which is blazingly sharp and also a wonderful lens. But I find myself picking the f/2.8 most times
It is a lovely inexpensive lens with a beautiful look if you don't over do it. Note, I am assuming that it is spherical Aberration because it gives that "Sharp through the blur' look of classic portrait lenses.
Another lens that I use for that is Canon's older 50mm f/1.4-- it has a certain softness or smoothness to it. It is not 'unsharp' just not super sharp. There are lots of choices out there now that we have adapters to mirrorless.

The Mark III is way too expensive.

Why not use the Pentax 70/2.4 with a $22 adapter to an existing, say, Fuji X camera body? Surely manual focusing will do just fine, no?

One of your occasional commenters, the photographer Kirk Tuck, can squeeze great soft-focus portraits out of his digital cameras...

It's a trifle embarrassing to admit this, but I bought a Lensbaby "Velvet" 56mm f1.6 to try for something over in the pictorialism direction -- not that extreme -- and it works pretty well for that. I say a "trifle embarrassing" because it still feels like a trick lens. But, you know what they say...oh well.

I remember testing an 85mm Canon FD breach-lock (first series multi-coated) for my old Canon FTb with a model pal, and after looking at the transparencies, she said: "...don't ever use that lens on me again...". Whatever lens I had gotten a hold of. was painfully sharp, at whatever aperture I was using on her (probably f/5.6). This was just a camera I was knocking around with.

I had a Contax system with an 85mm f/2.8 CZ, which I always used with a tiny extension ring, and the result on peoples faces with that was "sharp but smooth". It was a later series lens, and should have been even sharper than the Canon, but something else was going on. Interesting...

No doubt about the Nikon 105 f/2.5. I shot a bunch of face shots with a mid-70's version at my first studio job, just for model books, and when my boss saw them, he said: "...wow, you can tell you were working at a portrait studio in high-school and college!" Another "sharp but smooth" lens.

Interesting to note, over the years, I've become more of a 85mm guy. Early in my career, a lot of camera companies went from 50mm to 100-105mm, to 135mm. 85mm's were hard to come by, and all the advertising from Nikon on the 105mm made me disregard 85mm. I have an old Canon FT I had spruced up, and have a 35mm and 50mm single coat FL lenses for it; but I can't even touch an 85mm for less than mid-300's, and this is a "stop-down" metering lens! I've seen 100mm's in good shape for 75 bucks...

"But, balance? Moderation? Subtlety?" I really laughed at that point.

It's a nice coincidence that I'm reading this as I wait for an XT3 and wonder wich good budget portrait lens should I get for it. Do you ever used a Vitrox lens with your Fujis?

[Try the 50mm Fujicron, 75mm-e and small and unthreatening. --Mike]

If memory serves Kodak used to sell a b&w stock with extended red sensitivity intended for portraits. The studio I learned to print in went through a ton of it and now I can't remember what it was called, getting old I guess.
APS users looking for a budget friendly portrait lens might look at a 50mm with a maximum aperture from 2 to 1.4.
I appreciate the shout out to the venerable Nikkor 105. I still love mine.
You also might want to consider dialing back the resolution when doing portraits.
100mp seems a bit cruel in this application.
All that said one of my favorite portrait photographers was Arnold Newman and his work was largely bokeless.

Being a photographer, I take pictures of people. Even though my business was architectural and commercial photography, I took pictures of the staff, the construction workers and other people. In retirement, I still take pictures of people, only they don't pay me. :-)

I've shot Leica since the early 60's, and have and have had many of their lenses, many outstanding. One lens that I got in the 70's was the 90mm Tele-Elmarit (fat one); I didn't care that much for it and got the thin one when it came out. I seemed OK, but at first I wasn't over the moon about it. Gradually I realized that many of my favourite pictures of people in particular were made with that lens. It's not Leica's best, technically, but I liked it. I liked it enough that when the 90 Apo Aspheric came out around 2000, I had that for about a year (not getting rid of the TE) but then sold it because while incredibly sharp, it was quite unsatisfying. The TE remains with me, and it gets quite sharp enough by f/5.6.

In the 70's I also shot a lot of 4x5, and while most of my lenses due to my specialty allowed lots of movements, I also acquired a 150 and a 210 Voigtlaender Apo-Lanthar which didn't. Although now legendary and commanding huge prices, at that time they weren't that sought after then, mostly due to their modest coverage but also due to being rather soft at larger apertures even though being apo-corrected. Lovely for people, but 4x5 portraits not being my main money maker I sold them, and stuck with the Symmars and Sironars that enabled good architectural shots.

Now I have other options as well, but the Leica Tele-Elmarit will stay with me. It's definitely an outlier; a relatively inexpensive Leica lens that's under appreciated and produces many best loved pictures.

What would you choose for micro 4/3 cameras?

If I won the lottery I'd buy a $5,700.00 Cooke Portrait PS945 Lens 229mm, f/4.5 for my 4x5 Toyo.

The Nikon 85mm 1.8 for Z draws beautifully. It's sharp, but not pitiless.

Bokeh, bokeh and bokeh!
You, Mike, should be sued by all low-budget photographers in the world for launching that term into the crowds! hahahahaaha

Here in Brazil, in the equivalent of ebay, www.mercadolivre.com.br, lenses once relegated to ostracism like Jupiter, Exactas, Zeiss from Jena, etc. they are very expensive, designated by surreal names as "unsurpassed bokeh", "12 iris blades that produce an incomparable bokeh", and so on....

https://produto.mercadolivre.com.br/MLB-1740189870-pentacon-135mm-15-lambokeh-mtenho-adapt-nao-incluido-_JM#position=20&type=item&tracking_id=28679d17-7c56-4d43-93be-f6a28ff9651a

What? No love for the Minolta 85 f2.8 Varisoft?

I would like the Lomography Daguerrotype Achromat; that is close to my ideal, because I think sharpness in portraits is enormously overrated.

But the Nikon 85mm f/1.8D is a reliable lovely tool for the crisp end of things, and the original double glass Lensbaby Composer, used minimally (f/4, not too much tilt) can ably support the kind of Hoppé-ish, Pirie MacDonald-ish look I like.

The KMZ Jupiter 8 on APS-C is a fabulous tool, as is the Helios 44-2 (which is also pretty handy on full frame).

I always liked the 80mm f1.4 Summilux for the Leica film SLR. A nice mellow lens at wider apertures and very sharp at f8 or f11.

The DA 70 is great for such a tiny lens, it's one of the things keeping me with Pentax. But what about apodization lenses like the Sony FE 100 STF? I've been researching it and the way it renders backgrounds is creating serious GAS for a Sony body and I'm now paying attention for any little tidbit about the A7 IV. Also, if you like dreaminess in a portrait I recommend studying the techniques of cinematographer Christopher Doyle (also great if you're a fanatic for color).

I think that the Pentax FA 77/1.8 has the quality you speak of, perhaps even more so than the 70/2.4.... as I expect you will soon hear from a bevy of Pentaxians.

And it adapts very nicely to the Fuji xt3.

"the imaginary concept of relative aperture"

Love it!

How much of lens design and production is delegated to computers and robotics these days? I don't know but I suspect it's more and more all the time, from design to QC. There must be fewer and fewer opportunities for the introduction of imperfections, mistakes, fudges and other things that people don't or can't teach computers how to do, and therefore will not happen when they're in control--less and less chance for error, character or magic to creep in. That's gonna hold whether the brief is sharpness or unsharpness.

I've noticed that restaurant delivery containers have become so sophisticated that they are a real pain to open, which IMO verges on making them less suitable for their ultimate purpose, which is to put food in my mouth as conveniently as possible.

It sounds like something similar has happened to lenses, or at least to "portrait lenses", in that they are so "good" now that it's harder to make good pictures with them.

I think you would like the Nikkor 58mm 1.4G. I sure liked that lens. It's bashed online for being soft wide open, but to me that's the point. It sharpens up nicely by f/5.6 which is when you want it to be sharp, and is super sharp by f/11. Its rendering is beautiful to my eyes.

As an aside, Nikon went on to produce the 105 f/1.4G and 28mm f/1.4E lenses and they seem wildly popular due to being sharp wide open. Sigma Art series lenses likewise I think.

To Francisco Cubas... Mike is right to suggest the 50mm Fujicron, its sharp from wide-open, focuses fast and renders nicely.

Might I also suggest the 60mm f/2.4 macro. It pairs better with a 23mm, giving the classic 35mm and 90mm full frame equivalent which served decades of Leica M shooters over the years.

I have both. I like the 50mm on the street, but for planned head shot portraits, that extra 10mm on the crop sensor really is nice.

Enjoy the X-T3, I like mine.

Cooke had a really good soft focus lens for LF
I had one and it was a joy.

I used Nikon 105/2.0 DC and Sony 85/1.4 GM in the past for portrait. Currently I’m using Fuji GF 110/2.0 on GFX 50R for its eye-focusing. With adapted older lens on 50R, I like Taylor Hobson Cooke 165/2.5. Fully open it’s very soft and dreamy, kinda pictorial. At F4.5 it reaches a pleasing balance. With 4x5 film, I have a coated 240/4.5 Heliar. I shot an alabaster bust with Heliar on 4x5, Cooke, and GF 110 on 50R, all wide open, and let my friends judge them. Most rated Heliar the best, Cooke and GF 110 split the 2nd place.

"Perfection is appealing but not interesting."

Ah, perfect pull quote.

Eolake

That Pentax 70mm 2.4 is wonderful.

Eolake

About the perfect portrait lens, in the past I used to like the look of longer telephoto lenses. Perhaps is a “cultural” issue? What I mean is being from Italy and taking portraits of a lot of Italian people with strong features, the “compression of prospective” of telephoto lenses would have a nice effect. On the other end, if you want to take a portrait that looks like a caricature, use a wide angle from a position close and lower than the subject head. I did it for fun a few times.

Perhaps some subject look better with a longer telephoto and others with a shorter focal length....

Oh, I'm still looking for the successor to the Nikon 105/2.5 that I used on an F or FTN in the 1970s. When the Olympus E-1 came along its 50 macro had a similar feeling. (100-eff because of the smaller 4/3 image chip.)

Gentle focus manual lenses are lovely. Razor sharp lenses, by my logic, facilitate fast and precise autofocus acquisition by giving the electronics something unambiguous to chew on.

Francisco,

Get the 60mm macro. Sharp enough, modest aperture but a rich, rounded, velvet rendering, especially in black and white. Nice and compact too. It’s overlooked because it initially had unbearable autofocus on original X-Pro1 firmware but newer bodies such as the X-T3 make it a non-issue. Plus you get a focus limiter! You can get them comparatively cheap on the used market because it’s long been overshadowed by snazzier lenses with wider apertures and faster focus.

Kinda sorta related to that earlier portrait look is when the diffusion or soft focus is done in the darkroom. Highlights and skin tones are relatively unaffected, while the shadow areas get soft and spread out into the image. Contact printing with a thin piece of glass between the negative and paper gives a similar feel. It's easy to spot once you start looking for it. I think it is a very charming look for portraits and surprisingly difficult to duplicate in Photoshop.

The Nikon 58 1.4 might do the trick? It has a reputation for being not sharp enough by modern standards (never tried it unfortunately). The focal length leaves someting to be desired for portraiture however. I still think the modern Nikon AF-S 85. 1.4 is good for portraits, I don't do that much however. It might be a little to sharp from f2.8 and on, as it is considered "perfect" corner to corner on any aperture smaller than 2.0.

Thanks for the link to the history of the Nikkor 105/2.5 which I was happy to hunt down (along with a Canon 100/2 (both LTM)) some years ago in Japan...

Anyway, I’d be interested to hear your opinion of the Fuji GFX 110 if you get a chance to try one out.

Normally I just lurk about on TOPS. Mostly enjoy your (Subtle) humour

I confess to being a former owner of the Nikon 70-150 Zoom. I used, abused and eventually wore mine out. (They weren't that strongly built)

Mostly for environmental portraits.
It wasn't so much unsharp, as (but not your wire sharp), but produced a fine printable neg at 105-130mm.

I've occasionally pondered getting one from ebay, just to see how it handles on a digital platform.

Thanks for the warm trip down memory lane

My favourite portrait lens is a Nikon 105f1.8 Ai-s on what ever full frame camera I have, currently that is a D850. I have often thought I should get an autofocus 105mm as i find focusing without a split screen on a DSLR is not so easy and I love the focal length. I find that 85mm is to short and 135mm to long, this is personal others love the 85/135mm focal length I just don’t. However, I don’t want the macro lens for portraits, as they just doesn’t draw then ‘right’, so I keep looking at a lens that Nikon has recently discontinued and think maybe I should get one before it disappears that lens is the Nikon 105mm f2DC lens but reading Ken Rockwell’s review he mentions how sharp it is and that worries me as the only reason I would be getting it is that I want an autofocus version of the 105f1.8. The other option of not to my taste is the new AF-S Nikkor 105mm f1.4E ED which according to a few reviews is ultra sharp so in my opinion that makes it not my desired kinda portrait lens for all the reasons that you have outlined in your lens article.

You can always make a sharp negative/file less sharp and/or more soft in post processing, be it in the darkroom or on the computer.

The other was round is neither easy nor good; post sharpening on the computer often looks artificial.

This is a really interesting subject: Today's high end lenses are close to perfect... To an extent that "sterile" and "clinical" is relevant. Perfect can make boring!?
On the other hand we have budget lenses that now are really great.
I recently compared three lenses on my Sony A7R4 all at max aperture:
Zeiss Contax 50/1.7 - beautiful, low contrast rendering, plenty detail a little soft

Samsung (rokinon) 75/1.8 beautiful tonality, medium contrast rendering, plenty detail

Sony/Zeiss 55/1.8 - Sharp, contrasty and saturated in comparison

The 75/1.8 makes, to me, a really great portrait lens. It is AF, an asset as a portrait is all about findng that moment of relaxed realtion/mood that shows the person's personality.
I also have a Jupiter 9 85/2 - superb for portraits but takes time to focus.

"Sharp with a light touch"... a bit like the Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4? :)

As a matter of fact, I got myself a Nikon F3 a few weeks ago and the 105/2.5 AI-S is with Fedex on its way to me from Japan.

After reading your article, I made an offer on a 75-150 Series E, thanks for the tip :)

I got the F3 in order to experience some of those legendary Nikkor lenses in the way they were intended to be.

I recall an older photographer, years ago, describing a specialist large-format portrait lens. It had a series of adjustable apertures around the rim of the lens, so after the image was formed by the center, you could add just the right amount of spherical aberration. It would appear mainly as haloes around the highlights, according to his description. I would like to see such a lens and its work, but I can't find my notes, and of course googling "spherical aberration" only gets you all sorts of advice on how to avoid it.

Actually, I'd say the Pentax FA 77mm Limited, although a bit short for portraits on full-frame (for which it was designed) has that balance of sharp/smooth/bokeh/resolution. Works wonderfully on APS-C. Like its two related stablemates, the FA 31mm and 43mm Limiteds, the 77 is from that not-too-distant time of balance, quirk and care in lens design and manufacture.

I also have the DA 70mm f/2.4 and it's a fantastic lens (and cheap used!), but the general consensus is that the FA 77mm f/1.8 is even better for portraits. And it's coming soon with newer HD coatings (its Achilles heel is aberrations wide open so newer coatings might help with this).
But honestly most 50-100mm lenses take great portraits. I have a SMC Pentax-M 100mm f/2.8 (non-macro) lens that is absolutely delightful for portraits, I might like it better even than the little DA 70 pancake. And I never even tried to buy one, it came along with a film camera I bought...
For environmental portraits I find that a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 Art Series lens that I have works beautifully. This lens is super sharp stopped down but a 30mm f/1.4 wide open on APS-C gives enough depth of field to make portraits look great, and it's not clinically sharp at f/1.8 and under.
But the one lens that surprised me most for portraits is the DA*16-50mm f/2.8 zoon. I was able to buy one with a broken motor that was converted to screw driver AF, so it was really cheap. I end up using it at the 50mm end for my family portraits a lot - the colors are superb, and I find it amazing how it portrays skin and hair - soft yet full hair, soft and gentle skin yet not unsharp. It's a bit hard to explain but it works great - on my copy f/3.2 seems to be the sweet spot for portraits and details. Of course it's an f/2.8 zoom and large especially by mirrorless standards, but I find myself carrying it around a whole lot more than I thought I would.

Yes to the sharpness issue. I use black Pro-mist or Pearlescent filters for every portrait.

Great post Mike. While checking TOP this morning, I was thinking that lately the topic subjects shifted to less interesting to me. You won again my attention.
Some days earlier referring to audio equipment you wrote "it wasn't accurate but it departed from accuracy in the ways he liked".
Experimenting imperfections with adapted vintage lenses or dirt cheap chinese lenses on a digital camera is great fun.
Maybe I will be able to recreate the aestetic of my film images.

Look into the Sigma 45/2.8 that is quietly becoming a classic. Lovely draw wide open, crisp closed down a bit, compact, beautifully built.

The perfect portrait lens? None of the above any more. Given that most “portraits” will never meet paper or be seen larger than an iPad screen, the iPhone will unquestionably serve as the “perfect” lens portrait lens...or at least the most employed, with its rapidly improving array of ai-mediated image processing tools. And probably its front-facing lens, at that. The age of formal portraiture is nearly over, Mike.

I found my notes: the Rodenstock Imagon it's called; apparently still available. I'll see if I can find some on-line galleries.

If you'd like a bit of subtle softness for portraiture Pentax APS-C then you can't go much wrong with the venerable SMC K55/1.8, pick it up for under a 100 (Euro, Dollar) and get your manual focus groove on. Wouldn't discount the FA77/1.8 Limited either, pin sharp where you want it to be with an even smoother transition to OOF and more pixie dust for the 3d effect. It is worse dealing with high contrast conditions compared to the DA70/2.4 though. Spoilt for choice really :)

Don't forget the DA*50-135/2.8, it is a marvellous portrait lens if the subject is calm :D
K-3 + DA* & 94mm equivalent /2.8
https://robbiecc.smugmug.com/PeopleandPortraits/Hazel-4/n-wSZPWR/i-XzqsGff

[What a cutie pie! Daughter or granddaughter? --Mike]

Francisco- The answer is above: find yourself an old 105mm f2.5 Nikkor. Any vintage late 60's to mid 70's. A cheap Nikon f to Fuji adapter and you are in business.
I'v used my 1969 vintage Nikkor 50mm f1.4 wide open with an Olympus m4/3 camera. Wire sharp? Hardly. Nice though. It was the "kit" lens with my Nikon F.

I love shooting 820nm IR for people - the skin looks amazing, well, when their veins don't show through! It's a not a catch all but addresses catching the real portrait of a person while ignoring the temporal scars, etc that might be present.

It's interesting that you mention the 105/2.5 Nikkor here. The original SLR version from the '60s was the reason I moved from Pentax to Nikon 20 years ago or so, having used a borrowed one in daylight and with Fuji Reala with beautiful results. I have the AiS version today, but I'd suggest a person looking for the old-school Nikon look consider one of the early pre-Ai versions, used with good light and a low ISO, such as 100, for what I describe as "the Life Magazine look." The FTZ adapter, as with most adapters, doesn't care which aperture ring is on the 105 Nikkor.

If I were still using Pentax gear, I'd have the 31 and 77 Limiteds. The new K3 is tempting.

The cheap chinese industrial lenses on m43 are a good replacement for the clinical lenses of today. 7 artisans 35 1.2, old school drawing. Risespray 35 1.2, also dope with slightly more wide open sharpness. Risespray 35 .95... well, all I can say is it's the best of all time portrait lens, for m43. Kaxinda 25 .95... just a beauty so heavy it nukes my lighter m43 cameras... i would take this lens to the grave with me, so good. Ever adapt the pentax 110 lenses? They can be had for cheap and cover APS-c... non clinical for sure, lovely simple optics, perfect soft portraits.

Mike,

Have the recent Pentax posts been hints that you'll be testing a Pentax K3 III soon? :>)

The 90mm Summicron R behaved this way. It was a sharp lens all the way down to f/2, but at f/2 it slightly softened and lowered in contrast and saturation in a way that made for some of my favourite portraits.

This balance was best achieved in the old days with the big simple Tessars and it is why I dearly love my Nikkor 45/2.8 AI-P. It's a simple Tessar pancake and it is exquisite for what it is just as they were at the turn of the century.

I would add the Zeiss ZM Sonnar 1,5/50mm, used at aperture 2,0 to the portrait lens list. I use it via adapter on my Sony a7II with pleasing results. The bit of CA is correctable in post if this seems necessary. I would recommend this lens only for FF, not so much with APS-C or even MFT.

With MFT I use Panasonic 1,7/42.5mm or Sigma DN 2,8/60mm, both at full aperture, with pleasing results, especially in the bokeh department. Albeit a bit to sharp already but I'm not aware of reasonable alternatives in this format.

I’m getting a lot of pleasure from shooting portraits with a pre-AI 105mm single coated Nikkor P with a full frame Canon RP. Nice flare against the sun too.

Still a very effective portrait lens, for very little money (£150). Saves wasting time on Photoshop if you can get the results you want straight out of the camera.

The new Canon RF 100 mm Macro has a "Spherical Aberration Control" to adjust bokeh. Whether it will make better portraits or not remains to be seen.

Check out the Nikon 105/2.5 and the Pentax 70/2.4 wide open side by side, and you will see the depth-of-field/bokeh difference, it is obvious and repeatable. It is a very easy experiment. But hey, continue to deny the undeniable if it makes you feel right.

[I'm not denying that there's a DoF difference on different formats. I'm denying that that somehow magically turns the aperture of one lens or the other into a different or "equivalent" aperture. Because it doesn't.

Now that's enough, I'm not going to discuss this further. --Mike]

I've never shot a portrait with it but I'm in love with the look of the Nikkor 85/1.4D.

John Montgomery: If you're talking about M4/3rds. I've used the Oly 45mm f/1.8 at f/2 or f/2.8, and always got pretty great results. Seems sharp but not brutally so. An overall nice look...

Mike Plews: could you be talking about Ektapan? Kodak made a black & white film to interchange with their color neg portrait material in studio settings, called Ektapan, which had a great response to strobe lighting, much better than I thought any other black & white sheet film at the time. It was my secret weapon, and I only knew about it because I worked in a portrait studio in high-school and college. It was available only in sheet film, and roll films for those commercial portrait cameras, like 46mm and 70mm, never in 120 or 35mm or anything like that. I don't recall in being "red biased", tho, just "actualized" for strobe exposure, so no high-end reciprocity failure. I used it when I had my commercial studio for product shots, and no one could figure out why my stuff had such a good look!

I had a 90mm tele-elmarit which had developed some kind of haze. Probably because I kept it in a cheap leatherette bag-I was young and didn't know better.

Oh man what a portrait lens!

So I got it cleaned :( That was a mistake... it definitely lost the magic. I was young, didn't know better!

Now I have an uncoated pre-war Sonnar that's been converted to Leica mount... it's a 50 so not a tight headshot/portrait lens, but just such beautiful rendering.

Just buy an old Soviet Jupiter-9 85 mm 1:2, which is a 1940s Zeiss Sonnar, and has the legendary rendering that the Sonnar design provides. Even on APS-C you have a focal length of 135 mm-e, which while not perfect is still workable for portraits. Here's a review:

https://phillipreeve.net/blog/review-jupiter-9-85mm-2-0/

The mystery Kodak film may well have been Tri-X Ortho 4163. EK used to advertise it for portraits of men- it gave Caucasian men very dark, 'ruddy' skin tones. I suspect that Yusuf Karsh may have used that film extensively; it was discontinued c.1992. The portrait studio I shot for from '79-'81 used Ektapan in long rolls, but all the work I did for them was in color. That studio, like the film, is long gone.
My favorite portrait lens was the original 90/2 Summicron for the M-series Leica; my second favorite was the 1980s 90/2 Summicron-M (a completely different design). Those are both long gone, but I still have, and use, my Nikkor 105/2.5. Really a very pleasing lens, even after 35 years of use.

Hi Mark! I think a lot of people got those "salty sea-dog" face tones by using a green filter (usually an X1). I remember a lot of stories I read about photographers over the years mentioning that they used that filter for darker skin tones and lighter foliage. I actually have a "light density" version of that filter in Heliopan that only needs a one-stop shift. I got it in Rollei bayonet in some deal, and I use it on my Minolta Autocord, to drop the film speed and f/stop to more accurate levels when using Tri-X outdoors (the higher shutter speeds on TLR's rarely being correct).

I think what Mike Plews was talking about was some film that would actually lighten face tones to look smoother. I actually knew a guy shooting model "comps" for money back in the 70's, that used to use a CC 05R to CC10R red glass filter when shooting black & white to smooth out skin tones

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