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Old September 29th, 2002, 03:38 AM   #1
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Zeiss Softars

Can someone tell me if the B+W Zeiss Softar 1 and 2 are the same as the Heliopan Zeiss Softar (1 and 2)? I realize both Heliopan and B+W use Schneider glass.
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Old September 29th, 2002, 12:00 PM   #2
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Frank,
I am not 100% certain but I believe that, in fact, they are the same. I think that the "Softar" name is owned by Schneider Optics and represents a patented glass treatment process. They license this name to Zeiss, Rollei, B+W and perhaps others for their products. Darned expensive diffusion filters, eh?
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Old September 29th, 2002, 05:19 PM   #3
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Yes, they are a bit expensive. Thanks for the info. I want to get them as clip-ons, so I can get the softar film look with my glasses. Life is a movie....
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Old September 29th, 2002, 07:45 PM   #4
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I owned a set of Zeiss Softars back in the '80's when I shot Contax for a while. The surface of the filter looked like a golf ball. A very neat pattern of dimples. It is the only soft focus filter I've ever seen with that pattern.

Jeff
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Old September 29th, 2002, 11:02 PM   #5
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I was going to buy the 1 and 2 Softars, but found out that they only start with the 49mm thread size, and up. My cams have a 43mm thread size. Then I discovered Cokin's new screw-in filters. So I bought the Sunsoft and 81A and 81B. Man..., they work nice! Only problem was, I had to order them from France. I have a link on my website on where to buy them. It's a good source. Oh, and the Cokin "soft" filters are cheap, unlike....

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Old September 30th, 2002, 06:16 AM   #6
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Back in the '80's a Dr. friend of mine (advanced still photographer) was shooting one of his assistants wedding. She evidently had terrible acne as a child and it had left her face severely scarred. My friend went to a camera store and they sold him a soft focus filter. He did some test shots and was disappointed with the results and asked my advice. I looked at the photos and suggested he return the soft focus filter to buy a Ziess Softar filter. He really balked at the price (even $20 years ago the price was steep) but went ahead and purchased the Softar. Now with the Softar in place, he redid his tests and was astonished by the results. His response, "the Softar did more for her complexion than $10,000 of plastic surgery ."

If you really want the Ziess Softar, get a 43 to 49 step-up ring.

Jeff
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Old September 30th, 2002, 02:42 PM   #7
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You know..., I agree. However, that would mean I'd have to take off my beautiful lens hood and chuck it. But I was actually thinking about this, going with the step-up/step-down ring (depending which side of the cam you're coming from) and dishing out the $200 Bucks for 1 Softar. (Yes, they cost almost $200 here in Canada).

Don't laugh, but the first filter I bought for that cam (with the 43mm filter threads) was a Leica UV. That was $80 Bucks. Luckily I didn't leave the store without first trying to screw the thing on. It wouldn't screw on! The threads were not standard, they were designed for Leica cameras only! Or their M6 only. I never did get to the bottom of that one, but exchanged it right away for a Heliopan UV---which they did have in the 43mm size. Oh, and the Heliopan slim line UV was a whooping $12 Dollars cheaper! (Whoopee)
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