Saturday, June 28, 2008

Transparent Diffusion

Zeiss manufactures a widely noted Softar diffusion filter which is made of many tiny globs of acrylic deposited on one surface which act as microlenses to diffuse the light.

In some versions the globs are on the inside of the filter (facing the photographer) while on others they face outwards (towards the subject).

In various versions the globs vary in number and diameter, from approximately 97 to 150 globs each 1 mm to 3 mm wide.

Homebrew approaches to transparent diffusion filters are generally based on modifying a clear or UV filter by placing various materials on it; the most popular choices are petroleum jelly, optical cement, and nail polish.

Transparent filters are more commonly used for the "dreamy" or "misty" effect than for contrast reduction.

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