Increasing spherical aberration would not be a soft focus effect, it would be control over bokeh rendering and focus falloff, which would be a unique and valuable tool. In the normal position, the lens would be closer to an APO design. Increasing SA would transform the lens into a completely different design more suited for artistic subject isolation.I understand that, but there were clearly comments about soft focus, for example, and I don't see any reason why Canon would choose to include that human specific portrait feature on a macro lens of all things. Macro lenses are not at a loss for bokeh, the primary goal of most macro work is to get the most detail and depth of field out of a very shallow depth of field and often diffraction limited sharpness. No one is looking to smooth the skin of a fly.