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02-08-2011, 09:43 AM   #1
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More Bokeh Discussion Please

Since I ran my mouth in JeffJS's thread , Ive been thinking. Bokeh good or bad is somewhat subjective so please give me your opinion of the bokeh in these


Last edited by seacapt; 06-07-2016 at 11:27 PM.
02-08-2011, 09:51 AM   #2
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The only one that rubs me the wrong way is the second one, with the bird on the wire. I had to look at it a second to Find the bird in all of that stuff going on. It might work for a larger subject or a tighter crop though. If the purpose of the photo however IS the bokeh, I can see it having some interest.

I think the best of the bunch is the first one. It doesn't distract and does a good job of separating subject from background.

The third and fourth are somewhat distracting but I do like the soft colors blended in the background. Just a little too close to do what I think the job of Bokeh is.

The last one, probably due to the actual subject is the least Interesting to me.


Last edited by JeffJS; 02-08-2011 at 09:57 AM.
02-08-2011, 10:16 AM   #3
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The bird just flew in from a Phish concert man

Actually as I said in your thread Jeff I have a few lenses that I like for bokeh shots. Several are not represented here but each of these pictures is from a different lens. They do all have one thing in common.



Thats all I'm going to say for now.

Last edited by seacapt; 02-10-2011 at 10:43 AM.
02-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #4
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OK, to be fair I'll add this one done with the same lens as #5 with a slightly less boring subject


Last edited by seacapt; 06-07-2016 at 11:27 PM.
02-08-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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They seem alright for me. #2 is obviously busy.. looks like fireworks. Hard to see the bokeh in #1 since it's so dark, but seems nice.
02-09-2011, 08:44 AM   #6
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C'mon guys , only 2 people are going to state opinion on what they think the bokeh in these is , good bad or ugly. Everyone has an opinion on bokeh help me out here. I'm trying to get a general concensus.
how about these?

Last edited by seacapt; 06-07-2016 at 11:27 PM.
02-09-2011, 09:18 AM   #7
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I'll throw out my opinions. Note that I'm a novice at photography and my opinion may be ridiculous.

In the first photo [of the second series] with the orange flower and green bokeh, I feel the bokeh is pretty good. My only annoyance is that you see definite edges in the bokeh, but no more hint of detail...I would have preferred if it was all smoothed out and no edges defined at all in this scenario.

Second picture [of the second series] is too dark to really see any bokeh...unless you are talking about the second flower slightly behind the first.

I dislike the bokeh in the bird shot...extremely distracting.

And for the thistle shot...I assume it's stopped down since I see hexagonal highlights. Ehh, not a fan.

My favorite bokeh is from the orchid shot.

And there you have it...a perspective from a noob.
02-09-2011, 10:06 AM   #8
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#1 is great
#2 is terrible
#3, #4 is great
#5 is okish
#6, #7, #8 is fine

02-09-2011, 11:32 AM   #9
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In the last two - what's not to like? But then again, there are few macro lenses that produce crappy bokeh.
02-09-2011, 12:16 PM   #10
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#1 (1st) Awesome bokeh, enhanced by the dark background (maybe bokeh wouldn't be as appealing if it was brighter, but can't say). Depth of field seems too small and I would have liked to see the focal point brought forward a little bit.

#2 (4th) Crazy bokeh and the birds head could be sharper. Again, a higher f-stop too increase depth of field so the bird becomes more interesting. Also, a higher f-stop may improve the bokeh a lot or may not, but I'd like to see???

#3 (3rd) Good creamy bokeh, but I'd still like to see an increase depth of field to try and cover more of the flowers stamens.

#4 (2nd) Very good bokeh and the subject is nicely covered by the depth of field.

#5 (3rd) Good bokeh, subject undesirable.

#6 (3rd) Good bokeh, better subject.

#7 (1st) Awesome bokeh, but again, a higher f-stop too increase depth of field or slide the focus back a little. I would like to see more of the flower.

#8 (1st) Awesome bokeh, nice sharpness, interesting lighting (but maybe brighten a little?).
02-10-2011, 10:27 AM   #11
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OK Thank you all, now that I have a little feedback I'll get to the point. A few days ago JeffJS started a simillar thread. The picture that I thought had the most pleasing bokeh was taken with by far the least expensive lens of the group. I'm not going to go into a dissertation on LBA or gear snobbery but I do know that for some of us the choice between a new high dollar (relative term) lens and stuff for the family can be frustrating. Yes there are some very pricey lenses known for excellent bokeh but you don't need to spend a ton of money to get good bokeh shots!

All the pictures in this thread were taken with lenses that cost me less than $50.00 several less than $20.00

The list:
#1 & 8 Tamron adaptall 80-210 model 103A .One of my "bokeh babies". This lens came in a package with other equiptment and was a pleasant surprise. Were I going to a botanical garden this would certainly be with me.

#2 Vivitar 135 /2.8 by Komine Although nobody liked this shot the lens has some very interesting bokeh qualities. The reason for the psychodelic background is that the shiney wet leaves behind the bird were reflecting the low angle sun in many small dots.This is also a pretty heavey crop which magnified the effect.

#3 Tamron Adaptall 60-300 model 23A in "macro" mode

#4Vivitar 50/1.8 by Cosina lens cost me $5.00

#5 & 6 Sears 55/1.4 This is one of my favorite portrait and candid lenses due to it's slight softness. Bokeh is kinda quirky but nice as long as there is a little distance between subject and background.

#7 Tamron Adaptall 35-80 model 01A The most expensive lens used in this group coming to me right at $50.00 . This is the lens that lives on my camera.

Let me leave you with this, Yes every lens has specific qualities but even with a cheapo special if you set up the shot right you can get good effects. It's more about understanding your gear and the desired image than the gear itself.

Last edited by seacapt; 02-10-2011 at 11:10 AM.
02-10-2011, 10:40 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Voytech Quote
#2 is obviously busy.. looks like fireworks. .
I was thinking VanGough
02-12-2011, 03:38 AM   #13
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did someone mentioned Bokeh?

02-12-2011, 04:04 AM   #14
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I have a hypothesis: Bokeh can enhance a subject by contrasting with the subject's texture. If a subject has any complexity, then the bokeh should be smooth so as not to distract. But if the subject is smooth and featureless, then a jagged, jarring background is appropriate. Try it.
02-12-2011, 08:59 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
OK Thank you all, now that I have a little feedback I'll get to the point. A few days ago JeffJS started a simillar thread. The picture that I thought had the most pleasing bokeh was taken with by far the least expensive lens of the group. I'm not going to go into a dissertation on LBA or gear snobbery but I do know that for some of us the choice between a new high dollar (relative term) lens and stuff for the family can be frustrating. Yes there are some very pricey lenses known for excellent bokeh but you don't need to spend a ton of money to get good bokeh shots!

All the pictures in this thread were taken with lenses that cost me less than $50.00 several less than $20.00

The list:
#1 & 8 Tamron adaptall 80-210 model 103A .One of my "bokeh babies". This lens came in a package with other equiptment and was a pleasant surprise. Were I going to a botanical garden this would certainly be with me.

#2 Vivitar 135 /2.8 by Komine Although nobody liked this shot the lens has some very interesting bokeh qualities. The reason for the psychodelic background is that the shiney wet leaves behind the bird were reflecting the low angle sun in many small dots.This is also a pretty heavey crop which magnified the effect.

#3 Tamron Adaptall 60-300 model 23A in "macro" mode

#4Vivitar 50/1.8 by Cosina lens cost me $5.00

#5 & 6 Sears 55/1.4 This is one of my favorite portrait and candid lenses due to it's slight softness. Bokeh is kinda quirky but nice as long as there is a little distance between subject and background.

#7 Tamron Adaptall 35-80 model 01A The most expensive lens used in this group coming to me right at $50.00 . This is the lens that lives on my camera.

Let me leave you with this, Yes every lens has specific qualities but even with a cheapo special if you set up the shot right you can get good effects. It's more about understanding your gear and the desired image than the gear itself.
Interesting study. I'm surprised that all the photos taken by the Tamron Adaptall models look most pleasing to me. But could it be due to the longer focal length ? Could FL be one of the missing links to great bokeh ???
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