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11-13-2011, 06:07 AM   #301
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Now We're Talking!

Hi Wolfiegirl,
Yes, you're developing the critical faculties to grade Bokeh on a finer level. My understanding is that Bokeh isn't the blur itelf, but the QUALITY of the blur.
If you look at some of the photos I linked in my earlier post, you'll see that many of the flowers appear to rise up (towards the viewer) from a sea of color. There is little or no tendancy to focus on anything but the central subject. The bokeh, by being so soft and smooth, ENHANCES the subject without calling attention to itself.
To me, great Bokeh is like the musical score in a film. If it's great, you don't even notice it's there.
But play the same scene with the sound on "Mute" and you quickly realize how important the music is.
Without getting too cosmic about it, I think Bokeh reminds us of visions we have in dreams. The main subject (usually ourselves, heh, heh) is clear and sharp and everything else is faint, not distracting. But we're not framed against a blank wall, there's SOMETHING there, right? Some (usually) background that enhances our scene without ever distracting our vision.
In a still photograph we have time to look fully at that background and analyze what it is that makes the subject so sharp. A luxury we don't have in dreams.
And we have named it; Bokeh.
It's no wonder that one of the many descriptions used for good Bokeh is "Dreamlike".
And the absolute worst description for bad Bokeh is "Jagged" or "Hard-edged". About the worst thing you would want lurking behind you in a dream.
Hope this helps!
Ron

11-13-2011, 11:12 AM   #302
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QuoteOriginally posted by drougge Quote
So this is apparently stuff I need. But at least I don't keep track of them in a spread sheet. That means I'm still ok, right?
No, it means that if you suffer memory loss, they will all seem strange. That's OK, you can send them to me for safekeeping.
11-13-2011, 11:28 AM   #303
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Someone's LBA has been in high gear

Leica Leitz Noctilux-M 1:1 / 50mm E60 - M1 -M9 | eBay

3900 EUR ~ US$ 5300
11-13-2011, 03:01 PM   #304
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Hard to find Pentax OEM adapter on the bay. 5 hours to go, 1 bid $18.00

Genuine Pentax M42 to K mount Adapter | eBay

I have no vested interest in the item, just had trouble finding one at a sensible price.

11-13-2011, 03:52 PM   #305
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*eyes roam*

so this is just the 'essentials'? what's your normal stash like?

Let's see.. that looks like 2 dslrs (although the one on the far right looks funky... it's a got a square bit attached?!)

one film camera, some flashes, teleconverters, macro tubes, and lots of lovely lenses! *droool*
11-13-2011, 04:05 PM   #306
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The 'one on the far right' looks like a Pentax 645 (nII?) film camera to me. The predecessor of the funky new 645d, the larger lenses and extention tubes nearby are also 645 format, (as opposed to 35mm or APSC format lenses.)

Yep some very drool worthy lenses including the FA's 31 and 77, the Da 12-24, and maybe a M or a 100 mm macro maybe? (not sure).

Absolutely essential, 'Don't leave home without it' kit.
11-13-2011, 04:35 PM   #307
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hi Wolfiegirl,
Yes, you're developing the critical faculties to grade Bokeh on a finer level. My understanding is that Bokeh isn't the blur itelf, but the QUALITY of the blur.
If you look at some of the photos I linked in my earlier post, you'll see that many of the flowers appear to rise up (towards the viewer) from a sea of color. There is little or no tendancy to focus on anything but the central subject. The bokeh, by being so soft and smooth, ENHANCES the subject without calling attention to itself.
To me, great Bokeh is like the musical score in a film. If it's great, you don't even notice it's there.
But play the same scene with the sound on "Mute" and you quickly realize how important the music is.
Without getting too cosmic about it, I think Bokeh reminds us of visions we have in dreams. The main subject (usually ourselves, heh, heh) is clear and sharp and everything else is faint, not distracting. But we're not framed against a blank wall, there's SOMETHING there, right? Some (usually) background that enhances our scene without ever distracting our vision.
In a still photograph we have time to look fully at that background and analyze what it is that makes the subject so sharp. A luxury we don't have in dreams.
And we have named it; Bokeh.
It's no wonder that one of the many descriptions used for good Bokeh is "Dreamlike".
And the absolute worst description for bad Bokeh is "Jagged" or "Hard-edged". About the worst thing you would want lurking behind you in a dream.
Hope this helps!
Ron
Hey Ron,

Thanks for the explanation. What about swirly bokeh and bokeh where you see shapes in the background? Is that good or bad then do you think?

Just digging through some more shots from yesterday. There's a few where my wolfies pop out pretty well, despite the background not being 100% creamy





But here's one where you can see the rendering of the bokeh...



See the rendering of the grass on the top right hand corner? Would you classify that as good/bad/average bokeh?


Hey Jolepp, That's a Leica 1:1 though.. aren't Leicas sposed to be exxy to begin with? And 1:1 sounds pretty spesh? Sure wouldn't have minded being the seller on that one though.

Riff: nice find!!! I don't think I need another.. although the price is right. Course it'll also depend on what postage they want to charge. Oh whoops... it's now gone up to $24!
11-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #308
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
No, it means that if you suffer memory loss, they will all seem strange. That's OK, you can send them to me for safekeeping.
I'm thinking if my mind goes a spreadsheet won't help. But since they are in the sofa they must be honored guests, and I must bring them tea. Sending them away doesn't seem right at all.

QuoteOriginally posted by wolfiegirl Quote
so this is just the 'essentials'? what's your normal stash like?

Let's see.. that looks like 2 dslrs (although the one on the far right looks funky... it's a got a square bit attached?!)

one film camera, some flashes, teleconverters, macro tubes, and lots of lovely lenses! *droool*
Well, I'm not brave enough to collect all my stuff in one place like this, so I don't quite know what my complete stash would look like. Bigger and dustier, I think. Even more expensive, no doubt.

QuoteOriginally posted by wizofoz Quote
The 'one on the far right' looks like a Pentax 645 (nII?) film camera to me. The predecessor of the funky new 645d, the larger lenses and extention tubes nearby are also 645 format, (as opposed to 35mm or APSC format lenses.)

Yep some very drool worthy lenses including the FA's 31 and 77, the Da 12-24, and maybe a M or a 100 mm macro maybe? (not sure).

Absolutely essential, 'Don't leave home without it' kit.
A 645N, yes. Just as good as the NII, but cheaper. No DA12-24, but it does look quite like it I'll admit. No A100 macro either, but I have one at home (the slow version, alas). I think it's the M135/3.5 you're looking at.

I should probably identify my stuff now. From left to right (more or less):

K5D with DA*50-135/2.8, Metz 48AF-1, Samyang 8/3.5 fisheye, grip for the K5, Vivitar 135/2.8 close focusing (Komine, 1:2 macro), Tamron 28-75/2.8, DA16-45/4, FA20/2.8, 645 A120/4 macro, FA77/1.8, M40/2.8, M135/3.5, FA31/1.8, 645 A55/2.8, extension tubes for K and 645, 1.4x teleconverter for 645, 645 FA200/4, Pentax ME with A50/1.7, Pentax 645N with FA75/2.8 and finally CZJ Sonnar 300/4 for P6 with adapter for 645.

Not pictured: K20D, WR kit lens, Sunpak 3600 hammer flash, various chargers, filters, tripods, bags and other little things. And a Pentax AF280T flash that decided to turn up between then and now.

11-13-2011, 05:18 PM   #309
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Thanks for the correction Drougge. A tasty collection nonetheless. I should do a simmilar pic of the contenst of my camera bag (see my sig , below) , and then one of all the gear I have aquired and never gets attached to a camera, just to show how foolish I can when LBA reasrs it's ugly head.
11-13-2011, 05:20 PM   #310
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I'm trying my hardest not to buy much more, but I got seduced by the marketplace again last night. *sigh*
11-13-2011, 05:45 PM   #311
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Three Pictures

Hi Wolfiegirl,
1st Photo; I'd say the background is slightly too sharp to be called good Bokeh. It's also almost exactly the same color as your Wolfie, which makes it more distracting. Otherwise a good photo. If the same photo was taken with (either) one stop wider F-setting or a lens with great Bokeh (like the Bokina or a few other pricey lenses) the subject would "Pop" more.
2nd Photo; The background is a good distance from the subject, so is more OOF. This brings the subject into sharper relief by contrast (sharp vs blurred) and the Bokeh is fair in quality. Say a 6 out of 10.
3rd Photo; Here we have a lens abberation posing as Bokeh. The swirls in the upper right corner are caused by lens corner curvature, I believe it's sometimes called "Barrelling". They are pretty to look at, but not particularly useful in most situations, since they interrupt what would normally be straight lines or distort curved ones. I like the Bokeh on the left side better, I believe that's what to look for from this lens. Particularly if you crop from the full frame, the swirls will be eliminated and you'll be left with what the lens can truly deliver as Bokeh. The left-side background is much smoother without distortion and about a 7 of 10.
Sorry to be so critical, but I'm somewhat of a purist about Bokeh.
And it's all a matter of personal taste, what I might not like could easily be someone else's favorite!
As regards your question about the shapes and swirls in general, I don't mind them if they contribute to the photo. If they appear to be the result of some lens abberation, I find them distracting. Again the purist talking!
Ron
11-13-2011, 05:50 PM   #312
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Thanks for the comments rbefly. They're really helpful. I want to be able to contribute to the lens database one day but can't do that accurately without knowing what people would classify as good bokeh etc.

Now when you say wider F setting.. is that a number that is smaller than 3.5? That lens doesn't go below 3.5 which means that I couldn't have done any more on that photo, except perhaps up the ISO?

Interesting that you would class this bokeh as 6. That's a good benchmark. I would've thought it would've been closer to a 7... Don'tcha just love numbers?

Barrelling.... hrmmm. I haven't come across that term before. Will search for it on the forum to see what else I can uncover.
11-13-2011, 05:52 PM   #313
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The marketplace doesn't tempt me all that much. Most of the time I can just window shop there. But walking into a gift shop and finding $150 Madame Alexander dolls marked all the way down to $23 a doll, that tempted my CC right out of my wallet. I only bought two so that's not "too" bad of me, right? Actually I am going to make at least half of it back by selling the one doll's outfit off to someone on my doll board so no real harm done. But the fact that I even went there given the shocking balance I have on that CC right now is likely testament to the fact that I do maybe need a 12 step program or something. I'm supposed to be paying off the vet bill, not buying $150 dollies even if they were only $23 a piece, grin. Oh yeah, I can look at lenses all day, no problem, but apparently it's pretty dangerous to let me loose in a toy shop unless you're prepared to take my wallet first...
11-13-2011, 05:56 PM   #314
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Well the marketplace lens I'm eyeing is around $55 plus shipping which is top of my budget. Buuuut... it's AF. Soo... I mainly have MFs, and it'd be good to get another AF... right? Waiting to hear back from the seller atm. Looking at ebay the pricing suggests that this lens is a good price. And I'm not going to be in the vicinity of a camera fair or anything similar for a while........ LBA withdrawls?

I was just thinking of you the other day magkelly - was in another oppy scrounging for cameras and saw two barbies sitting next to the counter.
11-13-2011, 06:36 PM   #315
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Numbers

Hi Wolfiegirl,
I didn't realize you had used the widest f-stop setting, you're right, you can't open the lens any more (smaller number, in this case it would be f2.8).
A higher ISO would only be useful if you were CLOSING the lens (higher number, next full stop would be f4.0). When you close the lens, normally your shutter speed goes down. To compensate, most people would raise the ISO.
For example; Your lens has a maximum aperture of f3.5. We'll say you took the shot at 1/125s. OK?
If you close the f-stop to f4.0 (1/2 stop down) to get more depth of field, your shutter speed would drop 1/2 stop, in this case to 1/90s. To get the shutter speed back to 1/125s (if you needed to) you would have to increase the ISO.
Shutter speed and f-stop are closely linked.
The widest f-stop (smallest number, in your case with this lens, f3.5) has the LEAST depth of field. That means the object in sharp focus will be about the ONLY thing in focus, anything even the smallest distance away will be more (far away) or less (close to the main subect) out-of-focus. This is called "Shallow Depth Of Field". We see this most often in Macro, which has a depth of field measured in mm. Also useful for portraits, where we don't want any background objects to distract from the subject.
Wide Depth Of Field requires a much higher f-stop number, like f11.0, f22, etc. This means that virtually everything in front of the lens, near and far, is in sharp focus. This is most often used in scenics, landscapes and wide-angle shots.
It also depends on the actual lens focal length. A wide-angle lens like a 24mm, 28mm, even 35mm will have a greater depth of field at a given f-stop than a telephoto lens. Teles are notorious for shallow depth of field.
Barrelling or edge/corner distortion is usually a rounded effect at the corners, of lines that would normally be straight. It also distorts curved lines, but this is harder to spot. A lens test of a straight-line or grid target will show it up quickly.
If you're interested in very good Bokeh for around $100.00, I have a recommendation; The Pentax M 100mm f2.8. This isn't a Macro lens, it's a normal manual-focus 100mm, a good all-around lens. Very pretty Bokeh, soft and smooth, perfect for portraits and short tele work. Check the stats and comments on the lens reviews here, see what you think.
Ron
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