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View Poll Results: 1. What do you think of bokeh here?
Harsh edges at times, distracting elements 5172.86%
Soft and dreamy but low contrast 912.86%
Grainy with under-exposed noise   00%
Unsharp, soft and it needs to be stopped down to f8 at least 11.43%
Do you mean out of focus rendering? 34.29%
No ideas 68.57%
Voters: 70. You may not vote on this poll

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08-29-2008, 08:37 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by SCGushue Quote
Hi James.

Not an easy question to answer but here goes.

-The image is soothing and artistic and pleasing to look at. No real focal point...but who cares as not every image has to make a bold statement...right?

-The bokeh aspect is aceptable but there are many distracting and unharmonious elements within the rendering. It is the elements themselves that render the distractions and not the limitations of the len's capability to render exceptional bokeh.

-The lack of sharpness of the flower itself is perhaps the biggest problem technically, but then again, what would you expect wide open?

Stephen
Stephen, glad that you took some time to look into the thread. As a noble person, you have toned down the criticism in such a pleasant way. I appreciated it.

Careful selection of background is the key to a pleasant bokeh. I have taken a shot with bad background choice but wonder what majority of people would have picked up. In fact, I underestimated the perspicacious nature of the forum members.

Sharpness is no longer my concern with this lens. I am only after that bokeh effect at f1.2 - pure gear junky as some may have thought so.

James

08-29-2008, 08:45 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote

Having f/1.2 isn't always a guarantee of good bokeh.
Denis, I am just trying to see how many people accept these distracting elements as being acceptable.

f1.2 does make dull scenery a little more interesting.

Again, I know people will talk about the following again.

1. it is the eye that behind the camera that matters

2. bokeh analysis is a waste of time given it is the selection choice of backgrounds that is important.

3. there are no controlled variables and technical parameters to test bokeh hence bokeh analysis is pseudo-science


I heard these things so many times. This thread is only to see how many could pick up the annoying harsh bokeh and distracting elements that I thought I could get away with it
08-29-2008, 08:57 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I agree with Peter that the bokeh here is too monochromatic, but is generally the type of creamy bokeh that I like. Aside from that, it bothers me that the stem is so blurred, the flower is soft and there's significant PF. IMO this photo would have been much better stopped down twice and maybe bump the saturation a notch.
I do appreciate that you looked into the thread twice. I personally prefer amorpheous elements in a photograph. Floral shots can be extremely sharp or having a soft focus. Flowers in general do not need to be so sharp (though I think this is pretty sharp in the shot already).

Stopping down twice, the individual edges of the weeds in the background would surface without the pop effect desired. After all, dreamy look comes from the subject not in a parallel plane which makes the lens interesting.


QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote

(talking about the original post's image, not the purple flower/green background image here)

Note that the question isn't "is this how you think all bokeh should be", it's more of a question about how it works with that particular image (I think, correct me of I'm wrong, James)

.
You are right that I am not asking how a bokeh should be like. I am seeing if people could all go for 1st option (hence I am kind of leading everyone to vote for the first option with that description).

Peter is an experienced photographer and we exchanged information regarding lenses for a number of times. We shared many views regarding lens image rendering properties and perception of images in eneral including this one.
08-29-2008, 10:40 PM   #34
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whats with the attitude Georg!

This kind of unprovoked attack is getting more common around here.. make your points without attacking the person please..


Last edited by joele; 08-29-2008 at 10:52 PM.
08-30-2008, 02:18 AM   #35
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Roentarre, Peter, Joele and everyone else who read my post,
please accept my sincere apologies for my outburst (post deleted now for good).
I missed the tone and the topic alltogether.
Of course it was my own shortcomings leading to this and it should never have been all you good people having to deal with it.
Wishing you a peaceful weekend,
Georg (the other)
08-30-2008, 05:27 AM   #36
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Along that theme, I'll delete my response so we can get back to the topic and the quote will be removed. Good reply Georg and I'm glad to see you say that.
08-30-2008, 07:24 AM   #37
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I think the dreaminess of the original image itself has calmed the situation
simply by it's presence in the thread. Whenever an argument breaks out, James
should step in and post a bokeh shot from the 50 1.2, and all will become
copacetic.

08-30-2008, 08:40 AM   #38
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If the picture is about the bokeh, then I like the bokeh.

If the picture is about the flower, then I find the bokeh distracting.

08-30-2008, 08:52 AM   #39
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Wow, I guess I'm in the minority. I voted soft.
08-30-2008, 11:07 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
I think the dreaminess of the original image itself has calmed the situation
simply by it's presence in the thread. Whenever an argument breaks out, James
should step in and post a bokeh shot from the 50 1.2, and all will become
copacetic.

Well, thanks for the advice. I could hardly get a decent shot of bokeh from f1.2 simply because I prefer different compositon rather than stereotypical approach like the one below.



Again, the shot is unsharp but the bokeh is pleasant. I found the composition boring. However, f1.2 does give more pleasant feel when these background matter are further away from the subject
08-31-2008, 06:52 AM   #41
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Hi James. From a rendering perspective, I like the bokeh but I find a bokeh with brighter elements than the main subject to be frustrating from a composition perspective. I find they distract from (what I assume) is the main focus of the composition. With an image like this, I generally create an overlay mask to tone down the background and get the main element to "pop" out a bit more. Dave
08-31-2008, 07:11 AM   #42
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James I like it as an artistic composition. It has a nice dreamlike or impressionistic feel to it. Nice shot and pp. However all that said, taken purely as bokeh, I'd have to say "meh, I've seen much better with this lens". It seems a bit too busy and angular with the edges too defined. I like a smoother creamier bokeh. But it's still a very good shot!

NaCl(is that sufficiently obtuse?)H2O
09-02-2008, 02:51 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by davef Quote
Hi James. From a rendering perspective, I like the bokeh but I find a bokeh with brighter elements than the main subject to be frustrating from a composition perspective. I find they distract from (what I assume) is the main focus of the composition. With an image like this, I generally create an overlay mask to tone down the background and get the main element to "pop" out a bit more. Dave
Now you are coming down to the question of subject interest. The flower itself would appear dull to many and the bokeh can be distracting (which is intended to be that way) still add certain interest to the shot.

The selection of background is rather deliberate as f1.2 is often chosen for the sake of getting rid of distraction. Imagine the shot to be f8 and sharp looking weeds would be probably even worse. Again, the scene is chosen because there is really nothing else to take from but f1.2 sometimes can rescue the shot to an extent...

QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
James I like it as an artistic composition. It has a nice dreamlike or impressionistic feel to it. Nice shot and pp. However all that said, taken purely as bokeh, I'd have to say "meh, I've seen much better with this lens". It seems a bit too busy and angular with the edges too defined. I like a smoother creamier bokeh. But it's still a very good shot!

NaCl(is that sufficiently obtuse?)H2O
Yes, salty. We all like creamy smooth bokeh (majority)

The survey seemed to slow down a little and I guess I cannot get away with this type of background bokeh
09-02-2008, 04:56 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
.

I just think the image as a whole is wonderful. Most images can be seen as simple, traditional 1) foreground, 2) background, and in this one, the bokeh bleeds into the foreground, while the main 'subject' retains enough sharpness to be identifiable as the 'subject'. But the whole image is the 'subject' here - the bokeh has an individuality that makes it as important as what's in the foreground.

Good lens + good photographer.


.
Sorry for joining the conversation so late, I was away and only followed a couple of threads on my phone.

I basically agree with J. I would go on to say life itself is sometimes confusing and full of branches, its sometimes nervous, its sometimes smooth and calming. I appreciate there are so many reasons to shoot within specific guidlines but I would suggest the (perhaps unwritten) laws about "what is good Bokeh" appear here without regard necessarily to the possibility the image is saying someting by being exactly what it is.

The fact James tells us its a test allows me not to strain too hard to think of what he was thinking when he shot it, but it would be that part of my mind that would look at this type of image moreso than the technical side. It would be different if it were someones wedding photo.

That said, I've never been trained in photography so I guess I probably still don't even really know what a technically strong photograph is, I just generally observe the entire image and decide if it gave me pause or if it made me think someone simply occupied the space they were in at the time they opened the shutter. Regardless of intent, I still find the shot in question gave me many moments of pause.

I've never been one to relegate Bokeh as a proper subservient background like a 1950's housewife though - so my word on this subject is strictly passionate and personal

Kelly.
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