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03-04-2007, 12:47 PM   #1
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Lens Bokeh

Lens bokeh seems to have become a pretty large determining factor in the public opinion of lens IQ (Sheesh - I don't even remember discussing the the concept of bokeh 15 years ago). It seems that everybody is seeking "butter smooth" backgrounds in their photos. While I do enjoy this effect in general, I also enjoy some of the harsher bokeh that certain lenses (think Nikon :-D)produce - for instance, (I'll give you a pentax example) given the right background a K105/2.8 can produce a harsh, dynamic bokeh (I like to think of it as a "cubist" background) - that can give a photo a kind of dark and unsettled feeling (I mean this in a good way!). Anybody else out there enjoy occasional "harsh" bokeh or am I off the wall?


Last edited by DAP; 03-04-2007 at 12:48 PM. Reason: mistake
03-04-2007, 01:37 PM   #2
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It is good to have variety because we all have different visions of the final product.

Were everything the same, then everything would be the same and the world would be vanilla.

I personally like the variety as it adds different dynamics to photos and I very much enjoy seeing other's vision for their work.
03-04-2007, 07:30 PM   #3
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I usually dislike harsh or discordant bokeh, but agree that sometimes it adds a desirable effect. This was taken with a 200 mm SMC Takumar f4; I find the "cubist" effect works here when the image is desaturated to black and white.

Last edited by normant; 05-08-2007 at 05:17 PM.
03-04-2007, 07:35 PM   #4
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I'm always in for something about lens character. Do you have that sample somewhere?

03-04-2007, 08:36 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jonas B Quote
I'm always in for something about lens character. Do you have that sample somewhere?
One that came to mind for me:


Perhaps because of the water droplets being the main focus of the image, the awful donut hole bokeh is OK?

(Taken from this thread about a Rubinar 300mm lens.)
03-04-2007, 08:39 PM   #6
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ew..donuts...haha

Nice photos! Wow that rubinar is sharp!
03-04-2007, 09:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by carpents Quote
water droplets being the main focus of the image, the awful donut hole bokeh is OK?

(Taken from this thread about a Rubinar 300mm lens.)
I love the bokeh a lot. Great effects
03-04-2007, 11:30 PM   #8
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Creamy Bokeh

Three pictures taken at full bore with my 1.5/85mm Helios 40-2 lens, to illustrate smooth and creamy bokeh:







Cheers,

Abbazz

03-05-2007, 02:21 AM   #9
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Now, some samples of a more "disturbing" bokeh:


"Swirly" bokeh


"Double line" bokeh

These shot were taken close up and wide open with a lens that I love very much: the Classic Heliar 2/50mm, which is a great portrait lens, but is better used at some distance from the subject or closed down a bit. I have learnt to live with its bokeh and I must admit that I kinda like it for certain subjects.

Cheers,

Abbazz
03-06-2007, 01:06 PM   #10
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Great examples, Abbazz! I haven't really studied bokeh that much, but seeing examples side by side really illustrates it well.

Personally, I don't really find bokeh "good" or "bad". It just "is". Even the donut bokeh doesn't really bother me, though I guess it could distract from certain pictures.
03-06-2007, 07:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Great examples, Abbazz! I haven't really studied bokeh that much, but seeing examples side by side really illustrates it well.

Personally, I don't really find bokeh "good" or "bad". It just "is". Even the donut bokeh doesn't really bother me, though I guess it could distract from certain pictures.
Thanks Russ.

I agree concerning the bokeh. I shoot a lot of pictures with old 3, 4 or 5 element lenses. The bokeh, especially for close-ups is always weird:


Mamiya Sekor 3.5/75mm on Mamiya 6 Automat 2


Zeiss Opton Tessar 3.5/105mm on Super Ikonta 531/2


Zeiss Opton Tessar 3.5/105mm on Super Ikonta 531/2

If you ask the advice of "bokeh connoisseurs" regarding the above pictures, they will tell you that this is ugly bokeh. Maybe, but I find that it adds character to the pictures, therefore I like it. Some kind of an old fashioned je-ne-sais-quoi that helps my pictures stand out from the crowd.

Cheers,

Abbazz
03-06-2007, 07:55 PM   #12
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I think these are all great examples, but I would like to see the exact same scene shot with the lens with the "creamy" bokeh and the lens with the "ugly" bokeh. (exactly same time of day and lighting, etc)
the reason is that with my sigma 17-70 sometimes it is the background scene and lighting/ colors of the scene that makes a bokeh smooth or slightly blocky looking. I only have one lens so it would be impossible to make direct comparisions.

thanks

cheers

randy
03-06-2007, 08:07 PM   #13
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New to the forum... what is bokeh???
03-06-2007, 08:12 PM   #14
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Here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/3634-answer-questi...html#post30086
03-06-2007, 08:27 PM   #15
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Thanks for the quick reply Jonas. So to clarify... is it a combination of astetics and IQ in the OOF areas? For example, excessive grainyness and a very under exposed distracting area, or does it apply to onle one or the other?

Thanks in advance!
Dan
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