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01-18-2022, 03:37 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
You can take two pictures, one with the subject de-focused, one picture with the subject in focus, and stack the two layer with graduated transparency mask. Soon to come after AI sky replacement, AI bokeh replacement.
Well yes but that isn't what you said, is it?.All you are doing is moving the goal post.

01-18-2022, 05:13 AM   #32
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For me, I don't think I've met a lens with totally unacceptable "bokeh" … it's just with some lenses it's more necessary to find that "sweet spot" of camera-to-subject-to-background distances that gives a pleasant result.
Obviously there are out-of-focus highlights to be considered, dough-nuts, soap bubbles, lens stars … call them what you will, that can be affected by the number and shape of the aperture blades if the lens is not wide open, and in this respect many of the totally manual lens designs, with their higher number of aperture blades, can be easier to work with. One of the reasons I run a second, mirrorless, system, so's I can use my old Russian r/f and Exakta-mount lenses
I'd suggest that, given two lenses of similar optical construction but differing focal lengths, if the "sweet spot" for one is defined, the "sweet spot" for the other would be at a distance relative to the differences in focal length of the two lenses. That is to say, having achieved good results with a Tessar-style or triplet design lens of 50mm f/2.8 or thereabouts, similar results might be obtained with a 135mm f/5.6 of similar design if the relevant distances were all multiplied by 2.7 … which, in answer to the OP's original question, might indicate that fast lenses are not necessary to produce nice bokeh, just good technique
Inevitably, YMMV
Enjoy!
01-18-2022, 06:38 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
It still amazes me that so many people are confused on these points, though I suspect that much of the confusion comes from various YouTube accounts and forum posts (here and elsewhere) from those that follow those vloggers.
I believe things became worst when cell phones became able to blur backgrounds somewhat. Now you see tech reviewers talking about the ability of a phone to deliver "bokeh photogrpahy" and other stupid wording like that.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
(...yes, I am thinking of a particular poseur...)
Not sure who that would be.

QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
most lenses can achieve both nice bokeh
I don't completely agree.

QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
and shallow dof.
That I agree
01-18-2022, 06:52 AM   #34
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The whole subject can be summed up with a simple concept.

Using the same set up and 3 35mm lenses, each will probably have different transitions and out of focus areas.
A lens thought of as producing smooth transitions is the one that produces the best, most pleasing transitions .

This is important in commercial settings where there my be print on top the out of focus areas. Messy, transitions and out of focus areas make it harder to read the print. Sure you can do it with any lens, but... that's not the point. Like everything else, it's good to know which lenses will give you a smooth, non-obtrusive print base. Like the 31 ltd. and D FA 50 macro 1.4, and D FA* 85 1.4. You can probably do something similar with other lenses, but if you don't have lens designed to have smooth transitions and out of focus areas, and you're a commercial photographer who does this many times day, having the best lens for the job is critical and saves a lot of time. Just like any other thing

I can get very smooth out of focus areas with my bird images... by getting close. But sometime the bird flies away. having lenses designed for the job just make life easier,

It's so funny, people now think of smooth lenses as a kind of artistic statement. Providing a bland background for print seems so much more mundane. Although, with uncorrected lenses, the background can become so messy they distract from the photo.



In this image, the out of focus transitions distract from the subject. Some may argue it's some kind of campy effect. Personally, I rarely admire lens anomalies.


Last edited by normhead; 01-18-2022 at 09:33 AM.
01-18-2022, 07:17 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I don't completely agree.
Bokeh is generated by the lens from the geometryand light of the oof objects. By carefully selecting and positioning objects in the scene and controlling the lighting you can counteract or emphasize various aspects of the bokeh. At least you can get very far with most lenses.

But as I mentionen it's only practical for a tiny subset of photographers. Makes much more sense to buy a better lens.
01-18-2022, 07:44 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
In this image, the out of focus transitions distract from the subject. Some may argue it's some kind of campy effect. Personally, I rarely admire lens anomalies.


Personally, I don't find the background distracting not a campy effect or anything like, just a side effect of the (presumed) need to use that particular lens at those specific settings to get a good shot of the marten in it's environment
Given a pine-cone or similar that wasn't about to disappear into the next parish at the click of a shutter there might have been opportunity to "optimise" things set up a tripod, maybe a reflector or two as it is, jolly well done!
01-18-2022, 09:17 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
Bokeh is generated by the lens from the geometry and light of the oof objects. By carefully selecting and positioning objects in the scene and controlling the lighting you can counteract or emphasize various aspects of the bokeh. At least you can get very far with most lenses.

But as I mentionen it's only practical for a tiny subset of photographers. Makes much more sense to buy a better lens.
Two different lenses with different designs will produce different out of focus rendering of the same out of focus objects. That's the lens doing that.

For more "harsh" or "distracting" out of focus rendering, a wider-than-normal lens design will more often create these sorts of distracting images, although some longer-than-normal lenses may as well (I find the OoF rendering from the FA 43 Ltd to not be so great from some scenes, as an example).

There might be a sweet spot for every lens, but messing about with the background to make every lens shine in the bokeh department seems like a fool's errand. Even lenses I like quite a bit are not going to make that an easy task. DA 15 Ltd is one that comes to mind, which I otherwise love, and sometimes the "fun bubble effect" isn't so bad. It's a landscapes lens, to me, so that's fine.

01-18-2022, 09:28 AM - 3 Likes   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
Personally, I don't find the background distracting … not a campy effect or anything like, just a side effect of the (presumed) need to use that particular lens at those specific settings to get a good shot of the marten in it's environment
Given a pine-cone or similar that wasn't about to disappear into the next parish at the click of a shutter there might have been opportunity to "optimise" things … set up a tripod, maybe a reflector or two … as it is, jolly well done!
I like it in that it was not a walk I'd ever expect to see a Pine Martin on, it's not a place where people feed birds like most of the places I see them.

But bottom line, if what you are really interested in is the Pine Martin


This image is a better look. There are thousands of images of Pine Martins posted from where I took the above image. But I do agree, the first image is special, in that I doubt there's another image taken of a Pine Martin in it's natural environment. Over 12 years (and probably close to a whole year hiking, canoeing, snow shoeing and stalking wildlife) I have three and this is by far the best. What bothers me, is the out of focus areas we're not like that when I was there. It's an aberration of the camera and lens used.

The second image taken with the DA*200 2.8 is just so much cleaner. And I probably have 50 images as good or better. It's so much easier when you go where they are expected to be, you can choose where you want to shoot them, you have snow to act as a reflector to light the underside, and you can select a lens that's optimized for the purpose, as opposed to a walk around lens. Not to mention the second one is taken almost right off the camera. The first one has a DS classification, meaning it was denoised and sharpened.

So, my take is you don't need absolutely need fast glass to get smooth out of focus areas, but you'll be happier and get more keepers if you have it, if it suits the purpose. Despite what people say about adjusting angles and walking around etc., ya, I do that, more than any other photographer I've seen or worked with, but especially with wildlife where that is not an option, believe me wildlife are very inconsiderate of people walking around looking for better shooting angles, if you can't get to ƒ4 when you need it, you're often wasting your time.

Last edited by normhead; 01-18-2022 at 10:10 AM.
01-18-2022, 11:36 AM   #39
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Both of those are nice photos, Norm, and agreed that the second one does have a better background rendering to show what you're talking about.
01-18-2022, 11:37 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by pres589 Quote
There might be a sweet spot for every lens, but messing about with the background to make every lens shine in the bokeh department seems like a fool's errand.
That was my point.

To clarify if you place rounded wall size pieced of "card" painted with soft edged patterns at various intervals scattered 100's of meters deep into the scene you can tame even the most extreme lens. You can also position yourself close to the object to achieve short dof.

Again it's a fools errand but you can manufacture e scene and shoot a look normally not seen with the lens. By manipulating distances shapes and colours you can get almost anything. Takes weeks or months of man hours.
01-18-2022, 11:41 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Well yes but that isn't what you said, is it?.All you are doing is moving the goal post.
I'm not moving the goal post. The title talks about producing bokeh, it doesn't mention that there should be a subject in focus over a background out of focus. I have photographs of 100% pure bokeh I took of sun rays shining though autumn tree leaves and it's beautiful when de-focused, done with slow lens intentionally de-focused to produce nice bokeh balls and softness.
01-18-2022, 11:46 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by house Quote
That was my point.

To clarify if you place rounded wall size pieced of "card" painted with soft edged patterns at various intervals scattered 100's of meters deep into the scene you can tame even the most extreme lens. You can also position yourself close to the object to achieve short dof.

Again it's a fools errand but you can manufacture e scene and shoot a look normally not seen with the lens. By manipulating distances shapes and colours you can get almost anything. Takes weeks or months of man hours.
There comes a point where you may as well just buy 12 cans of spray paint and have at 'r.
01-18-2022, 12:49 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
I'm not moving the goal post. The title talks about producing bokeh, it doesn't mention that there should be a subject in focus over a background out of focus. I have photographs of 100% pure bokeh I took of sun rays shining though autumn tree leaves and it's beautiful when de-focused, done with slow lens intentionally de-focused to produce nice bokeh balls and softness.
The OP specifies portrait photography in the first sentence. Admittedly he spelled it wrong, but.....
01-18-2022, 01:37 PM - 3 Likes   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by redpit Quote
But these lenses are also well known and still quite pricey to buy.
I forgot to mention one of my other favorite "bokeh" lenses, that being my $25 KMZ Helios 44M 58/2 where the pixie (bereginya? dust and 3D snap rivals that of my FA 77/1.7 Limited.







Steve
01-18-2022, 04:44 PM - 2 Likes   #45
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If you care about bokeh you are a master or a beginer.

you can generate bokeh from a lens. Doing so is putting the cart before the horse. Make your subject shine.

subject doesn't shine and bokeh sucks.


bokeh compliments a subject that doesn't shine.


decent catseye bokeh with a subject that counter points the roundness. Still nothing special but unique.


All the same lens on the same day. Not worth the effort because bokeh was put before the subject.
here it is the subject of a crappy photo.



This one I didn't worry about bokeh, only the subject. The bokeh is so so but it is a much stronger image. The only image I care about.
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