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11-11-2018, 04:21 PM   #1
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Pentax-A 645 120 macro f4... I need bokeh samples

Hi again. I'm trying to decide about to buy a new bag (the Thinktank Retrospective 5 is a bit just for the cam with the 75 and a spare 150 I like to carry), or to get the 120 macro and "get rid" (put in a drawer, I guess) of those two.

I'm not sure about it because the prices of both things (a Retrospective 6 or 7, or the lens) and the things I've read about the 120's bokeh. I tried to find samples, but I just find the grand review and a butterfly on a statue with the FA.

The first one is useless, because I don't use to shoot that kind of scenery, but the second one scares me, because I really dislike the "double border" I can see around the statue:



I'm worried because the kind of pictures I like to shoot are mostly close-ups of leaves or flowers with weird backgrounds, and although I will love the versatility I can have with the macro, if I must face that kind of bokeh I will not like my pictures...

A couple of samples of the pictures I like to shoot to help you to make an idea about what kind of pictures I need to see:






Thanks in advance.

11-11-2018, 05:16 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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Here's what I have on Flickr with that lens:

Search: smcpentaxa645macro14120mm | Flickr
11-12-2018, 01:04 AM   #3
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Checked your link and added some more searches of my own (yours gave me the hint, I'm not very used to flickr's search terms). It seems pretty fair, although it has problems managing "chaotic" backgrounds
But as I could not (yet) shoot that kind of backgrounds with the 75, I cannot tell you the difference between both.

Thanks
11-12-2018, 08:08 AM   #4
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The 120MACRO has a wonderful bokeh

11-12-2018, 08:52 AM   #5
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The 120 is quite highly corrected, and produces a neutral bokeh in my view. But leaves are tough, depending on how out of focus they are. They can give you diffraction effects that cause some edges to suddenly pop into focus.

You are right that my test doesn’t look at bokeh at all. I was more interested in detail.

Rick “who might have a chance to make a couple of photos for you later today” Denney
11-12-2018, 08:57 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdenney Quote
The 120 is quite highly corrected, and produces a neutral bokeh in my view. But leaves are tough, depending on how out of focus they are. They can give you diffraction effects that cause some edges to suddenly pop into focus.

You are right that my test doesn’t look at bokeh at all. I was more interested in detail.

Rick “who might have a chance to make a couple of photos for you later today” Denney
Yay, I guess there is few of us who shoot the kind of pictures I like to take. Most of you are sceneries (panorama?) makers, but they require a lot of time, patience and effort, and I'm like a walk'n'shoot guy.

Vic "I guess I'll give another try to my 150 for a while, but I'll be glad to see your samples when you'll have the chance to get them" Lozano
11-12-2018, 09:13 AM   #7
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You might be interested in my old, old article on bokeh—nearly all of which is exogenous to Pentax.

http://www.rickdenney.com/bokeh_test.htm

Rick “it does show the Sonnar in all its glory” Denney
11-12-2018, 10:54 AM   #8
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Just finished it. More or less, you use the same principles than Ken Rockwell at

https://kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

And although I crossed a "bubbles bokeh period" with my Steinheil München's with my old APS-C cameras, now I'm looking for smooth creamy backgrounds. Let's compare two shots from Ken Rockwell's site (although he's a Nikon's boy and he hates the 645D, I have some respect by his opinions):



The second one is the kind of background I crave for. As the first one is taken with a macro lens, I fear the 120 will render this kind of lets-us-call-it-bokeh

Vic "still been grateful to you" Lozano

11-12-2018, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by VellMerlot Quote
Just finished it. More or less, you use the same principles than Ken Rockwell at

https://kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

And although I crossed a "bubbles bokeh period" with my Steinheil München's with my old APS-C cameras, now I'm looking for smooth creamy backgrounds. Let's compare two shots from Ken Rockwell's site (although he's a Nikon's boy and he hates the 645D, I have some respect by his opinions):



The second one is the kind of background I crave for. As the first one is taken with a macro lens, I fear the 120 will render this kind of lets-us-call-it-bokeh

Vic "still been grateful to you" Lozano


Rockwell can be careless. Those two shots are at different focal lengths and apertures, rendering the comparison unhelpful.

But it’s hard to generalize. This image was made with a highly corrected Tamron 90mm SP Macro—a legendary macro lens—adapted to a Canon 5D. Shot wide open, and the background is remarkably smooth. But the same lens might still struggle with leaves that are only a little out of focus.



Rick “any lens has good bokeh for things sufficiently out of focus” Denney
11-12-2018, 12:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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These were taken with a 645Z and A 645 120mm Macro F4, on separate overcast days in 2015:
1/100s, f10, ISO 1000

1/80s, f25, ISO 1000


Good luck with your quest. I hope this helps.
11-12-2018, 12:36 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by VellMerlot Quote
Just finished it. More or less, you use the same principles than Ken Rockwell at

https://kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

And although I crossed a "bubbles bokeh period" with my Steinheil München's with my old APS-C cameras, now I'm looking for smooth creamy backgrounds. Let's compare two shots from Ken Rockwell's site (although he's a Nikon's boy and he hates the 645D, I have some respect by his opinions):

The second one is the kind of background I crave for. As the first one is taken with a macro lens, I fear the 120 will render this kind of lets-us-call-it-bokeh

Vic "still been grateful to you" Lozano
In my view, both these images from Ken have the same type of circular bokeh. The latter image is taken at a lower f/# and thus has shallower depth of field.
11-12-2018, 01:59 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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11-12-2018, 02:13 PM   #13
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I know those pictures cannot be "compared" for truth, I put them there because are the kind of bokeh's I talk about: the nervous one and the smoothy.

The second one from iCrop is the kind of bokeh that scares me. I use to have "difficult" backgrounds, and too nitid lenses tend to react that way.

Thanks all, keep them flowing, and please, put the hard ones, not the prettier: I need to know how the lens works with difficult backgrounds, not with the easy ones
11-12-2018, 02:28 PM   #14
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I’ll have images later tonight, but quick impression of the 120: f/4 is smoother than f/11, which may mean that radically out of focus is smoother than more slightly out of focus. But we would have expected that.

Out of focus in the foreground is much worse than out of focus in the background for double-line and false edges. That distinction is very obvious.

At its worst, it can show bright-edge bokeh, but usually its neutral. In the macro range, it’s quite pretty with a faded edge.

Pictures later this evening.

Rick “grabbing some shots in fading light” Denney
11-12-2018, 02:30 PM - 2 Likes   #15
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A couple more with less pleasing backgrounds?



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