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08-25-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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which pentax lens has the best bokeh ?

which lens for best bokeh? i've tried the fa 31, bokeh great , but not enamored of the other aspects of that lens. so , other than the 31

08-25-2012, 03:35 PM   #2
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The FA 77 is pretty hard to beat. I'm sure there are many though. For an inexpensive option, the DA 35/2.4 has very nice bokeh.
08-25-2012, 03:50 PM   #3
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I don't think there is an absolute, linear scale with which one can rate bokeh. For some photos you want it to be smooth, for some you might want it to be weird, for others jagged and nervous works.
There is also a huge difference between wide angle and tele lenses.

Though most people tend to mostly drool over film era lens bokeh, especially fast ones like the 50mm f1.2, or the faster 85mm.
Fortunately, bokeh is not the most important part of photography
08-25-2012, 04:00 PM   #4
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The 31ltd - but, you said that for some reason you didn't like that.

I'd put the 77ltd next, followed by the FA 50/2.8 macro when stepped down one or two.

None of my current lenses have horrible bokeh, fortunately, they all range from good to oh-wow.

The pancake 40/2.8 has the bokeh that I "like the least" from among those that I have. Then again, this may either be me not having learned how to use it well, or a simple subjective point

08-25-2012, 04:02 PM   #5
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Now that we're at it: I'm intrigued by the DA* 55/1.4, and have (almost) convinced the significant other that it's a good investment....

Any samples of how its bokeh is on that?
08-25-2012, 04:39 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tclausen Quote
Now that we're at it: I'm intrigued by the DA* 55/1.4, and have (almost) convinced the significant other that it's a good investment....

Any samples of how its bokeh is on that?
Just take a close look at the examples here: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model

On this lens the background can really run the gamut from smooth to rather harsh - it depends on the particular shot.


On the other hand, the K50/1.2 (which I have) seems to always provide a smooth background of some kind - even a little more than the "optically identical" A50/1.2: PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model. In terms of producing beautiful, somewhat "vintage" output, It and my K200/2.5 seem to mate better with my CCD-sensor K200D than my K-5.


But the DA*55 exhibits an obvious sharpness (for subject isolation in a very good way, I think) that the K50/1.2 does not. So it's still one of the best Pentax lenses you can buy.



My vote goes for the K50/1.2, followed by the FA77. The DFA 100 Macro WR, A100/2.8 (non-macro), and K200/2.5 are strong candidates too, although quality long glass will often do well here. I think this is what makes the FA31 so unique - getting such a smooth transition to OOF areas in a "wide" lens. Last year I used it at a bridal fashion shoot overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Ironically, my 12 year old daughter complained that she didn't like the images because they looked "phoney, like you cut out the images of the bride and pasted them over the background of the Golden Gate." But of course it was exactly how the camera had captured the shot! I guess this just shows that there are very few lenses which isolate a subject from the background like the FA31 does!
08-25-2012, 05:08 PM   #7
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Define best when it comes to Bokeh, it is really a taste thing so there is no wrong or correct answer.

Off all the current lenses, the sigma 30mm and 85mm might have the smoothes bokeh if you want that.
08-25-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
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Best Bokeh?

When I read the post heading, my immediate thought was the M 85mm f/2.0. I've never seen samples of a modern Pentax lens that can render the OOF areas as smoothly and beautifully. Bear in mind, I don't own a * or LTd lens, either. So, a better example could easily exist.
Next on the list (for me) would be the M 100mm f/2.8.
I recently bought an A 135mm f/2.8 and so far it seems very smooth at the wider apertures. It does generate the hexagonal-shaped highlights when stopped down.
I also own the M 50mm f/1.4 and f/1.7. Both are stellar in background blur, but not in the same class as the 85mm.
Of the F, FA and DA lenses I've tried, I agree that the DA 35mm f/2.4 AL is the best.
JMO,
Ron

08-25-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Every lens has a unique character in rendering images. Even two copies of the same lens will render differently.

Bokeh is subjective, it cannot be measured like resolution or distortion. Depending on the subject being photographed and the vision of the photographer, one may want sometimes very smooth Bokeh to pop up the main subject or a painterly one to blend it in.

There is no single answer to which is best. Some are great for portraits while others are great for landscapes or macros. Some photographers dislike mirror lenses for their "donut" circle Bokeh, while others find them very artistic under the right conditions.

A lens is a tool and it should be approached as such. If it can do what the photographer expects or envisions, then it is the right one.
08-25-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
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I very much agree that it is a purely subjective thing. From my experience and personal collection I probably would suggest that the 77ltd or the DA*55 has the best I've seen or produced.

But I have also seen great bokeh come out of my DA 35mm 2.4, for the price could be arguably the best bokeh bang for the buck! (Yes! Aliteration! lol)
And also enjoy the results of my DA 21ltd.
08-25-2012, 10:28 PM   #11
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You could check the lens sample images to see which produces images with bokeh that appeals to you.
08-26-2012, 01:29 AM   #12
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Funny how many time the DA*55 and FA77 are mentioned but i actually don't like their bokeh, just show how subjective it is


Oh look up voigtlander 125mm lathern macro, i love that bokeh.
08-26-2012, 07:57 AM   #13
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thanks, i'll look into all these suggestions, that voigtlander sounds interesting too. somehow i like the colors with the older lenses too. why is that ?
08-26-2012, 08:44 AM   #14
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Voigtlander 125mm f/2.5 Macro APO-Lanthar sample pics topic
08-26-2012, 02:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Oh look up voigtlander 125mm lathern macro, i love that bokeh.
Yes, I agree - the best macro lens I know of, and it renders the smoothest backgrounds of any lens that immediately comes to mind. But for some reason I - like most of us - don't have one. I think it's something about not wanting to pay over $2000 for a MF lens that retailed for around $650 a few years ago!
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