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02-23-2010, 04:04 PM   #1
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Photography Term help?

What is Bokeh? and... what does it mean by being soft at wide aperture settings? also... what does it mean if a lens is fast?

02-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
What is Bokeh? and... what does it mean by being soft at wide aperture settings? also... what does it mean if a lens is fast?
I'll recommend that you go to your local Bookstore and pick up a copy of Brian Petersons "understanding exposure"

Briefly

Bokeh is how the out of focus background appears in a photograph.

Wide aperture softness. Many lens have a bit of a soft rendering then they are used wide open. As you stop them down, the photo gets sharper.

Fast Lens. A lens wih a large aperture. Such as a 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Best thing, though. Go buy you a copy of that book.


Ed
02-23-2010, 04:37 PM   #3
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Oh okay! thank you! Will do ;P unless my school textbook already has some info on it....
02-23-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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How do you pronounce "bokeh"?

02-23-2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
What is Bokeh? and... what does it mean by being soft at wide aperture settings? also... what does it mean if a lens is fast?
The term bokeh refers to the out of focus portion of a photo.





A lens shot wide open has a very short depth of field (distance in front of and behind focal point that is in focus;DOF). The closer you (physically) are to your subject, the more pronounced that will be. In addition to that statement, with a lens wide open, the Further away you are, the more difficult it will be to get perfect point focus. Also the larger the format (film/sensor size) the more control you will have over it. Most point and shoot cameras have a sensor the size of a pinky fingernail, if that. The result of that (in addition to other things) is that DOF is almost infinite. At least in the visible frame it is. Look for discussions or tutorials on Image Circle to gain a better understanding of format size vs DOF.

The LOOK of the bokeh is what makes some lenses more desirable to some than others. The above shots were taken with a Pentax K30mm f2.8 at f2.8. That lens isn't easy to come by and is typically kind of expensive so I'm not suggesting you run right out and buy one.

Being able to selectively blur the surroundings of your subject is what sometimes makes the subject pop, giving it a 3d kind of look. Some disagree but I happen to think this shot nicely demonstrates that. K10d, FA 43mm f1.9 @ f2.0



Simply put, Lens speed typically refers to the aperture (sort of). The lower the Aperture number the faster the lens. Your 50mm f2.0 lets in half the light wide open as a 50mm f1.4 lens would (which is twice as fast). These lenses have bigger glass, are often heavier and always more expensive but worth it to those looking to move beyond snapshot mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
Oh okay! thank you! Will do ;P unless my school textbook already has some info on it....
It probably does. There's plenty of internet reading you can do as well instead of spending more money on a book. I'm not saying the exposure book is a bad investment but your text book probably covers a lot of the same material. And, you can read all about it on the internet until your eyes bleed. Google is your friend that will save you from needlessly spending money. That's my opinion anyway..

02-23-2010, 08:06 PM   #6
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Hehe thanks for taking the time to respond! Those pictures are nice! My f2 sounds pretty inferior right now, but I'm pretty happy with it and it's capabilities. I'm not pro yet so a 50mm f2 would be okay for now, later I might want a f1.7 50mm. I've actually sorta answered the question to what lenses I want... probably a 28mm and a 100mm or a 135mm.
02-23-2010, 08:27 PM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Hehe thanks for taking the time to respond! Those pictures are nice! My f2 sounds pretty inferior right now, but I'm pretty happy with it and it's capabilities. I'm not pro yet so a 50mm f2 would be okay for now, later I might want a f1.7 50mm. I've actually sorta answered the question to what lenses I want... probably a 28mm and a 100mm or a 135mm.
You can actually make pretty decent bokeh (it reads just a bit "softer" than bow-kay, by the way - to answer rieux's question) out of that 50/2. Just use F/2 (the largest aperture) and focus on something close (say, between half a meter and maybe 2 meters). The smaller the aperture (the more towards f/22) and the farther the focusing distance - the less the effect of blurring background.
02-23-2010, 08:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbo Quote
You can actually make pretty decent bokeh (it reads just a bit "softer" than bow-kay, by the way - to answer rieux's question) out of that 50/2. Just use F/2 (the largest aperture) and focus on something close (say, between half a meter and maybe 2 meters). The smaller the aperture (the more towards f/22) and the farther the focusing distance - the less the effect of blurring background.
I'll keep that in mind next time when I go out to take some pictures, thanks for the tips.

02-23-2010, 08:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
Hehe thanks for taking the time to respond! Those pictures are nice! My f2 sounds pretty inferior right now, but I'm pretty happy with it and it's capabilities. I'm not pro yet so a 50mm f2 would be okay for now, later I might want a f1.7 50mm. I've actually sorta answered the question to what lenses I want... probably a 28mm and a 100mm or a 135mm.
Look for an M28 f2.8 and a M135 f3.5. With your 50, you'll have a nice usable kit. Even if you go digital. You can probably grab both for around $100 (US) total or less. The A version of the 28 is going over $100 on ebay right now but you could luck out. The 100mm is going to be an expensive prospect but if you can find and afford one, by all means, grab it. Oh and remember something. Perfect condition lenses (paint, etc) are pretty to look at but in the end, it's the glass that counts.

02-23-2010, 09:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Look for an M28 f2.8 and a M135 f3.5. With your 50, you'll have a nice usable kit. Even if you go digital. You can probably grab both for around $100 (US) total or less. The A version of the 28 is going over $100 on ebay right now but you could luck out. The 100mm is going to be an expensive prospect but if you can find and afford one, by all means, grab it. Oh and remember something. Perfect condition lenses (paint, etc) are pretty to look at but in the end, it's the glass that counts.

Yeah trying to get some good prices, since they are all 49mm I should get a nice filter with that too. YES true man, that is very true. If it is scratched, you can only ask "Where?" and just say "Oh, okay that's 25$ off? sweet...".
02-23-2010, 09:26 PM   #11
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Yeah trying to get some good prices, since they are all 49mm I should get a nice filter with that too. YES true man, that is very true. If it is scratched, you can only ask "Where?" and just say "Oh, okay that's 25$ off? sweet...".
My guess about the filters is that they'll teach you how to use those in the course.
Are they teaching you black-and-white only? If so, the most important ones will probably be red/orange/yellow kind (if I still remember correctly, they're called "yellow family" filters) - for dramatic "blue" skies and lightening skin and hiding skin blemishes; and green kind - for landscapes and foliage.
The orange filters basically lighten everything yellow/orange/red (skin, for example, and freckles that go with that ) and darken blues and greens (say, sky); green filters do the opposite.

If it's color they're teaching you, then I've got no clue. Polarizer, maybe?
02-23-2010, 09:42 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbo Quote
My guess about the filters is that they'll teach you how to use those in the course.
Are they teaching you black-and-white only? If so, the most important ones will probably be red/orange/yellow kind (if I still remember correctly, they're called "yellow family" filters) - for dramatic "blue" skies and lightening skin and hiding skin blemishes; and green kind - for landscapes and foliage.
The orange filters basically lighten everything yellow/orange/red (skin, for example, and freckles that go with that ) and darken blues and greens (say, sky); green filters do the opposite.

If it's color they're teaching you, then I've got no clue. Polarizer, maybe?
B&W ;D hell yeah! It's awesome! Oh, I'm not messing around with super duper filters just yet, I'll get a skylight filter first. I think they may teach that later in the course or next semester.
02-23-2010, 10:04 PM   #13
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B&W ;D hell yeah! It's awesome! Oh, I'm not messing around with super duper filters just yet, I'll get a skylight filter first. I think they may teach that later in the course or next semester.
But... why? Isn't skylight filter just a very very slight yellow cast filter? Other than a slight effect of a yellow filter, it's not gonna do much.
Screwing something in front of your lens for the first time is always fun, though
02-23-2010, 11:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NecroticSoldier Quote
B&W ;D hell yeah! It's awesome! Oh, I'm not messing around with super duper filters just yet, I'll get a skylight filter first. I think they may teach that later in the course or next semester.
I wouldn't worry about skylight filters right now. Many times, a used lens will come with one anyway. For your B&W photography, I'd recommend a Red filter, a Yellow Filter, and possibly a blue filter and a green filter. With black and white, what the colored filters do is filter OUT the color of the filter (to an extent depending on the strength of the filter). A Red filter for instance will remove red (even that you cannot see). If you put one on your camera and take a picture of a partly cloudy sky, the sky will be very dark looking and the clouds will have very high contrast to the sky. Really makes for a dramatic photo if you're into that sort of thing (which I am). A yellow filter acts sort of as a polarizing filter in B&W giving some nice subtle contrast to a scene. Somewhere in your textbook this is all probably described in more detail.. B&W is lots of fun once you learn to control it and bring it around to your way of thinking. Are you doing your own lab work? Developing the film and making wet prints?? (that's half the fun to me)..

02-24-2010, 02:02 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
I wouldn't worry about skylight filters right now. Many times, a used lens will come with one anyway. For your B&W photography, I'd recommend a Red filter, a Yellow Filter, and possibly a blue filter and a green filter. With black and white, what the colored filters do is filter OUT the color of the filter (to an extent depending on the strength of the filter). A Red filter for instance will remove red (even that you cannot see). If you put one on your camera and take a picture of a partly cloudy sky, the sky will be very dark looking and the clouds will have very high contrast to the sky. Really makes for a dramatic photo if you're into that sort of thing (which I am). A yellow filter acts sort of as a polarizing filter in B&W giving some nice subtle contrast to a scene. Somewhere in your textbook this is all probably described in more detail.. B&W is lots of fun once you learn to control it and bring it around to your way of thinking. Are you doing your own lab work? Developing the film and making wet prints?? (that's half the fun to me)..

Yes, Indeed I am! the dark room looks like a dark washroom! smells like one too... went in today... and got some fluid on my hand and it is green now!!! oh I see what you mean there, is there such thing as a filter that filters everything except for black and white?
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