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BOKEH, BOKEH, what governs bokeh?

Ron Tincher , Jan 08, 2009; 02:30 p.m.

Bokeh, a japanese word meaning "out of focus" that can become very pleasing to the eye in a portrait. Everyone is talking about what lens renders good bokeh. I took a few lens and tried a few shots and found a few things that will produce good bokeh. The lens may have a lot ot do with it, but it is in the background that lies the key. If the background has good color saturation and lots of contrast, you have the potential for good bokeh. The next thing is the DOF. I found if you are real close to the subject and the shorter the DOF the greater the bokeh becomes. If you shoot with the sun behind you or within 45 degrees, either side of you, this makes for good bokeh. I have gotten great bokeh with expensive and cheap lens, so don't think you have to have the best to get the best. I will show a few of my shots. These three were made with a 80mm Biometar @2.8.


Pentacon lens

Responses


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Ron Tincher , Jan 08, 2009; 02:32 p.m.

Next one


same lens

Ron Tincher , Jan 08, 2009; 02:34 p.m.

I would like to see some of your shots.


Snow covered Stump

Ron Tincher , Jan 08, 2009; 02:41 p.m.

No bokeh here, just some of the beauty we have in the hills of Ky

Ron Tincher , Jan 08, 2009; 02:46 p.m.

next

Large photo attachment:
(Lazy River -- 480 x 720 photo)

Matt Laur , Jan 08, 2009; 03:30 p.m.

Bokeh is governed by Lex Jenkins. He's actually the Right Honorable Viceroy Of Bokeh, not the governor per se. Also, he was appointed by Illinois Governor Blagojevich, and that makes the issue a little touchy just now.

Now. As for lenses... the form of the aperture iris (round? hexagonal?) plays a role, especially when there are highlights in the OoF areas. To be pedantic about it, think of bokeh as the quality of the out of focus areas, not the fact that the background is out of focus. It's probably no coincidence that my more expensive lenses tend to produce a less harsh, less crunchy-looking blur.

Walt Flanagan , Jan 08, 2009; 03:32 p.m.

John Vanacore , Jan 08, 2009; 03:47 p.m.

>>>>>>Bokeh is governed by Lex Jenkins. He's actually the Right Honorable Viceroy Of Bokeh, not the governor per se. Also, he was appointed by Illinois Governor Blagojevich, and that makes the issue a little touchy just now

lol@ Matt. Too funny!

JDM von Weinberg , Jan 08, 2009; 04:01 p.m.

Somebody here once innocently referred to Brokeh . I thought we had all agreed to call it that from then on?
As Matt says, it's easier to get the desired buttery effect with a lens aperture mechanism that has a circular profile as it stops down, but I have seen very pleasing results with less optimal aperture shape, especially in cases where the highlights are subdued, and of course most lenses wide open are circular.

Mark Medin , Jan 08, 2009; 04:43 p.m.

I have a picture somewhere that demonstrates bokeh very well. I was going for a hummingbird with a wide-open aperture. It darted away (and I got a photo of a bare branch for my trouble), but the circular out-of-focus areas were remarkably like dabs of paint. It wasn't the absolutely best bokeh I'd ever seen (it was a lens I basically got for nothing and had to repair), but it was very pleasing.


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