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Thread: Bokeh

  1. #1
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    Default Bokeh

    Reposting from Critique Corner where i was told to post my newbie stuff here
    well here goes.......
    What is good bokeh and what is bad bokeh???
    Any difference between good and bad??



  2. #2

    Default Re: Bokeh

    a good bokeh would be making the main object stand out from the rest of the others

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Hi,
    I suspect that you might have wanted to ask about DOF instead of bokeh. You cannot control bokeh quality as it is inherited with lens. You may want to read more about bokeh here >>>> http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

    and for DOF, it all depends on your inteneded shot. try do a search in the google with key "word depth of field", there are many articles discuss this, from beginner level till very advanced discussion.

    I can't give any advice as I myself is also a newbie. Hope the info helps.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    Thanks bro....such a refreshing remark you've made since i've been here....well i'm a newbie coz i've just started taking up this photography thing and have not even been to any classes or talks yet.....well it takes time i noe that......

  5. #5

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Ok, I'll clear things up here.

    DoF basically means how deep the area in focus is; the smaller the aperture, the larger the DoF; the larger the aperture, the shallower the DoF.

    A practical example:

    For landscapes, we want as much of the scene in focus, so we stop down the aperture.

    For portraits and other forms of subject isolation, a larger aperture is used to keep the intended area in focus but the background out of focus. This "blurring" effect is called bokeh.

    Now using your sample shots as an example:

    For #2, your aperture used is too small, as the boats are still recognisable, IF your intention was to isolate the leaves from everything else.

    For #1, the shows the effect of something so out of focus that it is almost transcluscent.


    Now what about "good" or "bad" bokeh?

    It depends on the lens construction, whether the aperture blades are as close to a circle as possible. But it is all relative, different people have differing opinions over bokeh.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    imho, if the out of focus area aka bokeh makes your subject of focus stand out or compliment it, then it's a good bokeh.... if it distracts what u're trying to tell or to the viewer, then u'll have a not too pleasing bokeh.... then again, these are all very subjective.... have fun exploring....

    cheers....
    flickr me....
    exposure medium: 30% film, 70% sensor

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by kross View Post
    imho, if the out of focus area aka bokeh makes your subject of focus stand out or compliment it, then it's a good bokeh.... if it distracts what u're trying to tell or to the viewer, then u'll have a not too pleasing bokeh.... then again, these are all very subjective.... have fun exploring....

    cheers....
    Actually what you just described is good subject isolation. Bokeh is all about how the lens "creams" out the out of focus areas.

    Personally, I like mine blended to the consistency of a margarita...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    Thanks to all for the comments......and another newbie question is which lens offer the best bokeh??...Nikon lens i mean....

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Ok, THAT one I cannot really help you (I use Oly).

    But I've heard great things about the 85mm f1.4...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    Wat about the 50mm f1.8......anybody out there using this lens??

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by deanz View Post
    Wat about the 50mm f1.8......anybody out there using this lens??
    if you talking about quality of bokeh, 50/f1.8 doesn't cut it... at least thats what i feel.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    Then...........?????? Pls enlighten........

  13. #13

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by deanz View Post
    Then...........?????? Pls enlighten........
    Try 85 1.4, 105 2DC, 135 2DC (can really see the effect on crop sensor though)
    70-200 2.8, 28-70 2.8, quite good.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by deanz View Post
    Then...........?????? Pls enlighten........
    The out-of-focus objects appears quite harsh on the AF Nikkor 50 f/1.8D.

    BC

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bokeh

    The quest for good bokeh and bad bokeh...haha
    This might be an expensive quest.

    Good bokeh is "pleasing" to the eye and bad bokeh is not.

    Rule No. 1: good bokeh should be round.
    i.e. points of light that are out of focus should be round and not distorted, oval, hexagonal etc. Typically this requires a great lens plus more aperture blades (= more $)
    As drakon09 wrote: the aperture should be as close to a circle as possible

    Rule No. 2: out of focus objects should look natural
    i.e. objects that are out of focus should look natural with no additional artefacts/lines/distortion, this gives a natural 3D effect to the picture

    Note 1: some lenses are very sharp but bokeh is bad. such lenses should only be used for situation where you want total sharp focus but not differential focus.

    Note 2: some filters causes internal reflections resulting in bad bokeh
    e.g. a single object or line may appear as two OOF (out-of-focus) objects
    Multi-coated filters and lenses reduce this problem (= more $)

    Note 3: good bokeh does not necessarily mean low DOF
    i.e. you may still want the background or foreground to be recognisable to provide a context for the picture although you might want to draw attention to the focal point where the image is sharp

    Note 4: typically good bokeh comes from big aperture lenses (= more $) although you might use slightly smaller aperture depending on what DOF you need,
    e.g. 50/1.2, 85/1.4, 135/2, 300/2.8 etc

    Note 5: Since you often need to stop down slightly to get more DOF, a great 2.8 zoom (e.g. trinity) can often give you a sufficiently good bokeh. (trinity = more $)

    Note 6: The best bokeh should give you a 3D effect as in points slightly of of the DOF are slightly OOF and points further from the DOF is more OOF. And it should look natural.

    Note 7: Photoshop can help in some situations but cannot completely replace good bokeh lens.

    Note 8: Good bokeh should not be hard-edged or contrasty.
    ie. a blurred point should not appear as a circle of light with sharp edge. The edges should be diffused.

    Note 9: Analysing the MTF curves of a lens can give you the theoretical bokeh performance of a lens.

    Hope we are less blur about this blur stuff.
    Last edited by An drew; 27th March 2007 at 05:38 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by An drew View Post
    The quest for good bokeh and bad bokeh...haha
    This might be an expensive quest.

    Good bokeh is "pleasing" to the eye and bad bokeh is not.

    Rule No. 1: good bokeh should be round.
    i.e. points of light that are out of focus should be round and not distorted, oval, hexagonal etc. Typically this requires a great lens plus more aperture blades (= more $)
    As drakon09 wrote: the aperture should be as close to a circle as possible

    Rule No. 2: out of focus objects should look natural
    i.e. objects that are out of focus should look natural with no additional artefacts/lines/distortion, this gives a natural 3D effect to the picture

    Note 1: some lenses are very sharp but bokeh is bad. such lenses should only be used for situation where you want total sharp focus but not differential focus.

    Note 2: some filters causes internal reflections resulting in bad bokeh
    e.g. a single object or line may appear as two OOF (out-of-focus) objects
    Multi-coated filters and lenses reduce this problem (= more $)

    Note 3: good bokeh does not necessarily mean low DOF
    i.e. you may still want the background or foreground to be recognisable to provide a context for the picture although you might want to draw attention to the focal point where the image is sharp

    Note 4: typically good bokeh comes from big aperture lenses (= more $) although you might use slightly smaller aperture depending on what DOF you need,
    e.g. 50/1.2, 85/1.4, 135/2, 300/2.8 etc

    Note 5: Since you often need to stop down slightly to get more DOF, a great 2.8 zoom (e.g. trinity) can often give you a sufficiently good bokeh. (trinity = more $)

    Note 6: The best bokeh should give you a 3D effect as in points slightly of of the DOF are slightly OOF and points further from the DOF is more OOF. And it should look natural.

    Note 7: Photoshop can help in some situations but cannot completely replace good bokeh lens.

    Note 8: Good bokeh should not be hard-edged or contrasty.
    ie. a blurred point should not appear as a circle of light with sharp edge. The edges should be diffused.

    Note 9: Analysing the MTF curves of a lens can give you the theoretical bokeh performance of a lens.

    Hope we are less blur about this blur stuff.
    Waoh!!! That's a comprehensive explanation of what is bokeh. Im really amase.
    Great dept of understanding An drew.

    Cheers...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Bokeh

    This is a shot done wide open at f2... I'd consider this a nice bokeh...

    Jia Wang... "A photo is only as beautiful as the photographer's eyes can see."
    My Eyes ;)

  18. #18

    Default Re: Bokeh

    did anyone see pictures that is free to take to show a comparison between a good bokeh and bad bokeh?
    PM me if U Want Asst Wedding Photographer
    http://totoro17.multiply.com http://chinhaven.tripod.com

  19. #19

    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by Jia Wang View Post
    This is a shot done wide open at f2... I'd consider this a nice bokeh...

    http://www.pbase.com/jiawang/image/76131929.jpg
    Not bad... but not the best...

    The outer edges of the OOF objects is a bit brighter and, thus, it is not as smooth...

    BC
    Last edited by Scaglietti; 28th March 2007 at 10:33 AM.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Bokeh

    Quote Originally Posted by totoro17 View Post
    did anyone see pictures that is free to take to show a comparison between a good bokeh and bad bokeh?
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

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