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Thread: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

  1. #1

    Default Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    This is really eating into me. I keep thinking about it. The smoothness of cream, and the flavour of butter, the pungency and hardness of cheese. How can I whip these up at my whim and fancy? I think I need a whisk, to churn them, and a real good one at that. Something fast, long, expensive? Do I already have the whisk in my house? Or is my technique wrong?

    Well, before our friendly mod deletes this post, let me get to the point.
    Focal Length, F-stop and Bokeh.
    Recently I've been quite obsessed with this. I look at the photos on photo sharing sites and over here, and I'm always thinking if I need a new lens to give me that creamy bokeh.
    Well, my standard are pretty low. I can't tell between creamy/velvety/buttery like most of the pros, but I can tell very bad from good.
    So lets look at what I already have (the 'whisks in my house')

    All tests done with the background approx 40cm from the subject and the lighting came from a wireless triggered flash bounced from the right wall. Settings were manual. Sorry for the poor control in exposure, but the point here is the background. Can I get the subject to be rather sharp and the bkgnd creamy at such a short subject to background distance?

    Jupiter 9 85/2
    Now this is supposed to be a 'bokeh king'. Frankly, its so soft at f2, I don't use it at f2. But here goes.


    Well f2.4 is soft. I'd choose from f2.8 all the way to f3.2 to get that background to be OOF with this lens.
    So how does it compare with my other lens.. the Super Takumar 135/3.5?

    ...Next..........
    Last edited by pinholecam; 27th July 2009 at 03:41 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    Super Takumar 135/3.5
    This is a real nice lens, solid with smooth operation and good optics (not to mention cheap). I've finally been able to get a physically good copy. Its rather fast at f3.5 and long (200mm based on 35mm format), so certainly a good tool to whisk up that buttery background. Lets see ....



    Minimum focus distance is different from the J9, as is with other focal lengths, so I need to back off ~1.5m in this case. For a real human subject, it'll be further, or else I will fill part of the face only.

    F3.5 seems to be the only f-stop that can pull off of very OOF background. Probably close to the J9@f3.2. Note that this is in the context of close subject to bkgnd distances. Of course if the bkgnd was further, it would be different, but sometimes in actual situations, we don't have a choice.

    Alright, last lens to go for now.... (though I should really include the 'standard' lens the 50/1.4)
    FA 35/2
    Last edited by pinholecam; 27th July 2009 at 04:04 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    FA35/2
    Last one for now. FA35/2. A nice 'all rounder' IMO, that is often overshadowed by the 31ltd and 35/2.8 ltd macro. I'd confidently go anywhere with this lens. Max aperture of f2 makes it a good candidate, and its has the added bonus of an all rounder lens that can always be in my camera bag. The negative is the short focal length, at 52mm (35mm format), its no 'portrait lens'. So how good is it to produce that cream?



    At f2.0 the bkgnd OOF does look rather similar to the other lenses at selected f-stops. The image also retains good sharpness at f2.0. What I don't like is the effect of the short focal length. It includes too much background, such that there are now 'more' bkgnd flowers and they seem to pull away from the subject (another short focal length artifact).


    Conclusions (for now)

    For me, the verdict is still out there at the moment. I've come to have a better idea of what focal length, f-stop may give a better OOF bkgnd in a subject close to bkgnd situation. Though I've probably opened up more questions than answers.
    1. Lenses of focal length 85mm, 135mm are rather good at this. Better subject isolation by keeping out most of the background, then blurring it out with long focal length and large aperture.
    2. Large min. focus distance for the 135mm is bad. Its not always possible to move so far back. The 85mm is better.
    3. All 3 lenses can give enough bkgnd OOF.
    4. The FA35 is my 'poorer' choice if I was to choose purely based on subject isolation because of the more 'busy' bkgnd. This excludes handling and min. focus distance of course (which it would be the best of the 3).
    5. I've yet to see (since I don't have) a real portrait monster like the FA85/1.4 or even a good all rounder 77ltd. Can these produce the velvety smooth bkgnd in such situations? Hmm.. its these things that I want to avoid buying..
    6. What about a mid tele 50/1.4 (75mm in 35mm format) that has some reach and very large aperture? How about a longer but slower zoom like my FA 55-300?
    Last edited by pinholecam; 27th July 2009 at 04:38 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    reserved

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    so whats this thread about....
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    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    Quote Originally Posted by flowerpot View Post
    so whats this thread about....
    To compare the cream machines.

    Just need to add the FA77, A*85 and A*135...
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    Quote Originally Posted by flowerpot View Post
    so whats this thread about....
    Ok lah, I know very long winded,
    taken from the posts
    'I'm always thinking if I need a new lens to give me that creamy bokeh. '
    'the point here is the background'
    'a better OOF bkgnd in a subject close to bkgnd situation'

    justify that I already have the lenses for what I want and resist the BBB virus

    If anyone can get more information like LBA from it, I'd be happy

    Quote Originally Posted by Baracus View Post
    To compare the cream machines.

    Just need to add the FA77, A*85 and A*135...
    Argh!! don't mention those few names
    Must reee...sssiiist..

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    Quote Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
    Conclusions (for now)[/U]
    For me, the verdict is still out there at the moment. I've come to have a better idea of what focal length, f-stop may give a better OOF bkgnd in a subject close to bkgnd situation. Though I've probably opened up more questions than answers.
    1. Lenses of focal length 85mm, 135mm are rather good at this. Better subject isolation by keeping out most of the background, then blurring it out with long focal length and large aperture.
    2. Large min. focus distance for the 135mm is bad. Its not always possible to move so far back. The 85mm is better.
    3. All 3 lenses can give enough bkgnd OOF.
    4. The FA35 is my 'poorer' choice if I was to choose purely based on subject isolation because of the more 'busy' bkgnd. This excludes handling and min. focus distance of course (which it would be the best of the 3).
    5. I've yet to see (since I don't have) a real portrait monster like the FA85/1.4 or even a good all rounder 77ltd. Can these produce the velvety smooth bkgnd in such situations? Hmm.. its these things that I want to avoid buying..
    6. What about a mid tele 50/1.4 (75mm in 35mm format) that has some reach and very large aperture? How about a longer but slower zoom like my FA 55-300?
    I've similarly compared with the M50/1.7, FA43/1.9 and K135/2.5.

    The K135 is my favourite, when there is enough space. But it still works in busy places with messy background, thanks to its isolating properties. (Refer to my Cosfest thread
    )

    The FA43 is acceptably sharp at f2.4, but I've yet to fall in love with it like the M50, bokeh-wise.

    The FA55-300 has some quality bokeh, as posted in the shared pic thread. I prefer the tele-end, but I'm sure there are cheap alternatives at the wide-end too.
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    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    u call these cream machine...

    the background is flat though there are some pattern there... even kit lens will be hard to judge the bokeh...

    shoot with some objects at the background... a physical plant behind etc.. then u can see...

    anyway there are so many variables.... the longer lens will throw the background off more than a shorter lens... focusing distance also play a part...

    have to compare with similar focal length lah...

    for the same test u did... the FA600 f4 will come out tops, everything behind will be so smooth and creamy u cant see anything....
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  10. #10
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    pinholecam, like flowerpot, I really can't seem to understand the direction of this thread.
    It's a given that there's many variables related to lens bokeh from focal length, lens design and construction (including number of aperture blades), subject distance, subject and background, plus I'm sure there's plenty more reasons about out-of-focus rendering. I hope you haven't been caught up with the obsessive compulsive disorder of some photographers who go "ooh" and "aah" about bokeh ad nauseam.

    First off, I'm not entirely sure the comparison between the lenses is meaningful given that different focal lengths will give different apparent perspective and dof.

    keeping the subject the same size by varying the camera to subject distance, that FA 35mm will naturally show more background than the tele lenses. Subjectively speaking, the Jupiter is too soft and just cannot make it imo. Perhaps some people mistake image softness as being good for bokeh. Oh well... different strokes for different folks.
    Last edited by creampuff; 27th July 2009 at 06:23 PM. Reason: I can't spell right...

  11. #11

    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    Creampuff, Flowerpot,
    Bokeh, might not be the appropriate word here. This word is such a land mine with its definitions, mystique and personal preferences. 'OOF background such that it smooths out into a color blend' is probably more correct for what I mean.
    Of course subject stays the same size despite focal length. Whats the point of different sized subjects for the comparison in a portrait situation? If I was to bring out a lens for portraits that gave subject isolation, 'bokeh' (as I've 'mis-defined' above), and throw in limited subject to background distance, what would be a better choice?
    Maybe to seasoned snappers, its a non issue (just take out that 85/1.4 or other fast long lens from the dry cabinet), but to the raw photographer (like me), checking it out like what I have makes a point, esp when it involves future lens purchases.

    At least i know now, I need a fast long lens. Maybe a 135/2.5, 135/2.8 or 85/1.4, 85/1.8 if I am willing to part with the money. My guess is that the fast 85mm probably hits the spot better with closer focus+long focal length+fast aperture.

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    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    the 77 will be perfect for you...
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Churning Cream, Butter and Cheese -an obsession

    I think i can feel a bit of what Pinholecam is trying to achieve here. There's some of us ( with the disorder ) who are fascinated by the oof portions of a photo, especially if the focused object is plain. Call it abstract or whatever. It's just another genre/taste.

    Like what Flowerpot said, the background is flat and will not fully exhibit the bokeh characteristics of the lenses....Should put a 'flowerpot' hahaha...with small leaves, some light on the background would help too.

    The tests done so far only show f-stop characteristics.

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