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Thread: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

  1. #1

    Default Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Most people talk about bokeh as if it is the more the better.

    I read somewhere that it is no good to have too much bokeh, even for portraits.

    Is this true?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Depending on whats in your background, its possible.. Go search for a similar thread in P&P and you would know..

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    I don't see how the more the better or the more the worse. I'd say it all depends on the entire composition itself. And on the topic of bokeh, I hope you're not referring to just shallow DOF, two of which are different things.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    ok let me clarify.

    i am referring to the bokeh ie the blur background, not DOF.

    i am interested to know if isolating the subject and blurring the background means the blurrer the background the nice. to me that is not the case.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    it depends on how blur the background you want. some times you want it to be blur but just clear enough to tell where the location is, what the object behind is. some times the background details simply don't matter and are there only to provide the colouring. Totally up to the photographer to decide.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    No right or wrong la... you see nice, nice lor, not nice not nice lor... seriously. It's like a question of whether it's good for a B/W picture to have too much black. Sama-Sama.
    Last edited by rendition; 1st December 2009 at 06:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Quote Originally Posted by artspraken View Post
    Most people talk about bokeh as if it is the more the better.

    I read somewhere that it is no good to have too much bokeh, even for portraits.

    Is this true?
    Quote Originally Posted by artspraken View Post
    ok let me clarify.

    i am referring to the bokeh ie the blur background, not DOF.

    i am interested to know if isolating the subject and blurring the background means the blurrer the background the nice. to me that is not the case.
    if to u its not the case, then its no good having too much bokeh.
    nice or not nice is very subjective.
    cameras are not made of tofu

  8. #8
    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    it depends on what you want to achieve

    sometimes more is better and sometimes less is better

  9. #9
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    when i am overseas and i want to take a picture of my wife and i need to take the background sharp and recognizably foreign, i would want more depth of field / less oof... too blur every shot looks like can be taken from singapore

    depends on what u want out of ur shoot.

    ryan

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    when i am overseas and i want to take a picture of my wife and i need to take the background sharp and recognizably foreign, i would want more depth of field / less oof... too blur every shot looks like can be taken from singapore

    depends on what u want out of ur shoot.
    Corrrrrrrrrect....!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Quote Originally Posted by artspraken View Post

    i am interested to know if isolating the subject and blurring the background means the blurrer the background the nice. to me that is not the case.
    depends right....

  12. #12
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    As well as the quality of the bokeh. Some of the bokeh are distracting so in those cases, I would say less will be better.
    Canon 5D Mark II | 24-105L | 35L | 85L II | 135L | Samyang 14mm 2.8

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Hmm, in my opinion there is never toooo much bokeh, however it depends on the type of bokeh that your len's produces. As mentioned above, some bokeh can be very distracting.
    Nikon D7000 |Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G | NIKKOR 35mm f/1.8G|NIKKOR 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR|SB-25

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    What is too much bokeh... very vague... but if its 'creamier' bokeh. Yes!
    Canon 5D mkII|24-105 F4 IS L|70-200 F4 IS L|135 F2 L|580EX|

  15. #15

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    The way you phrased your query is you want the bokeh, to isolate the subject .
    However, the amount of Bokeh you can achieve is not limitless, to a great extend it is limited by your lens.

    So I reckon we are talking about the ęsthetic quality of the blur more that how blur is the blur. Meaning how well the Bokeh complement your shot.

    The quality of the Bokeh depends on alot on the type of lens , design , the aperture, the aperture shape and the backdrop.

    Depending on the focal length, some lens design ,aberrations, aperture shape and background can cause the bokeh to merge in a way that is pleasing to the eye or Good Bokeh. In general, Good Bokeh the transition between the out of focus edges of shade are gentle and creamy. Good Bokeh with shades that complement the subject, the degree of blur will depends on its contrast with and how it can complement the subject matter. More blur might not be neccessarily good as the shades of color of blur will changes too with increase/decrease in the bokeh.

    Certain combination of lens, design , abberattion, aperture and background produce Bokeh that is unpleasant, distracting, bloctchy or Bad Bokeh. This type of blotchy Bokeh tends to distract and draw attention away from the subject . If you have Bad Bokeh, and assuming you are at wide open aperture , forget aboout it, no amount of how blur is the Bad Blur is gonna enhnaced your shot. Assumming the Bad Bokeh is enviromental, shifting your angle slightly to change the backdrop might help.


    Cheers!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Maybe I would classify this kind of OOF that is bad quality.

    Source: http://sportsphotoguy.com/first-look...8-at-x-pro-dx/
    I will rather have it clear than OOF like this.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    have you seen the bokeh from a noctilux 50mm F1.0 or F0.95, or a Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95? welcome to the world of rangefinders....

  18. #18

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Due biglietti View Post
    have you seen the bokeh from a noctilux 50mm F1.0 or F0.95, or a Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95? welcome to the world of rangefinders....
    yes on a leica M9.

    Ultra shallow dof.

    Unfortunately the lens cost MORE than the leica. and you know how much leicas cost

  19. #19

    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Due biglietti View Post
    have you seen the bokeh from a noctilux 50mm F1.0 or F0.95, or a Schneider Xenon 50mm F0.95? welcome to the world of rangefinders....
    It is not necessarily that you need to head over to rangefinders for good Bokeh lens.

    The Canon 85mm L F/1.2 and the Canon 135L F/2 are good example of lens that produce great portrait bokeh.

    It is not just the lens and and how wide it can be open up , the FOV of the lens and the background distance also play an important part on the quality of the bokeh. The narrower the FOV and the further the backdrop the easier it is to throw the background into a finer blur.

    For example a Tamron 180mm F/3.5 with its narrow angle of view even with a close by backdrop , at F/6.3 can produce nice bokeh on this butterfly shot.


    Cheers!


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Is it possible to have too much bokeh?

    What do you think of this?

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