Bokeh....newbie question.


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MRH

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Mar 15, 2004
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#1
Pls help to clarify the meaning or definition of bokeh.
Sorry for my ignorance if this question has been raised.
Thank you.:)
 

jmmtn4aj

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Jan 1, 2007
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#2
Bokeh is the blurred portion of the picture, created by using small DOF (big apertures, small f numbers). Good bokeh is when the blurred portion looks good, and bad bokeh is when it doesn't look good.
 

MRH

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Mar 15, 2004
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#5
Thanks for the responds.
Very helpful indeed.
 

nikontiger

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Feb 19, 2006
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#6
I agree with all on this definition. There are good and bad bokehs, good bokehs are very smooth blurs, and they are caused mainly by the number of blades your shutter diaphragm has in your lens.

As a rule, a nine blade is better and more expensive. However, there are special design lenses that are not so expensive, but produce cosmic quality bokeh, eg Lenbabies. There are no blades to it, just a continuous circle, producing the smoothest bokeh one can find.

Bokeh can best be judged by photos of light sources, then you can tell by the light in the photo, whether its circular(good) or hexagonal(not so good).
 

MRH

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Mar 15, 2004
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#7
I agree with all on this definition. There are good and bad bokehs, good bokehs are very smooth blurs, and they are caused mainly by the number of blades your shutter diaphragm has in your lens.

As a rule, a nine blade is better and more expensive. However, there are special design lenses that are not so expensive, but produce cosmic quality bokeh, eg Lenbabies. There are no blades to it, just a continuous circle, producing the smoothest bokeh one can find.

Bokeh can best be judged by photos of light sources, then you can tell by the light in the photo, whether its circular(good) or hexagonal(not so good).
Thanks.
I basically understand what is bokeh but the definition and info by frenz here
points me(and other noobs as well) to the right direction on certain aspects of lenses
before commit to purchase one.
Thanks again,guys!.
 

JW73

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Dec 6, 2003
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#8
Good Bokeh can also be created if the subject's distance is relatively far from the background and the view of angle is smaller (tele-lens).

James
 

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#9
I agree with all on this definition. There are good and bad bokehs, good bokehs are very smooth blurs, and they are caused mainly by the number of blades your shutter diaphragm has in your lens.

As a rule, a nine blade is better and more expensive. However, there are special design lenses that are not so expensive, but produce cosmic quality bokeh, eg Lenbabies. There are no blades to it, just a continuous circle, producing the smoothest bokeh one can find.

Bokeh can best be judged by photos of light sources, then you can tell by the light in the photo, whether its circular(good) or hexagonal(not so good).
Bokeh is not just about the shape of the aperture diaphram. It also has a lot to do with the coma correction group in the lens which corrects spherical aberration. It's how the aberration is corrected which give the quality of the blur.

Even with the same lens, a blur in front of the subject and a blur behind the subject may exhibit very different qualities.
 

nikontiger

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#10
...Even with the same lens, a blur in front of the subject and a blur behind the subject may exhibit very different qualities.
I never knew that, if its not too much trouble, I would really appreciate if you are able to show a picture with that exhibits this qualities. Thanks :)
 

Mar 13, 2007
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#11
bokeh is when a kid runs, trips and fallover, hitting himself on something hard and losing two front teeth.

er wait.. is that.. bokeh.. or bo-geh?? :p

I never knew that, if its not too much trouble, I would really appreciate if you are able to show a picture with that exhibits this qualities. Thanks :)
was having some fun with front bokeh though. not a fine example.. but..
http://i153.photobucket.com/albums/s227/edmwbabyangel/c78fcfbc.jpg
 

MRH

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Mar 15, 2004
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#12

lsisaxon

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Nov 29, 2004
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#13
I never knew that, if its not too much trouble, I would really appreciate if you are able to show a picture with that exhibits this qualities. Thanks :)
Here is a website which talks about the bokeh from a DC-Nikkor 105/2. You can see that the bokeh for the front and the back are different.
http://www.stacken.kth.se/~maxz/defocuscontrol/
 

Michael

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Apr 5, 2005
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#14
I agree with all on this definition. There are good and bad bokehs, good bokehs are very smooth blurs, and they are caused mainly by the number of blades your shutter diaphragm has in your lens.

As a rule, a nine blade is better and more expensive. However, there are special design lenses that are not so expensive, but produce cosmic quality bokeh, eg Lenbabies. There are no blades to it, just a continuous circle, producing the smoothest bokeh one can find.

Bokeh can best be judged by photos of light sources, then you can tell by the light in the photo, whether its circular(good) or hexagonal(not so good).
actually good or bad bokey has very little to do with the number or shape of the apeture blades. They define only the shape of the out of focus object but not the quality of the blurr. That one is governed on how the lens is blurring objects. There are two ways, bright centre and fading to the outside, this is considered nice bokeh, and bridge edge with dark centre (doughnut), this is not nice bokeh.
Now every lens will have both types, either the foreground blurr will exhibit the doughnut and the background the dot or the other way round. This is related to the optics of the lens.
Now, most of the time background blurr is more important than foreground, hence a lense that has the smudge in the background and doughnut in the foreground will have nice bokeh....
 

pogigwapo

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Sep 12, 2008
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#16
Bokeh and DOF (depth of field) tips for photographers

Note, sometimes 'bokeh' will also be spelt as 'brokeh' by those not fully familiar with the term. 'Bokeh' is what you can achieve with a prime lens. While 'Brokeh', on the other hand, is what your wallet looks like when you buy that expensive lens! (Get it ... the lens costs so much, you're broke eh?) Ok, I'm not that good at jokes :)


What is bokeh and DOF?
Depth of field (DOF), refers to the area of an image that is in focus. You have most likely seen images where the main subject is in focus, while the background is out of focus or totally blured. The area that covers the focused area is the DOF (depth of field). Bokeh on the other hand, refers to the appearance of the light that is seen within the blured part of the photograph. Bokeh and DOF are important to consider for photographs when you need the main subject to stand out on its own and not be lost in background distractions.








Isn't Bokeh and DOF the same thing?
No, bokeh and depth of field is not the same thing, although they do work together.

DOF is seen in a photograph where there is an obvious focus area, set against a blured background or foreground.


Bokeh on the otherhand, refers to how your camera lens renders the light that is seen within the blured parts of the image. Sometimes this can be soft or harsh circular shapes, or look like hexagons, depending on your lens design and aperture settings.

from: http://www.slrphotographyguide.com
 

nikonshutter

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Apr 30, 2008
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#17
good bokehs are very smooth blurs, and they are caused mainly by the number of blades your shutter diaphragm has in your lens
Not always true.Got some lenses such as Nikon 50mm f1.2 which are 9 bladed with quite bad bokeh.The cheap 50mm f1.8 has better bokeh...
 

David Kwok

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Aug 23, 2008
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#18
From what I gathered, the quality of the bokeh is not entirely decided by the number of blades, but they do contribute to a certain extent. Basically photographers enjoy that smooth circular out of focus bright spots when apertures are open wide open.

The quality of the glass, the arrangement of the lens also contribute significantly to the quality of the bokeh.

You can read up more in this article [http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm] by Ken Rockwell.

I personally also believe that bokeh is affected by environment too. As a photographer, you have to assess the environment and see what angle and lighting gives good out of focus pictures. If you find the background is so complicated, most likely the bokeh will looks complicated with tons of colours all over the places. But if the background has simple looking colours, even a bad bokeh lens wouldn't have much chance to display how bad it is. Imagine this extreme case, if the background is one full colour like in the studio, can you even determine any bokeh ? :)
 

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