Is it possible to have too much bokeh?


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artspraken

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Aug 7, 2009
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#1
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?
 

J-Chan

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Sep 21, 2005
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#2
Depending on whats in your background, its possible.. Go search for a similar thread in P&P and you would know.. :)
 

rendition

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#3
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.
 

artspraken

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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.
 

icelava

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#5
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.
 

rendition

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#6
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.
 

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Fotophilic

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Jun 18, 2006
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#7
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?
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.
 

giantcanopy

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Feb 11, 2007
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#9
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 :bsmilie::bsmilie::bsmilie:

depends on what u want out of ur shoot.

ryan
 

rendition

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#10
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....!
 

CS TAN

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Sep 3, 2007
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#12
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.
 

Aug 22, 2009
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#13
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.
 

yehosaphat

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Oct 28, 2005
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#14
What is too much bokeh... very vague... but if its 'creamier' bokeh. Yes!
 

Bluesteel

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Jul 27, 2005
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#15
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 æsthetic 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!
 

May 30, 2008
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#17
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....
 

IsenGrim

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Jan 28, 2008
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#18
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
 

Bluesteel

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Jul 27, 2005
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#19
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!

 

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