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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Aug 2013 (Saturday) 09:57
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What's the best BOKEH for the buck?

 
pyrojim
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Aug 05, 2013 13:30 |  #46

Mackeral wrote in post #16181952 (external link)
Never heard of it but looking at what it produces. **** yeah that's a nice lens.


F2.8.... its almost cheating with what this lens does to isolate any subject.

she was a trooper to let me drag out the RZ, and H25, and the speedotron stuff.

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nightcat
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Aug 05, 2013 14:23 |  #47

The best bokeh for the buck Canon lens would be the 100mm f2. I've compared it to the 85mm 1.8 and I prefer the 100mm. The bokeh to me is a little smoother and that extra 15mm focal length helps with the bokeh as well.

For cheap old manual lenses, the SMC Takumar 50mm 1.4 is really nice. At f2, I get a nice combination of sharpness and smooth bokeh, and it costs about $70.




  
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Aressem
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Aug 06, 2013 11:14 |  #48

So it sounds like the 85mm f/1.8 under $500 and the 135L under $1000. Anyone disagree?


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Trent ­ Gillespie
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Aug 06, 2013 12:05 |  #49

Aressem wrote in post #16185683 (external link)
So it sounds like the 85mm f/1.8 under $500 and the 135L under $1000. Anyone disagree?

I would agree with that. I wouldn't buy both though. The 50 1.4 and 135L make more sense.... and leaves room to buy the 85L down the road.


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RTPVid
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Aug 06, 2013 12:36 as a reply to  @ post 16180945 |  #50

Natural Light wrote in post #16180440 (external link)
...why be an ass?...

bespoke wrote in post #16180460 (external link)
bokeh has turned into such an annoying word

gasrocks wrote in post #16180825 (external link)
...and have the readers guess what they really meant.

"The term comes from the Japanese word boke, which means "blur" or "haze", or boke-aji, the "blur quality". The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility." (wikipedia)

"The boke concept bridges a rather wide range of meanings from decline of cognitive and physical abilities associated with normal aging in biomedical discourses to more extreme forms of dementia." (Taming Oblivion: Aging Bodies and the Fear of Senility in Japan By John W. Traphagan)

When threads like these get going, this meaning starts to seem applicable! :lol:


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genjurok
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Aug 06, 2013 14:37 |  #51

Aressem wrote in post #16185683 (external link)
So it sounds like the 85mm f/1.8 under $500 and the 135L under $1000. Anyone disagree?

I beg to differ.
While I do agree that the 85mm f/1.8 is very good, under $500 the best candidate IMO is a tie between the Canon 100mm f/2 and Sigma 50mm f1/4. I'm completely non-biased as you can see from my signature. :D


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CyberDyneSystems
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Aug 06, 2013 14:52 |  #52

The funny things is, the definition of bokeh is something even Ken Rockwell can get right. In one sentence. (of course he then goes on as he does, but that first sentence is spot on.)

I don't think that I have seen Gasrocks take the time to explain what he means in a long time, but I will say he used to, ...

trouble is, even when you do take the time, you still get beat up and or ignored :)

For the record;

someone who usually has his head in a dark place but gets this one spot on wrote:
Bokeh describes the rendition of out-of-focus points of light.

Rick- who elaborates a little- Denny wrote:
We should keep in mind a few points when discussing bokeh:

1. Bokeh is about the rendering of out-of-focus highlights, not specifically about depth of field. Out-of-focus highlights may be rendered with a harsh edge, a neutral edge, or a faded edge. The neutral edge shows a lens with the best overall correction, but the faded edge is the thing most people are meaning when they talk of good bokeh.

2. Bokeh is not about quantity of blur. You'll get more blur with longer camera-to-subject distances (allowed by longer lenses) and with wider apertures. It's quite possible that a fast lens with poor bokeh will provide a more nicely blurred background than a slower lens with excellent bokeh. The Canon 70-200/4L provides excellent bokeh, but it won't blur the background as much as an 85/1.8 when used at 1.8, though you might get close by backing up and using the 200mm end. A photo with profound use of selective focus to isolate the subject is not necessarily an example of good bokeh, but rather an example of selective focus. If the blur is smooth rather than edgy or clumpy, then it also has good bokeh. Good bokeh is mostly what produces the creamy three-dimensional effect for which old Sonnars are justifiably famous.

3. Bokeh is not about aperture shape, though you can see the shape of the aperture in out-of-focus highlights, especially if the lens has bright-edge bokeh. Some lenses have poor bokeh even wide open when their apertures are round.

4. It's not about lens quality. In fact, good bokeh depends on a bit of undercorrected spherical aberration, though that usually is corrected out at smaller apertures.

5. You can't generalize about bokeh. Lens design is the primary influence, but not the sole influence, and can be overcome by other factors. Each lens really should be evaluated on its own merits. Lenses with more aperture blades may or may not have smoother bokeh. Lenses with more or fewer elements, faster or slower, prime or zoom, or any of the other things people generalize about, may have good or bad bokeh.

6. A bare midriff always looks better than a blurred background, no matter how nicely blurred it is. Therefore, the best bokeh is the one where the subject is so compelling that nobody cares about the background.

It's not hard to come by a correct definition, they happen to accurate in the first too hits when you google "bokeh", Wikipedia and yes, K.R.

As mentioned, K.R.'s first sentence is spot on,
Unfortunately, the editor/s of wikipedia have chosen to leave the correct meaning to the second sentence in the Wiki definition,. and apparently few people read that far in... even after Gasrocks has made mention of the inaccurate use on this forum so many times that he gets called names for it. I'm really not sure that should be classified as his fault. But that's just my P.O.V. I guess.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Aug 06, 2013 14:58 |  #53

This puts me in the "Images from the 50mm f/1.8 = NOT very pleasing bokeh" camp.

Remember, Bokeh .. is not quantitative, you can't have more Bokeh.


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Aug 06, 2013 15:34 |  #54

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #16186251 (external link)
This puts me in the "Images from the 50mm f/1.8 = NOT very pleasing bokeh" camp.

Remember, Bokeh .. is not quantitative, you can't have more Bokeh.


Hmmm.. As you pointed out, bokeh refers to the quality of the blur, not the amount. But, to the extent that it refers to the quality, more bokeh would mean more quality or better blur. So I think you can correctly say "more bokeh," meaning "better rendition" -- the problem is, if you say that, most people will understand it as "more blur."

Either way.. the term, catchy as it is, is probably the most misunderstood term in photography. I can't help but wonder if that person that originally coined the term in an article regrets having named what was so clearly refereed to as "rendition of the out of focus light" or the 'quality of the blur.'

Another misunderstanding is that it is only about the OOF highlights -- that is not true, but the "rendition of the out of focus light" is most easaly observed and evaluated by looking at the highlights.


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Aug 06, 2013 22:24 |  #55

My favorite definition of Bokeh is: Flavour of the blur. It is not about the in focus subject but the rest of the picture. What is the transition of in focus to out of focus like? What does the background look like? Is it busy, too busy, interesting, or just blank. I have one lens that has been described as having magical bokeh. It does produce backgrounds unlike any other lens. I have some lenses that I call dew drop lenses. It turns oof dew drops, any highlights into colorful circles. Some lenses cannot produce smooth circles but only circles with dots in the middle or what is called cat's eyes. There are som any different bokehs out there. Sad to say most all modern Canon lenses just do not have much bariety in bokeh. The 50/1.8 can be one of the worst (5 blades.) Most any long lens can produce smooth backgrounds as they have such small DOF. Put a clothesline ot=r any straight line inthe background and some lenses will produce a nice smooth line while others can produce double lines. One of the hardest bokeh situations/test is light coming through tree leaves in the background. I have taken pictures of the same subject under that situation with 18 different lenses in my collection and gotten 18 different looking pix.


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george ­ m ­ w
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Aug 07, 2013 10:00 |  #56

gasrocks wrote in post #16187246 (external link)
....... One of the hardest bokeh situations/test is light coming through tree leaves in the background. ......

So true. And I have seen photos taken with one of the supposed "legendary lenses for nice bokeh", the Canon 85 1.2L.....with trees in the BG that looked downright awful ! Just goes to show you can take a unpleasing photo even with an expensive lens.


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Aug 07, 2013 12:12 |  #57

hairy_moth wrote in post #16186337 (external link)
Hmmm.. As you pointed out, bokeh refers to the quality of the blur, not the amount. But, to the extent that it refers to the quality, more bokeh would mean more quality or better blur. ...

Actually, my post explains that bokeh is not about blur. Full stop.
So quantity of blur is not in it, as blur is not in it.

now comes the part where I get beat up or ignored :)


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Aug 07, 2013 13:21 |  #58

Aressem wrote in post #16177736 (external link)
Just like the title states, which lens produces the best BOKEH for the buck? At first, I was just going to leave it at that, but then I figured the question was far too vague. Lets hear your opinions. Which lens produces the best bokeh under $500, $1000, $2500?

It depends on the lens and not the price.

A lot of expensive lenses produce onion rings in the background and make it swirly. While cheaper older lenses produce pleasing bokeh.

carl zeiss jena sonnar 135mm has great bokeh
ZM sonnar 50/1.5 has great bokeh
Canon 135mm soft focus makes awesome bokeh


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Aug 07, 2013 13:28 |  #59

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #16188574 (external link)
Actually, my post explains that bokeh is not about blur. Full stop.
So quantity of blur is not in it, as blur is not in it.

now comes the part where I get beat up or ignored :)

Try saying that bokeh is not subjective. ;)

http://www.rickdenney.​com/bokeh_test.htm (external link)
http://www.kenrockwell​.com/tech/bokeh.htm (external link)

If the edges of circle of confusion are brighter than center - it's a bad bokeh. If the center is brighter than edges - it's good bokeh. If it's an oval, it'll give a swirling effect.

You don't get the concept if you think that:
Faster lenses give better bokeh
You can see bokeh in macro shots

There's no subjective part of it. It's like saying a cup's ability to hold water is subjective.


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Aug 07, 2013 15:15 |  #60

Aressem wrote in post #16177736 (external link)
Just like the title states, which lens produces the best BOKEH for the buck? At first, I was just going to leave it at that, but then I figured the question was far too vague. Lets hear your opinions. Which lens produces the best bokeh under $500, $1000, $2500?

Best bokeh under $500:
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 - has the smoothest, creamiest bokeh of any 50mm other than Leica Summilux / Noctilux, earning the Sigma the deserved nickname of "Sigmalux." This lens is high in the running for best bokeh period, regardless of price

Best bokeh under $1000
Canon 135L - really no contest here. It produces such unique and pleasing bokeh that it's one of the only lenses where I can look at a photo and know it was shot with the 135L.

Best bokeh under $2500
Canon 85L - if you want more bokeh than what the 85L can dish out, you have to step up to the 200mm f/2 ($6,000). www.howmuchblur.com (external link)


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