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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 09 Mar 2016 (Wednesday) 18:10
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Bokeh! What are your favorite lenses for pretty, pretty bokeh?

 
coatfetish
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Mar 09, 2016 21:55 |  #16

I had no idea that full frame bodies could be had so inexpensively. I'm going to start rethinking my goals here - I am completely unaware of the differences between full frame and crop bodies, and the benefits gained by going full frame. I know what I'll be reading up on this week! Now my head is thinking of getting a full frame body and the 135L. Then I could continue to add good lenses later.

I will share with you some pics to better illustrate what I want to do with photography. Please keep in mind that I am one of those that just randomly bought some camera stuff, and takes pics on the wing for fun. It's just for me - not to sell, etc. I simply want to learn to take better photos (and get better gear) for myself. I don't use a tripod because I am lazy/impatient - even though my mind knows I need to! And I WILL learn to force myself to. I really have hit a point where I want to get serious about discipline and doing it right instead of half-assed (if I can say that here). All these were taken with the 40mm handheld.

I took the pic of my cat as a test pic. Just the 40mm and me in her face. Since I love to take photos of insects, etc. I thought I would get the 100l macro. The insect pic was taken with the 40 and some cheap close-up filters. I have never used/seen extension tubes, but maybe they would satisfy me enough for now? Or reverse the lens? The scene with the creek is an example of Jefferson National Forest. I would like the option of getting wider shots without having to hike hundreds of yards away. The other pic shows what I meant by having a near focal point and a wide background panning away - but I'd like to go wider. I hope these might help me explain what my - somewhat vague - goals are. I'll add the landscapes in the next post - I don't know how to make the photos appear smaller - sorry!


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coatfetish
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Mar 09, 2016 21:56 |  #17

Here are the other two examples...


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coatfetish
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Post edited over 3 years ago by coatfetish.
     
Mar 09, 2016 22:01 as a reply to  @ post 17929954 |  #18

Unfortunately, I can't post on the for sale/selling boards because I have to wait 30 days - even though I've been a member for a long time, just not active for ages. The site must see me as brand new.

The pic of the creek wasn't with the 40mm, my mistake.




  
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Charlie
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Mar 09, 2016 22:25 |  #19

85 f1.2, 200 f2, 135 f2, 50 f0.95.... I'll probably own them all at some point (owned all at one time), love bokeh.


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gonzogolf
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Mar 09, 2016 22:35 as a reply to  @ coatfetish's post |  #20

Make sure you understand the difference between bokeh and blur. Bokeh is a quality term, a decription of bokeh for instance would be creamy in the case of the 135L and blocky for the 50 1.8II. The full frame body does not change the quality of the bokeh but under certain circumstances may give you more blur. If you intend to do more closeup work similar to what youve posted the full frame body wont make a huge difference other than requiring a different lens to do the same framing.




  
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FEChariot
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Post edited over 3 years ago by FEChariot.
     
Mar 09, 2016 23:09 |  #21

gonzogolf wrote in post #17930016 (external link)
Make sure you understand the difference between bokeh and blur. Bokeh is a quality term, a decription of bokeh for instance would be creamy in the case of the 135L and blocky for the 50 1.8II. The full frame body does not change the quality of the bokeh but under certain circumstances may give you more blur. If you intend to do more closeup work similar to what youve posted the full frame body wont make a huge difference other than requiring a different lens to do the same framing.

Second this. If you are looking for lenses capable of producing a lot of blur, then look to fast primes that have a large aperture or macro that can focus close which also increases background blur.

For crop in the normal range you would be looking at 18-35/1.8, and 30/1.4's from Sigma, 35/1.8 VC from Tamron and the 28/1.8 and 35/2 non IS and IS models.

The 85/1.8 does very well with blur on a budget as I imagine the 85/1.2 although much better there is beyond the realistic budget. The 100/2 is another choice.

For macro the 60/2.8 can produce a lot of blur but the 100/2.8 L and non L's produce a smoother blur (ie nicer Bokeh).

The 135L and for that matter pretty much all fast primes from 40mm to 135mm take extension tubes well. However if you get much wider than 35mm, the tubes can cause the focus plane to shift too close to the front element or even inside the lens and be much less useful.


Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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InfiniteDivide
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Post edited over 3 years ago by InfiniteDivide. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 09, 2016 23:17 |  #22

I find the bokeh on the 100L quite nice. even when stopped down the bokeh is well-defined and smooth.
This image has a little sharpening and contrast in Lightroom but nothing more. And this was at f9.5
You don't always need a lens wide open to blur out the background but each lens has its own bokeh.


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Mar 09, 2016 23:30 |  #23

I gotta say my favourite is probably the Canon 100mm f2.8 MACRO L lens. Its just so smooth! Like good grief look at that bokeh!


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Mar 09, 2016 23:36 |  #24

Another 135L fanboy here. As Kai Wong would say, "It's Bokehlicious!" Some people (including Kai) think the bokeh on the Sigma 50mm Art isn't pleasing, but I'd have to disagree. But if you're spending that kind of money, your far better off getting the 135L.

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cjm
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Mar 09, 2016 23:37 |  #25

Can't beat any 50mm for Bokeh! The 50mm f1.4 does very well.


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coatfetish
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Mar 09, 2016 23:44 |  #26

Ahh, ok - I am getting just the kind of info/education/termino​logy I need! For instance, I was not aware of the two separate terms bokeh vs. blur. I think I'm beginning to understand. What I am interested in is the quality of the background's forms and shapes, not how blurred they are. For instance, I see photos that I love that have very indistinct, unrecognizable shapes in the background, as well as photos that have easily recognizable elements and forms where there is no question as to what the eye is seeing - however they are not in focus. The common element that attracts me is how smoothly the shapes and colors (or values for b & w) transition into one another. So I think this means it's the bokeh and not the blur that I am trying to improve on. For lack of a better way to say it, I mean that the background can be loose and painterly to the point of being unknown objects, or relatively tight and definable - clearly people, traffic signs, cars, leaves, etc. as long as the transitions are buttery, not looking like choppy pixels, or harsh. So I think I really do mean good bokeh is what I'm aiming for. Even lights or highlights in the background that might become distinct, defined circles of color that appear to float suspended in air have a richness to them. If I were taking multiple shots of the same leafy branch, for example - sometimes I would want to see clearly the other branches and landscape behind it. Sometimes just the opposite - an abstracted blending of colors that take no identifiable form. Different background treatments based on what I'm wanting to showcase in the image. Am I making sense? It's way too late for me to be up, lol.

You are all giving me wonderful things to think about. To define for myself what I want to say in each photo, and how to accomplish that goal. I have a lot to read up on and understand, but you're helping to clarify a lot of questions for me - thank you! Now I have to go to bed or I'll never function at work tomorrow.




  
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coatfetish
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Mar 09, 2016 23:48 |  #27

Your photos are excellent examples of what I'm trying to say - what I'm interested in is what I would describe as a painterly look to the non-focal parts of the image. I'm sorry if the phrasing I'm tossing out is awkward, I do not know the proper terminology used by photographers. Now, off to sleep!




  
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Charlie
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Post edited over 3 years ago by Charlie.
     
Mar 09, 2016 23:52 |  #28

cjm wrote in post #17930059 (external link)
Can't beat any 50mm for Bokeh! The 50mm f1.4 does very well.
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forum: Canon EF and EF-S Lenses

that's actually terrible bokeh. See how the bokeh balls have an outlined highlight?

here's what clean bokeh from a 50 should look like IMO (mitakon 50 f0.95):

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/odxV​AX  (external link) Butterfly play 3 (external link) by Charlie (external link), on Flickr

Sony A7riii/A9 - FE 12-24/4 - FE 24-240 - CV 21/3.5 - FE 28/2 - FE 35/2.8 - FE 50/1.8 - FE 85/1.8 - EF 135/1.8 Art - F 600/5.6 - CZ 100-300 - Astro Rok 14/2.8 - Tamron 28-75/2.8 RXD, 70-200/2.8 VC

  
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InfiniteDivide
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Post edited over 3 years ago by InfiniteDivide. (3 edits in all)
     
Mar 09, 2016 23:52 |  #29

Here is a fun tool to try out.

http://howmuchblur.com ….8-on-a-0.9m-wide-subject (external link)

While this "quality" of bokeh is VERY subjective.

This gives you an idea of how much your background will be OOF with variable lenses, focal lengths, apertures, and subject distances.

I can confirm as the chart shows.
My 50mm at f1.2 has very similar OOF bokeh to my 100mm at f2.8
While their uses are totally different.

50mm


^ Even this one with a very busy background gets washed out well.

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cjm
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Post edited over 3 years ago by cjm.
     
Mar 10, 2016 00:23 |  #30

Charlie wrote in post #17930071 (external link)
that's actually terrible bokeh. See how the bokeh balls have an outlined highlight?

Uh Im going to disagree with you on this. This is looking at a skyline at dusk. Its correct bokeh just look at the tip of the lens to see it starting.


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Bokeh! What are your favorite lenses for pretty, pretty bokeh?
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