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Thread started 11 Jan 2007 (Thursday) 07:04
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quick question =) (re: "creamy" bokeh)

 
merp
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Jan 11, 2007 07:04 |  #1
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Pardon me, but I got a quick newbish type of question. When they talk about having a "creamy" look to a photography...say a nice protrait what are they doing to the photograph, what gives it the creamy look? I've seen it before, and I'm wondering if its a lense etc or has something to do with an effect like in photoshop? =)


thanks!




  
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karfeef
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Jan 11, 2007 07:14 |  #2

Hi Merp. do you mean the background, or the overall picture? If it's background, this is called Bokeh, or background blur..created with large apertures (small F number)

if it's the overall image, this maybe to do with soft focus.


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GyRob
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Jan 11, 2007 07:15 |  #3

it tends to work on how many balde's the apeture has the more blades the creamyer look to the shot at a given apeture.i.e. the out of focus parts look softer and dreamy like.
Rob.


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merp
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Jan 11, 2007 09:13 as a reply to  @ GyRob's post |  #4
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nope! nothing to do with fstops umm hmm ill get an example on my next break for you guys =)




  
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BTBeilke
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Jan 11, 2007 09:23 |  #5

merp wrote in post #2523706 (external link)
nope! nothing to do with fstops umm hmm ill get an example on my next break for you guys =)

Nothing to do with "fstops"? :confused: Of course, the background can be blurred in Photoshop, but it rarely looks realistic.

I suggest you check into the meaning of "depth of field". Here's a good link: http://www.dofmaster.c​om/doftable.html (external link)


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DrPablo
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Jan 11, 2007 11:27 |  #6

Jonathan Consiglio wrote in post #2524002 (external link)
Another thing that plays into this, as mentioned above, is how many blades there are.. The "nifty fifty" 50mm 1.8 only has 5 blades, and this is very noticeable in shallow DOF images, especially if there are lights in the background.. The higher end lenses have at least 8, and will create a much smoother blur..

GyRob wrote:
="GyRob"]it tends to work on how many balde's the apeture has the more blades the creamyer look to the shot at a given apeture.

This is a very common misconception, but the number of aperture blades does not affect the quality of the bokeh.

It does affect the shape of the bokeh, especially out of focus highlights, but not the smoothness (or lack thereof) of the bokeh itself. It so happens that high end lenses often have more aperture leaves, but their superior bokeh is produced by other factors. And it's very easy to prove to yourself that aperture leaves have virtually nothing to do with bokeh -- just shoot wide open, and the aperture leaves won't be a variable at all. You'll still see a big difference between a top end lens and a cheap lens, and the aperture leaves are fully retracted, out of the path of light as it passes through the lens.

First, it helps to understand what it means for something to be in or out of focus. Say you shine a laser right at your camera lens. If that laser is in perfect focus, it will be rendered as a little disc with a certain minimum size on your film or sensor. Even if it's just a 'point' of light, like a laser or a distant star, it will still be 'disc' shaped and have a minimum diameter when in perfect focus. There are lens effects like diffraction and aberrations that prevent it from being focused as a perfect point. The diameter of this in-focus disc is what's referred to as a 'circle of confusion', and it's a measure of lens resolution. As something gets progressively out of focus the circle of confusion gets larger and larger. As you stop down the aperture the circles of confusion get smaller and smaller (and begin to take on a shape that resembles the shape of the aperture leaves).

So its these out of focus circles of confusion that have a certain quality or character that we regard as good or bad bokeh.

The principal contributor to bokeh is spherical aberrations in the lens elements. When spherical aberrations are overcorrected, you tend to see 'donut' shaped bokeh, with bright borders to the out of focus areas. Some lenses are very highly corrected for reproduction work, and they tend to have poor bokeh. On the other hand, when lenses have too much spherical aberration, they aren't as sharp and their resolving power is limited. Finally some lenses are cheap, and not much engineering work and thought has gone into striking a perfect balance between over and undercorrection.

The best lenses, particularly the German lenses (most famously Leica, but also Zeiss, Rodenstock, and Schneider) are famous for their exquisite care in engineering a perfect amount of spherical aberration so as to produce smooth, pleasing, 'creamy' bokeh.

As mentioned, the more out of focus something is in your photo, the fewer fine details (i.e. small circles of confusion) will be resolved and the more soft it will look. So wide apertures, close subject-to-lens distance, and long focal length will all contribute to having smooth out of focus backgrounds (by virtue of the fact that the DOF is shorter with those parameters). The more out of focus something is, the more likely its detail will melt away and all the huge circles of confusion will just overlap and blend into something unrecognizable. Of course this is a compositional choice and sometimes it's very good (and in many ways superior) to have an out of focus background that still has some recognizable features.

Here are some links for further reading about bokeh:

http://www.vanwalree.c​om/optics/bokeh.html (external link)

http://www.vanwalree.c​om/optics/spherical.ht​ml (external link)

http://www.imx.nl/phot​osite/leica/technics/o​ptics01/lensdesign01.h​tml (external link)

http://www.imx.nl/phot​osite/leica/magazine/t​hreegen.html (external link)

http://www.imx.nl/phot​osite/leica/technics/f​aq.html (external link)


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Film gear: Agfa 8x10, Cambo 4x5, Noblex 150, Hasselblad 500 C/M

  
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Glenn ­ NK
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Jan 11, 2007 11:47 |  #7

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


When did voluptuous become voluminous?

  
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merp
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Jan 11, 2007 12:40 as a reply to  @ Glenn NK's post |  #8
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lol has nothing to do with blur, has nothing to do with fstop =) Jonathan Consiglio im pretty sure ur second post nailed it. I will look for a pic gah <3 thanks




  
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squashed
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Jan 11, 2007 12:41 |  #9

Then what are you asking?


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merp
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Jan 11, 2007 12:52 as a reply to  @ squashed's post |  #10
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read up to his last post - ::looks for example::




  
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tjrenegade
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Jan 11, 2007 13:44 |  #11

with video I use a Promist filter to give things a soft edge....usualy us this when I am looking for a warm feeling...if that makes sense, maybe its something similar that you are refering too


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DrPablo
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Jan 11, 2007 14:24 as a reply to  @ tjrenegade's post |  #12

I'm not sure if these images qualify (vis a vis your original question) as creamy bokeh. The first is an image that I took on film using a Schneider-Kreuznach 300 f/5.6 Symmar lens (at f/11) on Velvia 50 and I scanned the transparency. So there's no photoshop treatment to achieve this effect. The second was taken with the 300D and 70-200 f/4L (at f/7.1), but just resized and sharpened in PS -- no other modification.

You can see the out of focus 'circles of confusion' in both pictures. In the areas out of focus they are large, smooth, and overlap, so that the background becomes basically free of recognizable detail and it's basically a wash of tone and color. These circles also exist in the in-focus areas, but because both these lenses are very sharp and were well focused the circles are extremely small (between 1/60th and 1/100th of a mm for really good lenses).

Again, the 'creamy' bokeh effect is a product of undercorrected lens aberrations, and in an otherwise well engineered lens the in-focus areas will remain sharp, relatively free of distortion, and retain high resolving power. But it takes an engineering effort to accomplish this, which is why it tends to be a feature of higher end glass. With 'soft focus' filters on the other hand you lose sharpness in your in-focus areas (which frankly are a lot more important than your out of focus areas anyway).

But look at the links I included in my previous post up above. There are a lot of misconceptions about what creates good versus bad bokeh.

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IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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Canon 5D Mark IV, 24-105L II, 17 TS-E f/4L, MPE 65, Sigma 50 f/1.4, Sigma 85 f/1.4, 100 f/2.8L, 135 f/2L, 70-200 f/4L, 400 L
Film gear: Agfa 8x10, Cambo 4x5, Noblex 150, Hasselblad 500 C/M

  
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merp
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Jan 11, 2007 21:27 |  #13
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I wanna say yes- some photographers use it when it comes to children ..oh i dunno playing with a balloon or in the sand. its a soft cream type of effect/tone. I'm pretty sure we are sharing the same idea here?..normally applied to the skin of a subject in a protrait shot - i cant believe i cant find a photo with it...been on photosig/photonet/devi​ant this is nuts.. #3 how far can you push the effect? still looking though ill find one. i saw it on a couple of walls in a friends house i might seriously run up and take a picture of it =/ it does soften the tone though rawrrrrrrr


::keeps looking::




  
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BTBeilke
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Jan 11, 2007 22:03 |  #14

merp wrote in post #2526737 (external link)
I'm pretty sure we are sharing the same idea here?..normally applied to the skin of a subject in a protrait shot...

Are you referring to skin smoothing techniques? If so, you may want to check out this thread: https://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=171753


Blane
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merp
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Jan 11, 2007 23:29 |  #15
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yep! getting closer =) good, i was starting to think it was just my eyes..and soon i was going to feel like an idiot posting this thread ha..it is really kind of softens/glow in the face hands etc - i heard it was referred as a cream type of filter/effect and im like "okay" but when i looked it up and google was like "nope your wrong kid" =) i hope to find exactly whats its called cause id like to learn how/use it in my photos for some of my Portraits etc =)

bt - just took a look! ha..very cool a much needed tutorial =) thanks again! and yes i think i consider it a skin smooth technique - and ill definitely use this =)




  
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quick question =) (re: "creamy" bokeh)
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