Thursday, February 10, 2011

Macro lens bokeh

Talking about bokeh (the quality of background blur), our reader Alex has a new macro lens, very nice.

"Good bokeh" is subjective, but generally people mean a soft, creamy quality, not with harsh edges. Here is an example of bad bokeh


Alex said...

Now I'm obliged to comment.

I recently borrowed a 50mm prime (Nikon 50mm F2.8 DX) for a trip overseas where there was a threat of night shooting. I just needed fast.

I liked it, but the 50mm was too restrictive for my compositions, and so I returned the borrowed one with many thanks, and started trolling the usual stores and lens companies for a new piece of kit.

The Tokina had favourable review, was half price and I just got a small ($200) bonus, so I decided to go for it.

I don't normally use primes, but I wanted low light and macro. This puppy gave me both in one go.

I'm agreeing wiht the comments so far. Fast quiet focus, sharp images, nice soft bokeh. No complaints.

TC [Girl] said...

Nice, Alex. I miss those flowers. :-(

"...I just got a small ($200) bonus..."

Congrats! Corps still hand those out?! :-o

Philocalist said...

I think you'll find that example of 'bad bokeh' is actually to do with the construction of that specific lens, rather than a by-product of a shallow depth of field.
I'm often wrong, BUT if you look closer, you'll see that the background / blurring shows in many places as circular images: this is very typical of a mirror lens, which are (Were?) typically a cheap route to a long, compact lens, typically being cold as a 500mm lens with a fixed aperture of f8, and no more than a few inches long.
These out-of -focus circles were part of the creative 'attraction' of the lens, and at times I owned a 600mm version (by Sigma, I think?) and a 250mm version that was maybe less than 3" long!

eolake said...

You could be right.
But some lenses, particularly some with aspheric lens elements, approach that circle-character or the blur. I have a 50mm Nikkor which does it.

Russ said...

People forget that you don't have to use a macro lens to get macro-like results. I've used the Nikon 50mm lens reversed either hand held against the camera body or using an adapter to mount it with the back facing forward. Here is an example:

TC [Girl] said...

Beautiful, Russ! (and I've been on your photostream, before. I, particularly, like your OR work! :-)

Did not know that could be done w/a macro lens! Thanks for sharing that info.