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Optics Theory - This forum is aimed towards the TECHNICAL side of photographic OPTICS THEORY. There will be some overlap by camera/manufacturer, but this forum is for the heavy duty tech discussions. This is NOT the place to discuss a specific lens or lens line, do that in the appropriate forum. This is the forum to discuss optics or lenses in general, to learn about the tech behind the lenses and images. IF you have a question about a specific lens, post it in the forum about that type of camera, NOT HERE.

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Old 04-10-2012   #1201
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Carl Zeiss Planar T* 110mm f2 FE (Shot at f2) - Kodak Tri-x 400 - Hasselblad 203FE
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Old 04-10-2012   #1202
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Skyward Pots

OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.2, Ilford Pan F

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Old 04-10-2012   #1203
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Old 04-10-2012   #1204
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Old 04-10-2012   #1205
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seakayaker1 View Post
MP ~ 90/2.8 Elmarit
Nice job Dan! I like how you put bikes in a lot of your photo's.
Jim
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Old 04-11-2012   #1206
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Roland, thanks a lot for the 90 Elmarit reminder ;-)
Yes, yes, it's still unused … I promise, I'll change that in some time …

Beautiful bokeh it does in my opinion - not so crazy, as some of the older lenses (the Canon Sonnar tele lenses for example), but also not as smooth and edge-less, as the most modern lenses.
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Old 04-16-2012   #1207
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Yesterday's shots, M8 + summilux 35 pre ASPH

Gilson 2 by careca2013, on Flickr
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Old 04-21-2012   #1208
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Old 04-23-2012   #1209
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Old 04-24-2012   #1210
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75 Summilux bokeh - how can you not love, what this lens does with backgrounds?


50 Summicron Leica 1913-1983 (tabbed v4):
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Old 04-25-2012   #1211
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I have to say, it appears as if most Leica M-mount lenses produces considerably ugly (harsh) bokeh, except for a few very special ones (e.g. 75mm f/1.4 Summilux).

Thank you so much everybody who has contributed to this massive thread - never has such a collection of images been available in one place to draw such a distinct conclusion from. Since more than 50% of the Leica M images really do show what is undeniably ugly bokeh, there is no longer any denying this fact:

Leitz may be able to make some really sharp, small, well-made lenses, but not even they can make lenses that are guaranteed to produce good bokeh.

Bokeh "style" is actually not that important to myself. At least now we have a giant image collection to point to.

I myself have come to a conclusion: 99% of lenses made cannot be all of: fast aperture, high resolution, and have good bokeh. "Slow" lenses always produce the best bokeh (e.g. if we're talking M-mount, nothing that I have seen beats the Voigtländer Heliar 50/3.5) but they produce "less of it", which is why slow lenses on medium- and large format will always beat 35mm lenses when it comes to quality (and quantity, due to larger film size / physical aperture size for the same f-number) of bokeh.

I am not stating the above as facts, just my experience. But what is indeed a fact is: statistically speaking - with a reasonable sample size (this giant thread) - Leica M-lenses produce bad bokeh, just like most other 35mm lenses.
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Old 04-25-2012   #1212
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Bokeh for Bokeh's sake. M8 + Planar 50 ZM.

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Old 04-25-2012   #1213
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Time and Space

(Schneider-Kreuznach APO-Symmar 150mm f/5.6, 4x5in Ilford HP5 film, Linhof Technika)
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Old 04-25-2012   #1214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
Time and Space
(Schneider-Kreuznach APO-Symmar 150mm f/5.6, 4x5in Ilford HP5 film, Linhof Technika)
A photo speaks more than a thousand words
Your post before could have easily understood as a Leica rant, but backing it with this beauty of bokeh makes your point clear.

I fear though, the issue with bokeh is not a Leica made one, but generally a smaller format issue.
Only when one goes the efforts, to use the fastest of lenses or specific designs, that make background smooth, like the latest ASPH 50/1.4, 75/2 or, as you stated certain slower lenses (a 135/3.4 APO can do real magic in this regard), you will get smooth bokeh, as you like.

For some though, certain specialty lenses have something going for them for their crazy bokeh (take the 50/1.5 Summarit for example or in a milder dose the 50/2 Summitar, …).

I love the Leica stuff, but in regards of truly outstanding background rendering, it is limited to certain special lenses (unfortunately those are getting costly nowadays) or to move to a larger film format entirely.

But then again, isn't it sometimes the flaws, that we feel so dearly about something, that makes them unique and special ;-) ?
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Old 04-25-2012   #1215
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menos View Post
I am really digging the 5cm ƒ3.5 Elmar, since I found out about it's beautiful, beautiful, soft bokeh - watch that background far away (especially the transitions from bright sky to dark background - modern lenses murder any beauty in such things)!
Well, not all the modern lenses! I think this adds to my earlier post - slower lenses have smoother bokeh. One of the highest-performance, modern lenses for 35mm is the Heliar 50mm f/3.5, and it has exactly this gentle manner that you speak of in the 5cm Elmar of old (which the Helier also somewhat copies in physical style - Cosina's inspiration was clearly the old Elmar):




(both, Heliar 50mm at f/3.5, Kodak TMY400-2)
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Old 04-25-2012   #1216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menos View Post
A photo speaks more than a thousand words
Your post before could have easily understood as a Leica rant, but backing it with this beauty of bokeh makes your point clear.
Thank you! I am trying to make a double-point with the image above: The modern APO-Symmar is quite Leica-like in all respects - flawless optical performance, german (just kidding..! but some people make blanket statements about "german" vs "japanese" glass, etc), but (relatively, for LF) harsh bokeh - much earlier in this thread I posted a more severe example. Yet, the low magnification due to the large film format, together with the "relaxed" f/5.6 design - no need to try and perform miracles focusing light rays through an f/2.0 or f/1.4 hole - means that it still looks better than most 35mm lenses.

Across an entire lens range though, I would have to say my C-series Mamiya RB67 lenses have the most universally perfect bokeh. I have never seen harshness there, from wide-angle to telephoto. Truly perfect most of the time, even the über-corrected ones like the 140mm Macro:



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Old 04-29-2012   #1217
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Summar:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/6834334367

Yashinon 5cm 1.8

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/6586918557

Canon 100mm 3.5

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cannelbrae/6616022907
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Old 05-02-2012   #1218
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Some more examples of large-format rangefinder bokeh:

Look over the edge

(Nikkor-T*ED 360mm f/8, 25-years-expired Ilford FP4+, Linhof Technika V)

Bedside Vision

(Schneider-Kreuznach APO_Symmar 150mm f/5.6, 25-years-expired Ilford FP4+, Linhof Technika V)
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Old 05-06-2012   #1219
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Old 05-06-2012   #1220
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Old 05-06-2012   #1221
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Old 05-06-2012   #1222
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Old 05-06-2012   #1223
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Old 05-06-2012   #1224
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Old 05-06-2012   #1225
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Old 05-06-2012   #1226
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Old 05-06-2012   #1227
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Old 05-06-2012   #1228
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Old 05-06-2012   #1229
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Old 05-06-2012   #1230
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Old 05-06-2012   #1231
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Old 05-06-2012   #1232
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Old 05-06-2012   #1233
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Old 05-06-2012   #1234
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Old 05-06-2012   #1235
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Old 05-06-2012   #1236
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Old 05-06-2012   #1237
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Old 05-06-2012   #1238
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Old 05-06-2012   #1239
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Old 05-06-2012   #1240
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