Go Back   Rangefinderforum.com > Cameras / Gear / Photography > Rangefinder Forum > Optics Theory -

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes

"Bokeh"-Amature Bling?
Old 01-01-2010   #1
Kouyoubushi
Registered User
 
Kouyoubushi is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
"Bokeh"-Amature Bling?

Anyone else think that "bokeh"(really shallow DOF) is often the refuge of the unskilled/lazy shooter? I have seen many shots that, less shallow DOF, were completely unremarkable. Shallow DOF is a "tool" that like any other in your bag of tricks, is great when used judiciously, but becomes cliche when overused. A good photographer can coax a 5-star shot out of a mobile phone camera with a sensor smaller than the nail on your pinky toe. The cheap f/1.8 lens is awesome of course, but learning about lighting, timing, color, and composition are just as awesome, no?
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #2
Krzys
Registered User
 
Krzys is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Christchurch, NZ
Posts: 373
Whatever works
__________________

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #3
Dave Wilkinson
Registered User
 
Dave Wilkinson's Avatar
 
Dave Wilkinson is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Hull, Yorkshire, U.K
Posts: 2,284
I mostly agree! - overdone, overemphasised, and much discussed here, like the insistence that regular servicing ( CLA ) is an absolute necessity - it is a 'fad' of the last ten/fifteen years!
Dave.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #4
ferider
Registered User
 
ferider's Avatar
 
ferider is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10,858
Any photos to share ?
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #5
bmattock
Registered User
 
bmattock's Avatar
 
bmattock is offline
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Detroit Area
Age: 54
Posts: 10,437
Sadness falls like burned skin.
__________________
Immanentizing the eschaton since 1987.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #6
dedmonds
Registered User
 
dedmonds's Avatar
 
dedmonds is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Oakland, CA
Age: 40
Posts: 95
agreed.
..
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krzys View Post
Whatever works
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #7
gho
Registered User
 
gho is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Berlin
Age: 43
Posts: 794
Sometimes a shallow depth of field is hard to avoid, especially in low light conditions.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #8
payasam
a.k.a. Mukul Dube
 
payasam's Avatar
 
payasam is offline
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Delhi, India
Age: 65
Posts: 4,430
Shallow depth of field is sometimes unavoidable and sometimes advisable: it is not always or even often a gimmick. I do not agree that an otherwise unremarkable photo can somehow be made "better" with less depth of field.
__________________
"Payasam" means a sloppy pudding. Little kids love it, and I'm a little kid with a big grey beard and diabetes.
Olympus E-3, Sony A7; Nikon FE; four Zuiko Digital lenses; Sony FE 28-70 zoom; Nikkor 35/2, Nikkor 50/1.4, Micro-Nikkor 55/2.8, Nikkor 85/2, Nikkor 105/2.5
RFF gallery
Flickr gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #9
Thebes
Registered User
 
Thebes is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 44
I don't know about others. I had been largely out of photography for years, studying at Indiana University in the late 90's, and am getting back into photography... have been on and off but more on lately. Back then we DID talk about how out of focus areas, highlights especially, were rendered with different lenses... we never used the term Bokeh for this. We also talked about depth-of-field, plane of focus, etc. We talked about this a lot more than out of focus looks of each other's lenses.

I hadn't considered the word "bokeh" to mean only shallow dof, but rather how out of focus areas are rendered, For example a mirror telephoto lens has strange donut-like bokeh, and such-and-such favored (and expensive) lens has "creamy" bokeh. Someone's portrait has shallow dof throwing the room behind her out of focus because it is destracting to the main subject- that is not "bokeh".

I think that a lot of newer photographers, born of the digital age, become enamoured with shallow dof because their previous camera systems lacked the ability. But its a useful tool, depends upon what is appropriate for the subject- often less is more.

I agree the term is over-used, and appearantly now in a way not even the Japanese ever considered.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #10
Chriscrawfordphoto
Real Men Shoot Film.
 
Chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
 
Chriscrawfordphoto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Age: 40
Posts: 7,115
Nope, you're 100% wrong. First of all, in professional portrait photography shallow depth of field has been used forever to isolate people from busy backgrounds. Certainly not a fad of the last 15 yrs.


Soft background makes the balloon more easily visible and gives it a sense of floating. This was used in a local magazine that used to use my work.

Second, as has been mentioned earlier, low light photos basically always have shallow depth of field unless the camera is used on a tripod with a very long exposure. I've done that at times when I did not want the background out of focus (doing architectural photography indoors, the whole scene has to be in focus to make the client happy).


Everything had to be in focus here. The architect who hired me needed this for his portfolio. Bokeh couldn't work here!


This looks nicer with the distracting tree branches out of focus.

I don't get people who don't understand that control of depth of field is an aesthetic choice that a photographer has, another tool. Its not an amateur 'bling', whatever the hell that is (where I live bling is fancy jewelry worn by drug dealers to show off their wealth). I am one of many RFF members who earns his living as a professional photographer. I've been doing this for 15 years now, I've been exhibited and published numerous times around the country and I have a degree in art and photography for what its worth. I can assure you that the only people who feel the need to bash others use of shallow depth of field are not pros, as we understand its a tool we can use or not use as needed. Go take some pictures and get some experience.
__________________
Christopher Crawford
Fine Art Photography
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Back home again in Indiana

http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

My Technical Info pages: Film Developing times, scanning, printing, editing.

Like My Work on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #11
gavinlg
Registered User
 
gavinlg's Avatar
 
gavinlg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Melbourne VIC
Posts: 4,822
I 100% agree with EVERYTHING Chris just said.
__________________
http://nopraise.tumblr.com/
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #12
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 21,693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thebes View Post
I don't know about others. I had been largely out of photography for years, studying at Indiana University in the late 90's, and am getting back into photography... have been on and off but more on lately. Back then we DID talk about how out of focus areas, highlights especially, were rendered with different lenses... we never used the term Bokeh for this. We also talked about depth-of-field, plane of focus, etc. We talked about this a lot more than out of focus looks of each other's lenses.

I hadn't considered the word "bokeh" to mean only shallow dof, but rather how out of focus areas are rendered, For example a mirror telephoto lens has strange donut-like bokeh, and such-and-such favored (and expensive) lens has "creamy" bokeh. Someone's portrait has shallow dof throwing the room behind her out of focus because it is distracting to the main subject- that is not "bokeh".

I think that a lot of newer photographers, born of the digital age, become enamoured with shallow dof because their previous camera systems lacked the ability. But its a useful tool, depends upon what is appropriate for the subject- often less is more.

I agree the term is over-used, and appearantly now in a way not even the Japanese ever considered.
Exactly. When I got my 150/4.5 Apo-Lanthar in the 80s, a friend remarked that one of the great attractions of this lens is the way it renders the out-of-focus areas; that was before the term 'bokeh' came into use. And as Chris says, differential focus has been around forever, whether from necessity (low light) or choice. Anyone else remember the fashion photography of maybe 20-30 years ago (I forget exactly when it was) when 300/2.8 lenses were used wide open? Or Hollywood portraits from the 1930s, shot at 1/10 second on 10x8 at full aperture?

But I agree with the OP that the word appears to have been hijacked on occasion by some truly awful photographers who photograph cats or coffee cups and then invite you to admire the (even more boring) out-of-focus areas behind the sharp bit. Where I don't agree is that bad shots at 1/8000 at f/1 in broad daylight are improved by zero depth of field. Most are made worse.

Again, like Chris, I'd not call it bling.

Cheers,

R.
__________________
Go to www.rogerandfrances.eu for a whole new website
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #13
peterm1
Registered User
 
peterm1's Avatar
 
peterm1 is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,758
Shallow DOF and the accompanying bokeh is perhaps THE most recognised and accepted technique in portrait photography and has been since Methusela played half back for the Jerusalem Jets. Well, perhaps not that long. But you are right in saying its but one of several aspects of good photography.
  Reply With Quote

Nope...
Old 01-01-2010   #14
Kouyoubushi
Registered User
 
Kouyoubushi is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
Nope...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferider View Post
Any photos to share ?
...I'll openly and honestly admit to being a mediocre photographer who's currently shooting with what he's got (iPhone 3G) camera.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #15
Kouyoubushi
Registered User
 
Kouyoubushi is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 5
[quote=Roger Hicks;1224313]Exactly. When I got my 150/4.5
But I agree with the OP that the word appears to have been hijacked on occasion by some truly awful photographers who photograph cats or coffee cups and then invite you to admire the (even more boring) out-of-focus areas behind the sharp bit. Where I don't agree is that bad shots at 1/8000 at f/1 in broad daylight are improved by zero depth of field. Most are made worse.

Thanks for getting what I was trying to say rather than having a knee jerk reaction. I never at any point stated that no one should ever use shallow DOF, only that it is overused, often inappropriately. Naturally, portraits would be an instance where such DOF is totally appropriate.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #16
dotur
od karnevala
 
dotur's Avatar
 
dotur is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Posts: 768
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
Second, as has been mentioned earlier, low light photos basically always have shallow depth of field unless the camera is used on a tripod with a very long exposure.
Wrong, or at least not entirely true - if you can use combined camera movements:

"Remember the Scheimpflug principle - lines drawn through the subject, lens panel and film planes should all meet at one point to give greatest depth of field" (Langford, M.J. Basic Photography. London/New York: Focal Press 1978, 4th edition, p. 108).

www.ivanlozica.com
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #17
_mark__
Registered User
 
_mark__ is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 282
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmattock View Post
Sadness falls like burned skin.
Thus spoke the poet.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #18
btgc
Registered User
 
btgc's Avatar
 
btgc is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 4,716
>Whatever works

>control of depth of field is an aesthetic choice that a photographer has, another tool.

Case resolved.

I think, cause of issue is also spotted:

>a lot of newer photographers, born of the digital age, become enamoured
>with shallow dof because their previous camera systems lacked the ability.
__________________
MyFlickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #19
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 21,693
On further thought, maybe 'bling' is right.

Jewellery can be in good or bad taste, and adding lots of bad-taste jewellery will not make an ugly pimp or a drug dealer any more attractive.

Shallow d-o-f can be in good or bad taste, and adding lots of bad-taste out-of-focus areas will not make a bad photo any more attractive.

Cheers,

R.
__________________
Go to www.rogerandfrances.eu for a whole new website
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #20
mfogiel
Registered User
 
mfogiel's Avatar
 
mfogiel is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Monaco
Posts: 4,624
Well, to me there is bokeh and bokeh. There is the coffee cup bokeh that melts away (C Sonnar):



There is a coffe cup bokeh that starts to be more structured (Planar):



and then there is the coffe table bokeh that starts taking over the picture (Summaron):



And finally a coffee table bokeh, that IS the picture (Summitar):



While initially I have been very much attracted to the Sonnar type bokeh, lately I am more intrigued by the bokeh of older Leica lenses. In fact, although I do not care at all for the f1.0 Noctilux's sharpness, I think this is the most interesting bokeh machine around:



Finally, I think that 99% of great pictures of this fellow (HCB) were sharp front to back ( at times I ask myself how he did it, considering that there were no high speed films available at the time). But in case of this shot, I really think that the blurred part is so good, that it could be a photo on its own - judge for yourself:

http://www.ldesign.com/Images/Essays...06/windsor.jpg

Last edited by mfogiel : 01-01-2010 at 23:35.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #21
Chriscrawfordphoto
Real Men Shoot Film.
 
Chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
 
Chriscrawfordphoto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Age: 40
Posts: 7,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by dotur View Post
Wrong, or at least not entirely true - if you can use combined camera movements:

"Remember the Scheimpflug principle - lines drawn through the subject, lens panel and film planes should all meet at one point to give greatest depth of field" (Langford, M.J. Basic Photography. London/New York: Focal Press 1978, 4th edition, p. 108).

www.ivanlozica.com
If you use movements you're using a large format camera on a tripod. Large format lenses are NEVER used wide open, most are not very sharp wide open, achieving their best at f22 and often used around that aperture IF movements are possible. In my example, no movements could be used because any swing or tilt would severely defocus something in the photo. my architecture pic was shot with a medium format camera and 45m lens at f16, focus at hyperfocal distance. Worked great, client happy, I got paid. I was happy too
__________________
Christopher Crawford
Fine Art Photography
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Back home again in Indiana

http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

My Technical Info pages: Film Developing times, scanning, printing, editing.

Like My Work on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-01-2010   #22
Roger Hicks
Registered User
 
Roger Hicks is offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Aquitaine
Posts: 21,693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
If you use movements you're using a large format camera on a tripod. Large format lenses are NEVER used wide open, most are not very sharp wide open, achieving their best at f22 and often used around that aperture IF movements are possible. In my example, no movements could be used because any swing or tilt would severely defocus something in the photo. my architecture pic was shot with a medium format camera and 45m lens at f16, focus at hyperfocal distance. Worked great, client happy, I got paid. I was happy too
Dear Chris,

Just to dot some i's and cross some t's

In miniature formats and MF there are TS lenses and Lensbabies, but I'd agree that you're normally using a tripod. And small apertures. And long exposures.

Actually, some LF lenses were designed so that they could be used wide open, and sometimes made a feature of this in their advertising: Super Angulons, for example (as compared with Angulons, where f/6.8 was definitely for focusing only). Then there are portrait lenses. And of course there's not much point in a 150/2.8 Xenotar if you're not going to use it wide open.

Even with studio shots with movements, there's sometimes an advantage in using lenses wide open: I do it sometimes with my 150/4.5 Apo Lanthar, reversing the Scheimpflug rule and shooting at wide apertures for a single line of focus.

Cheers,

R.
__________________
Go to www.rogerandfrances.eu for a whole new website
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #23
downstairs
downstairs
 
downstairs is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: europe
Posts: 116
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kouyoubushi View Post
.....is often the refuge of the unskilled/lazy shooter? ....
I would add that a long lens is the refuge of the enthusiastic but inexperienced photographer. A long lens plus bokeh.
Bokeh adds aerial perspective to a in image that otherwise has no structural perspective at all.

Last edited by downstairs : 01-02-2010 at 00:40.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #24
Chriscrawfordphoto
Real Men Shoot Film.
 
Chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
 
Chriscrawfordphoto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Age: 40
Posts: 7,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by chippy View Post
sure it could work Chris, Bokeh is (as far as i care) the OOF area which translates to what i used to call it when i was a kid (still do sometimes) "Blurred Background" or "Blurred foreground" (i didnt know the term Bokeh then) Due to and controlled by the DOF of course.

in that context the background area in the office picture cant start until outside the window because the subject is obviously the entire inside of the room from front to back ..so set the DOF distance to end outside the window and there is your ©"Blurred Background" OOF area or Bokeh

nice pic of the girl with the balloon btw
Thanks for the compliment on the pic of the little girl, I love it too. You guys don't normally get to see my commercial work here, but this thread was a good place for a couple of shots I got paid to shoot (as opposed to my artistic stuff that I shoot cause I want to then get paid of someone later decides to buy it).
__________________
Christopher Crawford
Fine Art Photography
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Back home again in Indiana

http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

My Technical Info pages: Film Developing times, scanning, printing, editing.

Like My Work on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #25
Chriscrawfordphoto
Real Men Shoot Film.
 
Chriscrawfordphoto's Avatar
 
Chriscrawfordphoto is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Fort Wayne, Indiana
Age: 40
Posts: 7,115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Chris,

Just to dot some i's and cross some t's

In miniature formats and MF there are TS lenses and Lensbabies, but I'd agree that you're normally using a tripod. And small apertures. And long exposures.

Actually, some LF lenses were designed so that they could be used wide open, and sometimes made a feature of this in their advertising: Super Angulons, for example (as compared with Angulons, where f/6.8 was definitely for focusing only). Then there are portrait lenses. And of course there's not much point in a 150/2.8 Xenotar if you're not going to use it wide open.

Even with studio shots with movements, there's sometimes an advantage in using lenses wide open: I do it sometimes with my 150/4.5 Apo Lanthar, reversing the Scheimpflug rule and shooting at wide apertures for a single line of focus.

Cheers,

R.
Yeah I know about those lenses, but have never owned one. They're simply way outside my price range for something I would rarely need. I still have my 4x5 camera, I can drag it out of someone ever needs something that really requires movements.
__________________
Christopher Crawford
Fine Art Photography
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Back home again in Indiana

http://www.chriscrawfordphoto.com

My Technical Info pages: Film Developing times, scanning, printing, editing.

Like My Work on Facebook
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #26
Phantomas
Registered User
 
Phantomas's Avatar
 
Phantomas is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Amsterdam
Posts: 1,085
I love me some bokeh. And yes, I often use it as a cheap trick. Shamelessly.
__________________
Flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #27
sevo
Fokutorendaburando
 
sevo is offline
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 5,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Anyone else remember the fashion photography of maybe 20-30 years ago (I forget exactly when it was) when 300/2.8 lenses were used wide open?
Certainly in the late eighties, but back then it was already inspired by fifties and sixties fashion photography - it obviously is a trend recurring every decade, just like very wide hyperfocal shots.

But back then we used the rather mediocre bokeh fast sports lenses of the time - strong OOF was good OOF, regardless of whether circle or donut shaped. OOF was a widespread tool, but certainly not a subject of its own.

The recent bokeh mania may be more due to a desire for social/peer group distinction, fuelled by technical changes. Any OOF is hard to attain with compacts or kit zoom DX crop digitals, as they are hyperfocal from macro to infinity in most operation modes, so that visible bokeh on digital implies either determination to adapt alien lenses (and risk camera damage) or a lush budget. Some bokeh shooters certainly display a "you can't do that with your inferior gear" spirit.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #28
Gabriel M.A.
My Red Dot Glows For You
 
Gabriel M.A.'s Avatar
 
Gabriel M.A. is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Paris, Frons
Posts: 9,956
Bling is always not mature (i.e. "amature")
__________________
Big wig wisdom: "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --Harry Warner, of Warner Bros., 1927

Fellow RFF member: I respect your bandwidth by not posting images larger than 800px on the longest side, and by removing image in a quote.
Together we can combat bandwidth waste (and image scrolling).



My Flickr | (one of) My Portfolio
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #29
Gabriel M.A.
My Red Dot Glows For You
 
Gabriel M.A.'s Avatar
 
Gabriel M.A. is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Paris, Frons
Posts: 9,956
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantomas View Post
I love me some bokeh. And yes, I often use it as a cheap trick. Shamelessly.
Some also think of B&W as "a cheap trick". It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that Swing.
__________________
Big wig wisdom: "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" --Harry Warner, of Warner Bros., 1927

Fellow RFF member: I respect your bandwidth by not posting images larger than 800px on the longest side, and by removing image in a quote.
Together we can combat bandwidth waste (and image scrolling).



My Flickr | (one of) My Portfolio
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #30
Ade-oh
Registered User
 
Ade-oh's Avatar
 
Ade-oh is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London and Ludlow
Posts: 546
Personally, I think 'bokeh' - meaning the quality of the way a lens renders out-of-focus areas - has become a kind of meaningless fetish amongst gear-heads. Different lenses do it differently: so what?

As for isolating the main subject by defocusing the rest of the image... well sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. It's a weapon in the photographer's armoury. Pretty much anything in photography can seem clichéed now, which is why good photographers really stand out.
__________________
Keep it simple!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #31
jesse1dog
Gone Senile
 
jesse1dog's Avatar
 
jesse1dog is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Afon Fathew
Age: 79
Posts: 1,438
I've read through this thread a couple of times and decided that I didn't really think that everybody was writing about the same subject. A lot of good points made and I always appreciate what Chris and Roger have to say. But I guess at least Ade-oh and I agree on a definition of 'bokeh' - the rendition of out of focus areas, the emphasis being on the rendition.

I think I might know what 'movements' are but an explanation might make some threads a bit more meaningful for me at least.

jesse
__________________
John Cordingley

'A photograph shows a slice of life that is already history; just a piece of a jig-saw that you will never see completed!'

Lumix LX7 - Lumix GF1 and some others not in use!.

My Gallery
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #32
antiquark
Derek Ross
 
antiquark's Avatar
 
antiquark is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 1,470
I bet it's related to the rise of small sensor P&S and cell cameras. Those things have basically infinite depth of field (zero bokeh).

There are young people out there who have never used a large sensor camera of any type, digital or film. Then when they eventually buy some APS-C or full frame dSLR, the bokeh effects would look totally amazing. So I'm not really surprised people take pics to show off the bokeh.
__________________
flickr
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #33
Neare
Registered User
 
Neare's Avatar
 
Neare is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1,594
Would you consider using a Leica... bling? =)
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #34
lorriman
Registered User
 
lorriman is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 185
A very shallow depth of field is the only concrete feature that distinguishes the banality of vision from photographic vision. All else is merely manipulations of contrast and colour.

However I'm not talking of art. Bokeh, in the hands of the amateur, can result in an awful lot of glorified snapshots.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #35
Mcary
Registered User
 
Mcary is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Virginia USA
Age: 54
Posts: 1,441
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Dear Chris,


Actually, some LF lenses were designed so that they could be used wide open, and sometimes made a feature of this in their advertising: Super Angulons, for example (as compared with Angulons, where f/6.8 was definitely for focusing only). Then there are portrait lenses. And of course there's not much point in a 150/2.8 Xenotar if you're not going to use it wide open.

Cheers,

R.
A recent example of a professional photographer doing just this would be Douglas Kirkland's portraits of the cast of the movie Australia. for which he used an 8x10 DearDorff with a Kodak 12 inch Ektar F4.5 and a 8.5 inch Ektar.
NOTE: He also mentioned going further then wide open by removing part of the front elements of the lens. A trick shown to him by Authur Rothstein.

Mike
__________________
M. Cary
Trying to see something new whither I'm visiting someplace new or a place that I've been a dozens of times before.
Tumblr http://www.tumblr.com/blog/mcaryartnude
Not work safe

  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #36
ferider
Registered User
 
ferider's Avatar
 
ferider is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 10,858
It's just a tool. Usable as a toy. Overused as a toy, sometimes. But this is the nature of photography, no ? As long as more photos are taken, IMO, it's all good.

See this for instance:



The family really liked this photo of their son. Taken at a party for his acceptance at Berkeley.

And then, even hard core bokeh haters might like these:





No ?

It's not a very recent tool either, just the name is rather new. Check Robert Frank for instance. Bokeh shots everywhere.

Roland.

Last edited by ferider : 01-02-2010 at 06:32.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #37
Andy Kibber
Registered User
 
Andy Kibber's Avatar
 
Andy Kibber is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 715
If the best thing you can say about a photo is "nice bokeh" it's probably not a very interesting photo. Someone here said that a while ago and I tend to agree.

Not sure why folks get worked up about use of bokeh. Out-of-focus pictures of coffee cups and the like don't float my boat, but if the photographer enjoys making them and looking at them, have at it. They're easy enough to ignore.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #38
NickTrop
Registered User
 
NickTrop's Avatar
 
NickTrop is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,671
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kouyoubushi View Post
Anyone else think that "bokeh"(really shallow DOF) is often the refuge of the unskilled/lazy shooter? I have seen many shots that, less shallow DOF, were completely unremarkable. Shallow DOF is a "tool" that like any other in your bag of tricks, is great when used judiciously, but becomes cliche when overused. A good photographer can coax a 5-star shot out of a mobile phone camera with a sensor smaller than the nail on your pinky toe. The cheap f/1.8 lens is awesome of course, but learning about lighting, timing, color, and composition are just as awesome, no?
Nope. Completely, and respectfully, disagree. Thoughts on bokeh:

1. It is a chromatic aberration, imo. It is the lens's inability to maintain focus over a sufficiently wide plane at wide apertures.

2. However, it emulates - at almost a symbolic level, how we perceive the world and is therefore indispensable. When my concentration is focused on a specific object, I have less attention focused on its surroundings. I'm conscious of them, but... Bokeh emulates this...

3. Of course, when I am perceiving or have my perception "fixed" on something it background doesn't go all "out of focus" - but it's exactly traits like this that makes photography so enigmatic. The world isn't black and white, but we accept black and white photos as real. The background (and/or foreground) isn't all blurry, but we accept this to. A different but compatable way of perception intrinsic to the camera - the camera isn't eye/brain...

4. As for its overuse? Perhaps, but when you're learning and becoming enamored with photography and beginning to understand it, it's natural to "play" - and one of the first things you "play" with as you begin to master the camera - and have "pride of authorship" around is controlling DOF. We all did it.
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #39
dotur
od karnevala
 
dotur's Avatar
 
dotur is offline
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Zagreb, Croatia
Posts: 768
Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriscrawfordphoto View Post
If you use movements you're using a large format camera on a tripod. Large format lenses are NEVER used wide open, most are not very sharp wide open, achieving their best at f22 and often used around that aperture IF movements are possible. In my example, no movements could be used because any swing or tilt would severely defocus something in the photo. my architecture pic was shot with a medium format camera and 45m lens at f16, focus at hyperfocal distance. Worked great, client happy, I got paid. I was happy too
OK, you are right.
Just wanted to mention that old chap Scheimpflug, I like the name. My intention was to stir some movement(s) among RF people...
And your architectural photo is excellent, I like it, really I do.

However, LF lenses can be used wide open to obtain the BOKEH!

Canon 5D mounted on wooden Globica (13x18cm), Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar 4.5/300:

http://www.ivanlozica.com/yahoo_site....358103931.jpg

Happy New Year!
  Reply With Quote

Old 01-02-2010   #40
-doomed-
film is exciting
 
-doomed-'s Avatar
 
-doomed- is offline
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 802
Shallow depth of field is often the refuge of the unskilled amateur , I speak from my early jump from the digital point and shoot to a canon 20d with a plastic fantastic 50mm 1.8, I shot that thing wide open nearly all the time. Why? because I could, I thought that made every photo better, I had no idea what bokeh or oof even meant. I eventually realized that those shots weren't made any better by the shallow dof , they were just bad shots in general.

I bought a fixed lense RF and decided I wanted to learn photography instead of my typical guess and hope the AF took care of the focus and the auto exposure figured out the light.

This forum has plenty of talent on it, and I've learned a great deal from people on here even though I never asked them for the help , I just read and tried what I learned , if it worked for me it became a tool for me to use.

Needless to say after the rather wordy lead up to this end, i use shallow dof sparingly now , as long as I can get a sharper image by using a smaller aperture that I can handhold, I do.

Overuse of shallow dof seems to me as much of a part of the learning process as anything else , use it like crazy at first , realize theres a time and a place , then use it as needed.

Gimmick , bling , cheap tricks , call it what you will. If it works use it and if its not right for the situation don't.

Im no pro , I'd consider myself a glorified snapshot maker.
__________________
Flickr
  Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 22:05.


vBulletin skin developed by: eXtremepixels
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

All content on this site is Copyright Protected and owned by its respective owner. You may link to content on this site but you may not reproduce any of it in whole or part without written consent from its owner.