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  1. #1
    Dan Quan's Avatar
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    Question About Swirly Bokeh on 6x6

    I have been pouring over the threads here and elsewhere on the interwebs and if i understand correctly the Swirly Bokeh is produced more easily when using a shorter focal length than would be considered "normal" for any given format.

    So for 6x6 one would have greater success using a focal length shorter than about 8cm, correct?

    But does that mean that using a medium long focal length will not produce the coveted Swirly Bokeh?

    Thanks for your time helping me .
    DanQuan.com
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  2. #2

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    Its perhaps a bit more complicated than that. Petzval sharpness rolls off away from the image center, and you get all sorts of effects as you move further away. But, they also have a fairly small angle of coverage. Generally, they were used to cover a smaller plate than they could to avoid those effects. The effect though, is also usually a function of lens speed - the faster, f3.8-ish lenses are more prone to swirl than the f5+ lenses. I've had good success with 5-6" lenses on 4x5 (But I dont think you'd get more thana hint of swirl with them on 6x6), with them swirling nicely and usually vignetting in the corners. I've also had success with 4" lenses on 3x4 polaroid film.

    Dan

  3. #3
    Chris Lange's Avatar
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    Tessar based designs also produce this effect.
    See my work at my website CHRISTOPHER LANGE PHOTOGRAPHY

    or my snaps at my blog MINIMUM DENSITY
    --
    If you don't have it, then you don't have it.

  4. #4

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    And Tessars (and Tessar types) will produce this when focused at medium distances at larger apertures.

    I have examples from a Rolleiflex with a Xenar, as well as a Super Ikonta 530/16 with a Tessar. Of course, I can't find them ...

  5. #5
    Dan Quan's Avatar
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    Great information! Thank you so much!
    DanQuan.com
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  6. #6
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    Not necessarily so. I use a 90mm Great Wall lens on my Hasselblad, as well as a Darlot petzval equivalent to around 150mm ... Both can exhibit swirly bokeh. Similarly one system I know that does the swirlies is the Kiev platform. Their Arsat 80mm or Volna 80mm f2.8 lenses will do it.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  7. #7
    MDR
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    Some lens design are more prone to swirl than others-Triplets (Tessar, Ernostar and simple Triplets) wide open (until f5,6) and busy background say trees = very often swirl
    I believe the Sonnar is an exception,but my Rolleiflex Tessars and Rolleicord Triotars have a swirly Bokeh.

  8. #8
    Dan Quan's Avatar
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    This actually explains allot about the swirly effect I've seen in some old movies. Very helpful answers! Thank you all!

    Please everyone continue to chime in, I am likely not the only one who finds this useful, I hope.
    DanQuan.com
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  9. #9

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    Yes, I get it with a kiev 88cm with an 80mm lens - works best at f2.8 with the subject in the middle ground and a background with specular highlights (eg light through trees). By f4 its almost gone.

    Also, I use a Zeiss Voightlander Icarex 35mm and with the Zeiss Ultron lens I get this wide open as well.

    I think the simpler lens designs do it and if you want to pick up a lens that does it, then a search on flickr or elsewhere will help.

    example from the Kiev:


    Brother & Sister by francis morrin, on Flickr

    Fran

  10. #10
    Fixcinater's Avatar
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    Yashica D with the 3-element Yashikor 80mm f/3.5 set at f/3.5, not quite but close to minimum focus distance. There was at least 20ft to the next trees that are swirling.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails yashica_d_test_roll_expired_txp.jpg  

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