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  1. #61
    Pastiche's Avatar
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    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/bokeh.shtml

    another good article on the matter... and it's a complex matter.

    My test for bokeh has always revolved around shooting point light sources (think FAR away) in total darkness... this way you get the exact effect of the lens's bokeh, and ONLY the bokeh...

    Bad bokeh comed down to uneven distribution of light whithin the circle of confusion. It's neither desireable that the light all be concentrated in the center of the circle of confusion, nor that it "rim" the same... (thea rticle above has examples of both, pictorially)

    Needless to say, it's not usu. desireable to have the bokeh show the shape of the diaphragm... either... (although as mentioned, at times, it can play into the pic.)

    Try it, take your camera out at night, and shoot some street lights far far away... way out of focus...

    I DONT however consider the radial distortion of the circles of confuion to be part and parcel to the bokeh qualities of the lens.... that's a whole other matter.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_distortion barrel distortion...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_%2...29#Aberrations - WAY more about lenses than you really want to know

  2. #62
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    ARGUS
    " Does my Mamiya Sekor E 50mm f1.7 have bokeh?
    (needless to say, I like buzzwords )"

    The particulars in your shot are the way the lens gives the OOF (out of focus) highlights that pentagonal shape... and that causes the BG to gain Texture... which.. in some cases is desireable.. and in most not so much...
    It would be generaly concidered better bokeh if the OOF highlights are smooth and textureless...

  3. #63
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, there is an interesting correspondance between Adams, Weston, and Strand on the concept of ' bokeh '... needless to say they used different terminology.

    The consensus was that the Protar ( and Dagor & Cooke XIV ) was superior than the Tessar or Process lenses. While not as SHARP, the out of focus image looked better with the Protar, and conveyed a better sense of cohesion.

    NO, you don't see the overt 'out of focus' areas in the images, but as they were concerned with sharp, pure imaging, that is the point. When you shoot in the field, and have things like wind and filters and slow film to consider, you have to choose where to 'spend the sharpness' in your image and where to hide the out of focus areas. And a smooth transition from In Focus to Out of Focus is essential.

    Where are the letters ? Look it up ! ; ]

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  4. #64

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noah Huber
    ARGUS
    " Does my Mamiya Sekor E 50mm f1.7 have bokeh?
    (needless to say, I like buzzwords )"

    The particulars in your shot are the way the lens gives the OOF (out of focus) highlights that pentagonal shape... and that causes the BG to gain Texture... which.. in some cases is desireable.. and in most not so much...
    It would be generaly concidered better bokeh if the OOF highlights are smooth and textureless...
    Thanks, Noah,

    I'm just trying to understand the concept of Bokeh.

    G

  5. #65

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    Standardization

    If you're going to analyze something inherently hard-to-define, wouldn't it be a good idea to come up with a standard way of shooting examples? At minimum, I'd like to see, for example, the same subject shot with the Nikon lenses listed. Maybe someone with time on their hands could figure out how to create examples in which the circles of confusion are comparable in terms of size?

  6. #66

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    Actually such standards exist in Japan where the term originates. There are a number of different names given for different types of bokeh.

    I still believe that bokeh can only be called "bad" or "good" depending upon the observer when vieing its effect. If I am looking at a photo that displayed the doubled lined effect can anyone but me deterimine whether I like it or dislike what it has done to the photo?

    If everything in the photograph is rendered with a high degree of clarity then
    it is not even visible in such a photograph.

    Certainly, bokeh would be of no importance to a believer in and practioner ofthe f64 school photography when making equipment purchase decisions.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  7. #67
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    ...

    Certainly, bokeh would be of no importance to a believer in and practioner ofthe f64 school photography when making equipment purchase decisions.
    CLAIRE: read my post !

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  8. #68

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    Well if the out of focus area is hidden how visible can it be? Was Paul Strand a member of f64? If someone is taking photos where something is out of focus and discernible would they in that case be practicing f64 style photography?

    Certainly, all three photographer's went thru a period of time where they did not strive for overall clarity. Adams has a print that pleased him taken with a soft focus lens...I like it also. Weston's has a body of early work, which was I believe, in e 2 1/4 by 4 1/4 format the examples of which I have seen did not have anything in the photo that was particularly sharp and are of a completely different character than the work he did on 8x10 with a Rapid Rectillinear. Strand has a famous photograph of a white house and fence which in terms of sharpness by f64 standards might as well have been taken with a Holga.
    I have never seen any photos by Adams or Weston taken after they adopted they f64 concept that shows any effect due to bokeh.
    Adams, of course made very frequent use of his Cooke triple convertible. Every image that I have seen that he took with his Cooke is crystal clear.
    I am not sufficiently knowlegable about Paul Strand to make any general comments of his work.

    So I stand corrected and I thank you for it.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  9. #69
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    CLAIRE

    The very point is that the sharpness they achieved was due, first, to clarity of vision.

    Technically, they were well aware of the differing nature of the the out of focus image cast by different lens types.

    They willingly sacrificed 'objective' or 'technical' sharpness of the Tessars and Apo Tessars and Apo Artars ( for the most part, although Adams did make use of process lenses for commercial work ) for the less 'wiry' and more 'rounded' and 'breathing' image of the Protar. The effect was to minimize the incoherency of the inevitable out of focus [ or, if it helps, LESS IN FOCUS ] areas: the far edges of 'depth of field'.

    Another way of saying it is that they knew they could not achieve full areas of critically sharp focus and solved the problem by using lenses which did not draw attention to it. They seldom, of ever, shot AT f/64, because diffraction killed the image. Adams knew he would be enlarging the image, and besides, shooting an EI 50 & 64 film, with filters, often in low light... f/64 wasn't an option had it been desirable.

    Their words, "rounded", "breathing", etc. describe the very same notions as different types of bokeh. Concern over the nature of the out of focus image, however great or little, is bokeh. Bokeh is not simply using selective focus and depth of field to ISOLATE the subject. It can be as Adams used it, to INTEGRATE the subject and the field. Of course, they didn't make a big deal about it: the saw the results they got, and stuck with what they liked.

    Years ago I bought my first protar lens from a guy who had been seeking the magic bullet of sharpness, and got this lovely old lens. He was bitterly disappointed; it wasn't excrutiatingly sharp, and I got it cheap. He didn't grasp that it wasn't about ultimate, center of the field, best aperture sharpness, but an integrated, overall feeling and illusion of sharpness. And while it's "IN FOCUS" area was less sharp than a contemporary process lens, the out of focus area was less distracting, and this quality, in the hands of an astute photographer, convinced us of perfect sharpness.

    The Cooke, Protar, and Dagor are so similar in this regard, they are identical. Since clarity is the sum of convincing sharpness, they all have remarkable bokeh.
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

  10. #70

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    I am not sufficiently knowlegable about Paul Strand to make any general comments of his work.
    The work of Strand's that I have seen is incredible in it's vision. I enjoy his work equally well to Brett Weston's and probably somewhat better then Edward Weston's...all of whom, in my opinion were more finely developed visionary photographers then Ansel.

    Strand has an image of a group of horses standing and gazing out to sea...(I believe it was shot in the isles...that is probably one of my favorite photographs of all times. Also the family in the doorway is very nice too.



 

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