Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
I have no opinion of his work, but will just comment that I think when photography becomes about something technical framework, and that is used as an idea to create work, (wide open apertures is one of those technical things), then the photographer is on thin ice. That's a poor platform to base work on.

I'm not against someone using large or small apertures. But when I hear talk about it as if it's the whole idea of their work, then I very much mind. Surely there are better things to focus on, literally.
Using a wide aperture gives shallow DOF. The design of the lens determines the character of the out-of-focus areas ('OOFAs'). These are two different things. Since most all 50s for 35mm are double-Gauss designs, their OOFAs will be similar; differences will be due to the optimisation chosen as well as the degree of "retrofocality" of the lens in question. Lastly the shape of the aperture will determine the shape of out-of-focus highlights.
Usually when I hear or read someone babbling mindlessly about the "great bokeh" their lens has I translate it thusly:"I can't take a decent picture to save my life, so I read some nonsense on the internet and bought this lens which I'm now making an a$$ of myself with".

I learned that a wide aperture was useful to separate the subject from it's surroundings/background, as well as taking photos in poor light. But that was a long time ago, much has changed in 40 years.