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Author Topic: The best bokeh lenses  (Read 18523 times)

Lightsmith

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2015, 08:09:17 pm »

Amazing how so many photographers over the past century managed to make great images without access to any of these lenses. Go figure.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2015, 03:01:29 am »

Amazing how so many photographers over the past century managed to make great images without access to any of these lenses. Go figure.

Is your point that past photographers didn't care about lens look, or that there are other lenses delivering a great look?

Cheers,
Bernard

Rob C

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2015, 04:13:37 am »

Amazing how so many photographers over the past century managed to make great images without access to any of these lenses. .Go figure


Technocratas v. photographers.

For them, the technocrats, the difficult way to do anything is the goal and, when they knock it off, the reward. Nothing is what it seems: there's always something else that it should have been.

That's why their wives wear earplugs in bed, not to mention masks. However, the masks might come in useful for other things sometimes, if only to justify that something should always be more than what it is.

Then you look at their pictures - if they post any - and you wonder what the hell they imagine they are seeing that mere photographers do not.

Fortunately, this is a relatively modern illness, and as with all fads, will eventually pass.

;-)

Rob C

BernardLanguillier

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2015, 10:29:50 am »


Technocratas v. photographers.

For them, the technocrats, the difficult way to do anything is the goal and, when they knock it off, the reward. Nothing is what it seems: there's always something else that it should have been.

That's why their wives wear earplugs in bed, not to mention masks. However, the masks might come in useful for other things sometimes, if only to justify that something should always be more than what it is.

Then you look at their pictures - if they post any - and you wonder what the hell they imagine they are seeing that mere photographers do not.

Fortunately, this is a relatively modern illness, and as with all fads, will eventually pass.

Ok, but not here. ;)

The technicrats buy Sigma Art lenses, what do bokeh lovers buy?

cheers,
Bernard

BrianVS

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2015, 03:22:46 pm »

Ok, but not here. ;)

The technicrats buy Sigma Art lenses, what do bokeh lovers buy?

cheers,
Bernard

Sonnars.

nikki_f2_1934_sonnar by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

This 5cm F2 is over 80 years old.

Manassas Christmastime by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

sonnar_160 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

And this 5cm F1.5 is also over 80 years old. Some assembly required to use on a Leica.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2015, 03:29:07 pm by BrianVS »
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BrianVS

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2015, 06:36:29 pm »

1937 8.5cm F2 CZJ Sonnar, using a custom indexed Contax->Leica adapter.

Early Fall by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Early Fall by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

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kers

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2015, 06:51:46 pm »

Ok, but not here. ;)

The technicrats buy Sigma Art lenses, what do bokeh lovers buy?

cheers,
Bernard

i find the bokeh of the 50mm sigma very nice; the autofocus is fast, slight focus breathing, flare resistant, flat field of sharpness, the lens is very sharp. And it is not expensive.
my best lens... with the 85mm 1.4G nikkor.
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ben730

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2015, 07:12:53 pm »

i find the bokeh of the 50mm sigma very nice; the autofocus is fast, slight focus breathing, flare resistant, flat field of sharpness, the lens is very sharp. And it is not expensive.

I think that's right. I also love the bokeh, the flare resistance etc.
Great lens!

What's the lens with the fuzziest bokeh for Nikon? Some times I want this fuzzy bokeh.....

BrianVS

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2015, 10:28:55 pm »

Spring 2015 by fiftyonepointsix, on Flickr

Look at the Fuzz in this shot...

10.5cm F2.5 Nikkor, Sonnar formula. Also available in F-Mount.
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ben730

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2015, 08:10:15 pm »

Thanks Brian, unfortunately without colours......

The reason why I'm looking for an extreme fuzzy bokeh, is because I'm tired of the standard portrait look (55-180mm,  F1.2-4)
with a "super smooth" background/bokeh.

These "standard" shots are so easy to take....My clients want this, normally, but I want to take also an other proposal...
...and when I show them both, they agree with the nervous bokeh...

I really like the 5 Star bokeh of the Hasselblad-Zeiss lenses, it's not smooth.....it's like Rock'n'Roll.

I don't like smooth bokeh and I don't like smooth guitar sound. That's boring! I like the distorted sound of Jimi Hendrix.

I'm really very interested to see some really weird bokeh.... especially for Nikon lenses.......

Thanks,
Ben



 
 

DucatiTerminator

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2015, 09:49:53 pm »



I'm really very interested to see some really weird bokeh.... especially for Nikon lenses.......

Hopefully not a silly question, but have you looked into trying a Petzval?

http://shop.lomography.com/lenses/art-lenses/petzval-nikon-mount-brass
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2015, 09:58:27 pm »

Hopefully not a silly question, but have you looked into trying a Petzval?

http://shop.lomography.com/lenses/art-lenses/petzval-nikon-mount-brass

I own one. If a 85mm lens meets the expectation, this should work. Peak sharpness is pretty limited and difficult to achieve though.

Cheers,
Bernard

shadowblade

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #32 on: October 26, 2015, 04:17:34 am »

Amazing how so many photographers over the past century managed to make great images without access to any of these lenses. Go figure.

They don't look so good when you blow them up three metres wide.

Better gear doesn't change the aesthetics of your photos. But it lets you do a lot more with the ones you do take.
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #33 on: October 26, 2015, 05:13:13 am »


Technocratas v. photographers.

Rob, you make it sound as if an artist doesn't need skill, or that someone who masters his/her trade cannot be creative as well. I do not see the schism, the either/ or. The creativity and skill-set can go hand in hand, in fact enforce each other.

In fact, technical skill can even go unnoticed if done well and the subject matter/composition is strong, but it will enhance the experience. But lousy technique will pull down an otherwise nice creation. Selective focus and Bokeh fall in that category.

It's usually more obvious if one were to be offered a choice. One version with lousy technique, and the same image/composition with good technique, you can pick one for free, which would you choose ...

And then there are those who master both to the extreme, quite a different genre almost as a gimmick but perfectly executed, like Spanish photographer Chema Madoz. He often uses objects he finds in the streets, and makes a studio composition that confuses people into seeing something different than what is shown. I've also attached an older example of his work.

That's an example of one of many types/styles of photography that wouldn't work as well if technique/skill and vision had been absent.

Cheers,
Bart
« Last Edit: October 26, 2015, 09:54:47 am by BartvanderWolf »
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Petrus

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #34 on: October 26, 2015, 05:45:34 am »

Here are two samples taken with the new Nikkor 58mm f/1.4, both full open. I like it, but not as the only "normal" lens, so I got the 50mm Sigma Art instead. Fortunately I can borrow the 58 when I want.


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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #35 on: October 26, 2015, 06:28:45 am »

Here are two samples taken with the new Nikkor 58mm f/1.4, both full open. I like it, but not as the only "normal" lens, so I got the 50mm Sigma Art instead. Fortunately I can borrow the 58 when I want.

Love them!

Cheers,
Bernard

Bo Dez

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2015, 07:00:42 am »

Stupid list and site. Beauty is subjective.

Why must the world try rank everything and put it in a box?
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2015, 07:38:50 am »

Stupid list and site. Beauty is subjective.

Why must the world try rank everything and put it in a box?

It may still be valuable to list lenses with interesting bokeh though.

I am writing interesting, because there are times when we don't just look for something beautiful/smooth, but for something different.

But yes, there is just no way to rank the rendering of these lenses in a way that we can all agree with, which differs from sharpness, CA,... that can all be measured objectively. At best it is going to tell us that a majority of people prefer a certain type of rendering.

cheers,
Brnard

Rob C

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2015, 11:57:28 am »

Rob, you make it sound as if an artist doesn't need skill, or that someone who masters his/her trade cannot be creative as well. I do not see the schism, the either/ or. The creativity and skill-set can go hand in hand, in fact enforce each other.

In fact, technical skill can even go unnoticed if done well and the subject matter/composition is strong, but it will enhance the experience. But lousy technique will pull down an otherwise nice creation. Selective focus and Bokeh fall in that category.

It's usually more obvious if one were to be offered a choice. One version with lousy technique, and the same image/composition with good technique, you can pick one for free, which would you choose ...

And then there are those who master both to the extreme, quite a different genre almost as a gimmick but perfectly executed, like Spanish photographer Chema Madoz. He often uses objects he finds in the streets, and makes a studio composition that confuses people into seeing something different than what is shown. I've also attached an older example of his work.

That's an example of one of many types/styles of photography that wouldn't work as well if technique/skill and vision had been absent.

Cheers,
Bart


Hi Bart,

1.  I don't think I said that was exclusively the case, that it was an entirely exclusive yes or no. What I am indicating is that those, such as here, who obsess over minor details of lenses, cameras etc. are too one-sided in their approach. If anything, they leave me with the distinct impression that their interest is in the technical and not at all in the making/catching of great images. The latter is all about instinct and eye. You can't legislate for it, run it through a meter, hang it on a brick wall and copy it or anything else: it's there or it ain't, in which case there's nothing to be done but to carry on playing at cameras and lenses.

Some of the 'greats' such as HC-B were, IMO, poorly gifted with technique - possibly because ego led them to believe their eye was more accurate than any meter. Worse, some seldom processed and printed their own work, and if you don't do that, you never learn when you are exposing badly. Film allowed no shortcuts, other than speed drying, and you all know what that did to Capa's 'Landings' films... (Some say that's crazy, that film allowed you to push, pull etc. and yes, you could, but that was always at the cost of basic quality. Nothing came for free. What you had to do was discover which set of times and temps suited the way you worked.) BUT, HC-B had an ace up his sleeve: he had a God-given instinct for event and timing.

Combination of both abilities? Avedon, Lategan etc. etc.

2.  That's simply not applicable to real life. A photographer who knows what he's doing chooses technique and tools to do what he has to do. Apart from the obligatory contrarian, he won't take an 8"x10" onto the street to do 'street' (yes, I know it's been done) for life isn't like that. So, within the genre of the images between which you want me to make a choice, there's really only one that's appropriate in both style and execution.

.................................................................

But, here's the thing: somebody good can make a picture sing with any tool that he has to hand. Right here on LuLa: look at Seamus Flynn's pictures and you never dream of wondering which brand camera, lens or neckstrap he uses. It's all in the images. That's photography. It was the same in the old days of fashion: you took your model and pissed off somewhere; no assistants doing anything but carrying stuff and maybe loading film, no hairdressers, makeup artists, stylists. You, the girl and the product. And how many times did the page credits read: scarf, watch or shoes - model's own? Much work from those days is now legendary. Today, as far as reading here goes, it's all about being tethered to a laptop and 'consulting' with a client and making change after change according to the monitor. That's building with bricks, not creating anything. No wonder all those identical shampoo ads look like they are made using window dummies and nylon hair! But that's not the photographer's fault, it's the team system, and all the hangers-on attempting to show themselves worthy of their pay packets and essential to the job at hand.

Damn! My coffee's gone cold.

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: The best bokeh lenses
« Reply #39 on: October 26, 2015, 05:38:14 pm »

I don't like smooth bokeh and I don't like smooth guitar sound. That's boring! I like the distorted sound of Jimi Hendrix.

There ya go! (Says the guy who plays with a clean guitar sound 90+% of the time. But who's also a fuzz pedal addict.)

A lens I'd recommend is the Pentax 645 format 120/4 macro. Wide open it gives OOF areas a bit of Petzval-style swirl while being sharper in IF areas. Dunno if the appropriate adapter exists, though…

I also second Brian's fondness for Zeiss & early Nikkor Sonnars. The 50/1.5 in particular has a unique and IMO pleasing OOF look, kinda as though the pics have been gently brushed with very fine sandpaper.

-Dave-
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