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Why can’t I see bokeh in the viewfinder?

In a basic DSLR optical view finder is 95% accurate, so theoretically I should be able to see what ever the lens captures. But when it comes to bokeh why is it that I don't see blurred lights in view finder but its there in the photo ?

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    \$\begingroup\$ What makes you say its 95% 'accurate'?? are you confusing coverage? Theoretically what you see is what you get... I can see Bokeh in mine. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2012 at 9:54

1 Answer 1


"95% accurate" - there isn't such an optical viewfinder. IOW there isn't an optical viewfinder which will give you guaranteed the final result with at least 95% accuracy.

Most probably you mean 95% coverage - this means that you see through your viewfinder only 95% from your photo area. So, it is nothing related to the bokeh.

Speaking simply, as we all (should) know, the bokeh is related to the lens aperture. What do you see through the OVF is the scene at the maximum lens aperture which is used by the camera to do its metering, AF etc.

If the difference between the lens's maximum aperture (say, f/2.8 or f/1.8) and the actual aperture at which the photo was taken (for ex. f/11, 16 or even 22) is big then the difference in bokeh is obvious. To test this you can use the DOF button if your camera has it.

Another thing to consider is the nature of our eye. The eye 'sees' a very small part of the image. When you want to see the 'blurred' part, then your eye 'refocuses' automatically there and the 'blurred' part becomes clear. In fact, in the day-by-day life you cannot see the 'bokeh' (or very hardly see it) because the human eye cannot see 'unfocused'. It focuses instantly at the point where the eye ...focuses (IOW at the point where the eye looks at).

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    \$\begingroup\$ your last paragraph is going to confuse people. Dont forget that the camera lens focuses onto the FOCUSING SCREEN, you are not looking directly out of the lens, your eye is focusing on the screen (flat plane). Your eye cannot re-focus the un-focused areas. at all. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 20, 2012 at 10:36

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