Which special effects filter produces circular highlights as seen in this photo by Magda Wasiczek?

  • Google image search with Donut shaped bokeh. Is that the effect you are looking for? Feb 14, 2014 at 6:51
  • @EsaPaulasto "donut" bokeh is usually produced by a mirror lens and produces rings of constant thickness, the linked image looks like a specially cut filter which has a ring of varying thickness (such as produced by two overlapping but not centered circles) with a smaller circle inset.
    – Matt Grum
    Feb 14, 2014 at 10:00
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    @MattGrum - yes, thank you, it says so under the sample image: "a special effects filter" but for some people the mirror lens bokeh could be "close enough". Feb 14, 2014 at 10:52
  • @EsaPaulasto - I am very certain a filter was used I just don't know which one. I have very little knowledge of special effects filters (other than CP, ND) and would like to try producing this effect. Although Magda does use lenses that produce donut shaped bokeh it wasn't used here. Feb 14, 2014 at 13:54
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    The caption clearly states: Here, she employs her mirror lens’ distinctive donut-shaped bokeh. Shot with the Nikon D300 and a Rubinar 300mm f/4.5 mirror lens. Why do you believe otherwise? Apr 22, 2020 at 17:40

3 Answers 3


I can't say which exact brand/model of filter was used but any opaque circle with a smaller circle cut into it would produce this effect when placed over the front element the lens.

How well it will work depends on the maximum aperture and construction of the lens

  • Thanks @Matt. Can you provide a link, example or more info. Do you mean something along the lines of this?. Feb 14, 2014 at 14:02
  • @Jakub yes something very like that, except in order to get a bright ring you would have to stick the mask to the front element (or mount it on something transparent, like an old UV filter).
    – Matt Grum
    Feb 14, 2014 at 14:06
  • I see! great idea the UV filter! so a circular sticker or a donut sticker or something like that. Thanks! Will experiment! Feb 14, 2014 at 14:08

Perhaps the linked article was changed after the question was posed here, but the caption under the image states,

Wasiczek’s backgrounds are as interesting as her flowers. Here, she employs her mirror lens’ distinctive donut-shaped bokeh. Shot with the Nikon D300 and a Rubinar 300mm f/4.5 mirror lens.

A catadioptric, or mirror, lens essentially acts as if it had a filter with an opaque disk blocking the center ~1/3 of the lens. Because that’s exactly what is going on — the back of the 2nd mirror in the folded optical path blocks the light from entering the center of the lens.


I believe you also get this kind of bokeh if you use a mirror lens.

(Random google results:)


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