As seen in this video, a shaped hole cut out of a black material will yield bokeh that takes the hole's shape when placed in front of the lens. But when I tried that on my compact camera the paper blocks the lens's field of view. Why does this happen?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Going to let someone who is sure answer but I would guess that it has to do with proportion, you would have to make the cut-out much smaller and place it much closer to the sensor for a typical compact but it would probably work on something like a Nikon A. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Feb 11, 2017 at 2:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Itai Why do you mean by "closer to the sensor"? And if I make the cut-out smaller, won't the paper block the FoV more? \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 5:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ Closer to the sensor is closer to the sensor, more specifically proportionally closer so that the cut-out imitates the lens aperture, otherwise it just gets in the way. \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 16:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ So you mean I should place the cutting inside the lens, behind the aperture? \$\endgroup\$
    – user152435
    Commented Feb 12, 2017 at 18:00

1 Answer 1


I made myself some pictures like on the video you had shown. And exactly with similar setup DSLR + Lens with very low aperture. On the video you may see around time 1:50 that F=1.4 or so.

What I can say based on my experience with compact camera I have as well there are the following differences:

  1. As in comments - the distance between aperture and the paper shape, in compact cameras especially with zoom it is quite far, but anyhow there is another matter very important (IMHO more important),
  2. The value of the aperture. Such photos are done with low aperture like from 1 to 2.8. Myself I had made with 1.8 and shots were very good. But compact cameras have usually minimum aperture like 5.6 (or comparable with DLSR F=5.6). It is much too high especially combined with larger distance between aperture and your paper form.

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