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Questions tagged [bokeh]

Bokeh describes the visual quality of the out-of-focus areas of a photograph.

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123 votes
7 answers
14k views

What is bokeh, exactly?

I understand that "bokeh" refers to out-of-focus areas of an image — but there is obviously more to it than that. What does the term mean exactly? How well is bokeh really understood? Is it purely ...
Chris Noe's user avatar
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48 votes
20 answers
17k views

How can I maximize the "blurry background, sharp subject" (bokeh) effect?

I know that this effect occurs when there's a shallow depth of field. My question is, what are the various ways I can increase this effect in my photos when I'm taking them? Note that I'm not ...
Jaydles's user avatar
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37 votes
12 answers
17k views

How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have a compact digital camera, and in macro mode I can manage to achieve a blurred background, if the background is far enough away. Can this be done when taking non-macro pictures, and if not, is ...
Bernhard Hofmann's user avatar
37 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is "bokeh panorama" (also called the "Brenizer method")?

Somewhere I don't remember, I heard about the Brenizer method. After reading a few sites, there is no consistent information about what it is exactly, or what the procedures are to apply it, so: ...
tomm89's user avatar
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31 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why can't I see bokeh in the viewfinder?

I took this shot a few months ago, and something has been bugging me ever since. I was a bit surprised when I saw the image and saw the conspicuous "bokeh orbs". The thing is, I hadn't noticed ...
MikeW's user avatar
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29 votes
4 answers
6k views

How do you achieve sharp bokeh circles?

There's an effect I'm looking for and I was wondering if I could get it with just the camera or will I need to open up photoshop to achieve something like it. I'm trying to get shark bokeh circles ...
user2019515's user avatar
28 votes
2 answers
25k views

What's the difference between Bokeh and Gaussian Blur?

I have heard multiple times in photography, the words Bokeh, and Gaussian Blur. To me, it seems that the words are used almost interchangeably, but in some instances, I have heard them contrasted. ...
J. Walker's user avatar
  • 1,201
22 votes
8 answers
14k views

How does a teleconverter affect depth of field?

I'm aware that a teleconverter will reduce the amount of light reaching the film or sensor in a camera, and as such you hear people banding around things like "With a 2x teleconverter this 300mm f/2.8 ...
Rowland Shaw's user avatar
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21 votes
7 answers
11k views

How does background blur (bokeh) relate to sensor size?

This is a somewhat theoretical question. Suppose I first take a photo of a subject using a full frame sensor DSLR, with a given lens (say 50mm prime lens at f/3.5). Now suppose I exchange the camera ...
Laurent's user avatar
  • 359
20 votes
4 answers
18k views

What swirly bokeh technique is this and how can I achieve it?

What is the technique used to capture this image? How can the result be achieved? I know that it can be achieved in a digital darkroom but how can I replicate the effect straight out of the camera?
pradeep sekar's user avatar
20 votes
5 answers
8k views

Bokeh of the human eye - How does it look like & vary across apertures and individuals?

Precisely what does the bokeh of a human eye look like? How does it vary over different apertures and different individuals? As a near-sighted person, it is fairly easy for me to get some idea of ...
Jukka Suomela's user avatar
19 votes
3 answers
17k views

What is the cause of this non-uniform bokeh effect?

A friend of mine is thinking of buying a used medium-format film TLR camera (a Mamiya C330), and he showed me some of the test shots he'd taken with it. I was struck by the curiously non-uniform ...
Ilmari Karonen's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

Clipped bokeh circles at max aperture with wide aperture, short focal length lenses

I recently purchased a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens for my Canon 450D and noticed soon that at least wide open, any bokeh circles in the lower half of an image (in landscape orientation) seem to have their ...
JohannesD's user avatar
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18 votes
8 answers
10k views

What is the correct pronunciation of "bokeh"?

I've had a lot of trouble working out how to pronounce "bokeh". Amusingly enough, I've thus far been unable to get any of the small handful of photographer friends I have to ever say it out loud, ...
Shabbyrobe's user avatar
  • 1,152
15 votes
5 answers
5k views

Will a dSLR and compact camera produce the same bokeh output at f/2.0?

Will a Nikon D80 + 50mm f/1.8D and a Lumix LX5 set both at an aperture of f/2.0 (50mm @ f/2.0 for D80 and 24mm @ f/2.0 for LX5) have the same bokeh ouput? I plan to get the LX5 as a second camera, and ...
Eric's user avatar
  • 385
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

What algorithm can I use to simulate bokeh?

I am attempting to write a script that loops through each pixel in a photograph and applies a bokeh to the image as a whole. I built a script based off this link, however that seems to be a hack. I ...
Entity's user avatar
  • 243
14 votes
2 answers
937 views

How do I get shaped bokeh without a Lensbaby?

Is there a good hardware solution for generating shaped bokeh? I know Lensbaby has a set of filters that give various shapes — is there a similar solution for other lens?
beggs's user avatar
  • 712
14 votes
3 answers
9k views

How does an apodization filter improve bokeh?

The new Fujifilm Fujinon XF56mmF1.2 R APD has an "apodization" filter, which Fujifilm says "smoothes the outline of the subject to create a more natural bokeh effect". The Wikipedia article on ...
mattdm's user avatar
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14 votes
6 answers
12k views

How do I find a point-and-shoot camera specifically for bokeh / a very shallow depth of field?

I will be getting a point-and-shoot camera for taking portraits and only portraits. Specifically portraits with a shallow depth of field. Groups portraits sometimes. It's just too much work to add ...
William C's user avatar
  • 641
11 votes
4 answers
3k views

How can I use wide aperture with fill flash?

I was working with an off-camera flash this weekend for some portraits of my son. I was shooting in medium sunlight (early morning, partly cloudy, w/ some shade), and I like the lighting control I ...
D. Lambert's user avatar
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10 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is considered high quality bokeh?

What is considered high quality bokeh and what is considered low quality bokeh?
Julian's user avatar
  • 499
10 votes
5 answers
978 views

Is the bokeh in this picture naturally occurring, or added in post-processing?

Click here for picture I feel like the blur is not natural. Looks like it was Gaussian Blurred with the couple as the center. What do you guys think?
rabbid's user avatar
  • 1,757
9 votes
6 answers
9k views

How to avoid a halo around the edges?

I am just post-processing some pictures I took last spring. On lots of them, I notice a halo around the edges of objects which are slightly outside the focused depth. I shot without a tripod, with ...
rumtscho's user avatar
  • 2,002
9 votes
3 answers
6k views

Optimal DSLR settings for an Indoor car show?

I am quite sure a bunch of folks from this forum are going to be shooting in the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, so here goes! I understand that optimal settings vary depending on the circumstancial lighting ...
user1266515's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
7k views

Does a 35mm prime lens show the same bokeh as a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor?

I came to know that a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor behaves like an 75mm prime lens. So, does the 35mm prime lens behave like a 50mm prime lens on a cropped sensor? If yes, then will it show ...
Aquarius_Girl's user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
638 views

Why do some DSLRs take good bokeh and others do not?

what is the mechanical explanations as to why some cameras can take good bokeh and not others. do lenses have a role too?
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Besides mirror lenses, what can cause ring-shaped bokeh?

A couple of images in a question about how to create a 'medieval look' appear to have ring-shaped bokeh. Catadioptric (mirror) lenses can cause similarly shaped bokeh, but these images do not look ...
xiota's user avatar
  • 27k
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

How is Bokeh created?

I am not asking how to create a bokeh effect. I found the answer to that quesiton here: Best way to get shaped bokeh? The answers on that question say you basically cut out an image from a piece of ...
JD Isaacks's user avatar
  • 1,153
8 votes
1 answer
779 views

Why does my Zeiss Hasselblad Distagon lens have a 5 blade diaphragm?

As we are all aware, the more blades there are in a lens’s diaphragm, the rounder the resulting hole can be made, and in turn this gives a more natural looking bokeh. So on receiving my recent ...
Digital Lightcraft's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
986 views

Maximizing bokeh in the foreground?

Another question asks, How can I maximize the “blurry background, sharp subject” (bokeh) effect? Rather than the background, I am interested in blurring the foreground. What techniques or advice are ...
Atul Agarawal's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
308 views

Scratchy bokeh - do I have a problem with my lens?

I'm using a Sony G 70-300/4.5-5.6 SSM lens, paired with a Sony A-E mount converter and an A7Rii. https://ibb.co/kifF1k The above shot is a 100% crop of a photo taken at f5.6 300m. I always get ...
Mr_Thyroid's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
462 views

What affects DOF more...distance to subject or focal length?

Say I want shoot a butterfly. My goal is to make sure the butterfly fills the frame. I can do this in two ways...I can use zoom or I can simply move the camera closer to the subject. Which will ...
user2662680's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can I achieve synthetic bokeh?

In order to have a good separation of the subject from the background you usually use fast lens with high aperture and so on. Can this, however, be achieved purely digitally?
Andrei Rînea's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is depth of field and bokeh influenced by distance to the subject?

I know that the aperture size has a direct effect on the depth of field. However, what about distance to the subject? Let's say I took two pictures, one at 24mm and one at 70mm, using the same lens ...
Daniel T.'s user avatar
  • 1,827
7 votes
3 answers
2k views

What are the techniques for taking portraits using a tilt shift lens?

Like many others, I have been a great fan of Ryan Brenizer since a long time. Though I have never tried the Brenizer method of panaromic portraits in my professional photography assignments, I still ...
Rish's user avatar
  • 1,330
7 votes
2 answers
749 views

Why is the bokeh shaped like the aperture?

Why is the bokeh shaped like the aperture? What is the physical explanation to this?
Hugo's user avatar
  • 8,288
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the cause of inclusions in my bokeh?

I was doing a lens review an two of my lenses showed these rather unsightly inclusions in their bokeh. There are two different lenses. EDIT: The third lens I have tested also seems to have this ...
HelloWorld's user avatar
  • 1,155
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why does electronic first curtain shutter affect rendering of blurred backgrounds?

Many recent cameras allow using electronic first curtain shutter with mechanical second curtain, avoiding the huge rolling shutter drawbacks of fully electronic shutter and at the same time avoiding ...
juhist's user avatar
  • 6,770
7 votes
2 answers
386 views

At what point does "out of focus" become Bokeh?

As with the distinction between a big boat and a small ship, at what point can an out of focus background be considered "Bokeh"? Is it the point where the subject in the background (or foreground ...
Digital Lightcraft's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What causes the glitter/texture in bokeh?

I have been looking for a technical explanation for the glitter/texture sometimes appearing in bokeh, usually when you have light coming through a object that scatters light like glass. I am of cause ...
user2339945's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
16k views

is it possible to get "bokeh balls" using a cellphone camera?

Is it possible to get "bokeh balls" using an cellphone camera? I'm using an iPhone but the question could apply to any cameraphone. bI'm sure there are a lot of apps which allow you to insert fake ...
Nippysaurus's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
3k views

What about lens construction influences bokeh?

I can understand how certain elements of a lens can correct an aberrations or make it sharper - but specifically, how do lens manufacturers influence the bokeh - the quality of the blur? There's a ...
rfusca's user avatar
  • 26.5k
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

How to do smoky bokeh

How is this effect achieved? Possible ideas: This is just "painted" in photoshop A custom shaped aperture is used Original image by Frederic Gombert
Paolo's user avatar
  • 2,781
6 votes
1 answer
635 views

Is this "tack sharp with blurred background" look done with Photoshop?

I’m relatively new to photography and although I feel like each photographer has their own style when capturing an image it seems that sometimes I just don’t have the right equipment. The pictures ...
Christopher C.'s user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the reason of "banded" bokeh on Sony a7?

Watching the photos made using Sony a7 cameras with fast lenses, I've noticed one interesting thing about the bokeh. It seems to be that its shape is more geometric, more "banded" in comparison to ...
Sunny Reborn Pony's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Which Lensbaby Sweet 35 or Edge 80 effects are harder to reproduce post-processing?

I want some suggestions from Lensbaby users. I have the plastic optic, double glass and fisheye optic. I use the composer. The recent new optics: Sweet 35 and Edge 80 seem very intriguing and I ...
apertur's user avatar
  • 585
6 votes
2 answers
4k views

What size hole do I use to make differently shaped bokeh?

This is my question in one huge breath: What would be the correct size of an elliptic bokeh filter be to create a fake anamorphic distorted bokeh effect with a regular Canon 50mm f/1.8 II lens with a ...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I avoid vignetting when shooting through a cut-out for shaped bokeh?

I used a 18mm-50mm lens at f/3.5, with a card with a cut-out heart shape of about 4mm. I got the shaped bokeh effect, but the outer side of image is dark due to the card. How do I avoid this and ...
Thunder's user avatar
  • 161
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Do apodization screw-on filters or alternatives exist?

Recently I saw an article about the new sony lens with apodization element. This element should basically be a piece of glass with a circular graduated filter, placed close to the diaphragm. ...
Douwe66's user avatar
  • 528
6 votes
2 answers
265 views

Bokeh includes seemingly random fractions of a circle

While going through some pictures I noticed strange artifacts in the out-of-focus sunlight reflected on the surface of a lake. Most of the reflections appear as a full circle, but I marked the ...
Janoma's user avatar
  • 160