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Was this picture taking wide open at the wide or tele end. There is a website which reviews bokeh. They explained it as the abilibity of he lens to have the background off focus, but not in such a total blurred state as your picture. It seems bokeh is the blurring of certain elements in the background not everything. If I remember correctly the effect shown in you photo is what they attribute to a poor performing cheap lens where everything is blurred in the background. Iam really surprised at the effect your picture shows. Is it a function of you scanner? Does the actual print look this way. As soon as I locate the name of the website Iam thinking about, I'll post it to you.
Correction I did note picture was taking at the 80mm end. Go to Google and search for List of Camera Lenses with Good(and Bad) Bokeh. Also the Google search under Bokeh yields excellent sites. Good luck and enjoy.
Sorry for delay in answring as out on the week end. The pictures looks like what I have posted. it was scanned from a 5x7 glossy print. 300x300 pixel part was cut and posted here.
My interepretation is that it is a bad bokeh something similiar to a mirror lens. I have observed this also in another picture. No doubt the picture was sharp with good color and contast but bad bokeh. Has someone observed such from a 24-85? or it is a better lens!
Sorry to contradict Alan, but I would regard that as fairly "bad" bokeh. I put the word bad in quotes, because for certain images this look can actually work well -- I even happen to like the donut bokeh from catadioptric (mirror) lenses sometimes, so call me a weirdo!
Anyway, "good bokeh" is generally accepted to mean that the blur circles are brighter in the centre than at the edges. If you look at the circle just to the lower right of the subject's earlobe, you can clearly see that the outer edge of the blur circle is brighter than the centre. This is perceivable in other bright spots elsewhere in the image. Where the background is more of a mish-mash, it looks a touch bitty and busy, rather than being a smoothly blended, indistinct dapple.
Note that some people worry more about the outer shape of the blur circles, and for this reason I've heard some people say that the Planar 50/1.4 has bad bokeh. They say that because it has only five diaphragm blades (in the C/Y AE version anyway) and hence gives a pentagonal shape to blurred highlight points. That may be true, but a mish-mash background without bright highlights is still rendered very smoothly because the brightness distribution isn't biased towards the edges of the blur areas.
I think the 180/2.8 APO is ok, the bad ex&le was from the APO-Telyt 180 f/3.4 (don't even know for sure but I'm assuming that's an R-mount lens). The Noctilux has done a stunning job on your ex&le shot, and by those standards I can certainly see why you are among those who view the Planar 50 as being inferior. I think a Leica M system is in my future somewhere, but right now funds are tight so I'm just enjoying the gear I already have. I'm not short on cameras so it's probably no bad thing!
Incidentally, with reds like that was the fire hydrant shot taken on Kodachrome?
Hi Mike, funny, I thought the reds were muted from the upload, they're even more "red" in the print. The film was Fuji 160 neg.
The Leica 180/3.4 (it is a R mount) is quite an old lens made for the military at first. Detail was the overriding concern in it's design. The current 180/2.8 APO is a terrific performer, maybe the best in class, especially in the area of Bokeh.
Interesting, my other immediate thought is that it might have been Reala. I'll take your word for it on the 180/2.8, I know from the many images I've seen that Leica know how to make a lens with very fine bokeh when they want to, and the unusual provenance of the f/3.4 lens explains it's unusally poor performance there. It would be interesting to compare the 180/2.8 against my Canon 200/1.8 in terms of bokeh, I'm very happy with mine in that department.
Mike, as you know, the Canon 200/1.8 is one of the best lenses in the world. It is interesting that I owned and used both the Leica 180/2.8 APO and the Canon at the same time. They are actually quite similar in many charactistics. The Leica got more use due to the back breaking size of the Canon...but I did like shooting with that big white beast...nothing short of creamy Bokeh.
A picture is worth more than a 1000 words! There are many people on the forum with different N mount lenses. Can someon put ex&le pictures with the different zooms to show how the bokeh of each lens are? Mainly 50/1.4 85/1.4, 80-200 and 80-300 and also the macro planner 100. Plea..se.
No kidding! It's certainly not a lens that you want in the kit bag alongside anything else heavy. It also seems like sacrilege not to tripod-mount it. For that reason I haven't had the chance to use it for a while, because Really Right Stuff have had the mounting foot in order to make an Arca-Swiss type replacement foot for it. I just got it back last week, and I'm looking forward to giving the lens a real workout over the next few weeks.
BTW, I should add that RRS have done a superb job of the new foot, and were kind enough to supply one for free in return for the loan of the original foot for use as a pattern. I'm most impressed with their products and services.
Go to the regular gallery, there are a number of ex&les from lots of different N lenses.
In my portfolio I have quite a few ex&les of the 50, 85, 24-85 and 70-300 wide open. Look for the image of a gold cat titled "fraidy cat" ...it shows the excellent Bokeh of the 85mm/1.4 N. There are lot of others there also.