Depth of Field and Bokeh – ZEISS

Depth of Field and Bokeh
Depth of Field and Bokeh

Depth of Field and Bokeh

I was about assemble a blog post on Depth of Field & Bokeh when I happened across a wonderfully informative technical Adobe Acrobat .pdf file published by Carl Zeiss written by H. H. Nasse. The document downloaded or viewed by clicking the following hyperlink  Depth of Field and Bokeh delves in to the science of  a camera lenses , aperture and focal length effect on Depth of Field and Bokeh.

At a later time I plan on a full page step by step post with examples. If you cant wait Nikon has published an excellent tutorial “Bokeh for Beginners”. Visit the Nikon page here.

Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji, the “blur quality.” Bokeh is pronounced BOH-Kə or BOH-kay.

Visit any photography website or forum and you’ll find plenty of folks debating the pleasing bokeh that their favorite fast lenses allow. Adjectives that describe bokeh include: smooth, incredible, superb, good, beautiful, sweet, silky, and excellent… but what exactly is it?

Bokeh is defined as “the effect of a soft out-of-focus background that you get when shooting a subject, using a fast lens, at the widest aperture, such as f/2.8 or wider.” Simply put, bokeh is the pleasing or aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph.

Although bokeh is actually a characteristic of a photograph, the lens used determines the shape and size of the visible bokeh. Usually seen more in highlights, bokeh is affected by the shape of the diaphragm blades (the aperture) of the lens. A lens with more circular shaped blades will have rounder, softer orbs of out-of-focus highlights, whereas a lens with an aperture that is more hexagonal in shape will reflect that shape in the highlights.

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