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The Complete Bokeh Masters Kit Review

by G Servo on 11/21/2010

Camera Nikon D90 Exposure 0.013 sec (1/80) Aperture f/1.8 Focal Length 50 mm ISO Speed 320

Early on in my photography days, when I wanted bokeh in my shots all I had was simple circles. I am not complaining. I love the aesthetic quality of the blur in images. The discovery of shaping that blur with the Bokeh Masters Kit was such a pleasant surprise. It is far above and beyond what I was expecting. It was fun to learn, and even more fun to push the boundaries of my own photography skills with it. Shooting with the Bokeh Masters kit gave me a better understanding of light and the ability to take some trippy images and video.

Testing

Day 1- Getting to know the kit

Day 2- Still Shots

Day 3- Video

Testing Gear

Nikon D90

Nikon 50mm 1.8 D lens

Sigma 70-300 Lens

SB600 Flash

Cheap Holiday lights

Lenses and Use

Camera Nikon D90 Exposure 0.017 sec (1/60) Aperture f/4.8 Focal Length 195 mm ISO Speed 500 Exposure Bias 0 EV Flash On, Return detected

The Bokeh Masters Kit recommended lens list does include zoom lenses such as Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 or  Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6. I have a Sigma 70-300 f/4-5.6 DG Macro, reviewed here. It worked with that lens also. I almost forgot to do this test. I did this test hand held with Nikon SB-600flash because I was shooting onto a black background with an f/4.8 aperture in macro mode and needed the light.

Light & Metering

Because the Bokeh Masters Kit covers a large part of the lens the usable light is lowered by a few stops. I discovered that using the Spot or Center weighted metering was the best. Raising the ISO did not have an effect on the quality of the bokeh. When the ISO was past 1200 it only added noise. The bokeh was still there.

Best Uses

My favorite uses of the Bokeh Masters kit were product photography and artistic photography. I did not get a chance to shoot portraits with it, but that would work well also. When Chris Gampat first tested it, he did shoot a quick portrait and The Bokeh Masters Kit showed much potential there.

Video

The Bokeh Masters Kit is great with videos. This was my most challenging part of the review. I actually learned something. I never really expected to shoot video before this, but it was fun. The Bokeh Masters Kit shines with video because it works to frame everything out and make sure your lighting is correct. The bokeh master will do its job as it should.

Focus

Auto focus was not the fastest with the Bokeh Master Kit but it worked. Manual focused worked well also. Using the center focus point worked the best for the kit, but you don’t have to limit yourself to it.

Complaints

Camera Nikon D90 Exposure 0.017 sec (1/60) Aperture f/1.8 Focal Length 50 mm ISO Speed 200

None.

Quality of kit

Installation is ultra easy. I replaced the rubber band with a black hair scrunchy thingy, (I have a daughter) that just made everything black. I left it on the camera and just threw it in my bag in a rush, on many occasions and it held up nicely, I was never worried about breaking it.

Compared to a LensBaby

You can save yourself some cash and get a Bokeh masters kit. Don’t have one of the recommended lenses? Well A Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Autofocus Lens and Nikon Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D or 50mm 1.8 lens from the other SLR’s brands are around $100. If you add Bokeh Masters kits, it will all cost less than the price of a LensBaby with the accessories needed for bokeh, and is about ten times easier to use. Granted, the LensBaby has some great uses but if you just want bokeh the Bokeh Masters Kit is the way to go.

Camera Nikon D90 Exposure 0.017 sec (1/60) Aperture f/1.8 Focal Length 50 mm ISO Speed 500

Who should buy it?

Any photographer who is a fan of bokeh should have this. The Bokeh Masters Kit is a cost effective and fun way to add a twist to your regular photography.  Keep it with any of your prime lenses that it fits. You will find uses for it, especially in low light with lots of city lights in the back ground. The Holidays should really be amusing with all the decorative lights out, lots of fun possibilities.

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