A Beautiful Blur. 3 Lenses With Nice Bokeh That’s Hard to Get

If you love bokeh like we do, you know that you’re all about fast aperture lenses. But did you also know that bokeh isn’t created equal? No, we’re not talking about the number of aperture blades. There are lenses with different designs that render unique bokeh. Yes, there are ways that you can get a classic look without needing to do tons of post-production at all. So we dove into our reviews index to find lenses with really beautiful bokeh we think you’ll like!

This piece is presented in partnership with LENSBABY. We’ve independently and ethically reviewed all the products in this post already without sponsorship. And we worked with them to recommend a few key gems to you.

The Phoblographer’s various product round-up features are done in-house. Our philosophy is simple: you wouldn’t get a Wagyu beef steak review from a lifelong vegetarian. And you wouldn’t get photography advice from someone who doesn’t touch the product. We only recommend gear that we’ve fully reviewed. If you’re wondering why your favorite product didn’t make the cut, there’s a chance it’s on another list. If we haven’t reviewed it, we won’t recommend it. This method keeps our lists packed with industry-leading knowledge. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Pro Tips on Harnessing Stunning Bokeh Unlike You’ve Used Before

Here are some tips on getting the most of gorgeous bokeh:

  • This roundup of lenses with dazzling bokeh features Lensbaby. We’re partnering with them on this post, but everything is straight from our independently done reviews from years previous.
  • Seriously though, how often do you see swirly bokeh from other lens manufacturers?
  • With most of these lenses, you’ll be centering your subject. So combine that with a few other in-camera effects if you can.
  • There are various different types of bokeh that you can get. But perhaps the most common one is a swirly bokeh. This is more or less called a Petzval look.

Lensbaby Sol 45

In our review, we said this about the bokeh:

“One of the biggest reasons why you’d use the Lensbaby Sol 45 is for the bokeh effect. As you can see in the image above, moving the blades in front of the lens element gives more definition to the bokeh. It changes it very subtly.”

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Lensbaby Burnside 35

In our review, we said this about the bokeh:

“Part of a new series of manual lenses from Lensbaby, the Burnside 35mm F2.8 features a unique dual aperture design, with one of the apertures dedicated to what Lensbaby calls “Vignette Control,” allowing you to “dial in” the quality of bokeh and amount of vignette you can achieve in your final image straight within your camera. This is particularly useful for minimalist photographers who do little to no post production on their images.”

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Lensbaby Trio

unique lenses

In our review, we said this about the bokeh:

“You see, the bokeh for each optic is different. Twist will render more twist towards the outward edges, velvet will always be soft, and sweet is going to be super sharp. But generally speaking, as long as you’re close to your subjects you’re going to digg the bokeh.”

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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.