Fast Aperture Lenses Are Great for More Than Just the Bokeh

Bokeh is what we often think about for fast aperture lenses, but remember they have way more uses than just that!

The truth is that experienced, passionate photographers know a lot better. We know bokeh isn’t the only reason to choose a fast aperture lens, but it’s a major reason. If you’re a Leica shooter, then chances are you’ve got more sense than this. But if you shoot with any other system, you’ll go for the fastest lens possible. We don’t need them per se. Personally speaking, I don’t own a single Sony lens faster than f1.8. And truer than that, you probably aren’t using fast aperture lenses to their fullest effects. So let’s dive into that.

Continue reading…

Why Nobody Really Gives a Crap About Bokeh and Blurry Backgrounds (Apart From Ourselves)

As photographers and videographers we’re always trying to get the creamiest bokeh in our shots, but does the average person or client really care about it?

Over the last few years it seems as though bokeh and smooth creamy backgrounds have become the one thing that we as photographers and videographers obsess about. We’ll go out and buy huge, heavy lenses with fast apertures that cost as much as a small used car just so we can see that blur out half of our images, but do non photographers really even care about it? Does it really make that much difference outside of your circle of photography friends? After the break we have a video for you from Camera Conspiracies that takes a look at this obsession.  Continue reading…

The Basics of Photography: B for Bokeh

Felix Esser The Phoblographer Leica M8 + Zeiss Planar 50mm f/2 Bokeh

A while ago we started our new educational series covering the basic terms of photography. The letter ‘A’ covered the term ‘Aperture’, and today we continue with the letter ‘B’. Our subject for ‘B’ is ‘Bokeh’–a term that is inevitable these days. As a beginner in photography, you will no doubt stumble upon it at some point or another. And you will find many people raving about it, and others railing against it. But what is ‘bokeh’, really? Head past the break to find out.

Continue reading…

Quick Sample with the Bokeh Master’s Kit

The other night was Snapshots and I brought along the Bokeh Master’s Kit. Currently in the process of reviewing the kit, this is the only photo I took that I actually considered to be decent. Don’t blame this on the Bokeh master’s kit though, I was using the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 IIwhich is a lens known to be very soft wide open. Unfortunately, in order to get the shaped bokeh (in this case the hearts that you see in the background, the user needs to shoot wide open on the Canon EOS 7D (Will is currently borrowing my Canon EOS 5D Mark IIand L lenses). My Canon EF 85mm f/1.8would have been too long for this shot, as the effective focal length would have been 136mm.

The filter put on the lens was the heart-shaped one, which delivered otherwise very lovely results in terms of the out of focus lights. Granted, it has done much better before. More to come later on!