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Bokeh loop.

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
This is an animated gif of 4 pictures taken with four different 35mm lenses, all of them at f/2.0. I tried to have the contrast and exposure matched and cropped a bit to better match framing (the lenses actually have slightly different focal lengths, even if they are all supposed to be 35mm). The position is a bit different, I should have measured the actual position of the entrance pupil of each lens, but that is difficult. Focus is on the first saddle in the front. The pictures were converted to B&W to avoid the limitations of the gif format.

The difference in the rendering of the out of focus elements between lenses should be obvious.

(This was also an occasion for me to learn about animated gifs... ;) )

Chris Calohan

Active member
An interesting compilation, Jerome. I only wish each had been numbered or lens ID's in some way so I could tell you which one I liked best.

I'll try and say it is the one where the word "Razor" is sharp but not so bright as the other which is also sharp.

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I redid the loop, but cropped to better show the differences (with i.d. this time).

But even if there is a particular rendering which you prefer, I should warn you that bokeh depends on aperture and focus distance. Lenses which may look nicer in this particular comparison may look worse at a different aperture and vice-versa. The actual aperture is also a tiny bit different between the lenses, even if I told the cameras to use f/2.0 for all pictures.

Michael Nagel

Active member
Great idea and I like the execution.

I have pretty much the same experience - a lens can be marveloous on one occasion and pretty bad on another.

Best regards,

Antonio Correia

Well-known member
Very interesting.

I do not know how to make animated gifs. I like the idea and the final result.

However, I am not sure if this is the best way to compare the lenses. Perhaps if images are side by side the task is not so difficult. What do you think ?

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I could put the images side by side if you wish. But the point is not to compare these particular lenses, whatever they are, but to show what the differences between lenses can be.

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
Some photographers think that "bokeh" means that the out of focus parts should melt so as to be completely unrecognisable. The opposite is actually true: lenses specially designed with the objective of "bokeh-shaping" are constructed so that out of focus areas stay recognisable while visually unsharp.