Rendition of highlitghts in out of focus areas.

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by pedro_lastra, May 17, 2000.

  1. Has any one looked at the ability of Leica lenses to keep out of focus highlights orderly and compact. After examining many slides shot thru good Canon, Nikon and Leica glass, I have noticed a consistent difference in the way out of focus highlights are rendered. My Canon L and Nikon pro-zooms seem to magnify and distort out of focus highlights to the detriment of in focus picture elements. Has any one else observed this?
  2. Do a web search for "bokeh" and you'll find out more than you ever
    wanted to know :)
  3. Pedro


    This bokeh business is beaten to death in photonet. However, I think
    it fair to say that Leica lenses are generally thought to have very
    good bokeh characteristics- perhaps the older generations might have
    even better bokeh than the current crop. Zoom lenses generally give
    the "worst" bokeh compared to any prime. I suspect this is due to the
    complexity of their optical designs. A symmetrically arranged lens is
    often thought to give inherently nice bokeh (a double gauss type of
    design, for example). The Japanese are thought to obsess over the
    number of blades in an aperture on the assumption that the more there
    are makes for a more perfectly circular diaphragm and therefore
    better bokeh.


    Certainly I do agree that this is an important characteristic of a
    good lens, but the problem is that there is no way to accurately
    characterize it in my opinion, nor really to grade it. We might agree
    that a lens has "bad" bokeh and another has "good", but graduations
    in between are difficult. Also so much deopends on the aperture
    selected, and the distance of the object in focus and the background
    distance and so on. Basically we know what it is and we know what we
    don't like, but I doubt whether there are really any meaningful
    comparisons between say Leica and Canon bokeh that compares truly
    like with like.


    From my own experience I think that 35-100mm primes are the lenses
    that show the nicest bokeh.

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