Gear Talk > Lenses

Bokeh confusion.

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sanj:
Hello learned friends.
I recently did a job for a client who wanted me to take pictures to sell land/second homes in his farmland.
I am attaching two photos: Bath Tub and Glasses.
I like the bokah on the shot with the glasses but somehow do not like the way the sand is going out of focus in the bath tub shot.
Is it me of does anyone else also find it unpleasant?
Tech info (same for both shots!) 70-200 II f2.8 @200mm.
Thx,
Sanjay

RobT:
The first shot looks messy in terms of bokeh since all the OOF areas land on the ground, and it doesn't provide a lot of depth between the subject and background.

Bokeh has that magic look when a lot of highlights and depth is involved, like your second shot, where the background is very far away from the wine glasses and contains highlights and light diffraction from trees, etc.

As a general rule of thumb for photography, don't forget to look at your subject from a lower perspective. If you had shot the tub from ground level, it would contain roughly the same bokeh effect that you see with the wine glasses.

sanj:
Thx Rob for the suggestions. I agree.
However I could not go low on the bath tub shot as there were unwanted elements coming into the frame at top....

infared:
My two cents:
I LOVE my Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. ...It has incredible sharpness for a Zoom Lens. Incredible.  That being said...the trade-off is that the bokeh is less than creamy smooth. (alas...photography is a world of compromises). The bokeh with any lens will ALWAYS look better when you are up close, with much lower DOF that allows the background go much more out of focus because it is way out of your in-focus DOF area. Your shot of the glasses shows this.
The things that effect DOF are f/stop, focal length and closeness to the subject. You want the background as far out of your relative focusing DOF as possible.
The bathtub image is shot from a greater distance at the same focal length as the shot of the glasses..but the background is "relatively" much closer to your in-focus DOF for the image. This particular lens is not that kind with the bokeh in these situations...but damn is it sharp.
I think you could try a 1.4xIII and keep the framing the same it might help somewhat to separate the background out and make it smear more although your effective focal length is then 280mm and you have to move back to get the more compression that is attained with that setup......or go to another lens which is known for its bokeh, like the 85mmL or 135L with a converter or a 200mm f/2L etc to get the image more bokehlicious.  (Don't know how the zoom would compare to the 200mm f/2.8L...be interesting to see tho, perhaps someone with more experience can enlighten us here!).
Hope that helped a little.

PackLight:
Sanj, I agree with RobT and lower would have been better.

Since that wasn't an option;

It looks like a good job for a wide angle, up close and you could have gotten lower. It would have taken out the impact of the gradual fall away background. Compression of a long lens is not your friend in this picture.

I am not sure you were looking for other answers, but the two examples are not all that comparable. The glasses are shot close with separation from the background. The background didn't need to be as far away to have a very nice blur. The other shot is farther away, the DOF is no doubt deeper and the way the background is presented it falls away gradually. Of course you would have need a larger distance from the subject in this picture to get the same background blur.


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