Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/04/04

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Subject: Re: [Leica] what is bokeh????
From: DMT <>
Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 00:07:42 -0700

I've been puzzled by the bokeh debate. Never really paid attention much,
though I have always felt images made with Leica lenses seemed to be
somewhat more satisfying (texture-wise) than similar shots made with
other brands of lenses. Never could quite describe it, though perhaps
the impression is the result of the out-of-focus areas. Having read some
of the discussions on bokeh, I think one of my macro lenses, still one
of my favorites, has "cross-eyed" bokeh. The only problem with this sort
of discussion is that I cannot afford to buy or try a bunch of lenses to
find the ones with the best qualities. Likely as not the "best" lens in
each focal length would be part of different camera systems. Even within
a system there is debate, e.g., the pre-ASPH 35mm Summ is better than
ASPH bokeh-wise.

Conceivably bokeh along with all the other qualities of a lens
(resolution, contrast, color casts, etc., as well as the basic
attributes like coverage angle or closest focusing distance) add up to
an optical personality that can be ascribed to given lenses. Perhaps
photographers choose to use a particular lens because of its personality
and the subtle influence it has on the total image, not unlike a
guitarist who performs with different instruments to accentuate the
character of the music. For me a used body and a beat up normal lens
serves all purposes just fine (the reality is I can't afford much else).
But some of the references mentioned in other responses are quite
illuminating (as it were).

"D.Saylan" wrote:
> Hi Lugers,
> I'm reading often shortcuts like bokeh and others, which I do not
> understand, even as Im not very new on this list.
> Is there a list with a explanation of those shortcuts or can any of you just
> write me the meanings of the most important ones as a e-mail, especially
> bokeh!!
> Best regards,
> Deniz