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Thread: "More" bokeh?

  1. #11
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    "More" bokeh?

    "There is an article by Merklinger that tries to describe features of "bokeh" in quantitative terms. You should be able to turn it up on the web. I think it was originally in _Photo-Techniques_. "

    Yes, I've heard off-forum that there was a group of articles on bokeh in the May/June '97 Photo Techniques, which likely brought the term to the west. I'll be tracking it down at the Center for Creative Photography soon...

    "Also, be aware that the critical appreciation of the appearance of the out-of-focus part of a photographic image dates at least to the era of soft-focus lenses, long before anyone used the term "bokeh" to describe it."

    Quite true, and a good point. I'm sure we'd all be very interested in learning whether there was any near-counterpart to the terminology "bokeh" used then. I've never seen it, but could imagine it's there but forgotten.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

  2. #12
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    "More" bokeh?

    You can find the older terminology in the advertisements and period articles on soft-focus lenses. Here's a historic description of the Verito, for instance, which I've posted before, published by Wollensak in their advertising materials:

    "a specially designed double lens... which, while it gives the desired diffused or soft optical effect, shows no distortion, double lines, or other optical imperfections, and being rectilinear gives an even diffusion over the whole plate... Will not make sharp negatives with wiry definition unless stopped down to f:8."

    "Distortion" (of what sort is unclear) and "double lines" are described here as "optical imperfections," and good qualities of a lens are "diffused or soft optical effect." You might check the camera-eccentric website for more old catalogues and look up the descriptions of other soft focus lenses.

    If you stop a Verito down to f:8, in fact, you eliminate most of the glow that comes from uncorrected spherical aberration, but you still get some diffused effect of a sort due to chromatic aberration unless you use a strong monochromatic filter.

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