Why is digital bokeh so weird?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by Alpha, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    So I've seen a lot of posts recently by digital users, and the bokeh looks, well, weird. To say the least, it's markedly different than film bokeh.

    Anyone have a technical explanation?
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I believe the technical difference would be gradation. While digital has millions of colors, it has just 256 gradation "steps" from pure black to pure white while film has infinitely variable gradation. The tonal changes on film aren't steps like they are on digital. Gradation would affect out-of-focus areas just like it affects those that are in focus.
     
  3. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Different lenses also provide different effects and affect the image output eg: Things like the shape of the aperture and size of the aperture
     
  4. chops

    chops TPF Noob!

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    Ever see the bokeh from a mirror lens before? Talk about weird looking. :lol:
     
  5. xfloggingkylex

    xfloggingkylex TPF Noob!

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    can someone post some pictures showing this difference? Having jumped into photography at the digital level I dont have any film experience and have therefore not seen (at least not knowingly) film bokeh before.
     
  6. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    never realised a distinct difference between film and digital.

    The bokeh depends on the shape of the aperture, and hence on the lens .. be it in digital or in film photography. Maybe "kit" lenses of digital cameras just create strange bokehs.

    Not sure about what fmw mentioned about gradation differences ... that would also mean that different types of film would create different bokeh? OK, there is no real steps, but differences in contrast behaviour. There might be an effect, but to me it was never visually apparent (but then again I maybe did not look intensly enough).


    Another thing is, that "crop" sensors or the even smaller sensors in p&s cams have a deeper DOF.. together with a slow lens they sometimes hardly produce any blur/bokeh in some situations. For that reason people then sometimes blur the background in postprocessing (gaussian blur or whatever) and hence create a "bokeh", which might look very different from a bokeh resulting from limited depth of field of the optical system.
     
  7. neea

    neea TPF Noob!

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    I too would like to see some samples.
     
  8. grafiks

    grafiks TPF Noob!

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    Brilliant explanation! :thumbup:
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    true, I haven't seen any strange digital bokeh, exept the artificial bokehs. So where are the examples? to me bokeh varies with lenses (shape of aperture) and the set aperture on that lens, and it varies with the size of the medium (35mm, APS-C, ...).
     

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