diaphragm blades number on bokeh - nikon vs canon

Started Mar 28, 2007 | Discussions thread
Joseph S Wisniewski Forum Pro • Posts: 34,130
Re: diaphragm blades number on bokeh - nikon vs canon

Andrei Todea wrote:

I am interested in portrait photography and I want the best bokeh.
I realized that Nikon and Canon have a different approach on
Canon has en even 8 while Nikon chose odd numbers, 7 and 9.

My only prime is the 50mm f1.8 and I am quite happy with the bokeh
(I am, if you haven't realized yet, an amateur).

You're not very picky, that lens has pretty harsh bokeh.

I found out thet Zeiss also have 9 blades and, as I read (because I
haven't ever seend one), they seem to have good bokeh.

Can somebody explain why they chose different approaches and how
much the diaphragm influences the bokeh (the number, the difference
between odd and even, the difference between straight and rounded
and whatever other difference there may be).

As Lonely Raven mentioned, the number of blades doesn't have that much influence on bokeh. 7, 8, or 9 isn't an issue.

That aside, the odd or even question has a lot to do with the star like patterns you get around small, bright lights, especially at night. Even numbers give you as many "points" on the star as you have blades (an 8 blade aperture produces 8 point stars). Odd numbers give you twice the number of points as you have blades (a 9 blade aperture gives you 18 point stars) and the points are only half as bright (and typically, about half as long) as on an aperture with an even number of blades. I find the odd number to produce much less obtrusive stars.


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Ciao! Joe


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