50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Started 8 months ago | Discussions
Sharif
Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
50mm „bokeh shoot out“
2

I recently took a picture of the small halogen lights on our christmas tree with the fabulous Canon EF-M 32mm. Just to test the bokeh, I intentionally focussed much closer than the actual lights, to produce nice light orbs. Here is the image

Canon EF-M 32mm

When i saw how nicely the lens rendered the light orbs I decided I want to test my 50-56mm lenses to see the difference in their bokeh quality. I set up the test with some tulips in the foreground on which I focussed and the Christmas tree with the lights in the background. I have to admit it right away, it is not a scientific test and therefore the images are not comparable 1:1. I didn‘t always focus on the same flower in the foreground and I just compared each lens at its widest aperture which differs from f/1.1 in the case of the Kamlan to f/1.8 in case of the EF 50 f/1.8 II

Here are the results:

Sigma 56mm f/1.4

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC

I think the test shows how nicely the Sigma renders out of focus highlights. The Kamlan holds up pretty well given its simple construction and low price. The plastic fantastic and the FD 50 would be fine too if you ask me but given thedirect comparison their images are the least appealing.

What do you think? Which lenses do you like for maximum bokeh joy?

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R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 23,279
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

That 56 sure looks delish.

'Course the focus is closer for that one.

R2

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nnowak Veteran Member • Posts: 7,737
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test.  The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Sharif
OP Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

R2D2 wrote:

That 56 sure looks delish.

'Course the focus is closer for that one.

R2

You are right, R2D2. I was slightly mad at myself for forgetting on which tulip I had focussed the Sigma when taking the other three images. The longer focal length and the f/1.4 aperture of the lens play also a role. But even if you ignore all other differences the „buttery“ even distribution of the light over the entire orb defines the Sigma

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Sharif
OP Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,178
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“
2

Sharif wrote:

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

Interesting. I don't know if you'd find this useful but if you use ACR/Lightroom try using negative texture on OOF areas and it will help smooth out nervous/harsh bokeh.You'd have use it locally using the adjustment brush of course as a global application would destroy detail in areas you wish to keep sharp.

Miguel-C
Miguel-C Senior Member • Posts: 2,147
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

The sigma and the Kamlan have the best rendition out of those shots imo. The canon lenses create very harsh bokeh outer edges and it's distracting.

Out of focus areas shouldn't be sharp.

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Asla
Asla Contributing Member • Posts: 941
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Sharif wrote:

I recently took a picture of the small halogen lights on our christmas tree with the fabulous Canon EF-M 32mm. Just to test the bokeh, I intentionally focussed much closer than the actual lights, to produce nice light orbs. Here is the image

Canon EF-M 32mm

When i saw how nicely the lens rendered the light orbs I decided I want to test my 50-56mm lenses to see the difference in their bokeh quality. I set up the test with some tulips in the foreground on which I focussed and the Christmas tree with the lights in the background. I have to admit it right away, it is not a scientific test and therefore the images are not comparable 1:1. I didn‘t always focus on the same flower in the foreground and I just compared each lens at its widest aperture which differs from f/1.1 in the case of the Kamlan to f/1.8 in case of the EF 50 f/1.8 II

Here are the results:

Sigma 56mm f/1.4

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC

I think the test shows how nicely the Sigma renders out of focus highlights. The Kamlan holds up pretty well given its simple construction and low price. The plastic fantastic and the FD 50 would be fine too if you ask me but given thedirect comparison their images are the least appealing.

What do you think? Which lenses do you like for maximum bokeh joy?

Hi!

Quality of bokeh is of course somewhat matter of taste; people tend to like different things. But EF 50/1.8 surely offers less subject separation than Kamlan 1.1 or Sigma 1.4.

A s l a

Alastair Norcross Veteran Member • Posts: 7,980
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Dareshooter wrote:

Sharif wrote:

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

Interesting. I don't know if you'd find this useful but if you use ACR/Lightroom try using negative texture on OOF areas and it will help smooth out nervous/harsh bokeh.You'd have use it locally using the adjustment brush of course as a global application would destroy detail in areas you wish to keep sharp.

Great suggestion. I hadn't thought of that. The adjustment brush in Lightroom is very easy to use. I sometimes use it on faces to apply negative clarity.

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,178
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Alastair Norcross wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

Sharif wrote:

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

Interesting. I don't know if you'd find this useful but if you use ACR/Lightroom try using negative texture on OOF areas and it will help smooth out nervous/harsh bokeh.You'd have use it locally using the adjustment brush of course as a global application would destroy detail in areas you wish to keep sharp.

Great suggestion. I hadn't thought of that. The adjustment brush in Lightroom is very easy to use. I sometimes use it on faces to apply negative clarity.

I think neg texture works better than neg clarity when you don't need /want that soft focus appearance, it's all image dependant though.

Sharif
OP Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Dareshooter wrote:

Sharif wrote:

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

Interesting. I don't know if you'd find this useful but if you use ACR/Lightroom try using negative texture on OOF areas and it will help smooth out nervous/harsh bokeh.You'd have use it locally using the adjustment brush of course as a global application would destroy detail in areas you wish to keep sharp.

Thanks for the tip, Dareshooter. I have to admit that I have become very lazy with regard to image post processing.... but I will keep that in mind.

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Sharif
OP Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Two more contestants... 50mm „bokeh shoot out“
1

Sharif wrote:

I recently took a picture of the small halogen lights on our christmas tree with the fabulous Canon EF-M 32mm. Just to test the bokeh, I intentionally focussed much closer than the actual lights, to produce nice light orbs. Here is the image

Canon EF-M 32mm

When i saw how nicely the lens rendered the light orbs I decided I want to test my 50-56mm lenses to see the difference in their bokeh quality. I set up the test with some tulips in the foreground on which I focussed and the Christmas tree with the lights in the background. I have to admit it right away, it is not a scientific test and therefore the images are not comparable 1:1. I didn‘t always focus on the same flower in the foreground and I just compared each lens at its widest aperture which differs from f/1.1 in the case of the Kamlan to f/1.8 in case of the EF 50 f/1.8 II

Here are the results:

Sigma 56mm f/1.4

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II

Kamlan 50mm f/1.1

Canon FD 50mm f/1.4 SSC

I think the test shows how nicely the Sigma renders out of focus highlights. The Kamlan holds up pretty well given its simple construction and low price. The plastic fantastic and the FD 50 would be fine too if you ask me but given thedirect comparison their images are the least appealing.

What do you think? Which lenses do you like for maximum bokeh joy?

How could I forget about these two oldies in my cupboard

Canon FD 50mm f/1.8

Asahi Pentax SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8

Well, obviously it was impossible to find the exact same setup as yesterday but still.... it is surprising that the Canon FD 50 f/1.8 doesn‘t show that strange chromatic aberration as its supposedly better coated f/1.4 sibling. And there must be some enormous dust bunnies living inside that Takumar, which strangely are not visible to my eyes when I look through the lens.

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Dareshooter Veteran Member • Posts: 5,178
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Sharif wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

Sharif wrote:

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

Interesting. I don't know if you'd find this useful but if you use ACR/Lightroom try using negative texture on OOF areas and it will help smooth out nervous/harsh bokeh.You'd have use it locally using the adjustment brush of course as a global application would destroy detail in areas you wish to keep sharp.

Thanks for the tip, Dareshooter. I have to admit that I have become very lazy with regard to image post processing.... but I will keep that in mind.

You're welcome Sharif, sometimes it's worth going the extra mile and it only takes a few seconds to do.

Sharif
OP Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

Dareshooter wrote:

Sharif wrote:

Dareshooter wrote:

Sharif wrote:

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

Yes, indeed. I was surprised to see that green outline of the orbs in the FD image. I guess that level of chromatic aberration just wasn‘t as visible on film as it is on a modern sensor.

The 50 1.8 shows outlines around highlights, too, but they have the right color.

On another note, i was surprised to see similar level of „cat eye“ from all 4 lenses. I thought this effect would differ much more depending on the construction of the lenses. Can it be that cat eye is more a function on the focal length (and of course proximity of the highlight to the border of the frame) than of its construction?

Interesting. I don't know if you'd find this useful but if you use ACR/Lightroom try using negative texture on OOF areas and it will help smooth out nervous/harsh bokeh.You'd have use it locally using the adjustment brush of course as a global application would destroy detail in areas you wish to keep sharp.

Thanks for the tip, Dareshooter. I have to admit that I have become very lazy with regard to image post processing.... but I will keep that in mind.

You're welcome Sharif, sometimes it's worth going the extra mile and it only takes a few seconds to do.

I know......I know.

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 7,492
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

I like your test. Thanks for posting.

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I love 50mm (equivalence)

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thunder storm Senior Member • Posts: 7,492
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

nnowak wrote:

The Sigma 56mm was easily the best in that test. The Canon FD was easily the worst.

+1

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I love 50mm (equivalence)

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Sharif
OP Sharif Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Re: 50mm „bokeh shoot out“

thunder storm wrote:

I like your test. Thanks for posting.

You are welcome

We already knew that the Canon 32/1.4 and Sigma 56/1.4 have very good bokeh quality but I thought a comparison with other alternatives would be nice. The test isn‘t perfect as it didn‘t include the exact same setup and focus plane for each lense and It didn‘t compare them at the same aperture, just the lens specific maximum aperture. I also wonder if the differences in rendering highlight which are in front of the focus plane are comparable to back of focus plane bokeh. I guess so.

I am glad you found my unscientific comparison interesting.

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