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Thread: pattern in bokeh highlights

  1. #1
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    pattern in bokeh highlights

    I recently got a new 200mm f2.8 lens. The longest lens I have used before was 100mm. The image quality seems fine apart from the pattern in the bokeh highlights. Is this normal for this type of lens?
    In the first example they are ok but in the others which are crops there is a visible pattern.
    pattern in bokeh highlights
    pattern in bokeh highlights
    pattern in bokeh highlights
    pattern in bokeh highlights

  2. #2
    Scott Stephen's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Looks ok. You expect lemons out away from the center, and I am not seeing onions anywhere.

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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Stephen View Post
    Looks ok. You expect lemons out away from the center, and I am not seeing onions anywhere.
    Thanks for the reply. If you are referring to the first image then I agree. Circles in the centre and lemons at the edges are to be expect but it is not shape of the highlights that I am worried about it is the pattern visible within the highlights that you can see in the 2nd 3rd and 4th images. I am wondering if this is a reflection from the sensor.

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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Did you, by any chance, use a filter in these shots?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Hi "mykr",

    Assuming we eliminate the filter possibility and it's still there ...

    If you inspect the lens very closely (off the camera) in good light and shine light across and then through both front and back ends and try to focus your eyes on the surfaces of the lens elements (internal and external surfaces) - can you see any crazing of the lens coatings? (or mould or dust)

    Could you do me a favour please?
    Could you Edit your Profile and put your first name in the Real Name field and where you are (roughly) in the Location field? - thanks.

    Might also be worth checking with another lens, in case it is camera related.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    I have always considered out of focus highlights to be distracting ... look at this thread as an example

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    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Sometimes out-of-focus lights can add a festive atmosphere to the image like these Christmas tree lights. Taken with a 500 mm @ f/4.0 from the back of my church. Your bokeh looks normal to me; each lens will have slightly different characteristics. I think shooting aperture has an effect as well.

    Paul S

    pattern in bokeh highlights

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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Per Paul's comments, different lenses have different characteristics of bokeh. Not necessarily anything to do with focal length but rather the construction characteristics of a given lens. It doesn't necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the lens. May just be inherent for that particular lens. You may try searching for a forum specific to the lens manufacturer and seeing if you can find info from the user community on that particular model. Or search for reviews on that particular lens. It may just be the nature of the beast.

  9. #9
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Thanks for the replies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Hi "mykr",

    Assuming we eliminate the filter possibility and it's still there ...

    If you inspect the lens very closely (off the camera) in good light and shine light across and then through both front and back ends and try to focus your eyes on the surfaces of the lens elements (internal and external surfaces) - can you see any crazing of the lens coatings? (or mould or dust)

    Could you do me a favour please?
    Could you Edit your Profile and put your first name in the Real Name field and where you are (roughly) in the Location field? - thanks.

    Might also be worth checking with another lens, in case it is camera related.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...
    Just an image to remind what the bokeh lights were like.
    pattern in bokeh highlights

    There is a filter which is a protection filter. Is this particularly a problem with tele lenses? I did inspect the lens in strong light and found what looked like spots of oil speckled across an element half way into the lens. When held at the correct angle these speckles flared strongly. It did not appear to be dust to me. I know what dust in a lens looks like as my 77ltd looks like it has a galaxy inside. Now I am not sure if this caused the problem or where this oil came from but as this was a new lens so I went back to the shop to see what they thought. They allowed me to exchange the lens. Apart from the bokeh lights I was extremely happy with the quality of the images it gave so I hope the replacement lens gives the same quality.

  10. #10
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Quote Originally Posted by PRSearls View Post
    Your bokeh looks normal to me; each lens will have slightly different characteristics. I think shooting aperture has an effect as well.
    Your Bokeh looks "normal" to me too.

    Yes I agree with the other two statements also.
    Shooting Aperture does affect OoF Specular Highlights this is the EF 100/2.8 each frame is focussed at the same plane.
    pattern in bokeh highlights

    ***

    But the real reason I had to comment here . . . was to state what a spectacular use of the 500/4, Paul
    . . . about 60ft SD . . . DoF about 10 inches . . . nice lens great exploitation and usage of it . . . and very nice Shutter Release timing, at 1/100s Bravo!

    WW

  11. #11
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    Thank you, Bill. This was my first attempt at using the 500 in church. The len's IS (image stabilization) works very well (on a tripod for this shot). My shots without the Christmas lights background are not very special. This is a mixed light environment with tungstens overhead and blue sky illumination through huge, north windows (from the right). I balanced it for the tungsten. The blue light gives it a slightly "theatrical" appearance which I like. Otherwise, the lighting is challenging, dim, overhead and varies in white balance all over the place.

    Paul S

  12. #12
    William W's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    The detail in the whites on the sleeves the Priest’s Cassock and the embroidery on the Stole is ‘intense’ - even in this low res image.

    I have used a 400/2.8 only a couple of times to make shots from the rear of the Church (actually a Cathedral) at Weddings – the 500/4 would be heaven to use –(pun intended)

    My comment about the Shutter Speed was relevant to you nailing the shot with the least SUBJECT MOVEMENT – I cannot detect any.

    Yes the OoF Highlights are “very effective” and “contribute” to the image.

    WW

  13. #13
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: pattern in bokeh highlights

    I don't want to hijack this thread but I will say the resolving power of the 500 f4 is remarkable. At 100%, you can see the pores on the pastor's skin. Take a look at "Full Moon Photography," reply #15 for a moonshot.

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