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Thread: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    These are from a spring shoot a year ago, I thought I'd share them to show the bokeh of the 50/1.4D. All shot wide open (as far as I recall), on a D2X. Now, how do I embed images...
    Last edited by Lars; 24th December 2009 at 12:36.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Five more...
    Last edited by Lars; 24th December 2009 at 12:36.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    #11-15:
    Last edited by Lars; 24th December 2009 at 12:36.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    #16-20
    Last edited by Lars; 16th January 2012 at 20:29.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Last one.
    Last edited by Lars; 16th January 2012 at 20:29.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    HI Lars
    First of all, lovely photos.
    I had this lens, and sold it very quickly because of the bokeh - on some of these shots it's lovely, but on lots of them it really jars on me. Notably1,2,5, 16 and 19. Basically if there is any complex detail it seems to go nasty.

    Instead I've been using the voigtlander 58 f1.4, it's about the same price, and I think it's a different world.

    Let's hope that Nikon bring out a new range of primes with the same principles they've used with their new zooms (which have lovely smooth bokeh).

    Again - wonderful shots

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Yes I agree - this lens comes up for discussion from time to time, I thought I'd illustrate a bit. It sat on my D2x when it was stolen, and I won't replace it with another one.

    On the subject of new designs - I'm really curious about the 50/1.4 that Sigma is bringing out, they claim that it has good blur rendering, and the front element is large enough to warrant a 77 (seventy-seven!) mm filter thread. Interesting.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    BTW I included #20 to specifically illustrate the difference between foreground and background bokeh - while the background is harsh, the foreground bokeh is almost creamy. This seems typical for early 90's optical designs optimized for in-focus resolution only.
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  9. #9
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Hi Lars!

    Nice images.

    The Bokeh is not much better then the Voigtländer 58/1,4 wich also has a tendency to render quite a "busy" "nervous" bokeh wide open. Zeiss 50/1,4 is shares the same character wide open,though it gets alot better when you stop it down. Nikkor gets worse...

    Im also looking forward to the Sigma 50/1,4 and will compare it against the Voigtländer 58/1,4 Zeiss 50/1,4 Zeiss 50/2 Makro planar, Nikkor 50/1,8 and maybe also the Nikkor 50/1,4.

    /Paul L.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Hi Lars!

    Nice images.

    The Bokeh is not much better then the Voigtländer 58/1,4 which also has a tendency to render quite a "busy" "nervous" bokeh wide open. Zeiss 50/1,4 is shares the same character wide open,though it gets alot better when you stop it down. Nikkor gets worse...

    Im also looking forward to the Sigma 50/1,4 and will compare it against the Voigtländer 58/1,4 Zeiss 50/1,4 Zeiss 50/2 Makro planar, Nikkor 50/1,8 and maybe also the Nikkor 50/1,4.

    /Paul L.
    Hi Lars
    I disagree about the voigtlander - mine at least has a good bokeh . . and so does Terry's judging by the shots she's posted - far better than the nikkor 50 1.4, can't comment about the zeiss as I don't have one!

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    ddk
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post

    The Bokeh is not much better then the Voigtländer 58/1,4 wich also has a tendency to render quite a "busy" "nervous" bokeh wide open. Zeiss 50/1,4 is shares the same character wide open,though it gets alot better when you stop it down. Nikkor gets worse...
    I concur with you Paul, the Nocton's bokeh is too nervous for my taste too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Im also looking forward to the Sigma 50/1,4 and will compare it against the Voigtländer 58/1,4 Zeiss 50/1,4 Zeiss 50/2 Makro planar, Nikkor 50/1,8 and maybe also the Nikkor 50/1,4.

    /Paul L.
    I don't know about the new Sigma but for now the KING of bokeh in this focal range is still the Noct Nikkor, take a look at these, busy foregrounds and backgrounds against the light in all these shots yet the Noct kept it all clean and creamy, all wide open;


















    For comparison, Nikkor 50/f1.4 AFD

    Last edited by ddk; 29th July 2008 at 17:57. Reason: Added 50/f1.4 Image

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    David,

    Your 50/1.4D looks better than mine. In your sample, look at the singular highlight at the bottom of the photo and compare to my #16 - mine renders the highlighs with a strong edge whereas yours is somewhat less pronounced.

    I think this type of test - a singular highlight against a dark background - is the best way to objectively compare out of focus rendering. It's especially interesting to see what happens with the roundness of the highlight rendering towards the corners - in the case of your 50/1.4D shot this clearly reveals the internal vignetting of the construction (which may or may not cause falloff wide open).

    Going back to the new Sigma, this is why I find it interesting - with a huge front opening, obviously the Sigma engineers have tackled the issue of internal vignetting to avoid those non-round corner highlights wide open, as well as falloff. The Sigma weighs 520 grams, which is 40 grams more than the Noct and just 30 grams shy of the heavy 85/1.4D. Either it's built like a tank, or there is a ton of glass in there (well not literally hehe). And as we all know, heavier is always better . Whether Sigma delivers on all quality aspects remains to be seen, but I think there is good reason to be curious.
    Last edited by Lars; 16th January 2012 at 20:29.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Hi Lars
    The Sigma does look interesting.
    In the spirit of the thing, here are some shots I took this morning with the D700 and the voigtlander nokton at f1.4 - I did my best to find some tricky backgrounds (holly with reflections etc.).
















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  14. #14
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Lars
    I disagree about the voigtlander - mine at least has a good bokeh . . and so does Terry's judging by the shots she's posted - far better than the nikkor 50 1.4, can't comment about the zeiss as I don't have one!
    Hi Jono.

    I think its highly unlikely that the bokeh varies depending on sample variation. The optical formula is the same. Its most likely our diffrent opinion regarding the bokeh that changes it.

    Eitherway as i said, the 58/1,4 can produce pretty nice bokeh, as long as you dont put it to the to a torture test. (im talking about wide open shooting)

    Upclose it performs very quite well as far as sharpness & bokeh goes.

    And i agree with David, the Noct is about as good as it gets, after that the 50/2 makro planar.

    Im very excited to try out the new sigma, if the dealer just could ship it already!!

    Ill try if i have the time to show some exmples of what i mean.

    /Paul L.
    Last edited by Paul.R.Lindqvist; 30th July 2008 at 01:59.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Hi Jono.

    I think its highly unlikely that the bokeh varies depending on sample variation. The optical formula is the same. Its most likely our diffrent opinion regarding the bokeh that changes it.

    Eitherway as i said, the 58/1,4 can produce pretty nice bokeh, as long as you dont put it to the to a torture test. (im talking about wide open shooting)

    Upclose it performs very quite well as far as sharpness & bokeh goes.
    HI Paul - of course you are right - on the other hand I think lenses get reputations, sometimes ones that they don't deserve - I don't feel that the 58 1.4 is top of the heap - but those shots above were (IMHO) a torture test (and they were all shot wide open as well) , and I don't feel that it performs badly. Certainly in a different league from the nikkor 50 1.4.

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    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Yes i agree, and for the record i really enjoy the 58/1,4. Your images are fine, but they upclose wich "hide" some of the nervous bokeh. Its not horrible, but the rendering is at least to my eyes to "nervous" at times.

    Look at the shirt in the background.


    Ill try to post some better examples this afternoon.

    But again this offcourse depends on the elements in the scene, aswell as the distance to the subject.

    Here is another one @*F/1,4 that i have no problems with. .-)

    Last edited by Paul.R.Lindqvist; 30th July 2008 at 04:18.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    It's amazing how much of bokeh is user taste. While nastier samples of the CV 58s bokeh are well, nasty, the Noct's bokeh does absolutely nothing for me. Busy, double-edging, color fringing in OOF areas (reminiscent but worse than 100ZF). On the Nikon 50/1.4 - ugh.

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    ddk
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by robmac View Post
    It's amazing how much of bokeh is user taste. While nastier samples of the CV 58s bokeh are well, nasty, the Noct's bokeh does absolutely nothing for me. Busy, double-edging, color fringing in OOF areas (reminiscent but worse than 100ZF). On the Nikon 50/1.4 - ugh.
    The fringing in OOF areas aren't from the lens, its a product of the SLR/n. I picked the worst case scenarios for both lenses and the camera which is the pits in these situations.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Well
    I agree that it's all a matter of taste . . . . . up to a point, but I think it also depends very much on circumstance. However, there are some lenses where there isn't much room for disagreement, the nikkor 50 f1.4 being one of them.

    I was defending the CV Nokton, because I don't think it's universally bad at all - although, I warrant it can be sometimes.

    Having thought more about it I actually think that it's very likely that there is sample variation - just as there is variation in sharpness or focusing or pretty much any other aspect of a lens. I would have thought that it would only take a tiny shift of a lens to fairly radically alter the bokeh.

    I've taken a whole lot more pictures with the 58 1.4 to try and induce nasty bokeh (indeed, to try and find anything like your T Shirt Paul).

    I really thought this would do it:



    or, especially, this one:


    but they all seem to be 'okay' at worst.

    So, maybe it is a matter of taste, and these DO look nasty to you. Or maybe it's to do with sample variation, and I'm lucky . . . I guess it has to be one of them!

    This last Hollyhock was a consolation price for some really boring pictures, and which I rather like - simple though it is:


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    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    No need to defend the 58/1,4 Jono, it holds up very well, especially considering the price.

    I personally prefer it over the Nikkor 50/1,4 (wich i dont own anymore) And its my choice for upclose "in your face" snaps of the kids.

    And your right, the bokeh isnt universially bad. Under certain circumstance, (wide open, and having a challenging background at a distance) its not very pretty imo.

    Example straight from the camera.



    There are for sure worse cases, Nikkor 50/1,8D is simply horrible. Worst iv seen to be honest.

    Nikkor 50/1,8D @F/2


    Zeiss 50/1,4 @ F/2



    When i recive the sigma ill do a new comparison including all the fifties.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Well, to each their own. I don't own the 58/1.4, but the first example or your last post did not really bother me other than the color fringing in the branch.

    As for the 50/1.4D -- it is sometimes fine, sometimes unpleasant. Considering it is the "standard lens" of the Nikon system, it is pretty unimpressive. The only other fast 50's I have used are the Leica 50/1.4 ASPH and pre-asph, 50/1.4 summilux R E60, and the Canon FD 50mm f/1.2L. All of them are dramatically better than the 50/1.4D. The vignetting wide open is really strong on FX or film, and it is not that sharp. The vignetting improves dramatically by f/1.8 or f/2, but it is still not the sharpest tool in the drawer. The biggest redeeming factor of it is that it is cheap and very compact.

    This is the vignetting wide open on FX:
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Stuart do we get bonus points for "name that location and person"?

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    I got the location. Photo Village, was just there the other day
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Here is an interesting sample from the Sigma 50/1.4 (on a Canon 5D, but no matter):

    http://bbs.kakaku.com/bbs/1050501199...ImageID=72705/

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post

    Example straight from the camera.

    HI Paul
    this shot is why I wonder about sample variation - I simply haven't been able to reproduce that sort of gritty bokeh - even with the same tree (salix I think) in the same lighting conditions.

    It would be really interesting to try them next to each other (just nip over any time) - Terry and Andree could bring their's as well . I'll provide the wine and the tree.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Terry -- yes, bonus points will be awarded.
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  27. #27
    S.P.
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Just a snapshot from the barbecue yesterday. In the background is a candle.

    Attachment 6646

    D3 • Nikon AF-D 50/1.4 f1.4 • ISO 400

  28. #28
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Paul
    this shot is why I wonder about sample variation - I simply haven't been able to reproduce that sort of gritty bokeh - even with the same tree (salix I think) in the same lighting conditions.

    It would be really interesting to try them next to each other (just nip over any time) - Terry and Andree could bring their's as well . I'll provide the wine and the tree.
    Well i higly doubt that, your image was not similar other then it was the same type of tree, there really is no background in your image.

    Im able to reproduce the effect cause i know in what kind of situations it will show.(yea that is kind of sad isnt it lol) And im also able to reproduce your results, where the bokeh isnt so "nervous""

    Eitherway, its excellent that your happy with it. Im am too, just that im a bit cautios when i use it wide open, shooting foliage...

    would be great to meet up regardless, if you ever come to sweden/stockholm... Or if ill visit the UK offcourse.

    Here are some images from while i was out "testing" it today.

    All @ F/1,4 (except for the last one, for comparison) No sharpening applied in pp, full frames (no crops) As you can see it has alot to do whats in the background and how close you are to the subject.










    @ F/2 More circular highlights, and the outlines isnt as defined.


    Ill dig into this more when i do my fifty comparison, when i get my Sigma 50/1,4.

    Lenses included will be.

    Nikkor 50/1,8D AF
    Nikkor 50/1,4 AF
    Zeiss 50/1,4
    Zeiss 50/2 Makro planar
    Voigtländer 58/1,4
    Last edited by Paul.R.Lindqvist; 31st July 2008 at 11:29.

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Well i higly doubt that, your image was not similar other then it was the same tree, there really is no background in your image.
    Hi Paul
    I didn't mean that image - but i did take a whole bunch of that tree with different backgrounds.

    Whatever - your little girl is heaven!

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul.R.Lindqvist View Post
    Ill dig into this more when i do my fifty comparison, when i get my Sigma 50/1,4.

    Lenses included will be.

    Nikkor 50/1,8D AF
    Nikkor 50/1,4 AF
    Zeiss 50/1,4
    Zeiss 50/2 Makro planar
    Voigtländer 58/1,4
    I'm looking forward to this! I think I'll be happy with just the Zeiss 50/2 macro, but this is the kind of comparison that could tempt me to add another 50 (or 58).

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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Paul,
    I have a Nikon Series E 50/1.8 lying around in a drawer, if you feel that would be relevant then feel free to borrow it for your comparison.
    Lars
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  32. #32
    Paul.R.Lindqvist
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    Re: 50/1.4D bokeh - Japanese Garden, Seattle

    Thanx Lars, i might take you up on that. It depends on how much time i can set aside for the test.

    Looked at your portfolio, impressive work!

    /Paul L.

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