Sweet 80-200 f/2.8 Bokeh

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by Dave, Aug 7, 2007.

  1. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Taken at Turner Field in Atlanta of the lady who works for the Atlanta Braves and was working to upgrade some people near us. Behind her is the field, the Braves Dugout and some fans in their seats.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Yes, I agree. Really sweet. That's one of the reasons why when I am not concerned with its weight, I rather use it instead of the 18-200VR.

    www.pbase.com/ruilopes
     
  3. Jonathan P.

    Jonathan P.

    177
    Jul 10, 2007
    Appalachia
    How did you get your 80-200 into Turner Field? They wouldn't let me in with my 70-200 VR. Too "professional."

    Nice pic, and great bokeh.
     
  4. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    I had the 80-200 with hood reversed on my D50 and my 180/2.8 and 18-70 DX lens in a small Nikon bag. They took a quick peek in there to make sure nothing was explosive and I walked right on in. The 80-200 is a bit shorter than the 70-200. I think 12" is the longest length of lens they allow.
     
  5. Jonathan P.

    Jonathan P.

    177
    Jul 10, 2007
    Appalachia
    Thanks for the info. Glad you got your 80-200 in there. I might try again with my 70-200 in the future.

    I'm going crazy with excitement in anticipation of tonight's game against the Mets. Hopefully we'll be able to beat Perez this time. I guess in a strange way, the odds are actually in our favor. I know Perez has never faced Mark Teixeira. Maybe that means Perez won't know how to pitch him...

    Go Braves!
     
  6. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Yeah, i would give the 70-200 a try again, just take that and your camera in a small bag and if you have to unmount it from the camera so it doesn't look as imposing (I know someone did this recently on this forum at Wrigley when they took in their D2Xs and 300/2.8 VR lens).

    Yeah, I'm excited about the game tonight too. I won't be able to watch much of it as I am playing tennis in a bit for a couple of hours, but hopefully I can catch the final few innings of victory!
     
  7. How does the background help the image at all? Smooth background blur can be a good thing sometimes, but smooth/harsh/whatever...it doesn't matter if it doesn't help the photograph in some way. To use some of the common language thrown around...I feel that the foreground is "distracting" from the background (judging by exposure, it's apparent that the real subject of the photo is the unidentifiable background).

    I'm not being too critical of your photography--I not a competent photographer myself. I am merely bringing up a point. Your use of "bokeh" in this image does pretty much nothing good, and that's true for the majority of photos in which people like to talk about their "creamy" or "buttery" blur. It serves no purpose, and quite possibly harms the image more than helps. If a photograph is a forest...boke-aji is a pretty small tree the vast majority of the time.
     
  8. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Well, if I had taken the shot at F11 or higher and you could make out the background, to me that would distract you from the original subject of the photograph which was the lady. That's just my opinion anyway, and I can understand what you mean about the picture of the forest...but if you're taking a picture in a forest with only one tree in focus and the rest being OOF then you're obviously looking to take a more artsy photograph instead of a snapshot of the forest.

    Thanks for commenting.
     
  9. The problem is that the lady is underexposed and isn't doing anything in the midst of all that goo. She's just as uninteresting as the goo, if not moreso (the goo at least has some color and is more properly exposed). If anything, she's the distraction.

    Furthermore, I think that the "distraction" case is a very primitive approach to foreground-background interaction, and is based around the idea that there can only be one subject that must be singled out optically. This tends to imply that many photographers are single-minded opportunists and only care about a vague singular subject and it being sharp and composed to the "rules" while everything else is blurred away into oblivion. I admit I too fall prey to this habit, but I don't think that's how photography SHOULD be.

    I'll go out on a limb and say most of the revered artistic nature photographers in recent history did not use gimmicky wide-aperture shots most of the time. Shallow DOF does not make artistic. That is an illusion created by the price/justification rift between "point and shoot" cameras and SLR/RF cameras with expensive large-aperture lenses, along with the imagined difference between "snapshots" and "serious photographs".

    Most of my favorite portraits are shot at small aperture. Street photos? Small aperture. Nature photos? Small aperture. Architecture? Small aperture. It's not about *needing* to see the background...it's just *not needing* to blur stuff whose blur fails to complement or benefit composition. My drive for a "bokeh king" lens a long while back was dictated by my insecurity and lack of faith in my own ability to compose or create images; thinking I could compensate by using optical gimmicks that are "happy side-effects" of expensive lenses like the 85/1.4.

    Ultimately, very very few of my real-world photographs (but virtually all of my tests) were dependent in the least on boke-aji. Those that did manage an interesting effect were usually "harsh" blur anyway.

    I just wonder how many people are looking at their photos as nothing more than a combination of sharp subject + smooth background (and sometimes rule of thirds). Seems to be pretty commonplace.
     
  10. Sorry to interrupt your rant, Robert, but you missed the point. This thread is about how Peet used selective focus to create a background for a portrait. It's not about a street photos, nature photos, or architectural photos. Well, maybe street photos, because they're of people, too. Using selective focus can help create an allusion of 3 dimensionality in a 2 dimensional medium, and suggesting the background can be sufficient to put our primary subject in the context of their environment.

    83433804.

    Sometimes, though, the photographer might want to totally blur the background, making it resemble a studio backdrop.

    View attachment 110020

    Both of the above examples were taken on the busy streets of San Francisco, using the 180/2.8 at wide aperture settings.

    I regard the ability of a lens to create a creamy background as a powerful tool, not an "optical gimmick". Peet's demonstration shows the 80-200 is in the league of excellent lenses that offer a photographer the ability to tame a distracting background to the degree they find desireable... which can be anywhere from softening it to totally creaming it. There's no need to deride him for pointing out that characteristic.
     
  11. Dave

    Dave

    Feb 7, 2007
    Suwanee, GA
    Well Robert I'm glad that you got that off your chest as it seems it's been bothering you for some time. :biggrin: It appears that you have a different idea of what your photography should be compared to what I think mine should be. Do I blur the background in every photo...no. Do I feel it necessary to do it on occasion. Yes. I wasn't posting this picture because it was interesting (although the lady is not too bad on the eyes) but just to see how well the lens did put the background (which would be distracting in this case) OOF to isolate the in focus subject.

    I'm not giving in to lenses that produce great bokeh, I only purchase lenses that suit my needs. However, if they happen to give me the opportunity to take a portrait with a blurred background when the occasion arises, that's just a bonus.
     
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