Best Bokeh ….. is it the Fuji X100

I’m going to get a little geeky for a while and talk about some of the things that might me drawing my attention to Fuji and there range of camera’s and why some images I take I like more than others in specific areas, this first little Geek out is “Bokeh” .

Personally believe my Fuji X100 provides some of the best out of focus light refracted artefacts you can get for the money.

View in large format to see the detail and uniformity of the Bokeh. Fuji X100 does a great job, clean, round and uniform
Testing Fuji X100 Bokeh style

I should really start with an explanation of what is Bokeh. Hold your breath

“Although difficult to quantify, some lenses enhance overall image quality by producing more subjectively pleasing out-of-focus areas. Good bokeh is especially important for large-aperture lenses, macro-lens, and long telephoto lens because they are typically used with a shallow depth of field. Bokeh is also important for medium telephoto “portrait lenses” (typically 85–150 mm on 35 mm format) because in portraiture photography, the photographer typically seeks to obtain a shallow depth of field to achieve an out-of-focus background and make the subject stand out.

Bokeh characteristics may be quantified by examining the image’s circle of confusion. In out-of-focus areas, each point of light becomes an image of the aperture, generally a more or less round disc. Depending how a lens is corrected for spherical aberration, the disc may be uniformly illuminated, brighter near the edge, or brighter near the center. Lenses that are poorly corrected for spherical aberration will show one kind of disc for out-of-focus points in front of the plane of focus, and a different kind for points behind. This may actually be desirable, as blur circles that are dimmer near the edges produce less-defined shapes which blend smoothly with the surrounding image. ” phew that’s an excerpt from Wiki, if you would like to understand it in even more detail check out this link . As you can tell this is a complex phenomena and is lens and camera set up specific.

This is where we come to take a look at the quality of the Bokeh in the Fuji X100. As I am sure you are aware I have been blogging about this little wonder camera for some time and I have also been asking my self just what its is about the Fuji X100 that I like so much. So I have started to geek out a little and investigate some of the stand out features that make the Fuji X100 so good.

I have recently taken some shots to show what can be achieved for circular bokeh, I have also taken a few other that will show other really effective light artifacts such as halo’s and lens flare ( later blog). Lets hope the Fjui X-E1 and the Fuji X-pro1 still produces great results in this area. For me the Fuji X100 produces really creamy blending of the out of focus areas and provides very clean circular blurring of lights that are out of focus, take a close look at the lights in these shots, note the round ness, definition and uniform colour. Maybe it’s only going to have the new Sony RX1 full frame marvel as competition who knows, this area is moving so fast.

The clean rendering even at high ISO is really stunning, I have taken some images with my Nikon D300s and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 and although the creamy transitions can be achieved there are not quite the same, neither are the out of blur lights, they tend to show a halo and offset shadow that I personally find a little un palatable.

At this point in time I find that the Fuji X1oo does a really top class job for Bokeh, producing image quality that you would normally associate with much more expensive camera bodies and lens from the top named manufacturers. I am busy scoring the WWW for images samples from both the new Fuji X-E1 and the Fuji X-Pro1 trying to make sure the images that exhibit Bokeh and other attractive light reflection artefacts are still being produced.

At this point I am starting to want to examine also the difference in the image sensor being used, I am keen to understand what is in the X100, compared to the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X-E1 compared also to my Nikon D300s, and again the Sony RX1 if I had one to compare to. They are all APSC sized sensors except for the new Sony but why such differences in images results that I find appealing in some cases and not in others….. so it’s all a bit geeky but If I am to learn what I find attractive in an image I have a chance of making sure I repeat that result. I think I will do some research and Blog about the sensors just for fun.

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