Orchids after the rain. Photo by Eduardo Libby.

Pixel peeping or photo shooting?

I admit it: I have periodic episodes of lens testing mania. This time it was the bokeh stuff. As we all know, lens testing is a disease that can develop into the dreaded Gear Acquisition Syndrome…

I finally understood why we have different types of out of focus blur thanks to a couple of really good websites I visited yesterday. Check them out if you want:

About Bokeh   http://bokehtests.com/styled/index.html

On Bokeh    http://jtra.cz/stuff/essays/bokeh/

After doing many out of focus pictures of led lights and bookshelves around my house I sadly noticed that, except for the geometrical diaphragm opening of my venerable AF Micro Nikkor 105 mm f/2.8 D, it had a good rendering of the blurred background so this was no reason to get the newer version.

I will have to find another reason… but I am good at that. Trust me!

Bokeh of AFS 70-200 mm f.2.8 VR I and AF-D Micro 105 mm f/2.8 Nikon Lenses. Photo by Eduardo Libby
The out of focus background for the 70-200 mm zoom lens image on the left is smoother than that of the Micro 105 mm lens (both at f/4), but… would it matter if you didn’t have both images side by side?
Luckily for me, I try not to do too many resolution target photos and, in order to keep my sanity, I went out to my garden. It had rained and the atmosphere was very still. Perfect for shooting flowers with long, wind-bending stalks. After doing a bokeh shootout between my trusty old macro lens and my Nikon AFS 70-200 zoom equipped with a 500D diopter from the company whose name Nikon users cannot pronounce, I made real photos again!

Orchids after the rain. Photo by Eduardo Libby.
I love the background at f/4 but in this case I had to resort to focus-stacking to get both the pollen organs and the water droplets in focus. I like the slight damage on the flower to the right. It reminds me of the ephemeral nature of beauty… and I am not even Japanese.
In case you are wondering… both the zoom with diopter and the macro lens give indistinguishable images in the field, as long as you don’t focus the zoom too close and you stop it down at least to f/5.6 on my D810.

BTW, do you know the name of this orchid? I would love to know.

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