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Japanese Noun forms and verb nominalizers

The article states that ぼけ is the noun form of ぼける, which is incorrect. In fact boke is not so much a noun as it is an adjective meaning blurry or unfocused. The noun form of bokeru (the verb to become blurry but mostly used to refer to people becoming senile) is either bokerukoto or bokeruno. This is the only rule in Japanese for making a verb a noun. You can't make a noun from a verb just by dropping ru from the verb, which the article seems to imply, that is not a rule of Japanese grammar. Though it does seem there are some instances of verbs being formed by taking a noun and adding ru, this is not technically how a noun is constructed. So this is a very slight issue, the statement should read, ぼけ is a Japanese adjective meaning blurred/unfocused. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I am Japanese and use 'boke' as a noun. Do you know the words, ピンぼけ/out of focus and 時差ぼけ/jet rag? They are nouns. Hope this page is helpful to understand the usage and meaning of 'boke' in Japanese. Oda Mari (talk) 05:28, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. To clarify, I am in agreement that boke is a noun (though I realize I stated it was an adjective), but my postulation is that boke is not the noun form of bokeru. Seeing that you cannot formulaicly drop ru from a japanese verb to make a noun. However you can use nominalizers such as koto/no to do so. Phenomenon like this seem to happen in Japanese alot, I think, because they'll take a noun and make it into a verb by adding る. But, the point of my post is that this doesn't mean that you can ever really expect to formulaicly change verbs to nouns this way. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:29, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I see. I edited the lead. Feel free to correct it. Oda Mari (talk) 14:47, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


Some may also use this term, loosely, to describe what happens to acutely painful or obtusely humiliating memories that are difficult to live with. The images, or memories (i.e. peoples, places) of these events can be pathologically "blurred" or put "out of focus", to allow them to cope or carry on with their life.

As with Bokeh, the characteristics of these memories may be quantified by the circle of confusion. In out-of-focus areas, each point of light becomes a disc. When referenced in a poetic or a metaphoric sense, the disc could be uniformly illuminated, for others it is brighter near the edge, and for others it is brighter near the center. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 21 May 2004.

Two questions:

1) When you say "Some may also use this term", are you speaking generally? It's a brilliant metaphor to use in discussion, but it's such an obscure reference I wonder how many times you could say it without the other person asking: "Like a -what-?".

2) How does one pronounce 'bokeh'? My estimation: bo(long 'o')-keh (emphasis on first syllable)? The preceding unsigned comment was added by Apostata (talk • contribs) 26 June 2005.

Need Title Change to "Boke"

It should be "Boke", which is the proper Japanese transliteration, since there should not be a trailing "h" without a following vowel sound. Pronunciation of the last vowel should be "eh" similar to the vowel sound in "air". Monito 7 July 2005 12:04 (UTC)

No it doesn't need a title change. Although the transliteration is incorrect (I know some Japanese), the accepted term in English for this style of photography now is bokeh. If you're unconvinced, ask google to define "bokeh" and "boke" for you... completely different results. Enochlau 02:04, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
That it is "the accepted term" is opinion, not fact. It is a fact that Mike Johnson created an alternate spelling as "boke" existed previously. The article should also not refer to bokeh as "the English" spelling. The English spelling is boke. Mike Johnson may have popularized the spelling of bokeh among current photographers, but it is not factually accurate to say that it is the proper or correct spelling. If English readers are in such need of "dumbing down" words that come from Japanese, can one explain the ability to pronounce words such as karate and sake without adding the letter H to the end? The spelling of the word boke didn't change because some people felt like adding an H. Edwallols (talk) 09:03, 29 October 2012 (UTC)
I added a reference to the Mike Johnston column in which he claims that, as then editor of Photo Techniques magazine, he coined the 'bokeh' spelling in an attempt to suggest the correct pronunciation to english speakers, who were inclined to pronounce 'boke' similarly to 'broke', 'spoke', or 'toke'. Matthew Brown 14:03, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
It should be boké or have some other accent on the 'e' to show that the 'e' is pronounced.Cameron Nedland 14:39, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that bokeh is most common spelling, and the best title for the article. — brighterorange (talk) 18:51, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Quality not Quantity

The pictures at the side of the article incorrectly use the term "bokeh" to denote the QUANTITY of blur rather than the QUALITY of the blur that's present. Quantity of blur may be more correctly denoted by the quantity of "depth of field", ie. shallow or deep DOF(as illustrated by the photos). It might be useful to emphasize in this article that bokeh isn't a quantity at all; it's "good", "mediocre" or "bad", but never "lots of bokeh" or "no bokeh". Thedeepabyss 12:57, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Furthermore, the opening definition of bokeh: "bokeh is the blur" is not actually supported by the Luminous Landscape reference and what little credence leant to this definition by Practical Artistry is not helped by book's overly-simplistic approach to it and other photographic concepts. I suggest the removal of this aspect of the article as it is poorly substantiated and misleading. (talk) 03:40, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Mirror Lenses

Is the bokeh of a mirror lens really called doughnut bokeh? I've always heard it referred to as two-line bokeh, because it has the effect of doubling out-of-focus edges. Tom Duff 00:33, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I've heard the "doughnut" term as well. Matthew Brown 14:05, 19 November 2005 (UTC)
Both 'donut'/'doughnut' and 'two-line' can be used to describe the bokeh of a mirror lens; it depends on the feature which is out of focus. Due to the central obstruction in such lenses, out of focus points appear as donut shapes. This is seen especially if there are bright points (such as reflections) in the background. The size and definition of the donut depends on how far out of focus the point is. The two-line effect occurs as a superposition of a line of points - it then appears as two parallel lines separated by the diameter of the donut for a point which is equally out of focus. A special two-line case occurs at an out-of-focus high contrast edge between two large areas - a bright line will appear in the dark area and a dark line will appear in the bright area, each parallel to the high contrast edge and separated from it by the radius of the corresponding donut. AliasMarlowe (talk) 19:10, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Mirror lenses give doughnut bokeh, because they have a central stop or an annular aperture. However doughnut bokeh also happens with normal lenses (lenticular not catadioptric), due to spherical aberration. A lens with good bokeh behind the plane of focus necessarily has doughnut bokeh in front. I bet the image captioned "Catadioptric lens bokeh seen in more detail." wasn't actually taken with a mirror lens ! (The circles are faintly filled - no well-defined dark centre circle.)
Doughnut effects result from a point source of light; 2-line effects result from a line source.
-- (talk) 23:27, 16 May 2011 (UTC)


Morven/Matthew Brown's edit comment suggests a new set of images to illustrate bokeh. I propose three types: An example of a wide-open lens bokeh, circular blobs. Ericd's image that was in the article previously would be a decent but not perfect example. An example of polygonal blobs caused by non-circular aperture blades. And finally an example of a mirror lens bokeh. This could be the above mentioned donut type, and probably the double-edged line preferably in the same example image. I'd like to contribute but I only have a film camera loaded with slide film at the moment (and for some time), with no slide scanner. I also don't have a mirror lens. Ziggur 22:10, 29 November 2005 (UTC)

I'll have a look and see what kind of bokeh I can get from the cheap 50mm lenses on my two SLRs. Only five blades on a Canon FD 50mm f/1.8, so I might be able to show some effects. —Matthew Brown (T:C) 01:07, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
I know that they're my images, but I though that the two jonquil flowers made a nice comaprison. --Fir0002 21:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)
I have an image of oof christmas tree lights that would be perfect! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rushil2u (talkcontribs) 11:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Japanese term

Andy Jones left this comment in the article. I'm moving it here and have left a message on his talk page. Imroy 11:55, 25 February 2006 (UTC)

"boke" doesn't mean blur

The actual meaning of "boke" in Japanese is closer to "senile fool". The correct photographic term is "pinboke" ピンぼけ[1]. I confirmed this with a professional translator. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

"pinboke" is one relevant term that's used in photography, according to a professional translator I talked to. However, it looks like the previous comment about "bokeaji" ぼけ味 is also correct, and more common[2][3] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Boke ぼけ is the noun form of the verb bokeru ぼける meaning to blur. Pinboke ピンぼけ means out of focus which is similar but different to blur. Brettr 07:07, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

No, the previous unsigned comment was correct. ぼけ is (in Japanese) rather vague, and doesn't mean specifically to blur. It is most commonly associated with terms unrelated to blur. The correct term in Japanese is ボケ味 (I believe bokeaji is "officially" correct, though it is also read bokemi by some), and the term obviously simply got shortened when accepted into English. Anyway, it doesn't matter now. (talk) 07:56, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I rather doubt Bokeh is short of ぼけ味 instead of from ぼけ. Any source? I can understand (though arguable) that the word Bokeh may corresponds to the word ぼけ味, but I doubt Bokeh is "from" ぼけ味.
I think the current lead line, derived from Japanese bokeaji ボケ味, "blur", is wrong, since the word ぼけ味 means "flavor of blur", not "blur". --Fukumoto (talk) 15:59, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

commonly repeated misconceptions

This page (as of 15jun2006) contains several common misconceptions and factual errors.

The "hard" or "soft" quality of bokeh is primarily affected by spherical aberration. It has absolutely nothing to do with chromatic aberration, and very little to do with the number of aperture blades (except when hard-edged bokeh makes the shape of the aperture apparent.)

This is pretty much correct. In particular, a mathematically perfect lens would have a OOF blur kernel which is a fairly hard edged image of the aperture. Spherical aberration causes the focus positions of the rays to have an angular dependence. In a lens with spherical aberration light from one side of the focal plane with spread outward from the image of the aperture while on the other side the light will spread inward. The outward spreading is generally considered attractive while the inwards spreading is generally considered ugly. The 'good blur' being in front or behind the focus location depends on on the sign of the spherical aberration. The best way to illustrate this would be to obtain bellows or a tilt lens which is not perfectly corrected for spherical aberration and take a picture which is extremely tilted, thus one side of the frame will show focal positive blurring and the other side will show focal negative blurring. --Gmaxwell 18:26, 25 June 2006 (UTC)


I take issue with this sentence:

Although difficult to quantify, and hence open to debate, some lenses are believed to enhance overall image quality by producing more subjectively pleasing out-of-focus areas (bokeh).

Can't the "look" of the out-of-focusness be characterized by the image of a point source? (Or to be very exact, a point source at each point in space.) That is, at a given distance, can't this effect be considered convolution, and so if you know the kernel, you've quantified the effect? —Ben FrantzDale 20:11, 19 June 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, the lens can be quantified—but I think the sentence is saying that it is the subjective quality of the bokeh that is hard to quantify. — brighterorange (talk) 18:44, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Stefanie with Bokeh.jpg

It's a damned shame they deleted that picture.

That is all I have to say.

(), 15:35, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

It's easy to replace. Get someone on it. :) --Gmaxwell 16:07, 26 June 2006 (UTC)


This article should mention high dynamic range imaging as what would be oversaturated pixels wind up blooming into the visible circles (or whatever other shape) in the final image. The GIMP plugin to do bokeh compensates for lack of HDR by selecting how close to 100%-saturated a pixel has to be to create a circle. —Ben FrantzDale 17:04, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Too confusing to use HDR in the computer graphics sense. It means something completely different to photographers !-- (talk) 01:17, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
Interestingly, users of the Fuji X10 have noticed the effect you describe - highlights expanding into white discs, even though the source was focussed to a point. See. Not really a defocus issue - not real bokeh. I think it is an electronic effect - leakage among the photosites in the silicon. I think we should keep up a film tradition and call it [Halation] - point highlights used to be reflected off the shiny back of the film and form circles as they passed through the emulsion again. Films used to have a grey dye to absorb it during 2 passes.
-- (talk) 03:21, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


We should consider how exposre is involved in this. In as much as exposure is exponential and in as much as bokeh is a linear convolution in real-world brightness, it must be a nonlinear convolution of recorded image intensity. This might explain why I needed to mess with gamma before and after convolution while making Image:Faux-bokeh-final.png. —Ben FrantzDale 17:04, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Only if you're talking about working with images in non-linear space. Normally images are just 2.2 gamma or the SRGB non-linear space (which is mostly 2.2 gamma). The nonlinearity is mostly invertable, so you can still achieve the same effect by normal convolution. --Gmaxwell 17:24, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Bokeh or not...keh?

Are the star-shaped artifacts around the streetlams in this picture bokeh, or a different type of artifact? Digital camera, long-exposure shot. Rawling4851 22:26, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Those are some sort of lens flare. (It can't be bokeh because the lights themselves are in focus.) —Ben FrantzDale 00:08, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Right, I see the distinction. But the shape of the flasre is still determined bythe shape of the aperture, like the shape of a bokeh? Rawling4851 00:12, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Diffraction around the aperture? (Diffraction spike) (talk) 19:49, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it's caused by diffraction - IIRC - and as far as I remember from my photography classes, it depends on the aperture size but not on the shape (i.e. number of blades). Blue.death (talk) 14:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Bokeh consists of a complicated combination of geometric and diffraction effects. Extreme diffraction effects can be considered an extreme case of bokeh if you like. Dicklyon (talk) 16:14, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
And the shape of the aperture does affect the resulting bokeh; a star-shaped aperture would produce a star-shaped bokeh effect. - (), 20:47, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
Sunburst-- (talk) 23:43, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
These artifacts are easily accomplished with a star filter. The effect varies depending on how many sets of parallel lines are scored into the filter, and how deep the scores are. Then again, in this particular picture, the exposure is very long, perhaps allowing normally imperceptible streaks to gather in a detectable manner. —Nahum Reduta (talk) 02:29, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't think such a filter has been used in Rawling's photo, IMHO. It's diffraction caused by the selected aperture and long exposure. I have shot plenty of night shots obtaining the same effect. Aperture shape does affect bokeh, but does it also affect this 'star effect'? - Blue.death (talk) 09:18, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
This is shaped bokeh: (talk) 06:06, 18 November 2009 (UTC)


There seems to be an undergoing rewrite by Template:User-multi. I've posted a friendly notice on their talk page encouraging them to discuss it here. - (), 20:32, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

This article made more sense before Redikufuk replaced it with a lot of ten-dollar words. I'm reverting it wholesale. - (), 20:14, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Deviation from disk

It appears that there are several causes for bokeh to not be disk shaped. First, there is the aperture shape. A mirror lens causes donut bokeh; a fuzzy-edged aperture would make a soft-edged blur spot. Second is aberration such as spherical aberration causing bright edges, and coma. Finally, I see diffraction around the aperture as a source of ring-shaped bokeh or of just bright edges. Can anyone comment on the magnitude of these effects? (talk) 19:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm curious as to how various animals 'perceive' bokeh. For instance, cats and snakes have vertical irises, whereas toads and goats have horizontal ones. Cats in particular would seem to benefit from being able to detect unfocused lateral movement (such as a mouse sprinting along the ground). —Nahum Reduta (talk) 02:51, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Consensus on italicization

Can we get some agreement across the article on whether it needs to be in italics? --Dante Alighieri | Talk 19:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Use usual English typography rules. When you're talking about bokeh, no italics; when referring to the word bokeh, you do. Dicklyon (talk) 16:13, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
See Use-mention distinctionNahum Reduta (talk) 02:32, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
The use of italics for foreign words in English usage is always problematic. The question being: how long should the word be italicized after its usage becomes commonplace? For example, would you consider italicizing quiche nowadays, since the originally French word has now fallen into common English use? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hugowolf (talkcontribs) 03:35, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
Nobody has proposed italicizing it as a foreign word. Dicklyon (talk) 23:31, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Circle size

I know I've seen somewhere a discussion of the size of the bokeh disk (the circle of confusion) as a function of camera parameters. That is, given a point source some distance, , from a lens focused at distance with focal length l and with a given f/#, there must be an expression for the diameter of the resulting circle of confusion on the image plane. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 17:29, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Did you look in circle of confusion or depth of field? You'll find plenty of formulas for different cases, and how to derive them. Dicklyon (talk) 17:47, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Vote for removal of text DOF photo

I think the photo of the text with the shallow DOF ought to be removed. Technically there is no bokeh in that photograph. Someone has confused shallow DOF with bokeh, and the two are not the same. (talk) 15:28, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

No - keep : the photo has details that are visible, but not in focus. Therefore it has bokeh. Bokeh doesn't just come from point sources of light (or darkness)!
'The two are not the same' : agreed. The difference is minor : if the defocus is complete or the background is featureless, you have DOF but it doesn't matter because there is no Bokeh.
See ostrich below. -- (talk) 23:51, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

bokeaji again

I recently re-researched this issue and stick by the bokeaji source. On the Japanese version of wikipedia there is an entry under boke [1] where it is appears that the word, as used in Japanese , simply means blur. The entry describes ボケ as meaning blur, elaborating on foreground blur, background blur, diffraction blur etc., and uses ボケ味 as meaning differences in blur between different lenses and illustrates a lens that has "bad bokeaji". ( このようなレンズはボケ味が悪いと表現される ). Also, as an example of the current use of bokeaji, the Canon camera website[2] emphasises the video capabilities of its 7D camera (which can use large aperture lenses on a large sensor) as allowing the creation of " 美しいボケ味" or "pretty bokeaji". It does NOT use simply boke to mean blur, but bokeaji specifically to mean "quality of blur". It seems clear that when the word "boke(h)" was imported into English, it was intended to represent "quality of the out of focus areas" but the term "bokeaji" is currently used in Japan for that concept. Full disclosure : My Japanese is admittedly weak but perhaps a Japanese-English bilingual reader can check out the Japanese entry on ボケ and correct any errors I may have made. Andy Jones (talk) 01:18, 28 October 2009 (UTC)Andy Jones (talk) 21:11, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Pronunciation citations

The original website that showed me the bokeaji term [4] is still up and is in agreement with the difference between the Japanese word and its English counterpart. I have a big problem with the citations for the pronunciation - the "boke-uh" ( /ˈboʊkə/ )citation is from someone who "wonders is anyone knows how to pronounce it" because he obviously does not, so I don't understand how that can support his pronunciation suggestion. "uh" is not a recognized sound in Japanese. The Merklinger citation now longer has the boke-aay ( /ˈboʊkeɪ/ ). If the latter were to be written in Japanese it would be ボウケイ (which means, depending on which kanji are used: conspiracy, one's deceased older brother or subsidiary family line!). A lot of the fuss over this word stems from the addition of the h in an attempt to encourage the right pronunciation and not something like boak. The current entry acknowledges this by retaining the h, so please let's provide a pronunciation that gets close to the original Japanese ( something like bo- from bottle and ke- from kettle, both short vowels.) (talk) 02:50, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Does it really matter how it's pronounced in Japanese? Shouldn't we just report what's in English sources, about how it's pronounced in English? Dicklyon (talk) 04:03, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

Ah, the prescriptivist and descriptivist dichotomy! There is a significant constituency that would like to respect the pronunciation in the language from which a word is borrowed (and so to them it DOES matter), while there are some for whom that issue is irrelevant. The inclusion of the original pronunciation would inform those who already know they care about such issues and educate those with an interest in researching a word new to them. Specifically excluding the source pronunciation would be a failing even of a responsible descriptivist approach. Those who have not had any help when they meet the word (will) have come up with their own guesses. As long as it also provides the source pronunciation I have no problem with the article listing those. It would take some sort of survey to determine the (most) common ones, let alone which might rank as the "correct" English one. I have heard (several or more times each) all of the ones in the list I include here. I propose the following change to the article  : Original text : It can be pronounced /ˈboʊkeɪ/ or /ˈboʊkə/ (boke-aay or boke-uh). Proposed replacement : The Japanese pronunciation is bockeh (/bɒkɛ/). English pronunciations include : bockeh (/bɒkɛ/), bockay (/'bɒkeɪ/), boakay (/'boʊkeɪ/), bocky (/'bɒki/), boakeh (/'boʊkɛ/), boak (/boʊk/), boak-uh (/ˈboʊkə/).Andy Jones (talk) 17:46, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I am in favor of including any of that info, as long as it's sourced; for such a word, stating the pronounciation without a source to back it up is a bad idea. Dicklyon (talk) 18:54, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I can't (obviously) provide "sources" for what I've heard, so I can't help there. It's not clear how useful citing someone's "guess" on how other people should pronounce it in English (if they say it differently from the Japanese version) would be for any readers. If it's "cited on wikipedia" people tend to ascribe it some weight, but such guesses would not rise to that level, so such a source would do more harm than good, I feel! As I mentioned, the Merklinger link no longer has a recommended pronunciation and the other cite is just someone saying "I wonder if anyone knows how to actually pronounce it correctly. Personally, I go with boke-uh, as that's the pronunciation I've heard the most.". Is that really a useful, authoritative source?
It would be complicated to provide a "source" for the Japanese pronunciation. I haven't been able to find a sound file of the two syllables together. However, there is a teaching site the provides .wav files for each of the syllables, listed here [5]. Just click on them. For simplicity, I've listed links to the two sounds : the bo can be found here [6] and the ke sound is here [7]. Listening to those would be better than any IPA or Roman character description.
Providing the correct Japanese pronunciation and saying "There is no other widely-accepted "correct" pronunciation in English" would actually be the most honest way of dealing with an admittedly complex article section.Andy Jones (talk) 20:03, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, that's the thing, isn't it? Nobody cares who you have heard, but, due to WP:RS, we do care what a book author has heard. How fair is that? Seems to me it's the only guidance we've got. Dicklyon (talk) 00:25, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
I knew no-one would care what I've heard, so I'll have to hurry up and finish my book, eh? I understand the logic behind the WP:RS and wonder why the Mike Johnston article (already cited, presumably as an RS, as footnote 2) is not considered a sufficient source for the boakeh (/'boʊkɛ/) pronunciation or indeed the bokeaji comment in the second paragraph of that article he published. He wrote : "it is properly pronounced with bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal stress on either syllable" and "including the out-of-focus areas of photographs, which, I'm told, might more specifically be referred to as "boke-aji." I would expect that he should be given equal, if not greater weight, with the earlier, and better-informed input than the book guy. Perhaps you could put his description of the "correct" pronunciation in the article after the [2] footnote (under Origin in the article) to yield He altered the spelling to suggest the correct pronunciation to English speakers - bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth, with equal stress on either syllable. Do you feel an official source is needed to support how the true source word ボケ is pronounced in its original language, beyond the sound links I put in above (which actually match Mike J's description quite well)? Or you feel it should still be omitted? Andy Jones (talk) 01:27, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
That looks like a great source for it. So why didn't someone cite it for that? Easy to fix... Dicklyon (talk) 04:36, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Well, this cannot be used as a citation. But listen to the pronunciation by Japanese here. The first ボケ appears at 0:03 and the word is repeatedly used in the recording. Oda Mari (talk) 05:18, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for updating the article - I had, apparently mistakenly, thought that would have been noted previously as a source. Is it a matter of housekeeping to remove references when they no longer contain the information/text/item they are being cited for? I rechecked the Merklinger article (ref/footnote 6), used to support the boke-aay pronunciation, and find there is actually no mention of that. The link is therefore no longer helpful as a pronunciation guide/source.Andy Jones (talk) 16:11, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
It sucks when that happens; thanks for finding it. I usually try to go back through the history and figure out when the ref got attached to the wrong thing, and put it back where it goes, if relevant, rather than removing it. No time right now though... Dicklyon (talk) 21:51, 29 October 2009 (UTC)
It's a great article that is cited (it strongly supports the first sentence in the 3rd paragraph of Description) - it's just that it no longer comments on the pronunciation, so the ref could just be moved...Andy Jones (talk) 02:10, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
OK, I found what happened. Originally, long ago, Merlinger and some others were listed at the end, but there were no inline citation. Then I fixed that on 5 Aug 2007; but then on 10 Apr 2008, an anon IP boned it to its present form; he added the pronunciation "boke-aay", and it was his only contribution. I'll fix. Dicklyon (talk) 02:47, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Ostrich picture

Silky bokeh produced by a Nikon 200-400mm f/4 zoom lens.

Opinions needed: does this image do a good job of illustrating "silky bokeh"? Or is the background too featureless to be illustrative? Dicklyon (talk) 06:36, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I agree that it's too featureless to illustrate any of the issues that are considered in assessing good vs. bad bokeh. It illustrates well the extreme background blur due to subject to background distance being large. The daffodil [8] on the Japanese wiki page on boke [9] shows the same feature, but also shows some out-of-focus highlights that are distracting (and could therefore be assessed as "bad bokeh").Andy Jones (talk) 17:55, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I beg to differ. Bokeh, as we all know, means "blur". Whether it implies "blur of a kind that is pleasing to the eye" (as some may think) or just basically "blur" (thus requiring further qualification such as "nice bokeh" or "coarse bokeh", as I think), is irrelevant here : it means, at the very least, "blur". Nowhere is there any kind of requirement that the blur in question ought to contain (or not) a certain minimum number of features. As Andy Jones very well said above, the ostrich picture illustrates "extreme background blur", in other words : extreme background bokeh. I rest my case and put the ostrich picture back in. Dominique R (talk) 06:52, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
With respect, please exclude me from "we all know". If the word just means blur, why did anyone bother bringing the word into English, when blur would suffice? The earliest uses of the word boke(h) in English was by folks like Mike Johnston and Harold Merklinger (and others not cited yet) where the discussion was specifically about the appearance of the blur. One of the discussion points about the use of this word in English is exactly whether it is used to mean simply blur or quality of blur, so it is very relevant. SImply asserting that "we all know" the answer does not advance the discussion. The source I cited above ( [10] illustrating the boke-aji use in Japan) is a site that has been up since 1996 and it is run by a very knowledgeable photographer and Japanese speaker; he describes boke as "One of the rare Japanese words to be incorporated in the English language. It refers to the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light. " Are we to simply ignore the large group of writers (some cited already) and users who adhere to this usage pattern/definition? I would say "We all know there are some people who use the word to mean quality of blur and some who use it to mean simply blur". This will likely remain an unanswered issue until someone does a worldwide survey and counts the numbers! It's reminiscent of the two meanings of resolution - the old one about how small a detail can be distinguished in the film (no matter how big a piece of film is considered), and the new one about how many details (pixels) are captured, regardless of how small they are. Both meanings are current and often the context makes it clear which meaning is intended. Otherwise, the usage must be clarified in the sentence. To dicklyon's request above, the use of the word "silky" implies a "subjective, qualitative" nature question, and the context therefore requires that it is the "quality of blur" meaning that is intended. Does the image show blur - yes. Can you tell, just by looking at the blur, whether it was created by a "good" or a "bad" lens - no, because it's so blurred. In my opinion, any lens would have yielded such an image because of the subject to background distance. That reasoning was the basis for the opinion I gave at the top of this discussion.Andy Jones (talk) 19:16, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
Andy, that PhotoGuide Japan page has "ボケ味" boke-aji or "blur taste", and the Japanese wiki article is called "ボケ (写真)", blur (photo); so why does our page say (暈け), which seems to be something like "halo ke"? Dicklyon (talk) 23:42, 30 October 2009 (UTC)
It's complicated!!! If you paste the 暈 kanji into Jim Breen's online dictionary [11] (that is the basis for a large number of translation software programs and an RS if ever there was one) you get several words it appears in; one means halo (かさ =kasa) but the 4th one 暈ける 【ぼける】 (v1,vi) to be faded; to be hazy; to be blurred; to be out of focus is the direct answer to your question; 味 normally means taste/flavor but that can be figurative as in this kanji compound. However, as I said above in bokeaji again, the Japanese wiki article is called ボケ because they (presumably the Japanese people, I've not tried to read any of their discussion) use the word to mean simply blur - foreground, background, diffraction etc types of blur are xxx-bokeh. They use "ボケ味" boke-aji when talking about the differences in how different lenses render the blur. That is consistent with the PhotoguideJapan table entry. The Japan wiki does not use the 暈 in the boke article (they prefer the phonetic ボケ), but rather uses it in the article on haloes [12]. Thus the wiki on boke avoids the use of that kanji - but when you search on that 暈け you find that many Japanese folks use it to mean bokeh in the sense of this article ! The situation seems no clearer in Japanese than it does in English, if that's any comfort to a wiki editor!!! Thus, if you put boyakeru into Breen's dictionary you get ぼやける (v1,vi) to become dim; to become blurred but it doesn't use the 暈 kanji ; Unfortunately, JimBreen's database does not extend to the esoteric jargon of photographers so it won't settle this. Mike Johnston's quote "including the out-of-focus areas of photographs, which, I'm told, might more specifically be referred to as "boke-aji" suggests that whoever educated him on the issue thought that boke-aji would be the better word to describe "how" the out-of-focus areas looked. Just to confuse matters further, and mentioned briefly way up top, there is a healthy discussion in Japan as to whether ボケ味 should be pronounced bokeaji or bokemi [13] with the 味 kanji having its on-yomi or kun-yomi reading (basically the Chinese or Japanese pronunciation!!!) So it seems that both in Japan and in English, there is a word that is used to mean either blur or quality of blur - if all the folks in Japan just used boke for blur and bokeaji for "quality of blur" things would be a tad simpler. It seems that wwhen it was imported into English, it was imported as boke when it should have been boke-aji or boke-mi, but the importers clearly were talking about the quality (good, bad, neutral, silky etc.) and not the simple concept of blur (for which one can have both quantity and quality). Oh dear :(Andy Jones (talk) 02:48, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
Or I should maybe ask Oda Mari, who changed it to yet another variant back in the middle of 2008: 'boyakeru ぼやける, "become blurred or fuzzy"). And then he changed it again to boke ぼけ, a noun form of bokeru ぼける, "become blurred or fuzzy"). And then finally to a noun boke ぼけ, meaning "becoming blurred or fuzzy"). Dicklyon (talk) 23:50, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

Any other opinions on the ostrick picture? Dicklyon (talk) 23:13, 30 October 2009 (UTC)

I'm a Japanese female editor, but not an expert on photographic technique . As for the Japanese language, ask me. 暈け is the correct kanji for bokeh, but the kanji is not included in joyo kanji and rarely used for the photograph term. ボケ is the most common description. Even if there's a kanji, it is not always used. It depends. Interestingly, when referred to unintentional out of focus, it's ピンぼけ. Aji could be translated as zest or savor too. So I think "quality" is a good choice. As for the reading of 味, according to the linked discussion, aji seems to be the majority, but some use mi. IMHO, thinking about the on-yomi and kun-yomi, aji might be correct. It's a matter similar to that some pronounce the vegetable 'to-mae-to' and some say 'to-ma-to'. As for the ostrich picture, I don't think it's a good example. Putting aside the quality of bokeh, even from an armature point of view, it's not a good picture itself. It's so dark that difficult to see the ostrich clearly. If my English is not understandable enough, please point out. Thank you. Oda Mari (talk) 06:35, 31 October 2009 (UTC)
In Johnston's article, there is no reference whatsoever to bokeh having anything to do with the "quality" of the blur. To respond to Andy Jones, if bokeh, in and of itself, implied anything qualitative, talking about "good bokeh" or "silky bokeh" or "coarse bokeh" would be pleonastic, redundant and pointless. However, ALL sources I've read on the subject do exactly that, either systematically, or from time to time : qualify the bokeh in terms of good or bad quality. Which goes to show that it needs to be qualified in such terms. And if it does, it is precisely because, in and of itself and once again, it does not include any qualitative bias.
Furthermore, whether bokeh does or does not include such bias, has nothing to do with the ostrich picture which provides an excellent demonstration of what boekh is. Which is why I put it back in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dominique R (talkcontribs) 06:47, 2 November 2009 (UTC)
In the earlier (1996 copyright) article by Merklinger, he says The Japanese apparently refer to the quality of the out-of-focus image as "boke". This inclusion of "quality" is commonplace; there are good/bad and harsh/soft qualities, of course, so these are the kinds of adjectives that are encompassed by the intended meaning of "quality" here, I think. Not sure what you refer to as "bias". The trouble with the ostrich image is that the description "silky smooth" is not really well supported by the "totally blurred" look; plus, the picture is dark and unattractive. Dicklyon (talk) 06:39, 3 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, so let's resolve this since we are invited to do so --and please avoid canvassing in an attempt to outnumber me, or I will do just the same. Number 1, we agree that "bokeh" means blur. Number 2, you maintain that "the inclusion of 'quality' is commonplace", I maintain (a) that it is not, (b) that even if it were, there is no etymological reason for it to be, and (c) that the fact that an error would be commonplace isn't a reason not to correct it (especially in Wikipedia). Number 3, regardless of what we maintain on 2 above, we agree that bokeh can appear in all areas of a photograph, highlights and lowlights alike. Base on the preceding assumptions, the ostrich picture fits very well the description of "blur appearing in darker areas of a photo", and the words "silky smooth", which also do fit perfectly with your own theory of "quality being included", are very objectively descriptive of a surface that is visually smooth, almost uniform but not quite, with differentiating patterns subtle enough to be detected by the human eye, yet without enough features to be precisely identified. As to your other "arguments", regarding the fact that, acccording to you, the ostrich picture would be "dark", well, that is precisely the point: to evidence that bokeh can appear in lowlight areas, and/or low key pictures. And finally, regarding the fact that, according to you, the ostrich picture would be "unattractive", that's a criterion I will let Wikipedia administrators judge regarding your objectivity as an editor... I find it very attractive (but that is not the point), whereas I find the picture just above it quite ugly (but that isn't the point either)... Nevertheless it would never come to mind to delete it, because that ugly (to my taste) picture is illustrative —and **that** is the point of the ostrich picture as well, as explained above. What I find painful in all this is that it has been already explained over and over above on this page, but hey... They want resolution, they get an attempt at it. Based on these detailed explanations, I put the ostrich picture back in, and await your own detailed and objective explanations, formulated in a constructive manner in order to reach resolution.Dominique R (talk) 07:21, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
If you brighten up the picture so it's less ugly, and use a more appropriate caption, and move it out of the lead, it might be OK. A better caption would be Obtaining a smooth background, like the one here, is easier when using a lens with "soft" or "smooth" bokeh than when using a lens with "hard" or "harsh" bokeh. Shall I work on the photo for you, or do you want to take a try at it? Dicklyon (talk) 07:53, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
As you can imagine, I care little for your aesthetic preferences but I do make yet another note of the fact that they tend to get in the way of your objectivity as an editor. I do not intend to "brighten up the picture" (it is not your run-of-the-mill zoo snapshot) and you shall refrain from doing so or I will not hesitate to take any necessary steps to assert the legal consequences of such wilful, premeditated and deliberate infringement upon my copyright. That being said, I see no reason to move it from where it is now, as it illustrates (and it is painful to have to repeat it yet again, but I will do so nevertheless) how bokeh can be found even in low light areas of a picture... which corresponds exactly to the phrase opposite the photo, which is therefore ideally located on the page. Finally, regarding the caption, you will of course know (or be apprised) that a lens does not "have" any kind of bokeh, but "is capable of producing" one. However, if you absolutely want to amend the caption, we can think about it, but provided that you give rational, sense-making and objective reasons —which I fail to see so far. Lastly, I leave tomorrow for a few days in Venice. I will have wifi at the hotel but I will also have other things to do than sit in front of a computer while I'm there, even though it's my third trip of the year.Dominique R (talk) 21:08, 5 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, if you're that personally attached the image as it is, I won't mess with it (though you've given us a license to make derivative works if we want to). I'll take it out, since there's no support for including it. Dicklyon (talk) 04:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
I asked for third parties' comment at at here. Oda Mari (talk) 04:46, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
As I wrote above, I don't support the image. Oda Mari (talk) 04:48, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Fine, but don't just delete the picture, do state your objective and rational reasons why you do not support it. And don't say "Oh, I already said it above because then so did I, which did not prevent me from re-stating my reasons clearly. You are not helping the resolution process by being merely dismissive.Dominique R (talk) 06:15, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Responding tot he request for comment: it just shows an out-of-focus background. The current lead image is a good demonstration of bokeh, as defined both in the article and this discussion, ie the way a lens renders out-of-focus points of light. There are no points of light behind the ostrich, QED. Of course "good" bokeh is largely subjective, but "smooth" bokeh should be easy to identify, ie the well-defined donut shape of catadioptric arrangements vs the much smoother transitions of less-corrected lenses. Had I not been told, I wouldn't be able to tell you which of those lenses might have been used to shoot the ostritch, which basically makes it a bad example here. mikaultalk 11:48, 6 November 2009 (UTC) oh, and it's quite clearly around a stop under, to my eyes :-/
I agree - the Ostrich photo is not a good illustration of the concept of bokeh. I also think that talk has a COI in continuing to push this photo on the article when the consensus is to remove. TheMindsEye (talk) 13:30, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
It's too dark. The aim of using bokeh is to highlight the subject and attract viewers' attention to it, isn't it? But the photograph does not have the effect at all. Because of the darkness of the background, it took me a few seconds to see the subject was an ostrich. If bokeh works well, the subject should be recognized instantly. No matter how smooth or silky the bokeh is, it does not help to accentuate the ostrich. As the bokeh does not fulfill its original purpose effectively, I don't support the ostrich picture. Oda Mari (talk) 15:55, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Since Dom asked me to repeat my objections, I will. They are two: (1) the super-smooth background can be achieved with almost any bokeh, since there are no highlights to make the nature of the particular bokeh evident; so while it shows background blur, it doesn't go very far to illustrate the idea of bokeh, the quality of the blur; and (2) the image is dark and ugly. I realize the latter is subjective, and that I can't expect Dom to care about my references, but it is still a relevant consideration, especially when several other editors have similar reactions to it. And I realize that the first reason is related to an underlying disagreement about what bokeh means, which Dom is also trying to push; he wasn't able to push it explicitly, since most sources say that bokeh refers to the quality of the blur, not just blur, so he's trying to push it implicitly via an image in which the quality of the blur is irrelevant, or not apparent at least. Dicklyon (talk) 02:33, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Template:Od I don't think that picture illustrates photographers' usual understanding of bokeh, which is the rendering of high-frequency elements (such as specular highlights) in the oof areas of the picture. I also think the ostritch in the foreground is oversharpened. Nice picture though. (talk) 11:44, 9 November 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, it could be posed in front of a graduated green paper studio background! -- (talk) 01:23, 24 February 2011 (UTC)
"However, bokeh is not limited to highlights; blur occurs in all out-of-focus regions of the image." This leads to a Zen discussion - if the bokeh is invisible, does it exist ? (After the manner of "If a tree falls in a forest with no-one present to hear it, does it make a noise ?") -- (talk) 04:20, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Edit warring

Please quit this slow-moving edit war, or I'll protect the article so that it may be edited only by admins. I expect that the issues involved be resolved on this talk page before any further changes are made to the article. Thank you. Mindmatrix 16:22, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

I think we just resolved it. We have the consensus of 5 established photography editors against one newbie pushing his own photo. I've told him we can continue to talk about it, but that continuing to push it against consensus is likely to earn him another block. Dicklyon (talk) 16:37, 6 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't see this talk section before I protected the article. I was doing so in response to Dicklyon's request on my talk page, and the recent edit warring. Mindmatrix, if you feel the protection becomes unecessary, feel free to remove it. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:18, 7 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, protection wasn't what I had in mind, but since you didn't protect the "wrong version", and since Dom is traveling, it won't matter much. There ought to be better ways to deal with pushy newbies when the consensus is so clear and the behavior so bad... Dicklyon (talk) 02:22, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Call to split the article

This article supports two mutually exclusive yet connected meanings for the word bokeh. There is the use to mean the out of focus areas of a photographic image and the use that refers to the quality of the out of focus areas. It can be used in one sense or the other, but not both without leading to circularity.

Thus with the former meaning one could refer to the quality of the out of focus areas with the phrase ‘quality of the bokeh’, but using the second meaning, ‘quality of bokeh’ would result in ‘the quality of the quality of the out of focus areas’.

I have tried, unsuccessfully due to reversion tactics, to remove references to one of the meanings from this current article. I have been given the command ‘do not remove sourced info’ by those policing the article. If this is a rule, then how does one remove material that references junk sources? Are all external sources to be treated with equal respect regardless of their authority?

It seems that anyone can add material, no matter poorly referenced or how badly written, but removal of material containing references is verboten, even if that material detracts from the original intent of the article and leads to confusion.

If both meanings are valid and are to exist on this site, then the article should be split into two separate articles. As the article stands it is confusing and internally contradictory. Apart from separating semantic differences, splitting the article would probably go a long way to relieving the ongoing editing war. Hugowolf (talk) 18:30, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

I'm generally in favor of interpreting WP:NPOV and WP:V and WP:RS as implying that we should present all reliably sourced points of view of a topic, even varying definitions of a word. There is nothing in the sources to suggest that bokeh should be split into two different topics; there are however differing interpretations on the topic of bokeh. The guy who was here causing trouble a few months back tried to move the article to the extreme that you're now trying to remove. Why can't we talk about both? If, however, the point of view that you don't like is NOT reliably sourced, you can make your case for that here on the talk page, since when you removed it without making a case you were reverted. See WP:BRD. Dicklyon (talk) 06:44, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
ps. You weren't serious about the split proposal, were you? Dicklyon (talk) 06:45, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
It doesn’t present two ‘points of view of a topic’, it states that there are two (or three) meanings for a word and then goes on to elaborate on both in parallel: a sentence using one meaning, then one using another; a paragraph here and a paragraph there.
We can talk about both, but apparently not without being confusing. Have you taken the time to read through the whole article with the view of an average reader trying to discern what bokeh refers to? The two meanings are too closely related to be discussed in the same article without adding confusion rather than clarity. Had the article been sectioned such that one section discussed blur and another discussed the quality of the blur, then it may have been readable.
Just look at the first couple of lines. There is a link to the disambiguation for bokeh, which has ‘blur in the background of a photographic image’, but no mention of the quality of such. If you look at the disambiguation page for blur you get ‘Bokeh, the appearance of out-of-focus areas in a photograph’. Hugowolf (talk) 19:59, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

So how is /bō'kɛ/ pronounced??

When I go to the IPA page, they do not list ō. So either the IPA page needs revision, or the the pronunciation guide on this page needs correction... Okay, it looks like oʊ is meant and I have changed it... (talk) 17:42, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Andy Jones (talk) 22:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)The FIRST line of the entry shows "boak-uh" as the pronunciation!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is outrageous. The source for that is a self-proclaimed "I don't know how to pronounce it but I've heard XYZ from other people who don't know either" What other support for such a pronunciation is there? The ONLY reason it is cited is because it is published, but it is still referencing a person who effectively says "I don't know how to pronounce it but I've heard XYZ from other people who don't know either" What is wiki coming to? You might as well have listed boak as the first entry as its pronunciation. It's FUBAR. Sorry, but this whole entry is a fiasco, IMO. When it first showed up in English language discussions, the first knowledgeable users (e.g. Merklinger and Johnston, both cited, eventually) took great pains to explain how it is pronounced (even departing from the Modified Hepburn transliteration convention - like Andoh, for example, they added an H to ensure it wasn't screwed up by people trying to guess at its pronunciation), but they can't be cited because they're not "published" in book form? Then all wiki should be considered "not published" and therefore not "citable". I've given up on trying to correct the entry to describe the course of events that led to the current confusion for newcomers (original imported meaning of "quality of blur"; now by confusion, "simply blur - and you can have more or less bokeh" ) but at least let's get the pronunciation a little better informed.

[/rant] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Andy Jones (talkcontribs) 04:54, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

You can hear the pronunciation at here. Oda Mari (talk) 07:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Oda-san. I had provided links to bo and ke but was unable to find them together at a direct link like the one you provided. This should help those who couldn't decide whether it was the bo from bottle or from bone - it's somewhere in between! My comment above was mainly concerned with putting a pronunciation next to the entry word that has no support from anyone except someone who guessed and had heard others also guessing. As I said in an earlier comment, that one could be listed with boak and bouquet as others "that some people have used" and not put forward as a recommended one. Sigh Andy Jones (talk) 16:09, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"“Bokeh,” also sometimes romanized as boke or bo-ke, pronounced bo as in bone and ke as in Kenneth with equal stress on both syllables, is a Japanese term usually written in katakana that roughly means “blurry.” I’m told it has many shades of meaning in Japanese, including “fuzzy in the head.” As a photographic term it might be more precise to say pinto-bokeh, which means “focus blur,” or bokeh-aji, which literally means “flavor of blur.” Bokeh, regardless of what you may have read on the web, merely refers to the subjective visual quality of the way lenses render out-of-depth-of-field objects in pictures. " (Contents © 2005 by Michael C. Johnston. This is a free download from my photography BOOK storefront at and may be printed without limitation as long as it has this copyright notice attached.)
The whole pdf can be found here
IT'S AN EBOOK so we can cite it, right???] So we can get rid of the boak-uh on the entry word line and replace it with this, no?? Please!!!Andy Jones (talk) 21:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)Andy Jones (talk) 21:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)Andy Jones (talk) 21:04, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Needs more structure

I would suggest sections

  • the psychological/perceptual effects of different kinds of bokeh - good + bad + questionable
  • how lens design affects bokeh - SphAb, aperture blade count + rounding
  • filters and bokeh apodization
  • kinds of bokeh
    • doughnut = 2-line = "Nisen Bokeh"
    • 4-line - wonder what lens Henri Cartier-Bresson used to shoot Albert Camus? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:00, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
    • anamorphic = elliptical (can also be interesting in wide-angles that are circular-aperture centrally, but get elliptical vignetting towards the corners
  • bokeh vs Sunbursts
  • bokeh vs Soft-focus lens
  • bokeh vs DOF
  • bokeh behind focus plane + in front (both can't be good (?) unless apodization)
  • Lenses designed specially for bokeh
  • Lenses that happen to be famous for bokeh
  • Lenses with poor bokeh - Catadioptric, cheap old zooms
  • Ghosts, bokeh and Paranormal Research

etc -- (talk) 01:12, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I would add Spurious resolution - when the 'bad' bokeh artefacts completely hide the true nature of the object.
This can fool auto-focus systems if the spurious image is more contrasty than the real one.
This gives a peculiar appearance to the girl just to the right of the crowned subject !
Actually, looking closely at the crowned subject's hair it's just a horribly bodged Photoshop job - sharp eyes have been pasted over Red-eye ! Interesting bokeh, though - EXIF data suggests a 70-300mm f:4-5.6 Nikon D series Lens.
-- (talk) 03:47, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Image Stabilization and Bokeh

The original forum thread does not support the existance of the effect - ignore !

  • Original post doesn't relate it to IS
    • image is so full of jpg compression artifacts
    • lens shake that is smudging the detail
    • background is smooth - bushes all have this wierd effect (thought: bushes move in wind ?)
    • Some lenses ugly bokeh
    • Heat waves
  • Post 17 noticed on 70-200 IS version, not previous non-IS version (not just "switched IS off" : completely different optics - 23 elements not 18!)
  • Post 19 I get this effect when using an IS lens placed on something steady like a monopod or back of a seat... a cross between a double image and camera shake.
    • (thought: Nikon + Canon both used to recommend IS-off, VR-off on tripods)
  • Post ~30 Do you think IS has anything to do with it?
  • I doubt it
  • Try the same pic with IS on, and then tripod mounted with IS OFF (thought:if it's shake. the tripod could fix it, not IS !)
  • For the hand-held shots, I was wielding the camera up and down vigorously, ...
  • it takes a very close look to notice the difference (thought:inconclusive)
  • Nikon: "VR has nothing to do with this, in the right (tripod) VR mode is set. May be caused by the specific lens characteristic - oversharp"
  • But as long as nobody has reproduced this bokeh effect (Stabilizer On/Off) it is not clear if IS/VR/AS can have such an effect
  • I have thought it over and I think VR can not have such an effect on bokeh.
  • Perhaps the shake only accounts for a motion of 0.0002mm at the sensor
  • I took a lot of photos - IS + tripod. Both were sharp on the plane I focused at and had exactly same bokeh.
  • if your lens revolves by 0.5° ... this corresponds to approx one pixel. (thought: at 4º10' field of view that's 12% of the diagonal! IS would be pushing sensor or glass out through the body !)

Sheesh! I regret getting into this ! -- (talk) 03:13, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

"bushes move in wind" - thought - do digital stills suffer from 'rolling shutter' ? Only the cheapest that have no mechanical shutter !
I have since seen bokeh effects from image stabilisation, but in Canon binoculars that work by wobbling a liquid-filled prism !
AFAIK cameras just displace lens elements or sensors - rather different !
-- (talk) 04:09, 25 March 2012 (UTC)
Bjørn Rørslett says
'Test shooting indicates that the VR setting may influence bokeh so to achieve the very best results, be sure to turn VR off.
I don't see a significant effect
'Because VR influences, and may degrade, bokeh, the photographer should have this fact in mind while shooting details are planned. '
'If utmost image smoothness is required, you might consider switching VR off and work with a tripod-mounted lens instead.'
'Towards 200 mm the background blurring attained by the 70-200 VR was creamy and silky smooth, entirely up to the bokeh of the very best performers. '
'VR mode once again did influence bokeh, but less obvious as with the shorter focal settings of the lens.'
Sounds like quite a tentative suggestion, not a definite conclusion. Also he hasn't matched the focal length of the 85mm prime, although longer should be better !
I wouldn't say the test was sufficiently controlled. With twigs dangling from tree branches, you might see movement (maybe not at 1/1500 sec). With mixed sun and shade, you will get Henri_Bénard's convection cells of hot air and cold air, causing Atmospheric Shimmer or Heat haze (called 'mirage' by binocular/telescope reviewers).
-- (talk) 10:19, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Shape of bokeh

Bokeh shapes.jpg

Dicklyon -- the image shows exactly what the text is describing: "Recently, photographers have exploited the shape of the bokeh by creating a simple mask out of card with shapes such as hearts or stars, that the photographer wishes the bokeh to be, and placing it over the lens." Without the mask, the bokeh of the lights in the background would be just circles. -- Autopilot (talk) 10:00, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Where did you find that quote? In any case, I think this special effect is not really what people refer to as bokeh. It's as if you're saying normal bokeh is just circles (disks), when in fact it's more complicated than that; bokeh depends on the deviation from disks (or from birds in this case?). Dicklyon (talk) 13:19, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
In the paragraph to which the image was attached:

The shape of the aperture has a great influence on the subjective quality of bokeh. For conventional lens designs (with bladed apertures), when a lens is stopped down smaller than its maximum aperture size (minimum f-number), out-of-focus points are blurred into the polygonal shape formed by the aperture blades. This is most apparent when a lens produces hard-edged bokeh. For this reason, some lenses have many aperture blades and/or blades with curved edges to make the aperture more closely approximate a circle rather than a polygon. Traditional "Portrait" lenses, such as the "fast" 85mm focal length models for 35mm cameras often feature almost-circular aperture diaphragms, as is

the case with Canon's EF 85mm f/1.2L II lens and Nikon's 85mm f/1.4D, and are generally considered exceptional performers. In contrast, a catadioptric telephoto lens renders bokehs resembling doughnuts, because its secondary mirror blocks the central part of the aperture opening. Recently, photographers have exploited the shape of the bokeh by creating a simple mask out of card with shapes such as hearts or stars, that the photographer wishes the bokeh to be, and placing it over the lens.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

-- Autopilot (talk) 23:49, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
The quote sounds pretty good to me, Dick. Obviously it is concerning itself only with ideal geometric optics, but couldn't the other things you mention (caused by diffraction and aberrations) be mentioned in a caveat? Certainly the primary attribute of the bokeh -- its shape -- is dictated by the shape of the aperture unless you are in really extreme situations. —Ben FrantzDale (talk) 00:21, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

bokeh its arabic

bokeh its Arabic bokeh its mean the same thing in Arabic language . SO how you can tell me thet its in japanes and its come from word its boke or book idont know . but if you see what thet mean of bokeh its the same thing .

You must provide reliable sources which assert that the word has Arabic origin. Otherwise your information cannot be included in the article. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 03:08, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Hey, guess what ! 'Bokeh' is also what we call it in English ! But seriously, maybe we should find the earliest date the word was used in each language. Does Arabic use the word in non-photo situations ? (Like 'mental haze', senility in Japanese ? ) In English we say 'Bouquet' to mean a bunch of flowers, or the smell of a good wine !
-- (talk) 10:42, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
No need to reinvent the wheel! The meaning and etymology of Bokeh are already discussed in Wiktionary here: [14] Plantsurfer (talk) 09:17, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

On the subject of European lenses

On the subject of European lenses, I found the Bokeh on a standard 50mm f1.8 Praktica particularly pleasing, the old M42 ones (talk) 23:47, 28 March 2012 (UTC)

This edit broke the page, so I reverted it + pasted it back ! -- (talk) 03:28, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Removed original research - "Sometimes bokeh is misleadingly defined..."

Hi guys,

I changed this:

'Sometimes bokeh is misleadingly defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light",[8] since it is the characteristic of the image, not the lens itself.'

To this:

'Bokeh has been defined as "the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light".[8]'

Unless I'm missing something, source no. 8 simply gives the quoted definition. The stuff about it being misleading appears to be the editor's own opinion. Feel free to restore it, but make sure you cite it please.Señor Service (talk) 19:27, 17 May 2012 (UTC)

"characteristic of the image, not the lens itself" was useful info that you have deleted - OK, not sourced - that would be good to find citation for and re-introduce the distinction.
To give an extreme example: if the aperture were square, then its edges could be aligned with horizontal and vertical objects which would have sharp edges even when out-of-focus. Turning the aperture so the edges were at 45 degrees would give a smoother effect. So the way you use the lens affects the bokeh, as well as the design of the lens. Quite a subtle distinction.
-- (talk) 15:40, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
It's a bit like arguing whether the Nile is the water, or the channel in the earth that it runs in. -- (talk) 10:44, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
... and the 'square aperture' isn't just an abstract hypothetical thought-experiment. Some Canon consumer camcorders have rhombus shaped apertures !-- (talk) 02:39, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

bad bokeh

The article mentions good and bad bokeh, could someone add more about what constitutes bad bokeh, and maybe an example or two? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:07, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to research it and add it yourself, - SummerPhD (talk) 01:09, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
It's rather subjective - 'bad' bokeh is bokeh that you don't like. Someone else might like it, or you might like it yourself, given a different photograph. A bit like the gardeners' definition of a 'weed' - a plant in the wrong place.
Generally, soft, smooth bokeh is preferred, so that out-of-focus things are visible, but not distracting.
-- (talk) 15:31, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Meyer-Goerlitz Trioplan - Good or bad ? -- (talk) 21:14, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
A single frame from a Nikon Video from a tutorial Creating D-movies with your Nikon D-SLR Lesson 1 from Nikon - I wonder which lens that is - looks like the 18-105mm kit lens ? -- (talk) 02:01, 7 October 2013 (UTC)
And the ultimate bokeh-painter, Magda Wasiczek
I challenge anyone to say any of those are bad bokeh ! (talk) 06:09, 29 October 2013 (UTC)
This is ultimately a POV issue, and therefore I don't think the article should be making value judgements about good or bad bokeh. Good or bad is just about what works in the individual image, and that cannot be generalised. It is a matter of taste, and mostly these examples are not to my taste. My personal preference is bokeh should enhance or complement the subject. In that work it has become the subject, and the flowers are merely incidental to the bokeh. But if that's what you like, it's fine. Plantsurfer (talk) 09:07, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Aberration at close-focus distances - spherical or astigmatism ?

I recently added this with a link to someone using a macro feature for bokeh control.

The Sigma YS System Focusing 135mm f/2.8 also has an extra manually-moved component, intended to compensate for spherical aberration at close-focus distances. It can be re-purposed for defocus control.

I've just found Nikon's description of their CRC close-range correction system.

It says it's tweaking astigmatism not spherical aberration. Sigma might be different ? I'll delete 'spherical'.

I'm not sure how astigmatism (or coma) affects bokeh ...

Although the results are convincing, it is maybe too close to OR for Wikipedia - feel free to delete it, but please leave this section here for interest, and to help bokeh-hunters. Thanks. -- (talk) 04:15, 1 November 2013 (UTC)

external link to

I think this link is very useful to the article, as it gives the user a visual representation of the amount of background blur wich can be achieved by a certain lens. Since I developed the tool myself I cannot add the link myself, but I hope you guys will consider it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Johann3s (talkcontribs) 09:26, 13 January 2014 (UTC)