MakeyMake {Katie} 4:44pm, 2 October 2008
So I have been reading about bokeh, and from what I read, polygonal bokeh is less desirable, technically, than circular. Is this the general consensus, or did I just get some strange information?

I guess it has to do with the quality or something of the aperture blades and how better quality lenses have more, or more rounded, blades that give the aperture a more perfect circle.

I should also say that I love any shape of bokeh, so I really don't care either way. Just wondering what the consensus was, technically. I think that artistically, confining us to one shape is hogwash. But it's an interesting point.

Dandelion bokeh
Ben Hutchings 10 years ago
Personally, I prefer circular bokeh because it's generally smoother and more pleasing to the eye. I have nothing against other shapes though.
earthy turkey [deleted] Posted 10 years ago. Edited by earthy turkey (member) 10 years ago
Bokeh is subjective, a matter of personal taste. I've got some old rangefinder lenses that have odd shapes when stopping down the aperture, others that maintain almost perfect circles. Some that create pentagons as they only have five blades.

You can always shoot wide-open with a fast shutter speed and get circles everytime. Or buy 50 year old lenses!

This early 1950's Canon 50mm F1.5 maintains a circle when stopped down:

Burke Lake

I made a lens for a photographer "by request" that used an aperture disk to allow experimentation with Bokeh shapes. He was not limited to one shape.
I like all kinds of bokeh. Sometimes the softy fuzzy circles are what I feel like, sometimes I want a little edge to it. Heck, sometimes I want it heart shaped!

It's like art appreciation, everyone feels differently about it and no one is wrong :)

kktp_ PRO 10 years ago
More rounded shape and more aperture blades will lead to more circular looking bokeh. Wide-open usage also lead to more circle shape than when you stopped down.

There's also donut shape bokeh which come from mirror lens.

But which kind of shape is better, it's all about personal taste :)

Alex takes photos. PRO 10 years ago
The best bokeh is meant to be silky and smooth.
I have a lens that makes the background look like a painting.
It is meant to give bad bokeh, but as you say, bokeh is in the eye of the beholder.
I'll be posting a new picture taken with the lens tonight.
Have a look.
I may even post it on this thread for you to judge.

My thoughts are, all bokeh is beautiful.
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