diy custom bokeh cokin setup

Magicians aren’t supposed to reveal their secrets. Luckily this rule doesn’t really apply to photography.

  • whatisname 6y

    after having uploaded a bunch of custom bokeh shots, and having been asked 'how do you do that?' numerous times I decided to write a short tutorial about this.
    but first i have to apologize for my broken English, it's not as good as i used to be.

    anyways, here we go:
    this is not an exact science, and i don't believe that there is a 'right' way of dong this.
    this is how i do it...

    i shoot with a nikon 50mm f1.8, i think you might be able to achieve results similar to mine with a lens with smaller aperture, but I'm not really sure about that, since i never tested it myself.

    i use a Cokin P filter holder to hold the masks i make. you can get one fairly cheap on ebay - remember to buy one that fits the filter thread on your lens.
    diy custom bokeh cokin setup by whatisname
    diy custom bokeh cokin setup by whatisname

    (you could do -this- instead, but a filter holder just seems so much easier)

    the filters that fit the Cokin P are about 87mm wide (3.4 inches) so i cut a bunch of black cardboard squares measuring 87*87mm, marked the center and cut a shape in it. as you can see here you can do a wide variety of shapes.
    diy custom bokeh masks by whatisname

    the size of the hole you cut decides (to some degree) the size and sharpness of the end result - I've had the best luck with smaller holes - 7-15mm wide/tall.

    i usually shoot at night, but i should work in daylight as well.
    i don't think i have to explain about the bokeh effect itself - you should know how that works by now : )
    any point light in your bokeh will assume the shape of the hole in your mask. turning the focus ring on your lens will make the shape bigger/smaller depending on how mych 'out of focus' you are.

    i hope that this explains my method, if you have any further question feel fee to ask.

    happy bokeh-hunting!

    btw all credit goes to , this is where i first learned about custom bokeh. go check it out, its a cool site.
  • Nick Leong 6y

    thanks for this fantastic share.. starting to do some bokeh shoot..
  • whatisname 6y

    mikb - I'll look forward to seeing some bokeh-shots from you!
  • Donna McCraw 6y

    Thank you, this is brilliant!

    Found in a search. (?)
  • Donna McCraw 6y

    I guess I should have said - this is magical! :-)
  • Eric Morris Photography 6y

    Oh, now that's so clever...why did I bother constructing my own apparatus...I was planning on getting a Cokin filter holder and some filters anyway ... this is a great idea!
  • Steve 6y

    This is the same set-up I use. I guess great minds think alike!
  • whatisname 6y

    steve - i guess they do! : )
  • JR Rodriguez 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Christmas Bokeh, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • whatisname 6y

    thanks for the invite JR!
  • KayVee.INC 6y

    Thank you for the tutorial ^_^ .
    I tried it out last night, and I'm going to go try it out some more tonight ^__^
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Taken on November 27, 2008
  • ƒ/1.8
  • 50.0 mm
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