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Bokeh compared


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One of the properties of a lens is Bokeh. Bokeh describes the quality of the rendering of the out-of-focus areas in a picture. It is influenced mainly by the shape of the aperture. The rounder the better, usually. In a thread in the dpreview forums I had posted a pic of my Revue 55mm/1.4 with terrible Bokeh. After some of the comments, I decided to give some other 50mm lenses a bokehlicious workout. I chose 50mm/55mm lenses with 1.4, plus the Pentax lenses in this region I had available. Rounded off with three zooms and my Porst 35mm 1.8.
The results can be found in the folowing table. Please note that my comments are subjective, Bokeh is a matter of taste to a certain degree. Other subjects may yield different results.

Lens Picture Comment
Sigma 18-125mm 3.5-5.6 DC Aperture is 4.5 - with this subject, almost everything is in focus. The little bit of Bokeh that is there seems ok.
Unitor 35-70mm 2.5-3.5
M42 Auto/Manual
The old "superfast" zoom with a solid performance
Revuenon 28-70mm 4.0
M42 Auto
My favourite old zoom not bad either.
Pentax A 50mm/1.4 Someone said the Pentax A 50mm/1.7 has better bokeh than the 1.4. I cannot judge this, but the bokeh of the 1.4 is quite nice, a little bit of double-lining seems visible in the far back.
Pentax SMC Takumar 50mm/1.4
M42/SMC
The thirty years old M42 with a stunning performance.
Pentax SMC Takumar 55mm/1.8
M42/SMC
Slightly worse than the SMC 1.4, I'd say.
Pentax SMC Takumar 55mm/2.0
M42/SMC
I'd rate it between the 1.8 and the 1.4.
Pentax SMC Macro-Takumar 50mm/4.0
M42/SMC
Well, the Macro-Takumar is sharp as a knife, but at 4.0, DOF is rather large.
Fujinon EBC 50mm/1.4
M42 for Fuji - does not mount well on the Pentax *ist.
Almost as nice as the Pentax SMC 1.4
Auto Chinon 55mm/1.4
M42 Auto/Manual
Terrible background Bokeh.
Porst 55mm/1.4 #158329
M42 Auto/Manual
I have heard rumours that the Porst 55mm/1.4 are Chinon-made. The equally terrible background Bokeh seems to support this.
Porst 55mm/1.4 #806137
M42 Auto/Manual
I have heard rumours that the Porst 55mm/1.4 are Chinon-made. The equally terrible background Bokeh seems to support this. I have two Porst 55mm/1.4 with very different serial numbers but their Bokeh looks identical
Helios 44M-4 58mm/2.0
M42 Auto
For such a simple design, the Helios does really well.
Porst 35mm/1.8
M42 Auto/Manual
For comparison, the Porst 35mm/1.8 offers a much larger FoV and


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