Wednesday, November 25, 2015

BOKEH Test with Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8 & Sigma 24-105mm f/4

Nikon D750, Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, ISO 100, ƒ/1.4, 1/2000
I was at an event lately and another photographer noticed my lens and the first thing he asked was how was the BOKEH on that lens.

I just wanted to see what the BOKEH was on three of my lenses. I am showing you today the 1) Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art, 2) Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, and the 3) Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens for comparison of the BOKEH.

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So this is the closest I could focus the Sigma 35mm and then I just shot it at each aperture so you could see what the BOKEH looks like at each aperture setting.

Nikon D750, Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G, ISO 100, ƒ/1.8, 1/400
This is the Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G lens and as you can see I cannot first of all get as close to the pocket watch as I could with the Sigma 35mm. This is very important factor on how an object looks with a lens. If you subject is pretty small and you are trying to fill the frame then you can see here that some lenses with great BOKEH create a problem because now you have to crop the image to fill the frame with the subject.

Take a look at how the aperture affects the BOKEH with the Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G lens.

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You can tell already that you are getting less width of the background as compared to the 35mm.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, @24mm, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/200
Now here I am focusing as close as I can with the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens. I am shooting wide open aperture of ƒ/4. The shallow depth-of-field isn't there like with the 35mm or 85mm prime lenses.

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There is just not a huge difference in the aperture since you are starting 4 ƒ-stops less than with an ƒ/1.4 lens.

Another thing is the closest focusing distance with the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens is 17.7".

Closest Focusing Distance for the lenses

  • 11.81" – Sigma 35mm ƒ/1.4 DG Art
  • 17.70" – Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens
  • 2.62'    – Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G
The 85mm is measured in feet verses inches with the other lenses. However when you are shooting primarily headshots that is a good distance.

Nikon D750, Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens, @105mm, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 1/100
Now when you take the Sigma 24-105mm f/4 DG OS HSM Art Lens and zoom to 105mm at the closest focusing distance you fill the frame more with the subject and get pretty nice BOKEH at ƒ/4.

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Know your lens. You should know what type of look your lens will give you with a subject at a certain distance and aperture before you shoot a job, because you have taken the time to do something similar to what I have done here. I now have a baseline from which I have a pretty good idea of the look these three lenses give me at their closest focus distance with a subject.

The question is simple. Do you know what your lenses will give you before your next job?

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