Author Topic: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It  (Read 705 times)

BruceSD

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I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« on: March 15, 2020, 17:21:52 »
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My favorite camera gear seller in the USA is Roberts Camera in Indiana.  And no, I'm not associated with Roberts in any way.

They recently listed for sale on Ebay my "bokeh dream" lens, the Nikkor 300mm f/2 AIS  -  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Nikon-Nikkor-AIS-300mm-F2-ED-IF-Lens-300-2-RARE-Lens-Only-424/143549630575?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

Only $24,000.    Only 424 ever made.  So rare that I could not find a single image taken with this lens on Linkedin.

If only I'd win the lottery....   :-\

MEPER

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 17:40:08 »
Birna has it.....and the special made teleconverter for it (TC14-C).
Maybe consider a 200/2 which is much cheaper and also has a nice bokeh :-)

Frank Fremerey

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2020, 18:04:31 »
Birna has it.....and the special made teleconverter for it (TC14-C).
Maybe consider a 200/2 which is much cheaper and also has a nice bokeh :-)

Yes, the 2/200 is very nice and it is not too heavy. After one year in the Gym three times a week I do work with it more often than not ...
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

MEPER

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2020, 18:09:05 »
Yes, and if it is a newer version it has VR and can be used handheld for maybe portraits.
Don't think you would consider using the 300/2 handheld. It would probably require at least 5 days at week in the gym….

BruceSD

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2020, 18:40:59 »
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Yeah, the 300/2 at 17 pounds would be too much for me to handhold.

Frank, nice photo you posted of the tree.  Thanks for posting.

I am already saving up for a 200/2 lens.   Maybe next year.....

Roland Vink

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2020, 20:34:36 »
Any 400/2.8, 600/4 or 800/5.6 lens has an entrance pupil roughly the same as the 300/2 lens, and longer focal length (narrower angle of view), so their ability to blur away the background is the same or greater, if that is what you want. Apart from the original AI-S versions all are AF so are easier to focus, and also considerably lighter.

The listing also suggests only 424 were made because the serial number is 181424. That implies the first lens was no.181001. Actually the series started at 181121, so this is only the 304th lens made. The highest confirmed serial number is 182561 which suggests at least 441 units were made, assuming there are no gaps in the series.

Akira

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2020, 20:35:58 »
Yes, the 2/200 is very nice and it is not too heavy. After one year in the Gym three times a week I do work with it more often than not ...

Frank, I love this!
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

BruceSD

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2020, 21:12:52 »
Any 400/2.8, 600/4 or 800/5.6 lens has an entrance pupil roughly the same as the 300/2 lens, and longer focal length (narrower angle of view), so their ability to blur away the background is the same or greater, if that is what you want. Apart from the original AI-S versions all are AF so are easier to focus, and also considerably lighter.


Roland, thank you for posting.  I always learn so much from your posts.

The 300/2 lens has a blur index (focal/largest aperture) of 150.  That's the same as the 600/4 lens.   While the 400/2.8 and 800/5.6 have blur index's of 143 and therefore would produce slightly less blur.  While the 200/2 has a blur index of 100, producing much less blur than any of these other lenses, but of course it's much cheaper and lighter.

The reason that I got excited about the 300/2 that's on Ebay is that I'm not a big fan of 400, 600 and 800 supertelephotos lens.  For me, the 300mm focal is about as long as I like to shoot.

Roland Vink

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2020, 23:01:17 »
I regard the difference between 150 and 143 as trivial, and it does not take into account the difference in focal length. Consider this comparison: a 50mm lens at f/2 and 200mm lens at f/8. Both have  the same "blur index" of 25, but the 200mm lens will have a less busy background because the angle of view is narrower. But I understand that 300mm is the right focal length for you.

And it's not just about quantity, but also quality. Some lenses might have a large "blur index" but the backgrounds can still appear rough while others have background blurs which blend together more smoothly. If you are familiar with the DC lenses you will know that you can adjust the smoothness of the background blur by moving the DC ring between "R" (Rear - smooth background) and "F" (Fore - smooth foreground), even while the "blur index" remains the same.

BruceSD

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2020, 23:03:50 »
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Thanks much for the comments.  I fully agree.

I already own the 105 DC Nikkor.

Toby

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 02:05:15 »
That lens is so large as to be nearly impractical. And sometimes bigger is not necessarily better. Don't forget that you can get the same amount of blur with a smaller aperture lens focused closer. In this case, of course, the subject will be larger in frame for the same amount of blur, but this is not always a bad thing, and when focusing on subjects closer, often the smaller aperture lens is preferable to keep the blur from turning the background into unrecognizable mush.

I have my own story about this. I do have my dream bokeh lens. An English company named Dallmeyer made a series of lenses called "Super-Six", so called because all use a double gauss design of six elements in four groups. These lenses are legendary for their very characteristic bokeh. The series runs from 1 inch to 8 inches, all f1.9 except the 8 inch, which is f 2.0. I first bought a one inch, then was fortunate enough to manage to get a four inch. That is 102mm f1.9, relatively fast. That lens was, very unfortunately, stolen. Later I stumbled across an 8 inch and managed to get it. This is a 204mm f2.0, which is very fast for this focal length, and more so for a double gauss lens that covers 6"x9". It is fairly monstrous, weighing in at around eight pounds. Handholding it is like lifting weights.

While the 8 inch is exceptional and much more valuable than the 4 inch, There are many situations in which the wide aperture at that focal length is just too extreme. I have to stand so far back from every subject to NOT blur the background into nothing that it is certainly less useful than the 4 inch in many situations. Granted, the 8 inch can do things that the 4 inch cannot, but it is also a difference of a lens that is easy to handhold and transport at about one pound, compared to a monster that takes up the whole camera bag and weighs eight times that. The 300mm f2 would give you a few exceptional shots, and most of the time you would simply leave it at home.

Here are a few examples, first three shots with the 4 inch and then three shots with the 8 inch

BruceSD

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2020, 02:34:54 »
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Toby, I see what you mean.  Thanks for posting.

Between the 4 inch and the 8 inch, to my eye, I slightly prefer the softer bokeh balls of the 4 inch to the more "soap-bubblish" bokeh balls of the 8 inch.

Dave

Toby

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2020, 04:05:01 »
Hi Dave,
Actually this really depends on the amount of defocus. The 4 inch can have very hard bokeh if less defocused, like this:

Kenneth Rich

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2020, 04:14:15 »
So you cannot afford it- Not unlike most of the people on this site. Move on, let it go, you  probably will never afford it, unless a positive quirk of fate strikes. . . . a lotto win, a wealthy old grand parent leaving you an inheritance . . . . Are you a better  image maker than the lenses you can afford?  There must be a thousand lenses you may be able to buy. A hundred of them will be portrait lenses that will do the job. Fantasies can be fun, or they can be destructive of our soul peace.  Good luck in your search for a portrait lens that is obtainable.

Toby

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Re: I Found My "DREAM" Bokeh Lens But I Can't Afford It
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2020, 04:25:42 »
I might suggest projection lenses, many of which have very large apertures for not too much money. Edges might be soft in the Petzval types, but in portraits this can actually be a plus. Here are a couple of examples from an old Angenieux 100mm f1.2 lens that cost a few hundred dollars, and covers full frame very nicely