can i do bokeh using a regular canon efs 18-55mm lens?

or on ef 75-300 mm one?

i know how to do bokeh by zooming in & unfocusing it.

but i'm wonder if i could do it on those lens by cutting the holes out of black paper and taping it on. & if i could what about the settings?

& if i can't which lens would i need?

btw i have canon rebel t3i, if that helps.

thanks 10 points for best answer :)

9 Answers

  • Judas
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The focal length of the lens doesn't necessarily matter when you are doing bokeh. What's important is the maximum aperture. If you look round the barrel of the lens, the 18-55mm lens will probably say something like 1:4-5.6. This means fully zoomed out, the aperture can open up as much as f/4, and fully zoomed in, f/5.6.

    For the best bokeh, use whichever lens offers the lowest aperture number. Neither of those lenses will be excellent for bokeh, so you might like to try the Canon 50mm f/1.8 prime (non zoom) which is excellent for bokeh, background blur, and low-light usage.

    I used this 50mm f/1.8 to create a star bokeh effect using black paper - link below.

  • 9 years ago

    Bokeh refers to the quality of the out of focus parts of an image, not the out of focus parts themselves. The technique is called 'selective focus'. It's all about depth of field.

    To get the narrowest depth of field, use a wide aperture and get close to your subject. The larger the sensor your camera has the narrower the depth of field will be. Depth of field refers to the parts of the image from the camera to the horizon that's in acceptable focus.

    Any bright areas in the out of focus parts of the image will take on the shape of the aperture, most lens manufacturers go to great lengths to try to keep the aperture as round as possible over it adjustment range which gives the best 'Bokeh', but you can play with this, by covering your lens with a small hole shaped any way you want, the bright areas will take on that shape. Note this applies more when a light source is in the image subjects such as Christmas tree lights.

    You can get 'Star Filters' which use the same effect to make any point of light into a star.


    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    For about the 102nd. time "bokeh" is a Japanese word that, translated, means "pleasing blur" and is used to describe the out of focus highlights in the background. The smoother and rounder the out of focus highlights the better the bokeh is said to be. Some lenses produce good bokeh when used wide-open but when stopped-down the design of the diaphragm inside the lens comes into play. Many inexpensive lenses have a 5 bladed diaphragm and the out of focus highlights in the background can turn out as pentagons - considered bad or poor bokeh. More expensive lenses will have a 9 bladed diaphragm which produces a more circular opening and results in rounded, smooth out of focus highlights - considered good bokeh.

    Here is how to make your own custom bokeh:

    Source(s): 40 years of learning about and enjoying photography and a simple web search for do it yourself bokeh.
  • joedlh
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    It sounds like what you're really asking is if these lenses would work for SHAPED BOKEH. Your unfamiliarity with photographic terms led others to perceive you as uninformed. So they gave you the standard answers about depth of field and blurred backgrounds. While perfectly correct, I don't think it answers your question. Do a search on shaped bokeh. You'll find loads of web sites that show how it's done. The critical element is that you need a background with highlights to be out of focus. You can accomplish that with either of your lenses by making the background very distant and using the widest aperture and longest focal length that you can in order to put the background highlights out of focus.

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  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I assume you just bought the camera? Probably the best thing to do would be to go out and buy a photography book. Since I think your in doubt with much more than just bokeh.

    I have no clue what you trying to do with holes in paper but bokeh has to do with aperture and how close you are to the subject in relation to how far the subject is from the background in the photo, I hope that made sense.

  • 9 years ago

    In photography, bokeh is the blur, or the aesthetic quality of the blur, in out-of-focus areas of an image, or the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light. So bokeh isn't simply a blurred effect, but the blurring of light or refracted light. It usually comes out looking like dots of color in your image. Many regular lenses won't do this, but it really depends on the fstop you can get to. You'd likely need to be able to open up to an f2 or larger in order to get a true bokeh, and I don't believe the 18-55 does. I think it only goes to f4 - f4.5

    Source(s): I'm a photographer.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    You can up to a point, but as others have said, you really need a faster aperture lens, or a lens with a waterhouse stop system (such as lensbabies) Stiff black card in a cokin holder will work up to a point, although the 50mm canon f1.8 is probably the cheapest way of getting the effect.

  • 9 years ago

    depends what bokeh you are trying to get...

    the bokeh round a subject, then maybe not as well as other subjects...

    shaped bokeh, then yes, cos it happens when you defocus the lens enough to see the shape:

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


    Source(s): Digital Photography Tutorials
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