edited January 2016 Posted in » Nikon D3300 Forum
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for getting some really good Bokeh shots (love the ones with light orbs in the background)? I just got the D3300 with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses. Which lens should I use, and where should I start with settings on my camera?

Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks.


  • edited January 2016
    Bokeh is a quality that varies considerably from lens to lens, even if the depth of field is similar, and it's also quite subjective. Two lenses of nearly identical specs can have very different bokeh depending on design, and how different qualities and aberrations are handled. However, the basic requirement for bokeh is shallow depth of field, so that you can have a basic subject in focus, but everything else out.

    Depth of field is determined by three things: aperture, distance, and focal length.

    You want the largest aperture you can get (smallest F number), the longest focal length (obviously limited by how far away you can stand), and the least distance. You'll get the best shot at bokeh with your setup by using the 55-200mm lens at a medium to long focal length, though you can get some with the 18-55mm too if you're careful.

    Focal length and distance can cancel each other out to some extent, since the same subject size can be achieved by using a shorter focal length lens closer. However, a longer focal length will give you somewhat shallower DOF even though the distance must be greater.

    In addition, there is a perspective difference. A long lens will tend to compress perspective, making background objects closer in size to the subject. The advantage of that varies, but in some cases, the combination of larger size with slightly more blur can make background objects seem more abstract and thus less distracting.

    As much as possible, keep your subject well separated from background and foreground objects. The further your subject is from everything else, the easier it gets. With the right placement, you can get good results even with the 18-55mm.

    Remember too that the zooms you have are variable aperture zooms. The short end of the 55-200mm will be faster (better for bokeh by a hair) than the long end of the 18-55mm.

    The relatively slow kit zooms will always present a bit of a challenge, and if you want an easier job of it, save up your pennies and get a faster lens. A prime lens with a bigger maximum aperture will make the job much easier.

    Don't overdo it. Remember that it's most important to get your subject in focus. Don't sacrifice clarity for bokeh.
  • edited January 2016
    Thank you! Will take your much appreciated advice and play around with it.
Sign In or Register to comment.