We have discussed what is bokeh, how to create gradient bokeh effect, custom bokeh shapes and so on. Bokeh is the visual rendering of circles of confusion. In this article, we are talking about soap bubble bokeh and swirly bokeh, they are legendary bokeh effects to add extra value in art photography. Without any doubt, these bokeh effects are specific to some known lenses. For the entry grade camera lenses from Nikon and Canon (which are famous for push sell) has lesser number of diaphragm blades and optics is not great. As body, we are counting Leica M series and Sony DSLT or DSLR bodies for our experience.
What Is Soap Bubble Bokeh And What Is Swirly Bokeh?
Soap bubble bokeh is a typical effect where each bokeh looks like a bokeh with an outer circle – which towards light colors look like soap bubbles.
Swirly bokeh is a total effect of background with lot of bokeh where the blurred background with bokeh gets an artistic swirly distortion.
Lenses For Soap Bubble Bokeh And What Is Swirly Bokeh
As quick recapitulation, in order to obtain great amount of bokeh, one need to use a large aperture, minimise the distance between camera and the subject, increase the distance between subject and the background, use longer focal length and fast lens.
All Meyer-Optik lenses produce soap bubble bokeh, but old Troplan is the king. Trioplan 100mm f/2.8 is one of the most unique lenses on this earth for soap bubble bokeh. It is expected to get some soap bubble bokeh from the Lydith 30mm f/3.5, Orestor 100mm f/2.8, Orestor 135mm, Fujinon 55mm f/2.2.
Helios 40-2 is the king of swirly bokeh for the Russain lenses, Helios 44-2, Yashinon 4.5cm f1.8 also produces swirly bokeh. Lensbaby Twist 60 is of special mention.
Most severe swirl peoples manage by refit Bell & Howell 2″ f1.6 projection lens. Refitting that lens is not easy. Any Chinese 25MM F/0.95 C-Mount lens will deliver good fun.
For practical reasons, I would suggest not to go crazy beyond Sony and Leica officially suggested lenses. These are basically distortions and you will find some DIY ways for both.