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boke with small digital cameras? Answered

I assume the answer is no, because I can't find any examples of it, but my question is

- is it possible to get the boke effects such as stars and hearts using a small lensed digital camera?

I've tried a scaled down version to the lens cap cut-outs used on SLRs but no luck; even with a big star or a very, very small star.

I put the camera on a tripod and use the candle light setting and manual focus or macro to get the blur but no stars.

I just want to know if it is physically possible before I waste any more time on it.

The lens is the size of a penny.

Thank you.




7 years ago

Thanks to everyone who has answered, to put it another way...

My camera is a pentax w10; just a small digital camera with no interchangeable lenses.

With SLR's the boke-star- highlight effect is achieved by replacing the lens with a stencil aperture.
My lens is always on; I wondered if anyone had achieved the star effect with my type of camera, maybe by using tubes or something.

I expected the answer 'no'; I haven't got it; but I haven't got a 'yes'  from someone who has tried it.

I understand the wide aperture and low light requirements; this camera does have manual(via menu) controls.



Answer 7 years ago

The lens generally isn't removed for these effects. It's best that an internal adjustable aperture is placed near the nodal point of a lens (usually in the middle of the optics) but it's not absolutely necessary.

I.E., with the lens aperture wide-open, the external "substitute aperture" is close enough to the nodal point to function as a normal one.

Are you testing under the right conditions? You won't see the stencil shape at all unless it's under the same conditions that you would enable you to see the shape of the internal leaf aperture--BRIGHT highlights, or essentially photographing a light source itself.

So seeing the shape of the (internal) aperture usually means that light is bouncing around within the lens itself--a condition that optical experts try to engineer out as much as possible, with coated optics and such...


7 years ago

First--does your camera have manual control? The cutout basically works as a replacement aperture, so the actual lens aperture needs to be wide open...

When I was in college (photo illustration degree, late 1970's), one prof talked about these effects. We didn't call them Bokeh, of course. This stuff has been around a lot longer than that term.

Anyway, this was his technique--create your cutout stencil on aluminum foil, and carefully press that into direct contact with the lens itself. Yeah, right on the glass itself. Scale the stencil for the effect you want.

The foil is soft enough to (allegedly) not scratch the optics. I've never tried it myself. I'm not sure I would on expensive lenses. But it will probably work with most cameras.


7 years ago

Ooh, photography question...

Try to get the shallowest depth of field (blurrier background) by zooming in mechanically (not digitally) all the way, and focus on an object as close as possible to the camera, (you might want to flower the flower macro button, if your camera has one.) Also, trick your camera into having a wider aperture, which also shollows the DOF, by taking a picture in a dark-ish place.


7 years ago

Try a small piece of clear plastic, and scuff or scratch the surface with something pointy.

Hold it over the lens, and (I think) it will work.