For many years I have sworn to the soft bokeh (out of focus area) at the Leica summilux 50mm 1.4.
So I was a bit interested in finding out how the Sony FE 35mm GM lens would perform dealing with bokeh on a sunny summer afternoon.
We sometimes drive a tour in the wonderful landscape and small coastal town on our island Funen. Last night and totally by coincidence we stumbled over a vintage car show at the harbour of Assens.
Wonderful old cars and enthusiastic car owners love to talk about their old cars. My wife recognized an old Volvo with that characteristic smell of leather she had known from her grandparent’s car. The same Volvo as we looked at here.
The softness and rendering of the out-of-focus areas is a quality of a lens not to be overlooked. Some lenses produce very sharp edges and rendering of colours or grey tones. And especially looking at the bokeh differs these lenses.
Some years ago I had a fast Voigtlander lens for my Leica M9 and I was newer and really satisfied with it. It was too sharp and crisp, even in the out-of-focus areas, not giving me the look that I wanted.
My favourite shooting style is almost always to shoot wide open with fast lenses so I get that shallow depth of field that brings the subject of my story in focus and blurs what is less important to show clearly.
Here the quality of the bokeh comes into play. I like images that are smooth and pleasing to look at even when I bring up contrasts and press the dark areas for black and white.
The Sony 35mm really showed its wort this day. I love how it delivers smooth bokeh. I did a small test that I rarely do because I basically always look at my pictures and how they perform as they are. I almost never zoom in on an image to check anything because we do not do that when we look at a picture. We look at it as it is. This is how I judge the quality of my tools normally.
I did an exception today though. By zooming in on an image of my wife in the out-of-focus area I could see how the lens handled this.