What is a 'Bokeh Pano'?

A 'Bokeh Panorama' is an image, stitched together from a set of photos, taken on a longer focal length lens, with a large entrance pupil. This emulates a wider angle lens with impossibly shallow depth-of-field. Below is a comparison between a single image from a fast wide angle lens (35mm f/1.4) and a 'Bokeh Pano' taken from a fast tele lens (135mm f/1.8).

35mm f/1.4 (single image)


Both of the above samples are focused to the same point and distance. Each lens is set to its widest aperture. Below is an example of how the individual frames of the 'Bokeh Panorama' look before they're stitched. These are arranged by hand, but the above example was automated and projected in a manor that fixed most of the distortion.


Laying out the images this way makes it appear that there isn't enough coverage in the top left corner to match the single 35mm field of view, but actually there is (although very close and I was extremely lucky here). This is due to the way the images are 'projected'. When projected more correctly, using Microsoft ICE's 'Perspective' mode you can get very close the way that actual wide angle rectilinear lenses display the world...


If you take and stitch more images you can emulate as wide of an angle as you like (although this will give more distortion the wider you go and the wider lens you start with). This next shot compares a 25mm f/2 lens to the Bokeh Pano FOV equivalent using the 85mm f/1.2 lens:

25mm f/2


An added bonus from the resolution increase is higher ISO capability. Although both images were taken at iso 3200 (the faster 85mm needed a higher shutter speed to avoid camera shake) when viewed at the same distance the panorama is considerably less noisy.

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