This is one in a series of posts on the Fujifilm GFX 100S. You should be able to find all the posts about that camera in the Category List on the right sidebar, below the Articles widget. There’s a drop-down menu there that you can use to get to all the posts in this series; just look for “GFX 100S”. Since it’s more about the lenses than the camera, I’m also tagging it with the other Fuji GFX tags.
There are two important aspects to bokeh. It seems most people, when they hear the word, think immediately of the look of parts of the scene that are for out of focus. That’s a good thing to think about when buying, selecting, or using a lens, but the, ahem, focus, of today’s post is going to be on another aspect of bokeh: the characteristics of the lens in reddering subjects that are nearly in focus. The way the lens handles the change from sharply in focus to definitely out of focus is important in the look that the camera and lens give to three-dimensional subjects closer than landscape distances.
The MTF Mapper returns information about the line spread function (LSF), which can be thought of as the radial component of the point spread function (PSF).* The PSF defines the image-forming behavior of the lens. Looking at the PSF yields the same information as looking at the modulation transfer function; the difference is that the PSF is in the space domain, and the MTF is in the frequency domain (thanks to Joseph Fourier, 1768-1830). Sometimes the frequency domain is the way to look at things. Other times, you’re better off staying in the space domain. Trying to assess the rendering qualities of a lens in the space domain seems to work better. For one, it’s pretty easy to do it in a way that allows you to visualize the color effects. For another, do to looking at out of focus distant spectral highlights, we are more or less used to looking at PSFs.
The below image was made at 45mm and f/4, using a radial edge near the right side of the image. The vertical direction is the shift of the focal plane with respect to the plane of the sensor. Focus distance runs from top to bottom, with front-focused at the top and back-focused at the bottom. The horizontal axis a heavily-magnified view of distance in the sensor plane. The colors are highly approximate; I just assigned the raw channels to their respective sRGB channels.
This shows a little longitudinal chromatic aberration (LoCA).
The tangential edge shows lateral chromatic aberration (LaCA). Note the blue to the left of the edge when the edge is in focus.
The LaCA doesn’t go away when you stop down a stop.
There is still LaCA.
At 60 mm focal length:
At 100 mm focal length: