My take on the artistic merits of a good lens’ rendering of out-of-focus areas is slightly different. The points-of-light rendering is nice, but it’s the varying degrees of rendering as the eye travels through space that truly distinguishes the differences in quality. So, it’s the sharpness of the in-focus area, but then the very slight shift in focus for what’s within a foot of it, and how that starts to blend with what’s five feet away, ten feet, etc, as the bokeh gets more pronounced. The iPhone, for the time being, treats all distances as equal, so that subtle, painterly jaunt from Mona Lisa’s gaze to the soft sfumato three-arched bridge of Northern Italy behind her just isn’t going to happen.

Furthermore, a good lens will also, with equal grace, shift the tonality of blacks as you recede in space, too. Even at not-wide-open apertures. My 35mm Cron can create subtle dynamic range differences between foreground and background at f/8! So, the issue is not solely about blur OR bokeh — in fact, the world does blur, and lose contrast, with distance, as we see it through more atmosphere. Especially on foggy days…

Anyway, I’ve gone on too long. I agree with you, new technologies are new tools to be embraced and used to take us to new places. Even if they have no chance of replacing the old ones.

A deep dive into photography, with professional photographer, artist and director, Josh S. Rose. Top Writer: Photography and Creativity.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store