The Bokeh In The Beast: Sony’s STF Bokeh Mastery Explained
When Sony introduced their new G-Master lenses, they designed them to produce the highest resolution and pleasing bokeh. For anyone unfamiliar with “bokeh”, that’s not a word from the latest Minion movie; its the Japanese word referring to the visual quality of the blur in the out of focus area in your images. While stunning bokeh is a key feature in the other lenses in the G-Master lineup; it is the focus, if not the primary purpose of the 100mm 2.8 STF lens. STF stands for Smooth Trans Focus, and if you are wondering how it make this lens stand apart every other new lens on the market, here is breakdown of what it means.
So… how does this work?
Sony included an Optical Apodization Element which acts as an in lens graduated neutral density filter that transmits the most light at the center and then gradually decreases towards the edges of the element.
The impact of this element creates an extraordinary smoothness to the bokeh in your images, avoiding both the distorted shape and harsh edges you may find in other lenses.
There is a high level of thoughtfulness in this design and presents yet another example of Sony setting their products apart from their competition. Futhermore, the 100m focal length and the specialization in the design gives this lens the opportunity to go unchallenged and develop a cult following from photographers. At a price just shy of $1,500, this bokeh ain’t cheap and while it is slower than Nikon’s 105mm f1.4, it is $700 dollars less expensive. Ultimately, this seem like a lens worthy of the G-Master label that will be alluring portait photographers for years to come.