Who doesn't like bokeh? It is an eye candy for photography lovers. It is the main reason why we pay 3 times more than a regular lens.

What is bokeh: Ok, there are different opinions about what bokeh is, what i mean is the blurring capability of a lens at the unfocused areas.

There are many factors dependent on nice bokeh. Distance from your subject, your subjects distance from the background, aperture-focal length ratio of the lens, and the aperture of your choice.

This time i am curious, if i shoot two different focal lengths, and try to shoot the same subject and scenery, what the outcome would be like. Nikon 200mm f2 vr ii and 400mm f2.8 vr are known for their world class bokeh.  

And they make excellent candidates for the bokeh challenge. With 200mm f/2, i will need to be naturally 2 times closer to shoot the same frame. This plays an important role in the bokeh. Vise versa for the 400mm.

Actually on paper 400mm 2.8 is supposed to blur much more than the 200mm. Because it's aperture-focal length ratio is greater than 200mm. 400:2.8= 142 versus 200:2= 100. This makes it a whopping % 40 percent better.

Does 2x closeness make it up for the blur? That is what i am looking for to find out. I uploaded the images in full resolution, for those who wants to download. Simply go on top of the image you want to download, right click and save.

Nikon 200mm f/2 vr ii and Nikon 400mm f/2.8 vr 



200mm f/2 vr ii



 400mm 2.8 vr




200mm f/2 vr ii


400mm 2.8 vr




200mm is a very speacial lens. It makes every image unique with its 3d look and creamy bokeh. Sure 400 too. But it is not really made for shooting portraits. It is for those who need the reach. Like wildlife/sports photography.

Check out this snapshot shot with 200mm f/2 vr ii.



While i am at it, also tried the 85mm f1.4 g.  Many claim a different focal length to shoot a portrait. Some say the best focal length for shooting portraits  is 85mm. The others say 200mm. Some claim it is 135mm or even 300mm.

Let's see one by one shut with 85mm, 200mm, 400mm.


85mm f1.4 g


200mm f/2 vr


400mm 2.8 vr


It was really challenging to get the same frame out of the two extremely different focal lengths. In my opinion 400mm 2.8 vr blurs slightly more then the 200mm. However, the difference is not as big as on paper.

400mm was supposed to blur % 40 more. However, when i cover the physical distance, 200mm gives very close results to 400mm.

I have to mention that, it was also extremely difficult to handhold the 400mm,(4.6kg/10 pounds) and the distance from the subject was so far, i had to use hand signs to direct the model. :)

For those, who wants to see the youtube video about this bokeh challange:


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