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      09-26-2008, 12:24 AM   #4
kaji335i
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The "blurry" background is referred to as bokeh, or out of focus area. While there are a few things that can effect the amount and quality of the bokeh, there are somethings you can test to see if you current lens produce the type of bokeh you are looking for. Set your lens to the largest aperture (smallest f-stop), and at the longer end of you focal length (if you are using a zoom), have your subject a good distance from the background and fire away. This should give you a pretty good idea of what type of bokeh your lens are capable of.

For good quality bokeh (this is very subjective and really dependant on the desired effect and the person viewing the photo) in Nikon lens, the benchmark has been the 85mm f1.4 lens for a long time, it produces very creamy bokeh with its curved aperture blades and the ability to go really shallow dof (1.4). Another alternative on the zoom side is the 70-200 f2.8. It's another pro lens that produces very nice bokeh. Both of these lens are very expensive ($1000 for the 85 and $1500 for the 70-200). Many people feel that the 80-200 f2.8 produces pleasing bokeh as well and is cheaper (around $700-800 used). On the cheaper side (but rather crappy focal length for pj style portraits) is the 50mm 1.4 which goes for around $250.

Check out nikoncafe.com and nikonians.org for more detailed information.