Testing the lens - 3


One of the reasons why people are attracted to the X-10 is its nice fast lens, complete with its promise of being able to blur backgrounds more than most compacts, and hopefully offer some nice bokeh too.

Well, the former is true (to an extent) and you can blur the background more at the telephoto end of the X10 lens than you can with the typical kit lens that comes with a micro four thirds camera for example.  This image serves to illustrate the point:

However, there is a difference between background blur and the quality of the out of focus area (bokeh) and I'm afraid that as far as the latter goes, the X10 isn't quite as good as I'd hoped.  Shots of out of focus lights at nighttime are positively unpleasant (even allowing for orbs...) and bokeh during the daytime can be rather busy, especially at the longer end of the lens.  Take a look at this shot for example:

Bottom line - that fast lens is useful to keep the ISOs down and backgrounds more blurred than other compacts.  But don't expect it to give you great quality bokeh except when shooting macro (it works much better at 28mmm equiv) - the best image quality is when you stop it down to around f4 or 5, at which point bokeh is no longer much of an issue.