Can’t Afford High End Glass? Use Those Bokeh’ed Backdrops


Here is an interesting product for those who want to get that magnificent Bokeh right in the studio using cheap glass. Lastolite just came up with a new series of Out Of Focus Backgrounds. This is a pretty interesting idea that “enable photographers to create the out of focus look instantly, whether in the studio or a client’s home“.

Let me explains, one of the traditional ways to separate subject from background, is to set the camera on a wide aperture (say, f/2.8 or f/1.4) and focus on a close subject while letting the farther-away background to blur and create what some call ‘A creamy bokeh’ (Bokeh is that out of focus area in the photo).

Lastolite created two sets of background that are already out of focus. One set has Summer Foliage on one side and City Lights on the other. The other set has Autumn Foliage and Seascape.


Both sets come in 4×5′ using a collapsible frame (the one found in big screams and collapsible backdrops) which makes them both portable and usable in a studio. Those frames make sure the fabric is stretched and wrinkles free.

Here is the product description from Lastolite:

Lastolite Out of Focus Backgrounds enable photographers to create the out of focus look instantly, whether in the studio or a client’s home. Each double sided background is a convenient solution offering a unique Out of Focus feel and quickly adds new dimensions to portrait images

out-of-focus-back-02 out-of-focus-back-04 out-of-focus-back-03

What’s your take on those? will you consider getting one for $185 a pop (no pun intended)

[Out Of Focus Backgrounds | Lastolite]

  • Lance King

    Those could be useful in some studio situations. But $185? Eeep!

  • Rob Black

    “: Can’t Afford High End Glass? Use Those Bokeh’ed Backdrops –” Clever idea, will reserve judgment.

  • Chris Perry

    They still look like studio shots in front of a backdrop though – not very convincing to be honest.

  • Stewart Norton

    Get that kind of dof with a Nikon 50mm f1.8.. £78.

  • Zamfirescu Vladimir-Alexandru

    Or a cheapie manual lens from the dark ages – absurdly inexpensive. It’s how I started.

  • Alexandre El Ayoubi

    Still more expensive than a 1.8 canikon

  • Sam Dickinson

    Kind of a cool idea, but overpriced. Much cheaper to just buy a 50mm.

  • Bokeh Monk

    Kinda cheesy for photographer’s but clients may lie ’em

    • Bokeh Monk

      truly had auto-completion !

      …client’s may LIKE ’em

    • Jim Johnson

      My thought is to learn to shoot with the glass you’ve got. If you can’t get creamy bokeh, don’t try to shoot photos that rely on bokeh!

      Stop following trends!!!

      • ext237

        Bokeh? Trend? Guess photographers have been following that trend for 80 years too long?

        Such good advice until that last sentence, ruined everything.

        • Jim Johnson

          The over use of bokeh is everywhere.

          Most beginners (and even some seasoned pros) think the only way to shoot a portrait is with the camera wide open with fast glass in front of it. I’ve even heard some people say that bokeh “makes you look professional”.

          That’s the trend I was referring to.

          • Jon Stuart

            Way too many Douchbags on this website !!!

  • ext237

    Having a studio and using cheap glass? Is that kinda like having a race car with a really nice paint job and really cheap wheels?

    • Jim Johnson

      Studio is just a space. It costs nothing if you already have it (a garage, basement, etc).

  • Kurt Langer

    I reckon they did a pretty good job on the print. Would be a nice backdrop change if you don’t live near the sea or a forest or a city.. 😉 Imagine the double bokeh you could create with your lens.

  • schnellman

    As a photographer, don’t think I would want this. But I bet they sell a ton of these.
    As a videographer, I would like a 45-foot wide one of these, so I could use f8 and not have to worry about focus so much and person could be walking. :) Still not sure I could bring myself to get it.

  • gs_790

    I kind of get the idea, and the price is similar to other collapsible studio backgrounds. But I think, as a burgeoning portraitist, I’d be more inclined to double the money, get something like an SB-700, and go outside.

  • Jc Torres

    This isn’t a great solution, is more expensive than a Canon 50mm 1.8

    Canon 50mm 1.8 $125
    Lastolite Out of Focus Background $185

    • Jim Johnson

      Yeah, this isn’t for people who can’t get bokeh. It’s for people who don’t want to leave their studio. It’s for faking photos.

      • Jc Torres

        i really enjoy going into locations, i think this is for lazy photographers lol, but if you want a fake background its a lot cheaper buying a muslin backdrop and print it in office depot and a lot bigger an cheaper

  • Irvin P

    Seam to me that all the readers here, living in their Mom’s basement would really enjoy this!

  • Mike

    $185? Wouldn’t it be super simple to make one of these on posterboard for $20?

    For the amount they want you can get a middle road bokeh lens for the price of a couple of these.