This is what Canon’s “Defocus Smoothing” coating does to bokeh

Oct 25, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

This is what Canon’s “Defocus Smoothing” coating does to bokeh

Oct 25, 2019

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

YouTube video

Canon recently announced the new RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS lens for the EOS R mirrorless system. But what exactly does DS mean? Sure, it means “defocus smoothing”, but what effect does that actually have on the image? How does it make the bokeh look? Well, Canon has put out a video showing exactly how it looks.

The 90-second video shows a basic overview of defocus smoothing, along with some examples. It’s essentially Canon’s equivalent to the Apodization (APD) tech found in lenses like the Sony FE 100mm f/2.8 STF GM OSS.

Defocus Smoothing, Canon says, is a vapour-deposited coating that’s added to the front and rear surfaces of one or more elements which “has the effect of gradually decreasing the transmission factor from the centre to the periphery of the lens”. In plain English, this means that the out of focus areas all essentially have a sort of radial gradient feather, softening the edges.

The RF 85mm f/1.2L USM DS is the first Canon lens to feature the technology, and for the $300 cost difference over the non-DS version, it definitely gives a look that many photographers will prefer. It almost makes you wonder why they bothered to release a non-DS version at all.

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

7 responses to “This is what Canon’s “Defocus Smoothing” coating does to bokeh”

  1. Scott Valentine Avatar
    Scott Valentine

    Well, they bothered because some people prefer the different looks, or some people may not feel there is value in paying the $300 premium. Choice matters, especially when dealing with art.

  2. James Thomas Avatar
    James Thomas

    I like the “without” look. Just saying.

    1. Alexander L. Harris Avatar
      Alexander L. Harris

      Both look good, but to me it weirdly seems like the “without” has actually had something done to it rather than “not” done, like it’s had an extra level of post processing done to achieve the look.
      Not in a bad way, mind.

    2. Frances JR Tandoc Avatar
      Frances JR Tandoc

      I think my old 1960 135mm preset 16 iris blade lens has a defocussed effect, for 45 USD at ebay..

  3. Jolyon Ralph Avatar
    Jolyon Ralph

    Because some people don’t want the 1.5 stop loss of light at f/1.2

  4. Zeljko Plavsic Avatar
    Zeljko Plavsic

    They already have AA filter in all cameras so what’s the point of blurring images even more

  5. Cherman Aquino Avatar
    Cherman Aquino

    It’s looks like a phony (pun intended) bokeh.