was noticing on a recent film, background out of focus points of light, perfectly round, has small speckles/dust... what causes that?
dust and or dirt on the sensor or the back element of the lens.
My best guess is dust on the rear element or inside the lens or on the front element.
You may also find that softening filters such as Pro Mists or Classic Soft will give you the same effect. I would say that in most cases, it is probably a Softening Filter.
100% it's a diffusion filter.
Sometimes a (large) fabric like net is placed behind the actors to "filter" the brightness from the background, which causes a pattern in the bokeh. As you have not posted an images, I'm not certain if we have the same in mind, as you mentioned a more random pattern.
I'd say it's diffusion filter too - I saw it particularly in Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
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