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Last time I checked, blender could only render depth of field effects in a post process pass, using the "Defocus Node", which seemed to get it quite wrong.

Is there now a way to include rays across a lens during tracing and produce a more realistic depth of field?

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In cycles rendering mode native DoF is supported. Select the camera, switch to the properties panel for the camera and set up DoF.

enter image description here

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Also you must use a real size object to obtain realistic result (to get a reliable f/stop response, like real world lenses). Small object at short focus distance make a great bokeh effect due to a shallow DoF. As a result, greater objects like a building (then relatively distant) create poor bokeh (deep DoF). Also play with some camera presets,like sensore size, and focal length.

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