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Poll - Depth of field

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Yeah, well you're almost pushing the bounds of low mag photomicrography there. I don't think the very limited DOF is a problem in any way. :cool:
  2. pilliwinks

    pilliwinks Well-Known Member

    I clicked the "yes, very accurately" box, but I'm not sure if I've answered the question at all. I couldn't say to a matter of feet what the depth of field is; but I start from not knowing accurately how far away my subject is either.

    I use a view camera with no distance scales at all; and depth of field is judged using a 4x magnifier on the ground glass screen. That means that if it looks sharp then, it looks sharp on a 20x16 (roughly).

    So I can be totally accurate but totally in the dark - depends which way the question is approached as to how I answer.
  3. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Hmm tilt and shift lenses for extreme macro- might have to query this on photomacrography.net!
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    I had a better idea of what to expect when using 24,50 or 85mm on full frame. I am not as accurate in controlling DOF with a zoom on DX. This is for several reasons. I am not always conscious of what focal length I am using unless I take the camera away from my eye to look. I do not automatically correctly anticipate DOF at intermediate focal lengths and I have not widely used the old fixed focal length lenses on DX.
    I think that knowing the principles, or should that be principals, helps me to get DOF right when I have the time to think about it. All too often thinking about it misses the shot when you are photographing action.
    One really needs to know as if it was instinctive what is going to happen; that is what I have lost in my move to zooms and DX.
  5. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    I do miss DoF scales on most modern AF lenses.

    I'm surprised that, given the computing power in modern cameras, nobody's come up with in-camera displays to help controlling DoF - e.g near and far limits of sharp focus given the current aperture, focal length and focus distance, or automatic hyperfocal focussing, perhaps with a setup option for the photographer to enter the desired circle of confusion.
  6. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Fuji have with the X100. :cool:
  7. zx9

    zx9 Well-Known Member

    Some of the old EOS film cameras had 'Depth' program mode, you could set focus for near and far limits in the scene, the camera would look after focus and aperture.
    This setting (AFAIK) disappeared on the digital cameras.
  8. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Great! I haven't seen it mentioned in any of the X100 reviews I've seen so far (my subscription AP didn't turn up on Saturday :( ). Let's hope that the idea catches on with the other manufacturers.
  9. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Depends on whether you're referring to the manual depth of field option, where you manually selected the nearest and furthest points required to be acceptably sharp, or the auto-exposure version (A-Dep) which calculates the DoF from the AF points covering the nearest and furthest areas. I'm not sure how many models had the manual option (my EOS10's do) but the A-Dep was more common and did carry across to the digital models - all my digital EOS have it - though in common with the film range it's missing from the highest end models (1D etc.)
  10. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Tilt shift lenses do not alter depth of Field, they change the plane of focus.
  11. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Hmm tilt and shift is an old technique employed with plate cameras from way back when. Done for a reason- to gain depth, implied or actual I can't say.
  12. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I started life with Glass Plates Large format in the 40's

    When I said
    That is exactly what I meant.

    If you want to focus down the length of a building you can shift the plane of focus down that line. However the depth of Field extends at right angles to that line and remains the same. Not many truly understand camera movements today, even the books get it wrong.
  13. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    As Terry says it's about getting the plane of focus at an angle. You may be able to see it in the below shot as the plane of focus is relatively narrow....


    The top of the antler fungi (or whatever you call them:eek:) is nearer the camera than the bottom but the ground was preventing me getting any lower to line up the plane of focus with the subject. Also, the top right of the subject is nearer than the top left but I couldn't move to the left or the bit of out of focus bit of tree stump in the foreground would have covered the subject.

    If I'd tried to shoot that with my 100mm macro I'd have needed to use a much smaller aperture - lets say f/18 for the sake of it. I shot it using tilt and shift to align the plane of focus with the subject and at f/5.6 instead.

    Or in this wide open shot one side of the bairn's face is in focus and the other isn't because the plane of focus is at a whacky angle....
    ....there's lots of fun to be had with a bendy lens:D
  14. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Aye, good shots, and a good demonstration of the technique
  15. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    It's a fixed focal length none interchangeable lens. You could learn it's DOF characteristics in less than ten minutes. Even I could do so in less than half an hour.
  16. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Fixed lens camera, and it costs a grand! I never realised!
  17. AlecM

    AlecM MiniMe

    I don't think this poll explores the issue in any depth....

    ....it's a bit shallow.
  18. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    In the latest issue Profbob has brought this thread back to life. To me his latest statement against convention is not controversial although I suspect that it was meant to be.
  19. Glassmann

    Glassmann Member

    Control of depth of field is one thing that film cameras did better than DSLR. Problem is everything looks sharp on the little screen and no scale on the lens. OK its fine for macro shots but nothing more artistic. I see people working out depth of field on mobile phones and dispair. In the same way I miss split screen focus giving you exactly the centre of the depth of field.
  20. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Hmmm well I disagree! I control DOF with my dslr just the same way I did with a film camera. Admittedly the lack of a distance scale is a sad omission on modern lenses, but many top end lenses still have them, for those that know how to use the hyperfocal distance!

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