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How to use the depth of field - Cameras

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Hi Michelle,

"Depth Of Field" (or DOF) is the amount of distance both in front and behind the point of focus that is also in focus. If there is a very short distance or range of an area that is in focus, it is said to have a shallow depth of field. This shallow DOF is achieved by setting the aperture or "f stop" to the wider or lower number settings. The smallest f stop number will provide the shallowest DOF. The DOF will become broader ir deeper with each increasing f stop setting.

Shallow DOF settings are often used in portraits where the background is desired to be blurred. It is also used in macro (extreme close up) photography, and anywhere a blurred foreground / background is desired.

The down side of this is that the shutter speed will increase proportionately, to maintain a properly exposed image. If you are trying to convey a sense of motion - by allowing the subject to be blurred slightly - you'll have some trouble due to the fast shutter speed. Neutral density filters fixed to the lens can correct this. The other side of the coin is in an indoor and evening outdoor photography. If you're not using a flash, you'll likely have to be shooting more towards the "open end" of the lens (more towards the lower number aperture settings) which while allowing enough light for an good exposure - will also reduce the DOF. Some people or objects in front of and behind the focus point will not be a sharp as a result.

The best thing to do is experiment. set a number of object on a surface - 2', 3' 4' 5' and 6' away from the camera. A tripod or other solid surface can help a great deal. Set the camera up for a "normal" exposure in a full manual or Aperture Priority Mode of the middle object 4 feet away. Take a picture. Next, open the aperture (make the number smaller) and adjust the shutter (if in manual) to expose properly again. Take the picture. Keep doing this both BOTH directions for the aperture from the first "Normal" exposure. Compare the results to see exactly how the DOF changes. Tinker with shutter speeds - or don't change them. Notice that with each time you open the f stop, the shutter must speed up to compensate for more light entering the camera due to the wider aperture setting (and vice versa).

I hope I understood your question correctly and that this helped.

Posted on Oct 11, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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I know the rules for a still camera, film or digital, for the relationship of aperture and shutter speeds. Example: average light source one may use f8 and 1/250 shutter speed. Or f16 at 1/60 shutt


What's your question? The rules are the same for video as for still pictures. After all, all the video camera is doing is taking a rapid sequence of still pictures.

Jan 27, 2013 | Canon GL1 Mini DV Digital Camcorder

Tip

Controlling Depth of Field


A photographed object will only appear sharp in an area a specific distance from the camera. The human eye and brain still accept some areas of the image as acceptably sharp if they lie near the plane of focus and already show a small degree of blur. This zone, which is still in acceptably sharp focus, is called depth of field.

You'd typically want a wide depth of field when shooting landscapes, so as to have everything from the flower in the foreground to the mountains on the horizon in focus. You'd typically want a narrow depth of field for such subjects as portraits and flowers, blurring the background to avoid distractions.

How large this depth of field is depends on the distance to the subject, the aperture, and the focal length of the lens. Whether you're shooting film or digital makes no difference.

If the plane of focus lies further away from the camera, the depth of field is wider than if the camera focuses on an object close by.

Small apertures (large f/numbers) result in a wider depth of field.

Short focal length lenses (wide angle) have a wider depth of field than long focal length lenses (telephoto).

The depth of field is determined by the actual focal length of the lens, not the "35-mm equivalent" often used in the camera specifications. Because most compact cameras have sensors much smaller than SLRs, they have much shorter lenses, giving wider depth of field. This is great for landscapes, not so great for portraits.

To get a narrow depth of field, set the aperture as large as you can (smaller f/numbers), move in close to the subject, and zoom in. If your camera doesn't give you direct control over the aperture, try using the Portrait mode. And yes, the last two items above, moving in close and zooming in, are in opposition, You'll have to decide on the best balance for your picture.

To get a wide depth of field, set the aperture as small as you can (larger f/numbers), move away from the subject, and zoom out. If your camera doesn't give you direct control over the aperture, try using the Landscape mode.

Before going on vacation or shooting your child's wedding, experiment with these factors. Shoot things in your backyard or at a park, trying for both narrow and deep depth of field, then look at the pictures on your computer.

on Jun 23, 2011 | Cameras

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Depth of field is the characteristic of how much of, or how deeply, the...


Depth of field is the characteristic of how much of, or how deeply, the photograph is in focus. If the main subject is in focus but the foreground and background are blurred, the photo is said to have a shallow depth of field. if most of the photo is in focus, including the foreground and background, the photo is said to have a wide depth of field.

Depth of field is controlled by the aperture setting:

- A wide aperture setting (indicated by a low f-stop number) will provide shallow depth of field, resulting in the main subject being in focus and the foreground and background being blurry. This setting is particularly useful when taking portraits or when using a macro lens.

- A narrow aperture setting (indicated by a higher f-stop number) will provide wider depth of field, resulting in the entire photo being in focus. This setting is particularly useful when taking landscape or wide-angle photographs.

The photographs below are examples of how the same subject will photograph using different aperture settings. Note that as the aperture closes, which will allow less light to reach the image sensor, the shutter speed gets faster to produce the appropriate exposure.



shajanrs.jpg

shajanrs_0.jpg

shajanrs_1.jpg

shajanrs_2.jpg

I think you have got a general idea about depth filed. If you have further questions, you can ask me directly. http://www.fixya.com/users/shajanrs






depth of field - what is depth field - how depth field affects picture - how to adjust depth field - DEPTH FIELD - depthfield - DEPTHFIELD

on Jan 08, 2011 | Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W50 Digital Camera

1 Answer

How to isolate the background with finepix s2950


You're looking for what's called a narrow depth of field. The depth of field is controlled by three factors.
The shorter the focal length of the lens the wider the depth of field. To decrease the depth of field, zoom in to a longer focal length (to the telephoto end of the range).
The closer you are to the subject the narrower the depth of field. To decrease the narrow field, move closer to the subject. Also, separate the subject from the background as much as possible.
The wider the aperture the narrower the depth of field. Unfortunately the lens on your camera does not have a particularly wide aperture.
In addition to all that, the sensor on your camera is much smaller than the sensor on a dSLR or most film cameras. This means that the lens on your camera is much shorter than would be used on those larger cameras. From the first point above, a shorter lens gives a wider depth of field. The point is that a compact camera simply cannot narrow the depth of field nearly as much as a larger and more sophisticated camera.

May 01, 2012 | FUJIFILM FinePix S2950 / S2990 Digital...

1 Answer

Is there a way to check the depth of field on the Nikon N2020?


Other than consulting a depth of field chart or calculator, no, unfortunately.

Mar 09, 2012 | Nikon N2020 35mm SLR Camera

1 Answer

How can I blur the background with a Fujifilm s4000


You want a narrow depth of field. Here's a tip on controlling the depth of field:
http://www.fixya.com/support/r9564373-controlling_depth_field

Jun 21, 2011 | FUJIFILM FinePix S4000 / S4050 Digital...

1 Answer

How do i enhance the depth of field using a NIKON coolpix S8000. I can't get the background to blur


You want to narrow the depth of field. Unfortunately, compact cameras with their small sensors make this difficult. Below is a tip giving pointers to narrow the depth of field as much as possible.
http://www.fixya.com/support/r9564373-controlling_depth_field

Dec 30, 2010 | Nikon COOLPIX S8000 Digital Camera

1 Answer

How do i get a clear shot of an object with a blur effect on the background with my canon powershot s90? if i am at the custom setting,... how do i get it programmed???


You're seeking what's called a "narrow depth of field." Depth of field is controlled by three factors: focal length of the lens, the lens aperture (f/stop), and distance from the camera to the subject.

The longer the lens, the narrower the depth of field, The larger the aperture, the narrower the depth of field. The closer the distance, the narrower the depth of field.

Unfortunately, the lens on the S90 is a 6-22.5mm zoom, and a lens that short is going to give you a rather wide depth of field in all cases except extreme closeups.

Here are some things you can TRY to get the desired effect:

Set the camera to the sports or portrait mode to get it to try to reduce the depth of field.

Put as much distance between the subject and the background as possible.

Get as close to the subject as possible.

Zoom in as much as possible. (I know this conflicts with the previous one.)

Oct 14, 2010 | Canon Cameras

1 Answer

Depth of Field Preview Buttom


Your D60 does not have a depth-of-field preview.

Jul 13, 2010 | Nikon D60 Digital Camera with 18-55mm lens

1 Answer

Why doesn't f2.8 show depth of field?


Yes. But the operative word is "bit." Because of the small sensor size of the P90, you have a short lens. Zoomed all the way out, it's 4.6mm. A 4.6mm lens is going to give you quite a bit of depth-of-field, no matter what aperture you use. Even zoomed in, it's 110.4mm.

Compact cameras simply can't give you narrow depth of field. Not without altering the laws of physics.

Jul 01, 2009 | Nikon COOLPIX P90 Digital Camera

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