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How do I get the depth of field I want?

FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 22 Mar 2007 (Thursday) 10:56   
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ben4633
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I am still kinda new at this and this website has taught me tons in a pretty short time. I want to know if there is a good way to select a aperature setting and know how large my depth of field will be. Right now I am using the trial and error method of selecting different settings and shooting away till I get what I want. Also, it is very easy to get too much backround blur, which in some pictures can be very distracting. I am trying to take pictures where objects in the backround or foreground are still distinguishable but blurry while my subject is sharp. How do you guys go about selecting an aperature for your shots? Thanks in advance for all your advice!

Post #1, Mar 22, 2007 10:56:40


Canon 7D - Canon 50D - Canon 28-135 IS - Canon 580 EXII - Canon 15-85 - Canon 10-22 - Canon 70-200 IS 4.0L - Canon 400L 5.6

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inthedeck
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Personally, for landscapes, I try and use f/16 and slower (f/22, etc). For Macro, DOF is very shallow, so f4 and faster (i.e. f/2.8, etc) is best. For Flowers in a window, f/8 to f/11 is best. There's lots of variations...and all depends on what you are shooting.

Can you post a pic, and maybe some could help you figure out what you want blurred, and what not? That might explain a little more, as to what you are trying to do. Also, stopping down a lens, to say f/8 or f/11 will usually produce a nice sharp object, with a bit of blur in the bg.

Here's a thread -- THREAD 1 -- in which the DOF is shallow (i.e. f 5/6) for that particular shot.

Here's a thread -- THREAD 2 -- in which the subject is far away, but the DOF is very shallow as well, since the subject is small.

Here's a thread -- THREAD 3 -- where everything is shown, and it's a small aperture, f/8 or slower.

Oh, and feel free to leave comments in either one. Hope that helps.

Post #2, Mar 22, 2007 11:06:51


MCSquaredexternal link on Flickr
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rowdyred94
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Experience with your camera and your lenses will help. There are formulas for this sort of thing, but even with college math I'm too lazy to deal with them. ;-)a

Post #3, Mar 22, 2007 11:08:06


-Clint
..:: Canon EOS 30D :: Canon 18-135 IS & 50 f/1.4 & 70-200 f/4L :: SPEEDLITE 580EX & 430EX :: Kenko tubes :: PowerShot G3 ::..

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In2Photos
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There is always the DOF Calculatorexternal link.

Post #4, Mar 22, 2007 11:10:15 as a reply to rowdyred94's post 2 minutes earlier.


Mike, The Keeper of the Archive

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ben4633
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rowdyred94 wrote in post #2912697external link
Experience with your camera and your lenses will help. There are formulas for this sort of thing, but even with college math I'm too lazy to deal with them. ;-)a

This is what I was thinking, is it just experience that will get me what I want or is there a way to get the right blur in the right areas with formulas? I dont have the patience for college math either, I guess I just need to play with my lenses more, I will try to post some pics to give you guys an idea of what I am looking for. Thanks again

Post #5, Mar 22, 2007 11:13:39


Canon 7D - Canon 50D - Canon 28-135 IS - Canon 580 EXII - Canon 15-85 - Canon 10-22 - Canon 70-200 IS 4.0L - Canon 400L 5.6

http://www.flickr.com/​photos/aaronbphotos/external link

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DocFrankenstein
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http://www.luminous-landscape.com .../Digital%20Focusing​.shtmlexternal link
http://www.luminous-landscape.com ...ital%20focusing%202​.shtmlexternal link

Post #6, Mar 22, 2007 12:02:14


National Sarcasm Society. Like we need your support.

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DAMphyne
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Does your camera have a DOF preview? Sometimes that can give you an idea of what is going on.
Best way is to experiment.
Shoot something close with a open f-stop and then go to a smaller f-stop, then smaller yet, without changing your camera position.
Do the same thing from a more distant position.
Do it again from farther away.
You'll see the change in DOF and with a little experience you'll get the hang of it.

Post #7, Mar 22, 2007 12:26:22


David
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How do I get the depth of field I want?
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