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Thread started 01 Jan 2014 (Wednesday) 19:01
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"Snapshots" With a Full Frame - Help Needed :-)

 
Nick_Reading.UK
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Jan 02, 2014 06:43 |  #16

rrblint wrote in post #16570239 (external link)
Also, don't focus on the front child, focus instead on an object between them.

I am confused. wouldn't the front child then be out of focus. Doesn't Depth of field range start from your focus point and then go backwards(Away from the Camera)?


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mark2009
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Jan 02, 2014 06:57 as a reply to  @ Nick_Reading.UK's post |  #17

Defiantly sounds like a Dof issue.

This is one of the reason I bought a sony rx100 for family snapshots, ..etc.

I would almost look into a 17-40, something like that for those type of shots.




  
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sapearl
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Jan 02, 2014 07:10 |  #18

Nick_Reading.UK wrote in post #16571177 (external link)
I am confused. wouldn't the front child then be out of focus. Doesn't Depth of field range start from your focus point and then go backwards(Away from the Camera)?

The range of acceptable sharp focus will start from slightly in front of the front child. That person will no longer be razor sharp, but will still have more than adequate clarity.


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davem01
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Jan 02, 2014 07:11 |  #19

Nick_Reading.UK wrote in post #16571177 (external link)
I am confused. wouldn't the front child then be out of focus. Doesn't Depth of field range start from your focus point and then go backwards(Away from the Camera)?

the depth of field stretches from 1/3 in front to 2/3 behind the plane of focus


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JeffreyG
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Jan 02, 2014 07:42 |  #20

davem01 wrote in post #16571209 (external link)
the depth of field stretches from 1/3 in front to 2/3 behind the plane of focus

Kind of. It is correct that the DOF extends both before and behind the plane of focus. The 1/3 - 2/3 myth is kind of shorthand for what is really happening and was born from landscape photography. It isn't all that good of a rule of thumb for closer distances thought.

At very close focus distances, the depth of field will extend evenly before and behind the plane of focus.

As the plane of focus moves away from the camera, the depth of field on the far side of it grows faster than the near side. This makes sense of course, because once the plane of focus reaches the hyperfocal distance, the far side depth of field extends to infinity.

So the limit of (far DOF / near DOF) = 1 as focus distance => 0

And the limit of (far DOF / near DOF) = infinity as focus distance => hyperfocal distance.

As for the OP......I think the main reason people didn't notice all this DOF problem in the age where we were all running around with 35mm film cameras was because for the most part people were making 3x5 and 4x6 prints. Now we can look at 1:1 views on the monitor which shows flaws, and I think people print a lot less often but print larger now when they do make a print.

Also, a smaller format isn't really a great fix. You can probably at worst equal a smaller format with your 35mm format camera by continuing to stop down and increasing ISO to preserve flash range.

When you have a small 1/1.8" sensor or similar, you do indeed get more DOF owing to the very short focal lengths used. But you also start to get diffraction softening by f/5.6 due to the extreme enlargement from sensor to print. Try using f/11 - f/16 with the 35mm sensor and increase ISO as needed to keep the flash range adequate. And be sure to try and place the plane of focus in the middle of the subjects from the standpoint of depth.


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SkipD
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Jan 02, 2014 09:04 |  #21

Nick_Reading.UK wrote in post #16571177 (external link)
I am confused. wouldn't the front child then be out of focus. Doesn't Depth of field range start from your focus point and then go backwards(Away from the Camera)?

Absolutely not.

Stuff some numbers into this depth of field calculator (external link) and you will see how much behind the front face you could focus and still have the front face acceptably sharp.


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Gobeatty
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Jan 02, 2014 09:11 as a reply to  @ JeffreyG's post |  #22

A number of excellent points and thanks to all.

"At very close focus distances, the depth of field will extend evenly before and behind the plane of focus."

Which means in my scenario I'm tossing away nearly half of the DOF when I focus on the near child!

I will see what I can achieve with smaller aperatures. It's tough coming from the film days - closing down for DOF and seeing ISO climb to 6400 is tough to swallow although I know the 6D is amazing at these ISOs, although softening creeps in due to the NR that is needed.

I also know if I got an m4/3 or similar, I wouldn't be satisfied with the low light performance, which is why I got the 6D in the first place :-)

The answer for now I think is to keep all of these factors in mind and make it a habit, when I know DOF will be tight, to:

1-Step a bit back (gives a huge DOF increase - square to the distance)

2-Zoom a bit wider and plan to crop, mimicking APS-C or so

3-Stop down an extra stop or two and let ISO go higher

4-Focus in the middle (throwing away half DOF otherwise)


I hope that by doing each of these in moderation the negative effects of cropping and higher ISO will be contained.

I also plan to do some tests and leard for myself where the DOF boundaries are.


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rrblint
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Jan 02, 2014 09:11 |  #23

Nick_Reading.UK wrote in post #16571177 (external link)
I am confused. wouldn't the front child then be out of focus. Doesn't Depth of field range start from your focus point and then go backwards(Away from the Camera)?

No, DOF extends both in front of and behind the plane of focus. See JeffreyG's post or consult a DOF calculator for more details as the calculations get rather complicated.


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rrblint
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Jan 02, 2014 09:17 |  #24

Gobeatty wrote in post #16571437 (external link)
A number of excellent points and thanks to all.

"At very close focus distances, the depth of field will extend evenly before and behind the plane of focus."

Which means in my scenario I'm tossing away nearly half of the DOF when I focus on the near child!

I will see what I can achieve with smaller aperatures. It's tough coming from the film days - closing down for DOF and seeing ISO climb to 6400 is tough to swallow although I know the 6D is amazing at these ISOs, although softening creeps in due to the NR that is needed.

I also know if I got an m4/3 or similar, I wouldn't be satisfied with the low light performance, which is why I got the 6D in the first place :-)

The answer for now I think is to keep all of these factors in mind and make it a habit, when I know DOF will be tight, to:

1-Step a bit back (gives a huge DOF increase - square to the distance)

2-Zoom a bit wider and plan to crop, mimicking APS-C or so

3-Stop down an extra stop or two and let ISO go higher


I hope that by doing each of these in moderation the negative effects of cropping and higher ISO will be contained.

I also plan to do some tests and leard for myself where the DOF boundaries are.

Very good summation. Follow this guide and don't forget to ETTR to help with the noise at higher ISOs and your family snapshots should show MARKED improvement.


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EOS5DC
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Jan 02, 2014 09:57 |  #25
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BigAl007 is today's winner. I shot stuff like kid's b'day parties with film. I was amazed when I first shot ASA 400 Kodak! Back then you HAD to use flash. Today's cameras offer very high comparative film speeds. Unfortunately, we are still using yesteryear's physics. My solution to the OP's problem several-fold. First, if you've got it, shoot APSc. You'll use a wider angle to frame the same shot at the same distance. That gets you more DOF. Use f/8. Use flash. Use the widest angle you can get away with. The difference between FF @ f2 and APSc at f/8 is huge. Focused at 6': FF, f/2, 40mm yields < 1' DOF - APSc, f/8, 24mm yields > 7' DOF. Very similar framing.

The other alternative is a P&S, which is where my 260 comes in handy.


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Jan 02, 2014 11:06 |  #26

deanedward wrote in post #16570271 (external link)
stop pixel peeping. you'll be happier and you'll take better photos.

Friends don't let friends pixel peep.

http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=0toBw68L5Y4 (external link)


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Jan 02, 2014 11:19 |  #27

A 24 or 28mm lens would help mitigate this problem. Even a 35mm lens would make a difference.


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Gobeatty
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Jan 02, 2014 11:54 |  #28

EverydayGetaway wrote in post #16571770 (external link)
A 24 or 28mm lens would help mitigate this problem. Even a 35mm lens would make a difference.

I was just plugging in numbers into a DOF calculator and was astounded at the difference from 50 to 35 to 28 and 24. Assuming the same shooting distance, I would give back some of the DOF gain when cropping to achieve the same framing of the final image but there would still be a gain.


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JeffreyG
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Jan 02, 2014 12:05 |  #29

Gobeatty wrote in post #16571854 (external link)
I was just plugging in numbers into a DOF calculator and was astounded at the difference from 50 to 35 to 28 and 24. Assuming the same shooting distance, I would give back some of the DOF gain when cropping to achieve the same framing of the final image but there would still be a gain.

Yes, if you keep the same shooting distance then a wider lens will yield greater DOF. It will also give you a much larger field of view.

This is not always known....but if you do move to keep the same field of view then the DOF will also be the same.

So a 25mm lens at f/4 and 10 foot focus distance has the same depth of field as a 50mm lens at f/4 and 20 feet focus distance. That's just an example, but it is good to know.

In essence, once this is understood then DOF is simply a function of the subject framing and the aperture. You do not need to consider the focal length.


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EverydayGetaway
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Jan 02, 2014 12:19 |  #30

Gobeatty wrote in post #16571854 (external link)
I was just plugging in numbers into a DOF calculator and was astounded at the difference from 50 to 35 to 28 and 24. Assuming the same shooting distance, I would give back some of the DOF gain when cropping to achieve the same framing of the final image but there would still be a gain.

Just move closer to your subject ;) I always use my 28 or 35mm for snapshots. I'd post some examples but most of them aren't on my Flickr because their just snapshots, plus I'm on my phone right now :p


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