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05-11-2007, 07:07 AM   #1
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Help me with my DOF (Depth of Frustration)

Not sure this a lens post or general, but as it Lens related (and mostly user error) I fiigured here was best.

So what are the tips and tricks to get everything in the view finder in focus ?. I am new at this, and was not an issue with PS. I love some of the narrow DOF shots I have but every once in a while a want everything in focus in a picture and currently I cannot consistently get that shot in one take or even two.

I understand higher f/stop number cause larger DOF, but I was wondering in general are there tips? Suppose I have 10 objects lined up in front of me about 3 fee away or perhaps a landscape scene with objects as close as 5 feet and as far away as many kilometers ?.

I will of course experiment as practice is everything, and I can usually get the shot, but never the fist time (well almost never) Are there some 'rules of thumb' I can follow? Tips and tricks of the trade or is it something I just need to continue to practice on to get better at ?

05-11-2007, 07:17 AM   #2
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I don't know about others, but I just snap on a lens where it's into infinity focus at a very short distance and step back a few feet
I'm not saying that it's the right thing to do, but it works for me
05-11-2007, 07:27 AM   #3
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Go wide, go closed, go far.

The shorter the focal length the more DoF

The more closed down your aperture, the more your D0F

The further away from something you are the more DoF you have.
05-11-2007, 07:47 AM   #4
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Some rot's

QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Not sure this a lens post or general, but as it Lens related (and mostly user error) I fiigured here was best.

So what are the tips and tricks to get everything in the view finder in focus ?. I am new at this, and was not an issue with PS. I love some of the narrow DOF shots I have but every once in a while a want everything in focus in a picture and currently I cannot consistently get that shot in one take or even two.

I understand higher f/stop number cause larger DOF, but I was wondering in general are there tips? Suppose I have 10 objects lined up in front of me about 3 fee away or perhaps a landscape scene with objects as close as 5 feet and as far away as many kilometers ?.

I will of course experiment as practice is everything, and I can usually get the shot, but never the fist time (well almost never) Are there some 'rules of thumb' I can follow? Tips and tricks of the trade or is it something I just need to continue to practice on to get better at ?
Hi daacon here are some rules of thumb (rule of thumbs?)
1. Generally the wider a lens is the larger the DOF, ie a 35mm lens will (usually) have a larger DOF than a 70mm lens focused at the same distance, and the same Fstop. So if you want a really large DOF go with the widest lens you can. However the greatest DOF on all my lenses belongs to my Zenitar 16mm fisheye!
2. The further away from an object you are the larger the dof. Sometimes if you want a bunch of stuff in focus take several (more than a few if you can) steps back, then you may have to crop and resize, but you'll get more in focus.
3. Go with the smallest aperture possible, and put your focus point about 1/3 the way into the wanted focus field of the scene. This is a tip I learned here and have found it pretty helpful. I never knew where to put the focus point.

I'm sure there are other tips, but these work most of the time for me.

NaCl(my boss keeps telling me to focus, but I don't think he means the same thing)H2O


Last edited by NaClH2O; 05-11-2007 at 07:50 AM. Reason: got #1 backwards!
05-11-2007, 08:42 AM   #5
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DOF

Have a look here Depth of Field -- Part I
05-11-2007, 09:31 AM   #6
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Another place to look... Hyperfocal Distance
05-11-2007, 10:35 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Not sure this a lens post or general, but as it Lens related (and mostly user error) I fiigured here was best.

So what are the tips and tricks to get everything in the view finder in focus ?. I am new at this, and was not an issue with PS. I love some of the narrow DOF shots I have but every once in a while a want everything in focus in a picture and currently I cannot consistently get that shot in one take or even two.

I understand higher f/stop number cause larger DOF, but I was wondering in general are there tips? Suppose I have 10 objects lined up in front of me about 3 fee away or perhaps a landscape scene with objects as close as 5 feet and as far away as many kilometers ?.

I will of course experiment as practice is everything, and I can usually get the shot, but never the fist time (well almost never) Are there some 'rules of thumb' I can follow? Tips and tricks of the trade or is it something I just need to continue to practice on to get better at ?
I am not sure on your camera whether you can preview the depth of field, but on my cameras *istD and K10D you can stop the lens down by moving the on-off switch further clockwise, past the on position.

Although the view finder goes darker when the lens is stopped down, you can get a better impression of the depth of field and what is in focus.

In general the more you stop down the higher the depth of field, but at extremely small apatures (usually above F22) you actually loose sharpness due to a lot of physical properties about light bending around corners that I now choose to forget.

On old manual lenses there used to be a scale of the hyperfocal setting, which you could manually set for any F-stop to insure everything in a range was in focus. these scales have disappeared on some lenses.
05-11-2007, 01:36 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I don't know about others, but I just snap on a lens where it's into infinity focus at a very short distance and step back a few feet
I'm not saying that it's the right thing to do, but it works for me
Thanks Stu - dumb question but I have heard and read about this infinity foucs thing , what is the tick to that autofous on the celestial body formally known as the planet Pluto ??

QuoteOriginally posted by Cideway Quote
Go wide, go closed, go far.
The shorter the focal length the more DoF
The more closed down your aperture, the more your D0F
The further away from something you are the more DoF you have.
Thanks Cideway yeah I get that I quess I should have been more explicit - it is more so when I don't want to or can't get further away ... and I dont really have any wide angles < 18 ...ummmm that's the ticket I need more lenses !!!! (can I quote you on that ?)

QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Hi daacon here are some rules of thumb (rule of thumbs?)
3. Go with the smallest aperture possible, and put your focus point about 1/3 the
NaCl(my boss keeps telling me to focus, but I don't think he means the same thing)H2O
NaClH2O Haha I not sure what the plural of Rule of thumb is hah - nice tip on number 3 , I was wondering about that ...

pschlute and kbrabble thanks so much for the links .. I will review it has pictures !! I love pictures ...

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I am not sure on your camera whether you can preview the depth of field, but on my cameras *istD and K10D you can stop the lens down by moving the on-off switch further clockwise, past the on position.

Although the view finder goes darker when the lens is stopped down, you can get a better impression of the depth of field and what is in focus.
Lowell Goudge RTFM what a concept ! Yes there is a DOF preview on the K100D .... feeling more sheepish by the moment ... will play with that

Thanks everyone for the tips and advice - I know the tools I have can do what I want ... operator error is my biggest issue (is there a setting for that ?)


Last edited by daacon; 05-11-2007 at 01:43 PM.
05-11-2007, 02:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by daacon Quote
Thanks Stu - dumb question but I have heard and read about this infinity foucs thing , what is the tick to that autofous on the celestial body formally known as the planet Pluto ??
Infinity is the mark that looks like a sideways 8 on your lens
On the kit lens this point starts at somewhere around the 8' mark. So anything past the 8' mark is pretty much automatically focused when the lens is on the sideways 8 mark.
05-11-2007, 03:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Infinity is the mark that looks like a sideways 8 on your lens
Thanks again , another byproduct of my no RTFM ... I can see how that would work for things 8 feet + from me , I was worried cause I was not even sure where to begin to look for pluto
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