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09-17-2019, 04:11 PM   #1
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Depth of Field - update.

PS I know the Depth of Field is shown on the focusing ring of many lenses, or it used to be so, anyway. That is too hard to use, especially for an 84 year old with bad eyesight.

09-17-2019, 04:21 PM   #2
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Live View may be the solution to your problem, but limited to M mode. There’s more discussion in this thread: Pentax K1 / K3 Live View Depth of Field Preview - PentaxForums.com
09-17-2019, 08:00 PM   #3
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There are plenty of online apps and calculators such as this one
Depth of Field (DoF) calculator | PhotoPills
09-18-2019, 04:56 AM   #4
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I use one called "camera calculators", by "Studio JPIC" on an Android device. It includes several useful functions aside from DoF. Really handy for calibration of lenses.

09-18-2019, 07:10 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Thanks for the advice. I downloaded the app. It would stil be usefu if it was built into the camera which automatically knows my focal point, lens focal length and aperture.
09-19-2019, 07:47 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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I know there are photographers out there who swear that, back in the day, they took tons of lovely sharp photos setting their lens at F11, and parking the infinity mark on the 11 on the depth of field scale, and trusting "everything from eight feet to infinity is in focus".

Trouble is, every time I tried out that wisdom, I was disappointed. A lens is really only in true focus at one distance only, and scrutiny of enlargements, either on paper or screen, bears that out.

Many years ago, I gave up on hyperfocal efforts, and decided to precisely focus my lens on my main point of interest - not some place in front or behind, hoping depth of field will extend to make all sharp.

Focus precisely, and small apertures will extend depth of field behind and in front. Large apertures will make for shallower depth of field, and separate the subject from background. Photography 101 of course, but it bears repeating.

As far as I'm concerned, hyperfocal efforts work best on a fixed focus cheap camera where the images are seldom enlarged past 4x6 (ahem, your typical disposable camera). Real cameras, where the image gets properly enlarged and scrutinized, deserve precise focus on the main point of interest.
09-19-2019, 08:26 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
I know there are photographers out there who swear that, back in the day, they took tons of lovely sharp photos setting their lens at F11, and parking the infinity mark on the 11 on the depth of field scale, and trusting "everything from eight feet to infinity is in focus".

Trouble is, every time I tried out that wisdom, I was disappointed. A lens is really only in true focus at one distance only, and scrutiny of enlargements, either on paper or screen, bears that out.

Many years ago, I gave up on hyperfocal efforts, and decided to precisely focus my lens on my main point of interest - not some place in front or behind, hoping depth of field will extend to make all sharp.

Focus precisely, and small apertures will extend depth of field behind and in front. Large apertures will make for shallower depth of field, and separate the subject from background. Photography 101 of course, but it bears repeating.

As far as I'm concerned, hyperfocal efforts work best on a fixed focus cheap camera where the images are seldom enlarged past 4x6 (ahem, your typical disposable camera). Real cameras, where the image gets properly enlarged and scrutinized, deserve precise focus on the main point of interest.
That doesn't resonate with me even a little bit....


Not even ƒ11, which is seriously diffraction limited. Thats the DA* 60-250 at ƒ4 and 60mm on a K-3.
You just have to know your lenses.
09-20-2019, 05:39 PM   #8
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The focal length of the lenses also makes a big difference. Wide angle lenses do a "here to infinity" DoF pretty well, while telephotos shrink the DoF.

The "cheap, disposable" fixed lens snapshot cameras typically have a focal length of around 30mm - wide angle lenses. I always assumed that the people who designed such cameras took the lens as wide as possible without too much distortion precisely to take advantage of that effect.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
I know there are photographers out there who swear that, back in the day, they took tons of lovely sharp photos setting their lens at F11, and parking the infinity mark on the 11 on the depth of field scale, and trusting "everything from eight feet to infinity is in focus".

Trouble is, every time I tried out that wisdom, I was disappointed. A lens is really only in true focus at one distance only, and scrutiny of enlargements, either on paper or screen, bears that out.

Many years ago, I gave up on hyperfocal efforts, and decided to precisely focus my lens on my main point of interest - not some place in front or behind, hoping depth of field will extend to make all sharp.

Focus precisely, and small apertures will extend depth of field behind and in front. Large apertures will make for shallower depth of field, and separate the subject from background. Photography 101 of course, but it bears repeating.

As far as I'm concerned, hyperfocal efforts work best on a fixed focus cheap camera where the images are seldom enlarged past 4x6 (ahem, your typical disposable camera). Real cameras, where the image gets properly enlarged and scrutinized, deserve precise focus on the main point of interest.


09-20-2019, 05:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ontarian50 Quote
I know there are photographers out there who swear that, back in the day, they took tons of lovely sharp photos setting their lens at F11, and parking the infinity mark on the 11 on the depth of field scale, and trusting "everything from eight feet to infinity is in focus".

Trouble is, every time I tried out that wisdom, I was disappointed. A lens is really only in true focus at one distance only, and scrutiny of enlargements, either on paper or screen, bears that out.

Many years ago, I gave up on hyperfocal efforts, and decided to precisely focus my lens on my main point of interest - not some place in front or behind, hoping depth of field will extend to make all sharp.

Focus precisely, and small apertures will extend depth of field behind and in front. Large apertures will make for shallower depth of field, and separate the subject from background. Photography 101 of course, but it bears repeating.

As far as I'm concerned, hyperfocal efforts work best on a fixed focus cheap camera where the images are seldom enlarged past 4x6 (ahem, your typical disposable camera). Real cameras, where the image gets properly enlarged and scrutinized, deserve precise focus on the main point of interest.
You need to understand that all of this is based upon printing a full 35mm frame on 8x10 and acceptably sharp was determined as a point of light being less than 0.01 inch on the print. Now we look at things displayed on huge monitors or cropped in really tight . The definition does not apply any more
09-21-2019, 08:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You need to understand that all of this is based upon printing a full 35mm frame on 8x10 and acceptably sharp was determined as a point of light being less than 0.01 inch on the print. Now we look at things displayed on huge monitors or cropped in really tight . The definition does not apply any more
Exactly.!
09-23-2019, 07:28 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
You need to understand that all of this is based upon printing a full 35mm frame on 8x10 and acceptably sharp was determined as a point of light being less than 0.01 inch on the print. Now we look at things displayed on huge monitors or cropped in really tight . The definition does not apply any more
In reality the practical viewing distance to see the entire image means that the definition does apply to some extent. Only when you get so close to where you cannot see the whole image does the slight sharpness loss become a problem.

I have made 30"x40" enlargements from medium format film using the depth of field formula from Leslie Stroebel's "View Camera Technique" that look great at normal viewing distances.

By all means, if you intend to enlarge the main subject either on your screen or crop in a print, focus on the main subject. But if you are using a moderately wide lens and want to see the entire scene look good, the DoF scales calculated at about .03" on 35mm film or FF digital will generally look good in many situations. The scales on the lens vary, and it is usually necessary to stop down at least one additional stop.
10-01-2019, 05:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tab Zee Quote
Thanks for the advice. I downloaded the app. It would stil be usefu if it was built into the camera which automatically knows my focal point, lens focal length and aperture.
It's more or less built in the camera, depending on the model you have. Models like the K-3 and K-1 have the preview mode around the power switch, you can set it to show the effect of DOF on your image. It even works in live view.
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