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02-08-2007, 09:22 AM   #1
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Depth of Field of 50mm prime lenses

I'm thinking of getting a 50mm 1.4 pentax prime (don't hold your breath).
Or a 50mm 2.8 Sigma EX macro lens.
My concern is depth of field. I notice in many gallery photos of flowers where a 50mm prime is used, that the depth of field is extremely shallow. Can depth of focus be adjusted on a prime lens. I would like to get a deeper depth of field to include surrounding leaves, buds, etc.
All comments appreciated. Thanks, Freddy

02-08-2007, 09:30 AM   #2
Ed in GA
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I'm thinking of getting a 50mm 1.4 pentax prime (don't hold your breath).
Or a 50mm 2.8 Sigma EX macro lens.
My concern is depth of field. I notice in many gallery photos of flowers where a 50mm prime is used, that the depth of field is extremely shallow. Can depth of focus be adjusted on a prime lens. I would like to get a deeper depth of field to include surrounding leaves, buds, etc.
All comments appreciated. Thanks, Freddy
Yes.......

Just use a smaller aperature (higher f#) and you depth of field will increase.


Recommended reading......


Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

Last edited by Ed in GA; 02-08-2007 at 09:42 AM.
02-08-2007, 11:50 AM   #3
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Thanks, Eddy. that was really helpful information. I ordered the Sigma 50mm 2.8 EX macro lens today. Looking forward to getting it. Freddy
02-08-2007, 11:58 AM   #4
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it quite often will not increase enough freddy..

trog

02-08-2007, 12:24 PM   #5
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Hi Freddy, It's not the 50mm that causes the narrow depth of field, but rather the wide aperture. The wider the aperture (smaller f stop number) the shallower the depth of field. To increase your dof use a smaller aperature (go from a smaller f stop number to a larger) Macro lenses also have this problem, to an even greater degree.
I don't know which camera you own, but on the DS you can check you dof by pushing the on/off lever in front of the shutter to the right. You'll hear a extended click sound and your viewifnder may grow darker but you can also see what is in focus and what isn't. I think the K100/110D is built the same way.

NaCl(hope that helps)H20
02-08-2007, 01:52 PM   #6
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Thanks, Trog and H2o.
I ordered the sigma 50mm 2.8 EX macro today from B&H. Looking forward to receiving it, probably Tuesday. I saw great photos taken with it on a pbase gallery (peter and nancy's photos). This will be a whole new adventure for me. I'll let you know how I like it. Regards, Freddy
02-09-2007, 03:19 AM   #7
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Thanks, Colin. I'm looking forward to trying out my Sigma 50mm 2.8. Being delivered today. Gday, Freddy
02-10-2007, 05:29 PM   #8
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See sample below

QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
I'm thinking of getting a 50mm 1.4 pentax prime (don't hold your breath).
Or a 50mm 2.8 Sigma EX macro lens.
My concern is depth of field. I notice in many gallery photos of flowers where a 50mm prime is used, that the depth of field is extremely shallow. Can depth of focus be adjusted on a prime lens. I would like to get a deeper depth of field to include surrounding leaves, buds, etc.
All comments appreciated. Thanks, Freddy
f11 Subject distance 10 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 7.87 ft
Far limit 13.7 ft

Looks okay to me.

02-11-2007, 08:38 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photomy Quote
f11 Subject distance 10 ft

Depth of field
Near limit 7.87 ft
Far limit 13.7 ft

Looks okay to me.
OK, but the closer you get to the subject, the less depth of field you will have. See the Near Field-Far Field Calculator here: Focus Pocus: Outsight Photography Depth of Field Calculators
Aperture: f11
Subject distance: 10 inches
Near limit: 9.8 inches
Far limit: 10.2 inches
DOF=0.4 inches
02-12-2007, 12:05 PM   #10
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Thanks , guys. Colin, I'm amazed at the depth of field and overall image quality and detail of this Sigma 50mm 2.8 EX DG macro lens. One can really do marvelous things with this baby. I'll probably keep it on cam most of the time. Can't wait to hit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens this summer to shoot flowers and landscapes. Regards, Freddy
02-12-2007, 12:17 PM   #11
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most of my macros useing that lens freddy are shot at F22.. he he..

just a tip but the addition of a cheap tamron or kenko 1.5 tele converter will extend its macro working range a little without knocking the image quality in any noticable way..

it will in essence turn it into an F4.. 75mm prime macro lens.. for very little money outlay..

trog
02-12-2007, 03:37 PM   #12
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Trog, why do shoot your macros at f22. Freddy
02-12-2007, 03:41 PM   #13
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Also, Trog, what will a 75mm macro do that the 50mm doesn't. Sounds to me like it will extend my capabilities in some good way, but in laymen's terms what will it do for me. Freddy
02-12-2007, 03:46 PM   #14
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Also, Trog, what does that mean, in laymen's terms, having a 75mm macro. Wider angle? Sounds like it might open up more possibilities for me. But not sure what those possibilities are. Freddy
02-12-2007, 06:55 PM   #15
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well the f22 is to try and get a greater depth of field/focus.. when doing very close up macros u are struggling to get enough of the image in focus.. but this creates another set of problems.. lighting..

from a simple macro point of view a 100mm macro is probably the best focal length to go for.. the 50mm is a nice general purpose lens but for real macros its working distance or how close u have to get the end of the lens to the subect is not ideal..

we are talking the end of the lens being as little as two inches away from the subject.. the minimum focus distance figures quoted are always from subject to sensor.. not subject to end of lens..

adding a cheap 1.5 tele just gives u a little more working distance.. it could be thought of as a 1.5 x zoom..

someone has said already.. the closer u get to your subject the shallower the depth of field/focus becomes..

at two inches from the subject the dof is amazingly shallow.. say one 1/4 inch.. F22 is needed to get even a bee properly in focus..

trog
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