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01-25-2011, 11:33 PM   #1
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Depth of field preview

How important is this feature? Looking at a zx-10 for my wife but it doesn't have dof preview... Will she
Need it?

01-26-2011, 01:13 AM   #2
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Some will say very, some will say it isn't.
For myself, I'd say it isn't, most photographers develop a feel for what aperture is required fairly early on WRT depth of field.
01-26-2011, 02:46 AM   #3
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Hi, I would say it depends what kind of photography she wants to do. If she's taking snapshots of kids, pets, travel, wide views of scenery, or things like that, she might not care about it. If she wants to do close-up photography of flowers, insects, macro things... then she might really miss it. As Wheatfield said, you do get an idea what apertures to use after a while. However, with close-up arty stuff, sometimes a stop or two can make a huge difference in the result. I often do closeups of flowers & find it is very useful to be able to check how much background is distinguishable.
I'm not familiar with the ZX10, but for what it's worth, my K1000 doesn't have DoF preview either, BUT I get it by unscrewing the lens
01-26-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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Most people will never miss DOF preview.
I don't like using an SLR without it.

Chris

01-26-2011, 04:07 PM   #5
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I find 135 cameras not easy to use the DOF preview. And the DOF scale on the lens just about as effective as looking. Focus on subject and see how many feet/meters you have on either side for a given aperture. At f16 DOF preview is pretty dark and hard to tell visually. But the scale on the lens is clearly visible.

Last edited by tuco; 01-26-2011 at 04:20 PM.
01-26-2011, 06:43 PM   #6
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In normal daylight I have no problem with DOF preview, even at f/16.
Use of the DOF scale scale on the lens requires thought ( )
and forces you to remove your eye from the viewfinder.

Chris
01-26-2011, 08:13 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
In normal daylight I have no problem with DOF preview, even at f/16.
Use of the DOF scale scale on the lens requires thought ( )
and forces you to remove your eye from the viewfinder.

Chris
I suppose it would be easier if I wasn't so spoiled with the WLF on my 6x7/6x6 and a magnifying glass where you can really see your DOF.

Last edited by tuco; 01-26-2011 at 08:20 PM.
01-26-2011, 08:35 PM   #8
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DOF preview is nice to have if you are doing careful work where focus needs to be finely controlled. That being said, it has its limitations:
  • It is often hard to visualize due to a dark viewfinder (mentioned above)
  • Even in the best case, what you see in the viewfinder is only an approximation of what you will see in the final product
Some people will say "huh?" to the second point. After all, isn't WYSIWYG one of the selling points for an SLR? Sorry to say, but what you see in the viewfinder is not what you get. DOF depends on both the virtual size of the viewfinder image, the physical size of the final image, and the viewing distance to that image.

In case you don't believe me, consider that the preview image on the camera LCD always looks sharper than the same image enlarged to 4x5" on your monitor. Ditto for thumbnails versions.

Moral of the story...don't pay extra for the feature unless there is a good chance that the camera's owner will develop an active and serious interest in photography. If you do have DOF preview, be aware that your mileage may vary.


Steve

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