Board index Photography Technical Questions Depth of Field Question

Technical Questions

Depth of Field Question

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jimva
 
Posts: 26

Depth of Field Question

Post Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:03 pm


I see some amazing close up pics of birds / flowers especially birds where the subject is obviously in focus and the background is totally out of focus if not dark. I realize this is depth of field but to accomplish such great photos like that is amazing. Any helpful hints?

sheila
 
Posts: 1303

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:05 am


You really need a good and fast macro lens (minimum f/2.8), preferably around 60 to 100 mm. I see you have a Nikon so I cannot really advise on which Nikon lenses would suit (I only shoot Canon).

I am lucky in that birds come to me as I am fortunate to live in Sydney, Australia, in an area which has a plethora of what folk consider "exotic" birds (which are as common as sparrows here!). http://www.pbase.com/sheila/wildlife

A lot of shots were taken with my Canon 100 f/2.8 macro which although not an "L" lens, is excellent for macro work. Others were taken with my Canon 300 f/4 L IS which has macro ability.

Here is a shot with a very shallow DOF of a rainbow lorikeet on our verandah

Image

Its generally accepted that the eyes of any animal must be in focus!

Sheila
Sheila Smart
Canon 5D Mark III; 17-40L; 24-70 f/2.8L; 70-300 f.4-5.6 L USM; 135 f/2L; 100 f/2.8 macro; 8-15 f/4 L fisheye

Blog: http://sheilasmartphotography.blogspot.com/

waggonerphotos
 
Posts: 176

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:24 am


Just to add a touch to what Sheila advised; Shoot as close as you can and with as large an aperture as is possible, this limits DOF with any lens.
Best of Luck - Bob.
Bob Waggoner
Photographs comprise the communal memory of our times. (Unknown)

sheila
 
Posts: 1303

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:07 am


For those new to photography, just to confuse you, "large aperture" is around f/1.8 to f/2.8 ... NOT F/16 :? The smaller the number, the less depth of field. If you want to shoot landscapes where you want more in focus, you should shoot (generally speaking), f/14 to f/16.

For more information on DOF, check out this site http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutor ... /dof.shtml

Sheila
Sheila Smart
Canon 5D Mark III; 17-40L; 24-70 f/2.8L; 70-300 f.4-5.6 L USM; 135 f/2L; 100 f/2.8 macro; 8-15 f/4 L fisheye

Blog: http://sheilasmartphotography.blogspot.com/

moxfactor
 
Posts: 317

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:25 pm


think of it not in numbers, but large aperture means the "hole" in the shutter is bigger. for me, it's much easier to remember that way when not talking about specific numbers.

amoxtli
 
Posts: 3192
Location: San Diego, California

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:24 pm


I use a Nikon D300 and I can recommend Tamron lenses for macro, I use both of these:
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 SP AF
Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Di LD (IF) Macro 1:1 SP AF
I generally shoot at large apertures and at iso400-iso640 and mostly manual focus using natural lighting only and hand held.
You can see some results with the Tamron lenses here: http://www.pbase.com/amoxtli/macro
Walter Otto Koenig Architectural Photography: http://www.wokoenig.net

General Photography: http://www.wokoenig.com

Pacific Photographic Society: http://www.pacificphoto.net

mnoble
 
Posts: 135

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:46 pm


Just a note on DOF. You can control depth of field in three ways: Aperture (open is less DOF, closed down is more DOF); Focal Length (the longer the focal length at a given aperture, the less the depth of field); and distance to the subject (the closer you get, the less depth of field at a given aperture and focal length). So, with a macro lens (allowing very close focusing) at 105mm (a medium telephoto) and an aperture of f1.8 you will have a very narrow depth of field. The focus plane will be sharp and everything else in front or in back of the focus plane will be out of focus.

Conversely with a 14mm wide angle lens (very short focal length) focused at a 50 feet at an aperture of f22 just about everything will be in focus. Do some experimenting with your lenses and aperture settings so you get a feel for how your lens will perform. Also, start using Aperture priority instead of Program when you shoot. That way you will have control of depth of field and be able to select what is appropriate for the subject at hand. You can really make things pop in an image by select use of depth of field.

jimva
 
Posts: 26

Re: Depth of Field Question

Post Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:04 pm


I would have responded sooner to all the good advice, but sometimes this board is finicky and won't give a reply window. My question is, how to get detail in eagles, hawks and other large birds of prey when most of the background is a blue or cloudy sky. :roll:


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