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Shallow depth of field with digi camera

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by MattB1, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. MattB1

    MattB1
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    Hi,

    Can anybody give any tips on how to get a very shallow depth of field with a digi camera. I know it is much harder than with a 35mm camera because of the small ccd.
    I read somewhere that the focal length divided by the f stop number gives the apature size. Does this mean that you will get a much shallower depth of field if you are zoomed out 10X, or are you better being close to the subject.
    Also are you likely to get more of a "blurred" background if the background is further away from the subject rather than them being stood right in front of it.

    Thanks,
    M.
     
  2. seany

    seany
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  3. HardBoiledEgg

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    I think it is better to be close rather than zoomed in and the further away the background is the more blurred it would be. The C-765 gives fabulous DOF when in Super Macro mode.
    Also, try 'potrait' mode, thats supposed to sort the settings out for you, sharp subject blurred background.
    Or - you could fake it in Photoshop! Select round your focused object, inverse it and apply a gaussian blur
    Photo attached is Super Macro Mode
     

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  4. seany

    seany
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    A bigger aperture like 3.2 will always give you a good depth of field.
     
  5. MattB1

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    Thanks to all of you for all the replies and to HardBoiledEgg fot the example picture. :thumbsup:

    Reading this site it looks like you get the more zoom you are using the shallower the depth of field will be.

    I'll take some test pics with and without zoom and see what happens. I also have the C765 so plenty of zoom to play with.

    Thanks,
    M
     
  6. HardBoiledEgg

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    The c-765 goes to F2.8 :D
     
  7. witters

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    The larger the aperture value (smaller actual aperture) the greater the depth of field. The sample posted by HardBoiledEgg has very little depth of field. Portrait mode will give you a smaller aperture value (larger actual aperture) and blurr the background i.e. less depth of field.

    Hope this helps!
     
  8. seany

    seany
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    So does mine so there :p But i dont like to show off :blush: :laugh:
     
  9. HardBoiledEgg

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    Who said I was showing off?
    :laugh:

    Anyway, what camera have you got? Is it this one?





    :smashin:
     

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  10. MattB1

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    Only in wide angle (Lowest is 3.2 in telephoto I think) ;)

    Did a few test shots last night and the depth of field was definitely smaller when zooming in (same fstop value of 3.2 with all shots)

    M.
     
  11. seany

    seany
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    I've got an S1. But i'm ditching it for a 300D i think
     
  12. HardBoiledEgg

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    Are you really??!
    I must admit I've been looking at it, but only looking. I can't afford it though! Maybe next year. I've bought 2 cameras this year already. Not including everything else, new printer,photo paper,memory cards,batteries, about 100 photography magazines,3 books ,tripod.
    I've probably spent the cost of the 300D twice over :confused:
     
  13. seany

    seany
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    Well it my birthday in 11 days and i was in jesspos yesterday looking at the G6 and the 300D. Pretty sure i'm going to end up with the 300. I want a camera that i'm going to stick with for a couple of years. I've been changing my mind so much of late. But i think i've found the one i want now
     
  14. Garrett

    Garrett
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    The nearer you get to a subject the shallow the depth of field becomes as does the perspective opens up. EG if you were taking a real close up of someone there nose would be huge in comparison with the rest of there face.

    Once you get focusing round 30ft everything in the background becomes in focus. Also the perspective closes down. Eg have you sin those long shots of runners coming towards a camera they look close to each other but on a side shoot they may be 10 feet behind one another.

    So if you are taking a portrait of someone and you want the background blurred get close but not that close.
     
  15. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Nice when you have that sort of money coming in that you can do that.
    I took a year to pick mine out but seem to have made a good choice.
     
  16. seany

    seany
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    Money coming in? Where:laugh:

    I've had a digital camera now since around 2000 i think. I'd like to just go a bit further with it now. I was well pleased with the S1 its a great camera as is yours garrett. I just want a little more now
     
  17. Zone

    Zone
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    With regards an SLR camera or a digi that accepts other lenses and attaching a wide-angle lens and you'll benefit from extensive depth-of-field, which makes it easy to keep everything in focus. The wider the angle-of-view, the greater the depth-of-field. Choose a telephoto lens and the depth-of-field is immediately more limited. The longer the focal length, the more restricted the zone of sharpness is.
     
  18. HardBoiledEgg

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    It's my birthday in just under a months time but I won't be expecting a new camera :)
     
  19. seany

    seany
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    Well i'm sure wigan has an indoor market, go nuts in there:laugh:

    Wish Diane was more in to cameras, then i wont have to explain why i want the 300. She's going to hate it:laugh:

    I used to go to wigan pier years ago, just thought i'd share that :laugh:
     
  20. Garrett

    Garrett
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    I found with my old SLR round the 50-100 mm was pretty good for portraits. Anything less you get distortion anything more you get the background in focus.
     
  21. Garrett

    Garrett
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    :blush:Thought you swapped or got an other already this year.
     
  22. HardBoiledEgg

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    ha ha - you make me laugh :D Go nuts round Wigan Market clutching the tenner what me nan will give me haha.
    Wigan Pier as a tourist or as a Raver? The dancefloor to the nightclub burnt down recently :rotfl:

    garrett - are/were you a professional photographer?
     
  23. seany

    seany
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    Yeah i was in to clubbing for years, had some good nights there.

    Well i had an IXUS 400 garrett that i bought last year. I bought the Canon S1 not long ago, now i'm going to get the 3OO
     
  24. Zone

    Zone
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    It will all depend on what aperture you are using, a telephoto and wide appeture will give a very shallow depth of field hence focussing will be more critical than say a wide angle lens using the same aperture.
    Take a look a wildlife photograhy using very long telephoto lenses, almost nothing is in focus apart from the subject matter which is how it should be.
     
  25. MattB1

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    Thanks for the info Zone and Garrett.
    So With my camera (olympus C765) my best chance of getting a shallow depth of field would be zooming in as much as possible and shooting with a large appeture (F3.2) with the background a reasonable distance away from the subject ?

    M
     
  26. Zone

    Zone
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    I would say yes, though has been mentioned achieving a shallow depth of field with a compact digi is more difficult than using a film/digi SLR.
    Experimentation is the best advice, you have a nice camera so its certainly capable, just play around with the settings and see what works for you.
    Digital; I have a Canon A75 and almost always go with aperture priority and spot metering unless in tricky situations in which I go fully manual and play around until I'm happy.

    Good photography is an art as well as a science and even the experts get it wrong, thats the great thing about it, when it turns out right its great big :D

    By the way all this photography talk has just reminded me I haven't entered the "Photo Competition" :eek:

    Have/Are you entering Garrett?
     
  27. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Not yet although I have a picture I think I'm going to enter.
     
  28. Zone

    Zone
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    I better get my big A into gear then as I haven't even started :eek:
     
  29. MattB1

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    Sorry to change the subject, but in what circumstances is it best to use spot metering and when is it best to use multi metering.

    Ta,
    M
     
  30. Zone

    Zone
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    That'll be Garrett :laugh:

    I would use spot metering in tricky lighting scenes, ones with high contrast and dark shadows.

    If there is predominantly a lot of sky/sunlight in the frame, using a camera’s evaluative meter reading would confuse it (if using automatic settings) into using a very high speed and maybe a smaller aperture, high f stop to reduce the amount of light entering the camera.
    What it would be trying to do is perfectly expose the sky disregarding everything else, so any dark shadowy areas where detail can normally be seen would come out as black!

    Alternatively if the scene was predominantly dark the opposite would happen, the camera would use a longer shutter speed and larger aperture to expose the dark area’s nicely; any bright areas would be “blown out” and would come out a pure white with no detail whatsoever, a bad thing!

    So in a situation such as this I would spot meter off a particular area of the scene that to me represented a perfect blend of the two, this should give detail in the darkest and brightest parts of the scene.

    Another method is to spot meter the brightest and darkest areas and look at the differences choosing a setting in between; I would also bracket the shot and if in doubt under expose the shot.

    Another method is to use graduated filters to reduce the brightness of a particular area of a scene to bring the contrast ranges closer together.
     

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