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Old Jul 7, 2006, 12:58 PM   #1
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Newb alert! I just purchased a Sony DSC-H2, which is the first camera I've had that can do more than point and shoot, so please forgive my photography ignorance.

I've read a couple of photography books and a few online resources, and right now I'm trying to work with depth of field on my new camera. I was experimenting with my aperture settings and trying to compose the oh-so-popular "close-up flower with blurred background" shot. Despite dropping the f-stop all the way down to 2.8, however, I could not get the blurr effect that I wanted; too much of the background was still in focus.

I tried both macro and non-macro shots, and I even tried backing away several feet and zooming in to decrease DOF. I didn't really see much difference with the macro mode on or off, and when I backed away a few feet I couldn't get a good focus on the single flower for which I was aiming (that will come with practice, I hope).

I've seen some incredible examples of very shallow DOF close-ups done with this camera, so I know it can be done, but I can't even get it close.

Can anyone offer some advice or suggestions as to what I might be doing wrong?

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Old Jul 7, 2006, 2:24 PM   #2
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Try using A mode (aperture) and setting it to the maximum aperture (the smallest f-stop number...f/2.8 or lower if possible). Step back from the subject then zoom in as much as you can.

Looking at reviews and sample photographs, it seems to take good close-ups while blurring the background.

Sony DSC-H2 Review Samples (5 of 30), 432 mm equiv, ISO 80, 1/400 sec, F4.0, +0.0 EV,
Produced this image: http://img2.dpreview.com/gallery/son...sc01929_gs.jpg

Not really sure what else to try; I usually stay away from the Basic modes and use Creative as much as possible.
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Old Jul 7, 2006, 2:39 PM   #3
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Thanks, Justin. I see pics like your example and think "Why can't I do that?" Ugh.

I was shooting in A mode at 2.8 when I was trying my shots. Maybe there just wasn't enough distance between the subject and the background. I'll keep trying.
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Old Jul 8, 2006, 7:33 AM   #4
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You won't be able to shoot at F2.8 at full zoom, as your lens is not constant aperature.However, you should be able to get a little blur if you use full tele. Because of sensor size, point and shoot digicams have significantly more DOF at any given aperature than a DSLR. You could always resort to blurring the background in post work.
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 9:09 AM   #5
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Thank you RedZepplin for asking this question. I too, have had difficulty in getting that wonderful blurr background look and wondered why. Thankyou Justin and rjsenney for your helpful replies. I did not know about setting the camera to aperture mode to get shallowdepth of field. I'm still learning all this great manual creative ability on my camera. A whole new world for me but lots of fun!

Happy shooting all:|Teree
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Old Jul 11, 2006, 1:01 PM   #6
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your f/2.8 on your digicam is equivalent to an aperture of about f/11 on an SLR, so it is very difficult to get that nice blurred background. The farther away your background is from your subject the better your chances will be, so try some different angles to get some seperation between your subject and the background.
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Old Jul 19, 2006, 7:58 AM   #7
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Have you tried focusing closer than the subject really is? In addition, thesmaller the camera to subject distanceyouactually focus for,the less total depth of field you have and this should really put the background beyond the depth of field sharpness.
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Old Jul 22, 2006, 3:30 PM   #8
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This was shot with not that small an aperture...however, I was shooting at the full zoom of the lens I was using. The background was about 3-4ft behind the flower. Here's the Exif info:

2006:06:27 17:49:11
Konica Minolta 7D
18-70 f3.5/5.6 (who says the kit lens is bad)??
105mm (in 35mm film)
1/25 sec, f/5.6
Mode: Manual
Metering: Multi-segment
ISO: 100
White balance: Auto
Flash: Off
File size: 106KB
Image size: 640 x 512
Saturation: High
Sharpness: Normal
Contrast: Low
Attached Images
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