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stryper50 Feb 1, 2006 7:44 AM

Hi folks, New to the forum. I take photos of miniatures and recently have sent some pictures to a magazine that I am writing an article for. They have told me that the depth of field is too shallow for their standards. The camera I use is the Cybershot P-71 which has the auto f-stop settings. How can I compensate for this shallow depth of field with this camera and still get the close-up pictures I want? The camera states that it goes up to f-8 but I can only increase the f number to f-5.2 and must use the telephoto zoom to get this. One can't very well take pictures of miniatures from 10 feet away. Thanks very much for any help you can give me.

rjseeney Feb 1, 2006 8:42 AM

Can you post a pic that the magazine refused?? Their explanation for rejection sounds odd..typically p&S digicams don't have shallow enough DOF.

JimC Feb 1, 2006 11:38 AM

The closer you are to your subject, the shallower the depth of field will be for a given aperture and focal length.

Your Sony probably has 2 "real" apertures (typical for some of their subcompacts) for any given focal length.

The autoexposure algorithms are going to choose the larger aperture (smaller f/stop number) in low light (and a well lit interior is low light to a camera).

The values of the selected aperture opening changes as more zoom is used (because aperture expressed as f/stop is a ratio between the focal length of the lens and the diameter of the aperture iris).

In poor light, you may see f/2.8 at the widest zoom setting. But, if you point the camera to bright light outdoors, it will probably select the smaller of the two apertures (probably around f/5.6). Ditto for the long end of the lens (it may select f/5.3 in low light, but may select something like f/8 or f/10 in bright light).

Without manual control of aperture, your best bet is to take the photos outdoors in brighter lighting (so that the autoexposure algorithms pick a smaller aperture). Try not to fill the frame any more than needed (since Depth of Field will be shallower as you fill the frame more with your subject by getting closer or using more zoom).

stryper50 Feb 1, 2006 2:10 PM

Thank you both for the reply. The magazine is Model Railroad and they would like to be able to see everything in a photo as realistic as possible. Of course in photographing miniatures the idea is to get as close as possible and consequently as you have pointed out the depth of field is shallow and everything beyond is out of focus, which is not realistic.
Thanks again and I will be trying with more light.

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