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Old Apr 18, 2010, 1:07 AM   #1
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Default Need help with aperture mode using LX3

Hi. I am trying out the aperture mode of my new camera. I wanted to test the effect or the difference between the lowest and highest aperture to create depth of field. I tried to shoot the same scene just using f/2 and another in f/8. In my untrained eye it looks the same. But from a beginner's photography website the sample pic shows the blurring effect quite obvious. Why is this so?

Thanks in advance
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 4:46 AM   #2
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Do you have some samples you can post?
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 5:00 AM   #3
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Using DOFMaster.com and the specs for your LX3, I found that, when focusing on a subject 10 feet away using a focal length of 12 mm and an aperture for f/2.0, objects as close as 8 feet and as far away as 13 feet will still be in focus. Anything 7 feet or closer, and anything 14 feet or further, would be blurry, and would get blurrier the further from 10 feet they were. But at the same focal length and the same subject distace, but using an aperture of f/8.0, everything from 5 feet to infinity would be in focus.

But at a focal length of 6 mm and an aperture of f/2.0 everything from 5 feet to infinity would be in focus.

With the LX3, you really need to stick to the longer end of the zoom range in order to see any noticeable difference between the depths of field you get with f/2.0 and f/8.0.
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 5:42 AM   #4
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I shall try to take another test tomorrow. Perhaps the reason it didn't blur is because the background is still too near?

I'm not sure how to post pictures around here. Won't it be too large to post?
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 8:00 AM   #5
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See How I post a photo to the forum
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Your Depth of Field depends on three things which are interrelated - Aperture, Focal length, and Distance to subject. (actually distance to focal point)
Longer focal lengths will give you a relatively shallower depth of field, as TCav points out. You already know that wider apertures give shallower DOF. The farther away the object you focus on, though, the deeper your field.
With small sensor cameras, you may, as you mention need to have more separation between your subject and background. Another way to achieve the effect you are after, is to 'focus short' - IOW focus on an object nearer to you than your subject, so that your subject is still within your DOF, but the background is not. Some combination of these techniques should work for you.

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Old Apr 18, 2010, 8:13 PM   #7
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Default Here are the sample pic

It doesn't seem to have much difference doesn't it? The house at the background seem to appear the same.

Also in the meantime that I'm trying to get use to the functions of the camera, can you advice a beginner like me which auto mode is best for me to use when in doubt or when I don't need to think and just shoot specially when I'm in a hurry to catch a moment of my baby? There is an IA mode which I presume is auto mode. Surpringly this doesn't seem to come out always good. My old Canon A570 seem to do better at it. But there is a SCN mode which seems to be also automatic. All I need to do is select a scene. The P mode I'm not so sure when to use it. The M mode as well as the custom modes I think would be the last thing in my mind to use right now.
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 9:05 PM   #8
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The two shots were captured at the shortest focal length (widest angle of view) the LX3 has. At wide angles, the depth of field is large. If you want to clearly see the effect of a shallow depth of field, you need to use the longest focal length.
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Old Apr 18, 2010, 9:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderintraveler View Post
Also in the meantime that I'm trying to get use to the functions of the camera, can you advice a beginner like me which auto mode is best for me to use when in doubt or when I don't need to think and just shoot specially when I'm in a hurry to catch a moment of my baby? There is an IA mode which I presume is auto mode. Surpringly this doesn't seem to come out always good. My old Canon A570 seem to do better at it. But there is a SCN mode which seems to be also automatic. All I need to do is select a scene. The P mode I'm not so sure when to use it. The M mode as well as the custom modes I think would be the last thing in my mind to use right now.
The iA (Intelligent Auto) Mode is the best choice for now. Intelligent Auto is when you want the camera to make all the decisions for you. P (Program AE) Mode is for when you're prepared to take more control of the camera. The SCN option on the Mode dial allows you to select from among the many Scene Modes the LX3 offers.

Can you post some examples of shots you're not happy with?
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Old Apr 19, 2010, 2:58 AM   #10
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TCav--- Thanks for taking time to check my sample pic. I went to check the cam again and I guess when you mean widest angle view that means it's the default right? To make this blurring effect, the best would be using the telephoto? Well the LX3 actually has just 2x zoom. That's the most I can do. I did try to take another pic of another scene. I didn't change the zoom but I went close up and that made the background blur a bit. I guess I was trying to replicate the pic that I saw on the net. It's basically just a portrait pic. The pic wasn't take very close, yet the photographer was able to take it with a background blurring. Maybe he has a more powerful cam to do it.

I was wondering also about the flash in this camera. I was used to the flash just flashing auto (without me needing to push a know to turn it on) in my previous camera, but it in this cam there is a button to make it pop out. Question is if I use the IA mode it seems if I don't turn on the flash it won't use the flash. Does it mean I have to determine this myself whether to pop it out or not? I was hoping it will decide by itself.

Regarding Program mode. How is this different from the Custom mode? If program mode means settings are done manually then how is this different from the manual? Or does Program mode mean semi automatic?

I already deleted the pics that I'm not so happy with so I will have to try using IA more and see. I was trying to use all modes in the hope that I can see the main differences. Obviously I'm not so successful with it and so I may use more of IA in the meantime or I'm losing a lot of photo opportunities of my baby.
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