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Old Apr 27, 2005, 10:36 AM   #1
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OK... why does everyone want the smallest Depth of Field? I'm confused. I thought the goal was to have everything in your picture as sharp as possible. I could have sworn that was what I read. Greater Depth of field = better picture? How do you determine whether or not you want a smaller depth of field?
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 10:40 AM   #2
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the point is to be able to control the full range of DOF for creative reasons. this is where a Dslr shines over a digicam. control is the key. having a lens with a great aperture range allows greater control. but there is always a price to pay. weight quality of image and just the users inability to comprehend its finer details and functions.
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 11:08 AM   #3
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Having a shorter depth of field (using higher aperture numbers=smaller lens opening) isolates your subject from the background and really makes it "pop". Longer depth of field obviously has its advantages when sharp focus is an issue or you do want more than just the subject in focus.

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Old Apr 27, 2005, 11:20 AM   #4
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Plain Jane wrote:
Quote:
OK... why does everyone want the smallest Depth of Field? I'm confused. I thought the goal was to have everything in your picture as sharp as possible. I could have sworn that was what I read. Greater Depth of field = better picture? How do you determine whether or not you want a smaller depth of field?
There are a couple parts to your question. First part:

Quote:
Greater Depth of field = better picture?
Not necessarily. In some instances you want your subject to stand out from the background and isolate it. Take a look at this link to see what I mean:

http://stevesforums.com/forums/view_...amp;forum_id=7

You'll see this a lot in Macro and portrait photography

Quote:
How do you determine whether or not you want a smaller depth of field?
There are two ways to look at this. First, you may WANT a smaller DOF to isolate your subject as in the above instance. Think about what you want to accomplish? Is your interest only the particular subject or do you want to convey something about how the subject is fitting in to it's surroundings.

The other way to look at this question is - DOF is controlled by aperture. The wider the aperture (small f-stop) the lesser the DOF. So, your goal may be a fast shutter speed to freeze action or because of low light. So, you may shoot with a wide aperture to get the fastest shutter speed and the smaller DOF is a by-product of that goal. You'll see this a lot in sports and wildlife photography - the subject stands out and the background is blurred (sometimes the photographer wants the isolation but often the primary goal is the fast shutter speed).
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 11:21 AM   #5
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actually its the smaller aperture numbers that isolates the subject from the backround. the larger numbered apertures allow a greater DOF

higher number= smaller aperture=greater DOF

lower number= larger aperture= shallower DOF
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Old Apr 27, 2005, 11:26 AM   #6
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I thought that is what I said:

Quote:
The wider the aperture (small f-stop) the lesser the DOF.
Small f-stop = large aperture = less DOF

In either case I think we're on the same page sjms


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Old Apr 27, 2005, 5:30 PM   #7
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OK... well that answers my question. Thank you.
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