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Old Nov 10, 2002, 10:58 PM   #1
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Default narrow depth of field with nikon 5700

how can manually setup camera ot get a narrow depth of field withthe nikon 5700 digital camera
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Old Nov 11, 2002, 6:37 AM   #2
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Default narrower depth of field

You're talking about depth of field, which refers to the range of sharp focus in front and in back of your subject. This range gets deeper or shallower depending on your lens aperture. The smaller the aperture (higher f number) the deeper the depth of field, the larger the aperture (lower f number) the shallower the depth of field. In portraits, for example, you want a shallower dof so only your subject is in sharp focus, while objects in front and in back are out of focus. The opposite would hold true for, say, landscapes where you want everything (foreground, background, and whatever subject) to be in sharp focus.

In the old days of rangefinder cameras, photojournalists, who needed to be ready for action, selected an opening (f number) that allowed them to pre-focus on a distance that gave them a depth of field wherein they expected the action to happen, or wherein they anticipated their (usually moving) subject would be. As long as the subject was within that (hyperfocal) distance, they would be sure to catch their subject in sharp focus.

Longer focal length lenses (teles) will give you a shallower dof compared to shorter focal length lenses (wide angles) for the same aperture (f number).

If you want to understand all this better, check out www.shortcourses.com which has tutorials on just about every subject involving digital photography. To finally answer your question, you can manually set your aperture on the CP5700 by using the flexible program mode. On P mode, moving the command dial will give you different combinations of aperture and shutter speed. Pressing the mode button toggles the LCD data between shutter and aperture. See page 72 of the manual. Alternatively, you could use Aperture priority mode, described on page 74. You could in fact use Shutter priority mode, but choosing (and staying with) the shutter speed that gives you the aperture that will give you the dof that you need.

I understand that the CP5700 has a real iris diaphragm, i.e., the aperture is physically made wider or narrower with a mechanical diaphragm. I suppose other digital cameras use electronics to limit the amount of light entering the lens (which is the purpose of the iris diaphragm in non-digicam lenses). But only a physical iris diaphgram (such as the CP5700 has) will allow you to control the depth of field. To see what I mean, cut a very small hole in a piece of cardboard and look through it. You'll discover that everything appears to be sharper. That's the effect of a smaller aperture.

Sorry for getting carried away. Hope this has been helpful.

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