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Old Jan 24, 2009, 5:29 AM   #1
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In order toimprove myresultsusing the50-200mm lens I thought ittime that Iget a better understanding of depth of field especially as it relates to a digital camera vs a 35mm slr ( something I was a bit more familiar with)

For those interested, here is a good article on the subjectas written by Andrzej Wrotniak

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/tech/dof.html

WARNING: this is definitely an article you want to read with a cup of coffee

Zig
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 7:08 AM   #2
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Also, here's a handy calculator that allows you to calculate the DOF for a specific camera /focal length/ aperture / distance:

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html


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Old Jan 24, 2009, 8:38 AM   #3
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zig-123 wrote:
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WARNING: this is definitely an article you want to read with a cup of coffeeZig
Thanks for the reminder Zig. I've seen and read (most of it) the Wrotniak link and John, I recall 'playing' some with the DOF calculator at some time in my awake life.

BUTTTTTTTT !!! when I combine thoughts of both Wrotniak's text in context of tech articles with any attempt to understanding 'circle of confusion' as part of the DOF calculator.............. well, circle of confusion takes on a whole new meaning and the cup of coffee......... turns into a whole new meaning too when coffee becomes "just ain't strong 'nuff stuff".

For me to comprehend the intentions/lessons of either, let along both, of these in a single thread pretty much would follow that other super excellent thread below (The megapixel milestone.....)

I can't contribute anything to this thread either but I'll read it all, same as 'milestone' while enjoying a cup of coffee.

Yesterday the temperature here was 80, today the high is 30's, Texas weather is a circle of confusion.
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 10:30 AM   #4
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zig-123 wrote:
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What is it and why is it important?
Quote:
In order toimprove myresultsusing the50-200mm lens I thought ittime that Iget a better understanding of depth of field especially as it relates to a digital camera vs a 35mm slr ( something I was a bit more familiar with)

For those interested, here is a good article on the subjectas written by Andrzej Wrotniak

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/tech/dof.html

WARNING: this is definitely an article you want to read with a cup of coffee

Zig
Sorry, but are you confused with the info on Wrotniak's site...it's just your subject asked the question, "What is it and why is it important?" but then you appear to answer your own question.

As for pgmCoder's comment about tempertures, it was an issue all the way into Canada...using farenheit yesterday in Toronto it was 37F (3C) and right now it's 0F (-18C) but it feels like -17F (-27C).

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Old Jan 24, 2009, 12:13 PM   #5
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Some pics:

E-3/50-200 at f5.6



E500/40-150 at 150mm f4.5



E500/40-150 at 108mm f4.2



E-3/50-200 at 117mm f4.5





I enjoy playing with DOF and using its effect. Its one of the benifits of the DSLRs because of the larger sensors, and its one of the things that is more limited with the Olympus cameras because of their smaller (than other DSLRs) sensors.

When it comes to longer lenses, I find more a desire for more DOF than I can get with available light, and with the shorter lenses I sometimes wish I could limit DOF more. Its a double edged sword that cuts both ways.

If one can afford the 5d, 1d, d700, D3, A900 cameras, you can limit DOF with wider angle lenses. You can also stop down to match the 4/3 cameras deep DOF. If you want to have it all, that's probably the best way to go, but long lenses are hugely expensive and heavy. I'll stick with what I've got.

Greg

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Old Jan 24, 2009, 1:01 PM   #6
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fldspringer wrote:
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I'll stick with what I've got. Greg
..........I agree with you Greg and mine work for me too.

E-3 50-200 @ 147mm f/3.2


E-3 50-200 @ 158mm f/4.5


E-300 50-200 @ 96mm f/4.0

and finally E-300 50-200 @ 50mm f/5.0

Having said and posted these of mine samples, I think they pretty well show a satisfaction in how DOF plays an integral part of the presentation for light and framing.

I work extremely hard at composition and often think of DOF though not always by any stretch of imagination. What I've found that does work for me is paying attention to framing/composition and in the case of my baseball efforts knowing where and what kind of action to expect, the DOF for the kinds of photography I do pretty much happens to satisfy what I want without struggling too much with making it a priority of my hobby. Mostly I shoot in AP mode with widest possible aperture and take what I get after fiddling with ISO for a level of shutter speed adjustment.

Yep, I'll stick to what I've got....because I would treat that 8k$ bugger system the same.
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Old Jan 24, 2009, 3:17 PM   #7
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JohnG wrote:
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Also, here's a handy calculator that allows you to calculate the DOF for a specific camera /focal length/ aperture / distance:

http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

Hi All,

John, Thanks for the link to D.O.F. calculator. What a great tool! It really illustrated just why I was having trouble getting the entire subject in focus.

Hi Bob, Greg,

Thanks forsharing yourimages. You guys, no doubt, know your equipment and how to get the desired results.

The50-200mm lens is really one fine lens and I'm happy to have finally bought one. Not sure how much more success I'd have with an E-3 instead of the E-510. But so far, I think I'm just trying to do something that's pretty difficult to achieve consistently.

Basically what I've been trying to do is capture images of songbirds coming to a feeder I hung outside my office window. I set up the E-510/50-200mm ED combo on a Manfrotto 3001 tripod. Due to physical limitations of the office space, the lens is literally 38" away from the birdfeeder. The birds seem to be most active first thing in the morning-around 7:15am onward. Needless to say, there isn't a lot of naturallight at that time of day. Additionally, the feeder is on the North side of the House, which limits light all the more.

I'm shooting in Arpeture priority and trying tojuggle between getting an acceptably fast shutter speed say 1/320sec. or betterand anFstop of 7.1. I boosted up the ISO to 400 in order to get the shutter speed at the desiredarpeture value. At that distance, the depth of field is about .02ft. (according to the dof calculator).

Add to the mix that the feeder hangs fromthe top by a wire, which, when all the birds are feeding and flying around, the feeder is really swinging back and forth and left to right.

It really is a "circle of confusion" :?.

Anyways, Mike, that's why I posted this depth of field thread.. After reading Wrotniak's article, I got a much better understanding of why I was having trouble. Thought it was a worthwhile read and thought I'd share it . To your point, I probably should have titled it differently.

Thanks again for all your input and comments.

Zig








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Old Feb 22, 2009, 3:32 AM   #8
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Thanks mate! I am still at the fence with having a full understand of DOF. I know I have successfully been able to get it to work for the picture I want to take....however when I pull the picture off the card its less than a 40% success rate. This article may bring me online.

wheew......just what I need for the night shift! Many thanks!
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Old Feb 22, 2009, 3:51 PM   #9
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pgmCoder wrote:
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when I combine thoughts of both Wrotniak's text in context of tech articles with any attempt to understanding 'circle of confusion' as part of the DOF calculator.............. well, circle of confusion takes on a whole new meaning and the cup of coffee......... turns into a whole new meaning too when coffee becomes "just ain't strong 'nuff stuff".
Hi, Bob

You're looking ata fundamental issue with photography,which is that what is "good" or "not good" is a matter of opinion. Most folks believe that we should be able to measure lens quality (or photo quality) purely in quantative measurements. But that's not possible.Quantitative measurements of lens resolution are still a subject of opinion/interpretation, andphoto quality is even worse. Supreme CourtJustice Potter Stewart's famous quote (describing a different subject - obscenity) says - I know it when I see it. Same with photo or lens quality.

So the lens tests are a guide but not really a measurement. Don't get caught up in circles of confusion, but don'tget caught up in thinking that testing is absolute..

Ted


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