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Old Jan 20, 2005, 5:27 AM   #1
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Hi

Need some advice. What is the optimum focal length and aperture value to shoot with a blur background... with the panasonic FZ 20 lens..

I have been taking a few shots at a dance recital and concets at f 2.8 and at low shutter speeds like 1/20 and 1/25...and im not quite satisfied with the background blur... Does the zoom factor change things??? also does the distance between the subject and the camera change things??? what about shutter speed....

I know that distance between the subject and the background is a criteria for background blur

I would appreciate if you could guide me on this

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Dyu
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 6:27 AM   #2
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f2.8 will give less depth of field.
See my post re DOF digital camera's in this forum.
reality is digi cams have too much depth of field.
How to get min. DOF
1. wide aperture f2.8
2. be very close to subject
OR
3. Be distant and use max zoom 55mm (420mm 35mm terms)with f2.8


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Old Jan 20, 2005, 6:31 AM   #3
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go here
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...51&forum_id=23
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 7:04 AM   #4
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Hi

Thanks for the link and tip... But am still a little confused... The sweet spot that we speak of ... is it mainly for a better depth of field... or for most type of photography...

I have a few shots with good depth of field... i think i'll chk the exif data on that and see what i get...

I wish i could post my recent pics of the concert and dance recital to show what im actually looking for... but too bad my comp at home is knocked out... so i guess i'll have to wait a while...

But from what you are saying is that f 2.8 at full zoom will give me less depth of field i.e blur background. RIGHT?

Thanks again... and do let me know if there is anything that will help with the BLUR BACKGROUND

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Dyu
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 7:40 AM   #5
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dyu_d wrote:
Quote:
Hi

Thanks for the link and tip... But am still a little confused... The sweet spot that we speak of ... is it mainly for a better depth of field... or for most type of photography...

I have a few shots with good depth of field... i think i'll chk the exif data on that and see what i get...

I wish i could post my recent pics of the concert and dance recital to show what im actually looking for... but too bad my comp at home is knocked out... so i guess i'll have to wait a while...

But from what you are saying is that f 2.8 at full zoom will give me less depth of field i.e blur background. RIGHT?

Thanks again... and do let me know if there is anything that will help with the BLUR BACKGROUND

Besties

Dyu
Correct. To echo Boyzo, the size (wider) of the aperture, , and the distance between the lens and film plane (focal length) are the two variables that effect dof. With a Lumix, a shallow dof is achieved when you're zoomed out at f-2.8.

This is one of those things I miss about my 35mm. It is very difficult to get those wonderful shots where the subject is sharp as a tack and is isolated against a blurred background using non-dslr digicams. Most shots you see like this on posts are of birds or other distant subjects, where the camera is zoomed out 12X - or, they're macro shots.

The reason has to do with the difference in the size of the "film" plane between 35mm film cameras and digitals, and the optical physics. When an image has to be focused by the camera's lens onto a much larger film plane (a strip of 35mm film), the size of the aperture and distance between the lens and the film plane gives you more - or less dof, as desired. This is why disposable cameras, for example, that use smaller film sizes have fixed lenses that are always in focus due to their huge dof.

One workaround that theoretically should help to improve obtaining a shallower dof outdoors in the sun, is a neutral density filter. These are gray filters that block the amount of light entering the lens, without effecting color. I have two - one of "average" strength, and another that blocks about 2/3rd's of the light entering the camera. This should enable me to widen the aperture outdoors in sunlight to get a shallower dof... However, while I expect improvement, it don't expect a 35mm-like shallow dof.

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Old Jan 20, 2005, 9:31 AM   #6
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Maybe this will help you get what you want.

It is not as good without the pictures but it may help.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=11200830
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 9:58 AM   #7
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thanks for the link genece. i am a beginner though, and dont quite undderstand the whole procedure. i own an fz20. can you post the sequence of steps in order to achieve the blurred background? is this in MF the whole time or in AF when trying to focus on the hand? i cant seem to get it done. thanks!
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 11:53 AM   #8
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You may be able to get the result you want by editing the photo. Picasa is a free tool that allows you to blur a photo around a window that will stay in focus.
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 1:17 PM   #9
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junji98, The techique genece linked to is tricky and will give you uneven results. I saw it awhile back and tried it. Go to MF and bump the lever down. It will give you a roughAF on your hand. Then zoom on your subject while still in MF. When you get a focused area, adjust the manualring to focus more sharply. I think what boyzo and Nick recommend is a more consistent way to to get the DOF you want. It's limited by the sensor size and optics. That trick was subject to alot of debate.
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Old Jan 20, 2005, 3:01 PM   #10
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dyu_d wrote:
Quote:
Hi

Thanks for the link and tip... But am still a little confused... The sweet spot that we speak of ... is it mainly for a better depth of field... or for most type of photography...

I have a few shots with good depth of field... i think i'll chk the exif data on that and see what i get...

I wish i could post my recent pics of the concert and dance recital to show what im actually looking for... but too bad my comp at home is knocked out... so i guess i'll have to wait a while...

But from what you are saying is that f 2.8 at full zoom will give me less depth of field i.e blur background. RIGHT?

Thanks again... and do let me know if there is anything that will help with the BLUR BACKGROUND

Besties

Dyu
Sweet spot means the camera is set to particular aperture and zoom
it could be f4 100mm this is NOT related to DOF

Set the FZ20 to aperture priority and set aperture to f2.8 the shutter speed will be adjusted in acoordance to the available light.
As nick said you can't get 35mm slr like shallow DOF.
You will need to practice on a few static subjects to see the effects of DOF.


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