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Author Topic: Shallow DOF and Sony F828 Comparisonhttp  (Read 9281 times)
dwdallam
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« on: March 10, 2005, 07:04:03 PM »
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I've noticed some of those things you mention. However, if you can use the F828, and play with getting shallow DOF, you'll see it's  difficult, as you state, for physical limitations of the camera.

But let's say you have a large subject, like a 60 foot fishing boat, and you want to get most of the boat in teh picture, either 90 degrees or 30, or wahtever the angle, and you want to have a shallow DOF in marina--such as the pictures in the link I posted. Could you do that with a different camera? If so, can you post a picture that accomplishes that?
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2005, 12:00:44 PM »
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Didger, as your next photshop task you may want to play with the lens blur filter rather than gaussian blur to achive an OOF effect. You can use a gradient in the layer mask to vary the blur effect progressively which can give some nice effects, though takes a bit of practice to get the right look.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Bobtrips
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 08:51:07 PM »
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Before anyone commits mathematical obscenities, DPR lists the F828 lens as a 28 - 200 mm eq. and 7.1 - 51 is printed on the front of the lens.


(And I've long been looking for a piece of software that would let one select areas of an image and assign different amounts of focus/blur as desired.)
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dwdallam
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« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2005, 05:05:46 PM »
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2) Howard, I think your estimate on teh true mm size of the F828 is a little off. I think I read where it is actually 28 to 80mm effective?
Howard is pretty close. "35mm equivalent" is meaningless in the contect of DOF, the actual focal length is what's important. Since the sensor is much smaller tha the 24x36mm of a frame of film, the focal lengths are similarly smaller. If the 828's sensor is 1/5 the size of 35mm film, then the focal length of the lens would be 1/5 of the "35mm equivalent" so a 28-80 "equivalent" would actually be 5.6-16mm. The size difference isn't exactly 5:1, but somewhere in that vicinity.
Okay I see what you mean. That makes sense to me. As far as true zoom goes, what is the focdal lenght of the F828, given the zoom capability alone? It says 28-200, but I know that's fluff.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2005, 08:38:22 AM »
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DOF Calculator

The default sensor values are for the Canon 1Ds; for the 828, use 2448 pixels and 6.6mm. To compare DOF between the 1Ds and the 828, save a copy of the spreadsheet with the 828 sensor settings. Then set up a scenario with equal subject distances and divide the focal length of the 1Ds by 3.636 to get the equivalent vertical FOV for the 828.
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Lin Evans
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2005, 02:37:29 PM »
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It just gives you less depth of field - the size of the subject is inconsequential.

To understand DOF it's helpful to do some outside reading. Here's a link which might help....

Lin

http://members.aol.com/Photoinfo/dof.html
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Lin
DiaAzul
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2005, 04:15:05 PM »
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If you want to contact a professional photographer that specialises in boats you may wish to try the following photographer - Nicolas Claris. He often hangs out on Rob Galbraiths website.

Claris Organisation
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
dwdallam
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2005, 03:49:48 PM »
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In a recent thread, we were discussing shallow DOF and the SonyF828 (and other small sensor cameras in relation to large). I'd like to see what others who own this camera can do to get the best shallow DOF possible, as a comparison to myself. Then I can see if I'm getting all I can out of the camera.

The subject should be large, as with the boats I have here:
http://www.idlethoughtsandchaos.com/photo/
and the background should be blurred as much as possible. I'd like to see how the DSLRs do that job, along with 35mm film. Then I'll have a good idea where these cameras fall in relation to each other. I'd also like to see some portrait pictures and shallow DOF also using the above cameras. If you could also cite the apeture,  speed, and ISO, that would be great too.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2005, 08:48:03 PM »
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It's not a boat, but it is an example of shallow DOF achievable with the full-frame Canon 1Ds:



The girls are not quite 3 years old, the palm tree in the right background is about 2 feet behind them, and the palm tree in the left background is about 10 feet behind them. Is this the kind of shallow DOF you're looking for?

Canon 1Ds, EF 24-70/2.8L @ 55mm, f/3.2, 1/2000, ISO 200
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didger
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2005, 08:26:02 AM »
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All this stuff about problems getting LESS DOF with small sensor cameras is interesting and makes sense, though not having a small sensor camera nor frequent occasions to want shallow DOF, I haven't experienced these problems, though once in a while I've decided after the fact to defocus some carefully selected area in an image with Gaussian blur.  Don't forget how powerful Photoshop can be for faking shallow DOF for many situations.  Something like Jonathan's little girls would be easy because that background would be easy to select and the same amount of blur for the entire background would be OK.  

Something like a big boat at an angle to the viewer would be harder because the boat would need to get blurry gradually as it recedes.  With Quick Mask you can create a very complex selection that's feathers at the edges to any degree in any way you want in different areas and directions.  This is not so easy and certainly not fast, but almost anything could be done with appropriate selections and the right blur formula.  Not something I've ever had occasion to do, but I've done super complex selections with variably fading edges like that for other purposes and you could certainly do complex blur patterns of any sort you want for simulating shallow DOF.

Now the pity is that there's no way to fake MORE DOF than what you shot.  You could do multiple exposures, however, and there's even some shareware to help with that.  This system was developed by microphotographers, who are always burdened with extremely shallow DOF.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2005, 01:46:33 AM »
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DiaAzul's last image (stack of hay bales) is interesting. But look at the ground just in front of the stack. It looks to me that the ground looks "out of focus" but the hay just above there is in focus.
Howard, perhaps one day you will learn to read peoples posts properly and utilise the grey matter that sits between your ears. I know that the picture is not perfect and that the effect has some imperfections, however, it was posted to give an indication that Photoshop does have tools to artificially create a shallow DOF effect. If I had more time then it would be possible to achieve a more natural look by modifying the gradient mask so that their is not a disconnect in the focus around the haystack. This is not difficult to do, just takes time.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
dwdallam
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2005, 04:59:31 PM »
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It's not a boat, but it is an example of shallow DOF achievable with the full-frame Canon 1Ds:



The girls are not quite 3 years old, the palm tree in the right background is about 2 feet behind them, and the palm tree in the left background is about 10 feet behind them. Is this the kind of shallow DOF you're looking for?

Canon 1Ds, EF 24-70/2.8L @ 55mm, f/3.2, 1/2000, ISO 200
Yes, that is what I want. However, the F828 will give a decent shallow DOF, although not as nice as yours, with small subjects close up, as you have here. It won't blur things as close as ten feet as well either, but it's not too bad. What I'm wondering is how well your camera, and those like it, can do when you have to get a very large subject in the viewfinder, and then have the background blur. And remeber, I can't use much telephoto becasue I'm on teh docks, and can't back up. So I'm probably not using much more than 30 or 40 mm max.
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howard smith
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2005, 07:26:05 AM »
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dwdallam, a wide angle "filter" isn't really a filter, but a supplementtal lens that goes on like a filter.  It simply proves a wider angle of view.

The F828 can produce narrow DoF as you show.  But the field of view isn't enogh there to fit in a 60' boat.

The F828 doe not have a 28-200mm Ziess lens it has now.  Thta is the equivalent 35mm focal length.

DoF is determined the same way for the F828 as it is for an 8x10 view camera.  I suggest you learn how that is done and go from there.  You sound frustrated.  Learning what your camera can and can't do may help.
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dwdallam
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2005, 03:07:47 PM »
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It just gives you less depth of field - the size of the subject is inconsequential.

To understand DOF it's helpful to do some outside reading. Here's a link which might help....

Lin

http://members.aol.com/Photoinfo/dof.html
Right, subject size has no influence on DOF. So can you post something like I wanted so I can see the best possible scenario for the F828?
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howard smith
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2005, 03:29:08 PM »
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I am only thinking out loud. A wider angle lens would let you set up closer to the boat and still get it in the frame, and at the same time require you to focus closer.

While every camera is obedient to the same laws of DoF, not everything is possible with a given camera or maybe even any camera. If I need an f/0.3 lens to get the DoF I want, I had better make other plans. If I need a 20mm lens for my 4x5, probably not going to happen. And so forth.

I decide the shot I want, and do some math. If what I need isn't available to me, I move on.

My wife wanted to take a photo of a woman who repairs musical instruments. The woman worked in a room about the size of a small closet. How do you get a camera on a tripod inside a "shoe box" with a woman working on a cello? And use a couple of strobes with soft boxes? And get everything in focus? And use the Hasselblad she owns with one of the three lenses she owns? Think, plan, and sacrifice some of the things you "need."

"In any event, I'm still waiting on you professionals to get a picture given my parameters above to see how high dollalar [sic] cameras stack up given a large subject, very limited space to 'move away' from the subject, and shallow DOF." What is your budget for this assignment, and how much do I get?

Seriously, move some boats.  Get (buy, borrow, rent) a different, more flexible or suitable camera.  Get in a boat to get where you need to be.  Shoot on a foggy day when the backgound will be fuzzier.
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howard smith
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2005, 04:08:18 PM »
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Like it or not, depth of field is science, not philosphy.  Photography is a combination of art and science.  Depth of field is science. The only philosophy involved is what you consider to be "in focus." That is your choice of the circle of confusion on the print. A good reference is "The Camera" by Ansel Adams. Adams is a respected name, and although I don't think he has ever personally posted one of his images on LL, he is creditable.

Look at the factors that concern depth of field. To increase depth of field, open the lens up, smaller f number. Increase the focus distance. Increase the focal length of the lens.

But of equal importance, remember that depth of field is to be determined by the print, not on the ground glass or view finder. Depth of field also includes consideration of the print size (call it degree of enlargement of the "negative") and viewing distance and viewing environment. It also involves the subject matter.

The rules or laws of depth of field are the same for your F828 as Adams' 8x10. They do not involve camera format except indirectly through degree of enlargement. Learn them, believe them and you will have no trouble with depth of field. You do not take my word for it.
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howard smith
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2005, 05:42:24 AM »
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dwdallam, I would say you might have a challenge with a camera that has very short focal lenses. To get a 60' boat in the small frame, you will need either a wide angle lens (larger DoF) at closer range (less DoF) or a telephoto (less DoF) from a longer distance (more DoF). With the F828, the "tele" lens is still only 35-40mmish. The things you do have going for you are 1) the small format will require considerable enlargement to get even an 8x10 or 11x14 print, and 2) the lens is relatively fast.

The last factors would be to 1) view the prints from close range under good light. To control this, I would put the print in a small room or hall way where the viewer cannot get too far away and light it up. 2) Try printing on a glossy paper.

For information, I clipped this from Michael Reichman's article Understanding Depth of Field:

"A common complaint about digital cameras is that when using one it's not possible to get nice out-of-focus backgrounds. Why therefore do digital cameras have greater Depth of Field? The reason for this is that the imaging chips on most consumer digitals is very small, around the size of ones smallest finger nail. This means that a normal lens for a format that small is as short as 15mm. A 15mm lens at f/5.6 has Depth Of Field from about 2.5 feet to infinity. Not too much opportunity for selective focus, is there?"

One thing you might try to help decrease the focus of the background is to focus the camera on something closer to the camera.  Move the DoF closer to the camera.  The auto focus on the camera will focus on the boat.  Swith to manual and focus closer.  The DoF will keep the boat looking in focus, but will decrease the focus on the background.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2005, 08:27:47 PM »
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2) Howard, I think your estimate on teh true mm size of the F828 is a little off. I think I read where it is actually 28 to 80mm effective?
Howard is pretty close. "35mm equivalent" is meaningless in the contect of DOF, the actual focal length is what's important. Since the sensor is much smaller tha the 24x36mm of a frame of film, the focal lengths are similarly smaller. If the 828's sensor is 1/5 the size of 35mm film, then the focal length of the lens would be 1/5 of the "35mm equivalent" so a 28-80 "equivalent" would actually be 5.6-16mm. The size difference isn't exactly 5:1, but somewhere in that vicinity.
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didger
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2005, 04:40:24 PM »
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Yeah sharpness and DOF are all about perception. Jonathan's sharpening actions have to do with sharpening edges and controlled contrast increases (I think). Applying Photoshop curves selectively to certain areas also does something like the dodging and burning you refer to. However, I want more, I want everything. I want to violate the laws of thermodynamics. I want unlimited DOF, DR, and resolution and I want it now and I want it pretty affordable. Is that too much to ask?

Who says entropy and confusion are irreversible?  What do you think the delete button is for, hard disk formatting is for, erasers on pencils are for?
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dwdallam
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2005, 05:18:06 PM »
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Specifically, I want to see how other cameras do given this situation:

1) You can't get anymore than 20 feet away from the subject.
2) The subject is BIG, like a 30-60 foot fishing boat, and you need pretty much the entire subject in the frame, or at least 2/3 of it.

I have a question: how much would it increase the price of the Sony F828 to give it a larger sensor, like the Cannons here, while keeping the camera the same in all other respects? One thing I realy like about the Sony is the design. Everything fits perfectly in your hand. For those who have never handled it, you should just to see how it feels. Although I haven't owned the high dollar digitals, I've held them, and nothing feels like that F828.
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