Questions tagged [depth-of-field]

Depth of Field is the depth of a scene that is "in focus" as perceived by the eye.

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What exactly determines depth of field?

There are several questions here about the definition of depth of field, about focal length, and about subject distance. And of course there's the basic how does aperture affect my photographs. And ...
mattdm's user avatar
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57 votes
9 answers
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What is aperture, and how does it affect my photographs?

How does aperture affect my photographs? Why should I care about the aperture with which a photo was taken?
Dan McClain's user avatar
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48 votes
20 answers
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How can I maximize the "blurry background, sharp subject" (bokeh) effect?

I know that this effect occurs when there's a shallow depth of field. My question is, what are the various ways I can increase this effect in my photos when I'm taking them? Note that I'm not ...
Jaydles's user avatar
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46 votes
12 answers
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How can I get dramatic shallow DOF with a kit lens?

I'm currently using an entry-level DSLR with 18-55mm lens and having great trouble trying to creating a blurred background effect in my photos. Now matter what aperture or shutter speed I choose, I'm ...
David's user avatar
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45 votes
7 answers
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What is "Hyperfocal Distance"?

I'd like a clear & easy-to-understand (especially for non-physics-types) explanation of what Hyperfocal Distance is, how it affects photographs, and what determines its value.
Craig Walker's user avatar
41 votes
6 answers
28k views

Why does a bigger sensor lead to a shallower depth of field?

It has been mentioned at a few places that a larger sensor results in images with a shallower depth of field. Example image: APS-C Canon 30D left, FF Canon 5D right, same lens¹, same composition, ...
Lazer's user avatar
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38 votes
8 answers
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Technically, why is the out of focus area blurred more when using a bigger aperture?

I'm wondering, technically, why and how does the out of focus areas blur more when using a bigger aperture. I think it'd help a lot if I presented a problem that's been driving me nuts for a long time:...
Frantisek's user avatar
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37 votes
12 answers
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How can I take shallow depth of field photos with a point-and-shoot camera?

I have a compact digital camera, and in macro mode I can manage to achieve a blurred background, if the background is far enough away. Can this be done when taking non-macro pictures, and if not, is ...
Bernhard Hofmann's user avatar
37 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is "bokeh panorama" (also called the "Brenizer method")?

Somewhere I don't remember, I heard about the Brenizer method. After reading a few sites, there is no consistent information about what it is exactly, or what the procedures are to apply it, so: ...
tomm89's user avatar
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33 votes
6 answers
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Is there a 'rule of thumb' that I can use to estimate depth of field while shooting?

I can use a DoF calculator, or crunch the heavy math by hand if I really want to know exactly what my DoF is going to be... but most of the time knowing exactly is actually overkill, and taking the ...
Jay Lance Photography's user avatar
30 votes
5 answers
7k views

What is the shape of the focal plane?

This is something I just realised I don't entirely know the answer to, so I'm going to ask it here as I think it's interesting. In most non-scientific writing on depth of field, diagrams generally ...
Undistraction's user avatar
28 votes
5 answers
3k views

What are the best practices for DOF stacking?

What are the best practices for DOF stacking? How do you get the frames with focus just right amount apart? How do you stack them in post processing?
Karel's user avatar
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27 votes
4 answers
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How to convey a sense of depth & distance in a landscape?

I've noticed that some photos of landscapes make me feel the depth and immersion, don't know how to describe it, just the true feeling that the photo isn't really flat. Other photos rather look ...
Mike's user avatar
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27 votes
5 answers
7k views

Why is the depth-of-field preview in the optical viewfinder of my Canon 500D inaccurate?

I have noticed that in my Canon 500D, the depth-of-field preview in the optical viewfinder is inaccurate with large aperture settings. If I press the DoF preview button, there is very little ...
Jukka Suomela's user avatar
26 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why isn't this portrait taken at f/29 sharp?

I am confused as to why this picture is not sharp. This is a portrait shot at F/29 ISO100 1/250 with a 17-85mm lens focused at 38mm. The subject distance was 1.2M. My DOF app tells me that my DOF ...
Corrupted MyStack's user avatar
26 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do smaller apertures provide more depth of field past the diffraction limit, even if peak sharpness suffers?

In Understanding Exposure (3rd edition, on page 48), Bryan Peterson has what might be called a rant against modern on-line conventional wisdom about diffraction limits. Answers on this web site are ...
mattdm's user avatar
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25 votes
9 answers
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Can a smaller sensor's "crop factor" be used to calculate the exact increase in depth of field?

If APS-C and similar crop-sensor digital cameras have a focal length multiplying effect such that a 50mm lens has an apparent focal length closer to the field of view of an 80mm on a full frame camera,...
Sean's user avatar
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24 votes
3 answers
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Why are War Photographers able to take pictures that seemingly violate the exposure rule?

A lot of historical war photographs I've seen are capable of recording the subject in sharp detail despite the subject being in blazingly fast motion, at the same time having little to no depth of ...
Amarth Gûl's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
8k views

How can a smartphone take pictures of a landscape with everything in focus?

After the announcement of the new Samsung Galaxy S9 with the new camera that changes aperture, I caught myself wondering: if smartphones have such a wide aperture (f/2.8, f/2.2, etc), how are ...
paulovlobato's user avatar
21 votes
6 answers
23k views

Why is depth of field affected by focal length?

As the focal length decreases, the depth of field increases as well. Why is this? I'm not so much interested in a physics lesson as I am interested in a simple, down-to-earth explanation.
Daniel T.'s user avatar
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21 votes
8 answers
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How does a teleconverter affect depth of field?

I'm aware that a teleconverter will reduce the amount of light reaching the film or sensor in a camera, and as such you hear people banding around things like "With a 2x teleconverter this 300mm f/2.8 ...
Rowland Shaw's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
13k views

Why does using a tilt-shift lens make things look miniature?

This question isn't so much about how to achieve the effect of making a scene look like it's modelled in miniature, but why tilting the focal plane creates the effect. What is it about photographing ...
Edd's user avatar
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21 votes
7 answers
11k views

How does background blur (bokeh) relate to sensor size?

This is a somewhat theoretical question. Suppose I first take a photo of a subject using a full frame sensor DSLR, with a given lens (say 50mm prime lens at f/3.5). Now suppose I exchange the camera ...
Laurent's user avatar
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20 votes
6 answers
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Is there a formula to calculate DOF?

I am pretty clear about that DOF depends on: Focal length Aperture or f-stop Distance from subject Sensor size and more (as pointed out in this comment). But my question is: Is there any formula ...
vivek_jonam's user avatar
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19 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is my far away background in focus even with a low aperture number?

I took a picture of my son in an elementary school cafeteria. The room was very well lit and the parameters of the shot were Canon T3, 18mm, F/3.5, 1/125, ISO 100. I was close to him and his head ...
Chuck C.'s user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
13k views

How does changing focal length affect depth of field?

I'm curious about how my "area of acceptable focus" changes when the focal length of the lens I'm using changes as I zoom (or switch lenses). In particular, I'd like to know how the front & back ...
Craig Walker's user avatar
17 votes
0 answers
2k views

Why does a larger aperture cause more blur of the background? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Technically, why is the out of focus area blurred more when using a bigger aperture? Why is it that a larger lens aperture produces a shorter depth of field, causing the ...
Dulini Atapattu's user avatar
16 votes
6 answers
2k views

Could I have taken this landscape shot better with my P&S, or do I need a better camera?

Edit: Since coming back from Australia, I had my eye on a Sony a5100 for a while, and I bought it in the Amazon lightning deals. I have to say, the Sony takes much better pictures in terms of detail ...
Michael's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do I get adequate depth of field in macro photography?

I have been messing around with some Macro Photography using the techniques (and a reversal ring) described in a blog post by @ElendilTheTall My main issue is that I am having a hard time getting the ...
L84's user avatar
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15 votes
4 answers
8k views

How can a super tiny iPhone 6 Plus lens produce significant DOF?

According to Apple specs the iPhone 6 Plus thickness is 0.28 inch (7.1 mm) and the lens length is only a part of that. And according to an article I found, Depth of Field is a function of "aperture (i....
user681768917's user avatar
14 votes
8 answers
8k views

Scanners with large depth-of-field?

How can I find a modern flatbed scanner with a reasonably large depth of field? Here "reasonably large" would be something like at least 2mm of DoF above the scanner glass. Typically DoF is not ...
Jukka Suomela's user avatar
14 votes
6 answers
12k views

How do I find a point-and-shoot camera specifically for bokeh / a very shallow depth of field?

I will be getting a point-and-shoot camera for taking portraits and only portraits. Specifically portraits with a shallow depth of field. Groups portraits sometimes. It's just too much work to add ...
William C's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
90k views

How can I take a photo with everything in focus with my DSLR?

I am quite new to DSLRs and one of the first things I noticed was the incredible focus points and appearance of depth that you can achieve. That is great in a lot of scenarios, but not in all. When ...
Bram Vanroy's user avatar
13 votes
8 answers
20k views

How can I get everything in focus? (Why can't my camera just use all of its focus points at the same time?)

I have a Canon 550D with 70-200 f4 and 50mm prime lenses. Although the camera has built-in 9 focal points, I sometimes face a strange problem. Here's a sample photo: In reference to the above pic, ...
Rish's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
67k views

How do I keep both the background and foreground in the image in focus at the same time?

How do you have both the background and foreground in the image in focus at the same time? Last week I was attempting a shot where I had the back of a hat in focus and in the distance you could see a ...
L84's user avatar
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13 votes
6 answers
5k views

What does small depth of field mean?

Can anyone clarify for me the various terms used to describe depth of field? There are so many it's hard without a photo dictionary to relate in my head what's actually being said to me about the ...
kacalapy's user avatar
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12 votes
11 answers
6k views

How to have a sharp product image?

I am trying to get my images sharp, but I always notice there are some blurry edges that are further from the lens. I basically set my ISO to 100 and tried to work my way from there. Since I was ...
Pherdindy's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
19k views

What is the depth-of-field preview button on my DSLR supposed to show me?

I'm fairly new to DSLRs and I've been exploring the functions on my new Canon 60D. There's a button to the side of the lens described as the "depth-of-field preview button". Based on the limited ...
Damovisa's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

ND filter vs stopping down for long exposures?

To achieve long exposures in daylight, one might need to stop down, or use an ND filter. By stopping down, the depth of field increases, but at some point the image quality/sharpness will suffer, due ...
user1207217's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
11k views

How can a Frazier lens achieve that massive DOF?

I've read in PetaPixel about this "Frazier lens" that can achieve a massive DOF. In this video is shown the capabilities of this lens and I must say I'm very impressed. How can this lens achieve such ...
Andres's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can focus stacking (or a similar technique) also be used to reduce depth of field?

Instead of using multiple images focused at different points to extend the depth of field, can I also reduce it? Does a technique exist to achieve a shallow depth of field by stacking multiple images ...
Kelley van Evert's user avatar
12 votes
4 answers
15k views

Can more than one focus point be selected?

Nowadays days, almost every DSLR camera comes with many focal points — 9, 11, 22 etc. Many of them provide us with settings to manually chose a focus point while shooting images, apart from the auto-...
Rish's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
8k views

Is it possible to measure distance to an object by adjusting the focus?

This is maybe not a 100% on topic photography, but I couldn't find a better stackexchange site to post this on and maybe you guys can help me out. I have a camera that takes pictures of a production ...
Lucas's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
2k views

70cm perfect focus depth of field for product photography

Please look at this photo below, on the left is the full product, and on the right is the 100% crop of the same photo. The guitar is around 100cm tall. If you incline by around 45°, you have about ...
Mario's user avatar
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11 votes
4 answers
5k views

Can I get a shallow DOF using a kit lens? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I get dramatic shallow DOF with a kit lens? Is it possible to generate shallow DOF with a "kit" lens, and how? In my case, I have the Nikon D7000 with the 18-105mm f/...
kacalapy's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
3k views

How can I determine if my Sigma 10-20mm lens copy is appropriately sharp and focusing right?

I just purchased a Sigma 10-20mm lens (Canon mount) and based on the reviews I was aware that many people receive copies of the lens that are soft or don't focus properly. I purchased from B&H, so ...
Adam Franco's user avatar
10 votes
6 answers
4k views

Why can't I get a shallow depth of field (DOF) effect?

I am trying to get a shot of the subject that is a foot or two away from the background that I would like to have show as blurry. This is what I am going after. Notice how the face of the dog is in ...
kacalapy's user avatar
  • 7,908
10 votes
4 answers
3k views

How do I get a sufficiently deep field when photographing an automobile dashboard?

A couple of weeks ago I photographed the dashboard of a customer's luxury car (Daimler DS 420), but I'm not really satisfied with the depth of field of the photo, especially where the array of ...
Neppomuk's user avatar
  • 599
10 votes
6 answers
3k views

How to micro-adjust distance for focusing in macro photography?

I'd like to take macro photos, but I have a problem with the focus. I put the object on a (light) table, I put my camera on my tripod and take a few shots. Since the depth of field is very small ...
asalamon74's user avatar
  • 4,573
10 votes
4 answers
835 views

Focusing on moving target with large aperature?

I have read about difficulties getting focusing right when using a large aperature (because of depth-of-field issues). If I am using a fast prime wide open (say F1.4 or F1.8) to shoot a target in ...
seanmc's user avatar
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