51 votes

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

You've run over the diffraction limit. Light rays passing through a small hole will diverge and interfere with each other and a pattern emerges--a sort of banding where different frequencies/placement ...
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  • 49k
48 votes
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Why isn't this portrait taken at f/29 sharp?

As mentioned in the other answers, diffraction has led to unsharpness. To put this to the test, one can attempt to sharpen the image using deconvolution by using the point spread function that ...
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  • 3,518
39 votes

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

It's worth noting that sensor size plays a huge role in depth of field and behavior of the lens. A smartphone has a tiny camera sensor, often around 25 square mm. This gives the camera a crop factor ...
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34 votes
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How to convey a sense of depth & distance in a landscape?

If we start by just numbering them 1 - 6 for easy reference... Personally, I'd discount 5 altogether as it has none of the aspects we're looking for. 2 is a bit naïve & perhaps achieves a lot of ...
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  • 19.6k
33 votes
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Why are War Photographers able to take pictures that seemingly violate the exposure rule?

First about depth-of-field: The two examples you posted, and many war pictures, are of objects at or near infinity (Latin: as far as the eye can see). The light waves from objects at infinity arrive ...
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32 votes

Why are War Photographers able to take pictures that seemingly violate the exposure rule?

For the first photo: You just happened to pick a staged photo... This is the image with text, note the artificial bright lighting coming from high above, near the cameras position?: This is the ...
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29 votes

How is it possible to have shallow depth of field in very bright conditions?

The easiest way to solve this problem is to use a neutral-density filter. They are essentially neutral grey filters that cut down on the light reaching the film or digital sensor. Good ones are ...
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25 votes
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Is it possible to change depth of field in RAW images?

No - the aperture is set by the physical blades in the lens when you take the photo; a RAW "image" contains the readings from the sensor when the photo was taken, so there's no way you can go back and ...
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  • 19.7k
25 votes

How to have a sharp product image?

shutter speed 0.5 seconds This is likely to be a bit of your problem. The shutter causes vibration of the camera. So, too, does your hand pushing the release button. At faster speeds, this ...
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  • 20.3k
23 votes
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700D live view depth of field not accurate

The camera usually keeps the aperture open as wide as possible while framing the shot. It is only closed to the setting you dialed in when the picture is being taken. This allows for a brighter ...
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  • 8,334
22 votes

Is camera lens focus an exact point or a range?

There's only one distance that is in sharpest focus. Everything in front of or behind that distance is blurry. The further we move away from the focus distance, the blurrier things get. The questions ...
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  • 167k
20 votes
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What is the shape of the focal plane?

The effect is called field curvature. A good discussion comes from Nikon. It is a lens aberration that can reduce the resolution of the lens when coupled with a flat sensor. In the old days, the ...
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20 votes

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

If by "landscape" you mean something like this: then the answer is simple: at very large distances, depth of field is extremely large even at large apertures. That is, at any aperture if you focus at ...
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18 votes

Why do we need a DOF preview button?

Hitting the DOF preview with a stopped down aperture should make it obvious: what you see can be very dim, dim enough it can be very difficult to compose and focus. That's why cameras have the lens ...
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  • 1,174
17 votes

Why did manufacturers stop including DOF scales on lenses?

Short answer: The digital photography revolution has pretty much eliminated any idea of a standard display size and viewing distance. Depth of Field calculations are always based on several variables ...
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  • 167k
15 votes

Is a depth of field preview button a must-have feature on a camera?

The D5300 and D5500 bodies do not have the depth of field preview button. Whether it matters is a personal preference. I never use the DOF preview on my camera (ok, maybe occasionally when shooting ...
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  • 32.8k
15 votes

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

Because of diffraction. f/29 is way too much for you to expect a sharp image. Try shooting the same thing at f/8 and you'll see the difference.
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  • 2,024
15 votes
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What do these curved, color-coded lines mean on a vintage Nikkor lens?

The aperture ring is engraved with f-numbers duplicated; the duplicates are color coded the same. The lines you are asking about are also paired, same color. The idea is to graphically display the ...
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14 votes

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

I gather from the aspect ratios (top one is 3:2, bottom one is 4:3), that the top image is the dSLR one, and the bottom image is the one from your TZ40. And at web sizes, while there's some ...
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14 votes
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How can a super tiny iPhone 6 Plus lens produce significant DOF?

Many older or cheaper phone cameras use a "fixed focus" lens. ie it is always set to focus a specific distance away from the camera. This is usually set to the "hyperfocal distance", ie everything ...
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  • 1,644
14 votes
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Is this "tack sharp with blurred background" look done with Photoshop?

No photoshop necessary for that background. That's simply what happens when shooting a telephoto lens, f/2.8 or larger, and having the subject closer to the camera and much further from the background....
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  • 20.3k
13 votes
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Can focus stacking (or a similar technique) also be used to reduce depth of field?

Yes, it's possible With the focus stack you could estimate a depth map of the scene. Then this map is used to selectively blur the image to emulate the effect of shallower depth of field. See for ...
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  • 268
13 votes

Why do we need a DOF preview button?

Why do we need a DOF preview button? So that you can see how much depth of field you'll get when the shot is actually taken. Why not just show the effective depth of field, by default? Because ...
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  • 31.2k
13 votes
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Manual focus and depth of field

I haven't used this camera, but it has a "Manual focus magnification' feature. On my Sony Alpha a550 DSLR, it automatically sets aperture to full open to help you with precise focusing. The ...
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12 votes

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

Aperture is only one factor in depth of field. Others are: sensor size and focal length. Large format camera lenses often have max apertures in f/4-f/5 range, yet they yield very shallow DOF - because ...
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  • 2,040
11 votes
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Why do depth of field calculators show *more* DOF for larger formats with the same lens parameters?

Here's what you're missing: that larger formats have less depth of field for the same framing, not at the same focal length. A 100mm lens is much wider on medium format than it is on 35mm film. If you ...
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  • 140k
11 votes

Why is the Depth of Field Preview button necessary?

Why is the Depth of Field Preview button necessary? With the lens wide open, as it normally is before you take the shot, you can't tell how much depth of field you'll get in the photograph. When you ...
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  • 31.2k
11 votes

How is it possible to have shallow depth of field in very bright conditions?

Some considerations: Turn your ISO right down to the minimum value Do you really need f/1.8? Depending on the composition of your shot you can usually still get decent shallow DoF up to around f/4....
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10 votes

Why did manufacturers stop including DOF scales on lenses?

Not including a DOF scale can make the lens barrel smaller and allows the use of different focusing mechanisms such as linear motors instead of the traditional helicoid (which is where the DOF scale ...
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  • 117k
10 votes
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Maximizing bokeh in the foreground?

From the other question: Here's the list of things that influence depth of field the most (in this particular order): Subject distance, the closer the subject is, the shallower the DOF (think of ...
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