show me - deep DOF!! - small sensor vs. m4/3

Started May 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
Detail Man
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Re: show me - deep DOF!! - small sensor vs. m4/3
In reply to pocketpygmy, May 25, 2012

pocketpygmy wrote:

perfect! this forest is... DEEP. i can see it all...

Deep it is. But one has to wait and be tenacious to witness it and capture a glimpse. One thing about capturing a lot of interesting subject-matter is that one has to find it (and wait for it to shine). The season, the health and hydration of the flora, the essential, rare and all too brief magic of the LIGHT - all of these things have nothing to do with photography gear, and are a major elements in these matters. You cannot borrow, rent, lease, of buy these things. You have to be there (again and again, at the right places at the right times), and wait patiently and tenaciously ...

10 Mpixel image-sensors such as the one in the LX3 (even at their base ISO where DR and SNR are decent) do strain to be able to resolve the far-field. Shooting in RAW, good focus, camera stability, using DxO's "Lens Softness" corrections, are all required to squeeze out what is tenuously there.

Where larger sensors give one adjustment leeway for shallow DOF as camera-subject distances increase, smaller sensors give one adjustment leeway for deep DOF at relatively close camera-subject distances - but for the far-field, the pixel-resolution has to be there. Enter the 16 Mpixel sensors of M43. Once the plane-of-focus reaches hyperfocal distance range, it's about pixel-resolution and quality of the lens-system (not to mention quality of focusing and camera stability).

exactly what i wanted when i moved up from a point and shoot. traveling really brought out the itchy shutter finger in me, and much of the time i was just interested in quickly capturing a lot of visual information. i want to present the viewer with the richness and depth and splendor of this endlessly kooky planet. sometimes it's just all there - foreground, middle, background, to your left and right, up and down. if i could just get a proper camera, higher megapixelage, sharp lenses -- well, i won't be stuck staring at mushy point-and-shoot details at 200%...

Exactly !

and the irony is, naive as i was, i forgot to expect (or was more or less oblivious of) all the DOF trickeries of larger sensors and brighter lenses.

It's often harder to find scenes where one wants to resolve all of the details (near to far field). Thus, the understandable attractiveness of being able to limit the DOF. It makes life seem easier.

(you mean i have to use slower shutter speeds at high f values? what? or get filters? use a tripod? what? [yes. i was, and am still, a noob. i am not afraid to declare this.])

A lot of (understandable, but tedious) stuff, indeed. Who wants to be a tripod bearing beast with many pounds of gear hanging all over them ? One becomes so weighted down by such stuff and time-consuming fussing that they're very likely to miss most of the forest trying to shoot one tree .

That said, it is indeed also true that there is true meaning and value in "doing just one thing well".

I work quickly within the narrow time-windows of the golden hours (or minutes can be more like it when in wooded areas) with a mono-pod. Know where and what you want to capture, move quickly, and take lots of shots, slightly varying perspective, framing, and perhaps exposure value.

Take nothing for granted. Those who imagine themselves to take a few "perfect" shots are usually dreaming. Those who take lots of shots recognize that all of the important variables only align sometimes , and (as much by luck as anything) know that a few "gems" are a lot more likely to emerge out of a large sample-size. It is more a mystical "mining" process than some deterministic victory of the human mind over nature. The shots find me , and it is a meditative dance to try to call forth the spirits of beauty. I am more of a button-pusher than my ego might prefer. It is humbling, and one is occasionally "blessed". Accept that you, yourself have very little to do with it !

needless to say it's been a learning experience. compromise is inescapable!

Use at least a 16 Mpixel sensor, good glass, get your focus and camera stability together, and you have it made ... that is, all that you now have to do is to actually find interesting and beautiful subject matter . In the case of nature/landscape wait for just the right season and state of the "forest", and then return again and again when the light might be interesting, and take tons of shots - only a few of which are likely to be "keepers", and only a few of those, once carefully polished in processing, are likely to be "gems". It's an exercise in patient, tenacity, and "delayed and only occasional gratification". "Talent" is 75% subject and lighting, and 98% perspiration ...

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