Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W
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Re: Lovely pix and excellent presentation of your argument
In reply to Great Bustard, Apr 12, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:

Hen3ry wrote:

And my argument if it comes to that.

Razor thin depth of field is a by-product, an artifact of big apertures. They allow you to shoot in lower light but more often than not, the very shallow DoF is a damned nuisance.

For me, shallow DOF is the bomb, and I'm wide open, more often than not, regardless of the light.  That said, I don't expect others to have my tastes, but it's not like I never stop down:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/39537128

Besides, and editor might use one or two thin depth of field shots in a publication, but s/he certainly didn’t want page after page of them -- they were showing what the world looked like, not some arty-farty extract of the world governed by a super large aperture.

Well, a modern compact, like the RX100 might be better still for many, and DPR has been showcasing many pros making good use of cell phones for published works.

Then the argument was switched around so that razor thin DoF was practically the raison d'etre for taking a picture. Of course, you had to have the most expensive lens to achieve it so ordinary mortals were excluded.

There are quite a few fast primes for FF that aren't particularly expensive:  35 / 2, 50 / 1.8, 50 / 1.4, 85 / 1.8, 100 / 2.

On the other hand, many of those that aren't particularly expensive aren't very good wide open and thereabout. I am not saying that exceptions do not exist, but they are hardly frequent. Most of the fast Oly & Pany MFT primes, by contrast, do very well already from the get-go, and at least some of them are quite affordable too (20/1.7, 45/1.8).

This was a fad for a while, then the world got back to the business of expecting photographs to show them what the world looked like.

Like I said, you can always stop down, if it results in a better photo.

Super thin depth of field is a choice. Those who want it can have it; I'm not interested and mostly I'm not interested in their pictures either. Very thin DoF moved from the innovative to the boringly banal in a remarkably short time 40+ years ago.

Ah.  Well, don't click on the link above then.

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