PIX 2015

f/? and be there

Started Aug 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
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f/? and be there
Aug 5, 2014

I guess everyone is familiar with the old phrase 'f/8 and be there', generally attributed to the photojournalist and street photographer Weegee (Arthur Fellig). As I understand it, the idea is that f/8 gives you a good combination of depth of field to give you a good chance that spontaneous or quick shots will be in focus, together with reasonable shutter speeds and maximum lens sharpness. Being there is about, well, being there.

Weegee worked in the 1930s and 1940s and seems to have mainly used a 4x5 Speed Graphic camera, but the approach of using f/8 and zone focus has been picked up by many later street photographers, typically using 35mm Leica rangefinders.

At the risk of starting an equivalence war (NOT my intention), should the basic principle be modified for those using APS-C cameras, m4/3 or even smaller sensors like the Nikon 1 or compacts?

If a street photographer with an OM-D EM-10 wants to replicate the approach, should it be a case of 'f/4 and be there'?

(forgive me if I got the maths wrong on this).

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