"Depth of field is insufficient"

Started Dec 17, 2011 | Discussions
Iliah Borg
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"Depth of field is insufficient"
Dec 17, 2011

„Depth of field is insufficient“ is the most common complaint to meet the Carl Zeiss service department today. And there is an upward trend.

page 3, Camera Lens News No. 1, 1997

http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/EmbedTitelIntern/CLN01e/ $File/CLN1.pdf

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John M Roberts
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

Tried, say's page not found.

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Rick Knepper
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to John M Roberts, Dec 17, 2011

Part of the link isn't active. You'll have to copy/paste the entire string into your browser's address space.

John M Roberts wrote:

Tried, say's page not found.

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Rick Knepper
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

Having trouble achieving enough DoF must have been a film era problem.

Iliah Borg wrote:

„Depth of field is insufficient“ is the most common complaint to meet the Carl Zeiss service department today. And there is an upward trend.

page 3, Camera Lens News No. 1, 1997

http://www.zeiss.de/C12567A8003B8B6F/EmbedTitelIntern/CLN01e/ $File/CLN1.pdf

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Iliah Borg
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Rick Knepper, Dec 17, 2011

Rick Knepper wrote:

Having trouble achieving enough DoF must have been a film era problem.

Good one

It is a problem with understanding; when printing large, cropping heavily, looking close, and generally having high resolution.

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pluton
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

Perhaps those who we might term the "PP's" are seeing old view camera photos on calendars and wondering why they can't do the same thing with their new $7000 photogizmotrons.
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bloomoose
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Nice find
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

" Those who use depth of field
scales, tables, and formulas (e. g.
for hyperfocal settings), restrict
themselves – most probably
without knowing why – to the
image quality potential of an
average pre-World-War-II emulsion."

Come to think of it, it should be sufficent for most the users on this forum

Looking at my family snap shots with the Nikon D100 in dim lighting, they do have pre-Word-War-II-charme about them
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Moonwalker
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

I have always been amazed at how thin the plane of excellent sharpness turns out to be with the D3X. As you move around the image, you can discover excellent sharpness at the plane of focus and an increasing degree of blur in front / behind it, even at f/11. You get the feeling there is no such thing as "depth of field". This has always been the case as your article from the film times shows, but 90% of all people have never discovered it (see below). With 36MP, it will get even more obvious if you use a tripod and good technique.

I also like this extract from the pdf:

"This [the definition of depth of field] is still absolutely okay as far as the large majority of photo amateurs is concerned, that take their photos without tripods and have them printed no larger than 4 x 6. Be aware that these amateurs represent 90% of all picture takers, ..."

Markus

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Juergen
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Moonwalker, Dec 17, 2011

Moonwalker wrote:

With 36MP, it will get even more obvious if you use a tripod and good technique.

IMHO it should be " ... if you use a very good tripod and head and good technique. ..."

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Ilkka Nissilä
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

It is probably the customers saying that they can't focus the lenses accurately, given autofocus cameras and poor quality focusing screens.

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Flashlight
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CoC and increased quality
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

People should first determine their needed CoC based on the print size, viewing distance etc. before running out the door. Like so:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1039&message=38492350

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Philip

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Rick Knepper
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

Iliah Borg wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Having trouble achieving enough DoF must have been a film era problem.

Good one

It is a problem with understanding;

I agree with you on this part of your statement (for perhaps a different reason though). I can't imagine anyone returning a lens for lack of DoF but in 1997, here's Zeiss claiming it's happening.

In 1997, very few folks were shooting digital. The article was talking about film actually. But that's not really what I was getting at.

The article places blame on outmoded DoF scales. I have heard this many times over the years and maybe the idea originally came from this article. Not sure why this seems to be news or even a point for discussion of modern equipment other than to warn folks to not rely on the scales.

One of the greatest aspects of digital photography is the ability, virtually, to shoot an infinite number of images for free. It seems to me that if one knows the scales are off, shooting a few a hundred purposeful images at various apertures should give a reasonably observant person a good idea of what they need at given distances (not to mention other great and helpful features such as DoF preview and more recent developments such as Live View and chimping shots).

Even if you don't train yourself beforehand as suggested above, if one is in the field and shooting critical (and I am thinking of landscape photography here in particular), the photographer has the option of shooting, for free, as many versions of a given scene as he deems necessary in addition to bracketing. When I first picked up a DSLR, and for several years, I trained myself by shooting every scene with f5.6, f8, f11 & f16 until I became intimate with the response. If full stops aren't granular enough, one can always go down to 1/3 stop increments in order to nail DoF. No difference in doing this than someone on the sideline of a football game firing his cam like a machine gun.

I suppose it is my perception that folks shooting film would not necessarily want to shoot dozens of shots of one scene. That's all.

when printing large, cropping heavily, looking close, and generally having high resolution.

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Rick Knepper
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to pluton, Dec 17, 2011

pluton wrote:

Perhaps those who we might term the "PP's"

Sorry, what is the difference in looking at a digital image at 100% and looking at a paper image with an 8x loupe?

are seeing old view camera photos on calendars and wondering why they can't do the same thing with their new $7000 photogizmotrons.
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Rick Knepper
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Moonwalker, Dec 17, 2011

Moonwalker wrote:

I have always been amazed at how thin the plane of excellent sharpness turns out to be with the D3X. As you move around the image, you can discover excellent sharpness at the plane of focus and an increasing degree of blur in front / behind it, even at f/11. You get the feeling there is no such thing as "depth of field". This has always been the case as your article from the film times shows, but 90% of all people have never discovered it (see below). With 36MP, it will get even more obvious if you use a tripod and good technique.

I also like this extract from the pdf:

"This [the definition of depth of field] is still absolutely okay as far as the large majority of photo amateurs is concerned, that take their photos without tripods and have them printed no larger than 4 x 6. Be aware that these amateurs represent 90% of all picture takers, ..."

This forum in general seems to have a perverse need to seek superiority over photographers they deem as amateurs (and will seize every opportunity to bash this vast majority of shooters known as amateurs) but in my experience, advanced amateurs are at the cutting edge. Many p;rofessionals are too conservative or too set in their ways and change very slowly. Not saying you are one of these with the complex but not sure either why you are mentioning this section of the article. The article is saying that the scales are okay for amateurs shooting handheld and blah blah blah (of course this holds true too for professionals shooting handheld and blah blah blah and selling 4x6s). It seems the artcile is suggesting that folks who should know better or require higher standards (professionals?) are the types sending their lenses back in in 1997. Better re-read the article.

Markus

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Moonwalker
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Rick Knepper, Dec 17, 2011

"This forum in general seems to have a perverse need to seek superiority over photographers they deem as amateurs (and will seize every opportunity to bash this vast majority of shooters known as amateurs) but in my experience, advanced amateurs are at the cutting edge."

I had no intention to bash anyone here. The cited extract just gives a nice explanation why there are DOF markings on lenses at all (and moreover why there is the notion "depth of field" at all) and I agree with the explanation. The markings can be helpful or less helpful depending on what is done with the images. They are helpful if you don't use tripods and print small. They are less helpful if you print very large and pursue an image with rich detail.

Markus

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rayman 2
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Who wants depth of field "we want resolution ".... period !
In reply to Flashlight, Dec 17, 2011

Who wants depth of field "we want resolution ".... period !
and if its only to bug Illiah !
Peter

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rhlpetrus
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Just like any other IQ parameter
In reply to Iliah Borg, Dec 17, 2011

They all depend on how large you print or look at images. A 24MP (6000x4000 pixels) file (D3x's) seen on the typical 100PPI monitor will be 60x40", or 5x more in each direction compared to the standard of 12x8" used for classical DoF calculations (actually 10x8" translated into 3:2 aspect ratio).

That means the CoC used should be 5x smaller. Thus, for FF, whose classical CoC was 0.025-0.030mm, seen or printed that large would require a CoC of 0.005-0.006mm or 5-6 micra for proper DoF estimates. That's close to the pixel pitch of the D3x (5.94 micra), meaning those things are actually interacting.

Iliah Borg wrote:

Rick Knepper wrote:

Having trouble achieving enough DoF must have been a film era problem.

Good one

It is a problem with understanding; when printing large, cropping heavily, looking close, and generally having high resolution.

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lovEU
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You got it all wrong
In reply to rayman 2, Dec 17, 2011

rayman 2 wrote:

Who wants depth of field "we want resolution ".... period !

The song you're refering to is called "We want revolution" and its refrain does not say ...

We want resolution
constant evolution
start your engines blow your fuses
burn the bridges for the future
this is our solution

( http://www.metrolyrics.com/we-want-revolution-lyrics-covenant.html )

So please calm down.

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Iliah Borg
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Re: "Depth of field is insufficient"
In reply to Rick Knepper, Dec 17, 2011

I can't imagine anyone returning a lens for lack of DoF but in 1997, here's Zeiss claiming it's happening.

Interesting. Have not seen folks hinting Zeiss might be lying for a long time.

The article places blame on outmoded DoF scales. I have heard this many times over the years and maybe the idea originally came from this article. Not sure why this seems to be news or even a point for discussion of modern equipment other than to warn folks to not rely on the scales.

Expected reaction, and coupled with your words of Zeiss above makes it even more funny. No, you are wrong, and you may be past the point where education is possible.

I suppose it is my perception that folks shooting film would not necessarily want to shoot dozens of shots of one scene.

Yes, it is your perception, and it is wrong.

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Iliah Borg
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Re: Who wants depth of field "we want resolution ".... period !
In reply to rayman 2, Dec 17, 2011

rayman 2 wrote:

Who wants depth of field "we want resolution ".... period !
and if its only to bug Illiah !

Dear Peter,

I've seen better attempts through my life

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