Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....

Started May 26, 2012 | Discussions
BushmanOrig
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Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
May 26, 2012

Almost every second day one see comments made about the micro four-thirds and that its not so OK in the DOF department.....Is that true?

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Siegfried

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BushmanOrig
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to BushmanOrig, May 26, 2012

I updated the article and its now in its second version....

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villagranvicent
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to BushmanOrig, May 26, 2012

Excellent article, very illustrative... I always laugh when reading posts about the lack of DoF of MFT format, usually from people who actually never use it but like to spend time with math equivalences and boring stuff like that...

I took these shots with my GF1/Minolta 50mm MD @f1.4.

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woof woof
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to BushmanOrig, May 26, 2012

BushmanOrig wrote:

Almost every second day one see comments made about the micro four-thirds and that its not so OK in the DOF department.....Is that true?
Siegfried

Micro four thirds will always give deeper DoF at the same FoV and aperture as FF because to maintain the FoV you have to use a wider lens on MFT (and wider lenses give deeper DoF) or if using the same focal length as FF you have to increase the camera to subject distance (and distance increases DoF.)

Therefore, FF with 50mm at f1.4 will give shallower DoF than MFT with 25mm at f1.4 for the same FoV. The only ways to get shallower DoF from MFT are to use a wider aperture, (although I don't think you'll find a MFT lens with an aperture wider than f0.75) decrease the camera to subject distance or use a longer lens and alter the framing.

On the positive side though MFT will give the same DoF as FF but at a wider aperture and faster shutter speed. eg. MFT 25mm @ f4 = faster shutter speed than FF 50mm @ f8 Or, you may be able to use a lower ISO with MFT

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Everdog
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In reply to villagranvicent, May 26, 2012

I think she has a bunch of those.

villagranvicent wrote:

Excellent article, very illustrative... I always laugh when reading posts about the lack of DoF of MFT format, usually from people who actually never use it but like to spend time with math equivalences and boring stuff like that...

I took these shots with my GF1/Minolta 50mm MD @f1.4.

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Everdog
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Depth of Field on the M43 is shallower
In reply to BushmanOrig, May 26, 2012

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

I even posted a link to DoF calculators proving this, but again everyone wanted to make the parameters un-equal.

So here is the truth:

A 50mm lens at F/1.8 on a FF camera at ISO200 will have the same exposure and more DoF as a 50mm lens at F/1.8 on an M43 camera at ISO200.

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njlarsen
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to BushmanOrig, May 26, 2012

And some of us like the deeper DOF at for example full zoom of the 100-300

Niels

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forpetessake
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to BushmanOrig, May 26, 2012

Deeper or shallower DOF can be desirable or not depending on the subject. There is no universal rule. But I guess most people in most situations would prefer shallower DOF than their m43 camera/lens combination offers. That's why so much attention to this topic. I remember the same topic was frequently discussed in APS vs FF debates, but I don't remember ever hearing it in FF vs MF debates. It looks like 35mm format was evolutionary survivor for good reasons, not by accident.

Secondly, one needs to remember that all things being equal, in particular pixel density and quality, m43 is just a crop of FF sensor, so FF camera can achieve the same DOF as m43 with same FL lenses, but not v.v. There is no question FF format has advantages in everything except size and weight, and possibly price. So imagine for a second camera manufacturers came up with equally small FF mirrorless body (which isn't difficult) and small collapsible FF lenses (which is difficult) and at similar price point, the m43 and APS fate would have been sealed.

BushmanOrig wrote:

Almost every second day one see comments made about the micro four-thirds and that its not so OK in the DOF department.....Is that true?

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Siegfried

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ChrisDM
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equivalence be damned!
In reply to Everdog, May 27, 2012

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

All things being equal except fov, which is crucial for composition. If I'm composing a scene with my d800 and choose a 50mm lens, and needed to switch to my om-d to capture the scene, I would need my 25, not a 50 on the om-d. That's the practical side of equivalence that the mental masteurbaters like to discount. Maybe equivalence doesn't matter on paper, but it means everything in the field.

I choose to shoot my om-d for lots of different and excellent reasons, but shallow dof isn't one of them. Not that it isn't possible, its just that my d800 does it a lot better.

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Nick Bangkok
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is shallower
In reply to Everdog, May 27, 2012

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

I even posted a link to DoF calculators proving this, but again everyone wanted to make the parameters un-equal.

So here is the truth:

A 50mm lens at F/1.8 on a FF camera at ISO200 will have the same exposure and more DoF as a 50mm lens at F/1.8 on an M43 camera at ISO200.

If one takes a picture with 50 F/1.8 lens on FF, then crop to APSC and m4/3 sizes, one would get less DoF ? Really ?

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Agitprop
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Re: equivalence be damned!
In reply to ChrisDM, May 27, 2012

Equivalence is a double edged sword.

FF will have the advantage at shorter focal lengths (aka wider fov) but m43 can gain the upper hand at narrower fov. This is because i can use, say, an fd 85mm f1.2 and get a shallower dof than someone using a 150mm f2.8. The same applies with a 50mm f1.2 and 135mm f2.0 on the m43. Most times I'll also gain in closer focus distances and pay less for the legacy lass than a FF native equivalent.

I currently own a lens that cost me less than $500, has f2.8 light gathering ability and fov equivalent to a 400mm lens on a FF body. It's probably sharper to boot. To get an ef f5.6 400mm, I have to spend $1400 and lose 2 stops of light gathering., If I want that fov and speed, I need to spend $12,000 and I end up with a 4kg monster that I can't use external filters on.

So, I really don't care about the equivalence arguments. Each system has strength, each has weaknesses.

ChrisDM wrote:

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

All things being equal except fov, which is crucial for composition. If I'm composing a scene with my d800 and choose a 50mm lens, and needed to switch to my om-d to capture the scene, I would need my 25, not a 50 on the om-d. That's the practical side of equivalence that the mental masteurbaters like to discount. Maybe equivalence doesn't matter on paper, but it means everything in the field.

I choose to shoot my om-d for lots of different and excellent reasons, but shallow dof isn't one of them. Not that it isn't possible, its just that my d800 does it a lot better.

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ChrisDM
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Agree
In reply to Agitprop, May 27, 2012

I agree with that. Its why I have a D7000 with a Tokina 50-135 2.8 as my second camera to compliment my D800. A 70-200 2.8 equivalent at a fraction of the weight and cost. So equivalence DOES matter, its just that smaller sensors have their advantages also of course!

I need to know what your 400mm equivalent 2.8 lens is. Im the house photog for a local concert venue and I often have to shoot from the back. Something like this on my OMD would be fantastic for this task. Please let me know what it is. At that price I assume it must be manual focus? May be tough for live concert photography.. Do tell!

Agitprop wrote:
Equivalence is a double edged sword.

FF will have the advantage at shorter focal lengths (aka wider fov) but m43 can gain the upper hand at narrower fov. This is because i can use, say, an fd 85mm f1.2 and get a shallower dof than someone using a 150mm f2.8. The same applies with a 50mm f1.2 and 135mm f2.0 on the m43. Most times I'll also gain in closer focus distances and pay less for the legacy lass than a FF native equivalent.

I currently own a lens that cost me less than $500, has f2.8 light gathering ability and fov equivalent to a 400mm lens on a FF body. It's probably sharper to boot. To get an ef f5.6 400mm, I have to spend $1400 and lose 2 stops of light gathering., If I want that fov and speed, I need to spend $12,000 and I end up with a 4kg monster that I can't use external filters on.

So, I really don't care about the equivalence arguments. Each system has strength, each has weaknesses.

ChrisDM wrote:

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

All things being equal except fov, which is crucial for composition. If I'm composing a scene with my d800 and choose a 50mm lens, and needed to switch to my om-d to capture the scene, I would need my 25, not a 50 on the om-d. That's the practical side of equivalence that the mental masteurbaters like to discount. Maybe equivalence doesn't matter on paper, but it means everything in the field.

I choose to shoot my om-d for lots of different and excellent reasons, but shallow dof isn't one of them. Not that it isn't possible, its just that my d800 does it a lot better.

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Agitprop
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Re: Agree
In reply to ChrisDM, May 27, 2012

ChrisDM wrote:

I agree with that. Its why I have a D7000 with a Tokina 50-135 2.8 as my second camera to compliment my D800. A 70-200 2.8 equivalent at a fraction of the weight and cost. So equivalence DOES matter, its just that smaller sensors have their advantages also of course!

I need to know what your 400mm equivalent 2.8 lens is. Im the house photog for a local concert venue and I often have to shoot from the back. SomethingB like this on my OMD would be fantastic for this task. Please let me know what it is.

Hey Chris,

I'm using an new fd 200mm f2.8 (reverse bayonet, not breech lock)

I love it. There are several examples on eBay. You'll shell out less than $300 shipped.

Agitprop wrote:
Equivalence is a double edged sword.

FF will have the advantage at shorter focal lengths (aka wider fov) but m43 can gain the upper hand at narrower fov. This is because i can use, say, an fd 85mm f1.2 and get a shallower dof than someone using a 150mm f2.8. The same applies with a 50mm f1.2 and 135mm f2.0 on the m43. Most times I'll also gain in closer focus distances and pay less for the legacy lass than a FF native equivalent.

I currently own a lens that cost me less than $500, has f2.8 light gathering ability and fov equivalent to a 400mm lens on a FF body. It's probably sharper to boot. To get an ef f5.6 400mm, I have to spend $1400 and lose 2 stops of light gathering., If I want that fov and speed, I need to spend $12,000 and I end up with a 4kg monster that I can't use external filters on.

So, I really don't care about the equivalence arguments. Each system has strength, each has weaknesses.

ChrisDM wrote:

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

All things being equal except fov, which is crucial for composition. If I'm composing a scene with my d800 and choose a 50mm lens, and needed to switch to my om-d to capture the scene, I would need my 25, not a 50 on the om-d. That's the practical side of equivalence that the mental masteurbaters like to discount. Maybe equivalence doesn't matter on paper, but it means everything in the field.

I choose to shoot my om-d for lots of different and excellent reasons, but shallow dof isn't one of them. Not that it isn't possible, its just that my d800 does it a lot better.

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Agitprop
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is shallower
In reply to Nick Bangkok, May 27, 2012

Nick Bangkok wrote:

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

I even posted a link to DoF calculators proving this, but again everyone wanted to make the parameters un-equal.

So here is the truth:

A 50mm lens at F/1.8 on a FF camera at ISO200 will have the same exposure and more DoF as a 50mm lens at F/1.8 on an M43 camera at ISO200.

If one takes a picture with 50 F/1.8 lens on FF, then crop to APSC and m4/3 sizes, one would get less DoF ? Really ?

Same dof, larger bokeh relative to frame size, twice the magnification, quarter the number of pixels in the case of an m43 crop, as described in your question.

What do I win?

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Agitprop
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to forpetessake, May 27, 2012

forpetessake wrote:

Deeper or shallower DOF can be desirable or not depending on the subject. There is no universal rule. But I guess most people in most situations would prefer shallower DOF than their m43 camera/lens combination offers. That's why so much attention to this topic. I remember the same topic was frequently discussed in APS vs FF debates, but I don't remember ever hearing it in FF vs MF debates. It looks like 35mm format was evolutionary survivor for good reasons, not by accident.

Secondly, one needs to remember that all things being equal, in particular pixel density and quality, m43 is just a crop of FF sensor, so FF camera can achieve the same DOF as m43 with same FL lenses, but not v.v. There is no question FF format has advantages in everything except size and weight, and possibly price. So imagine for a second camera manufacturers came up with equally small FF mirrorless body (which isn't difficult) and small collapsible FF lenses (which is difficult) and at similar price point, the m43 and APS fate would have been sealed.

The issue with a potential FF mirror less is back-focal distance, or flange depth. Once you start reducing that without changing sensor size, you add complications to lens design, making it much more difficult to control CA and maintain edge to edge sharpness.

BushmanOrig wrote:

Almost every second day one see comments made about the micro four-thirds and that its not so OK in the DOF department.....Is that true?

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Siegfried

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BushmanOrig
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Excellent examples...nt
In reply to villagranvicent, May 27, 2012
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BushmanOrig
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is in fact better not worse.....
In reply to woof woof, May 27, 2012

Key is to keep it simple woof woof

In the article I describe the 3 variables that will change DOF, aperture, focal length and distance to subject.

If any one of these three change the DOF change.

Example: If my camera is 1 meter away from subject and the focal length is 150mm, then I could be getting a lovely background blur at f2,8 with my M43

To do the same with a 5D I need

Distance 1 meter, focal length of 150mm and aperture of f2,8 -

Therefore the only thing that change are the lenses between the two cams. On the M43 I could use the new 75mm at f2,8 and on the 5D I need a 150mm lens at f2,8

What change FOV are the 3 variables not the sensor size. The sensor size determine the lens I use to get the FL plus f-stop

woof woof wrote:

BushmanOrig wrote:

Almost every second day one see comments made about the micro four-thirds and that its not so OK in the DOF department.....Is that true?
Siegfried

Micro four thirds will always give deeper DoF at the same FoV and aperture as FF because to maintain the FoV you have to use a wider lens on MFT (and wider lenses give deeper DoF) or if using the same focal length as FF you have to increase the camera to subject distance (and distance increases DoF.)

Therefore, FF with 50mm at f1.4 will give shallower DoF than MFT with 25mm at f1.4 for the same FoV. The only ways to get shallower DoF from MFT are to use a wider aperture, (although I don't think you'll find a MFT lens with an aperture wider than f0.75) decrease the camera to subject distance or use a longer lens and alter the framing.

On the positive side though MFT will give the same DoF as FF but at a wider aperture and faster shutter speed. eg. MFT 25mm @ f4 = faster shutter speed than FF 50mm @ f8 Or, you may be able to use a lower ISO with MFT

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BushmanOrig
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is shallower
In reply to Everdog, May 27, 2012

Why bring in ISO?

The 3 variables are FL, aperture and distance to subject!!

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BushmanOrig
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Re: Agree
In reply to ChrisDM, May 27, 2012

Chris...you deserve to suffer under that weight....;-)

3 variables are:

FL = 400mm, Aperture f2,8 and say the distance 50 meter on your FF D700

On My OMD I can then use

FL of 600mm (300mm lens) aperture of 5,6 on same distance of 50 meter It could happen that I will take up the ISO one stop to keep shutter speed OK

I could also use the 200mm f2 macro lens to equal you. You then need a f1,1 fstop (baaa)

Siegfried

ChrisDM wrote:

I agree with that. Its why I have a D7000 with a Tokina 50-135 2.8 as my second camera to compliment my D800. A 70-200 2.8 equivalent at a fraction of the weight and cost. So equivalence DOES matter, its just that smaller sensors have their advantages also of course!

I need to know what your 400mm equivalent 2.8 lens is. Im the house photog for a local concert venue and I often have to shoot from the back. Something like this on my OMD would be fantastic for this task. Please let me know what it is. At that price I assume it must be manual focus? May be tough for live concert photography.. Do tell!

Agitprop wrote:
Equivalence is a double edged sword.

FF will have the advantage at shorter focal lengths (aka wider fov) but m43 can gain the upper hand at narrower fov. This is because i can use, say, an fd 85mm f1.2 and get a shallower dof than someone using a 150mm f2.8. The same applies with a 50mm f1.2 and 135mm f2.0 on the m43. Most times I'll also gain in closer focus distances and pay less for the legacy lass than a FF native equivalent.

I currently own a lens that cost me less than $500, has f2.8 light gathering ability and fov equivalent to a 400mm lens on a FF body. It's probably sharper to boot. To get an ef f5.6 400mm, I have to spend $1400 and lose 2 stops of light gathering., If I want that fov and speed, I need to spend $12,000 and I end up with a 4kg monster that I can't use external filters on.

So, I really don't care about the equivalence arguments. Each system has strength, each has weaknesses.

ChrisDM wrote:

Everdog wrote:

I posted a few days back that all things being EQUAL, the M43 camera will have a shallower DoF. People freaked and insited you must make things un-equal (and then called it equivalence - go figure) and stand a lot father away with the M43 camera to widen the DoF.

All things being equal except fov, which is crucial for composition. If I'm composing a scene with my d800 and choose a 50mm lens, and needed to switch to my om-d to capture the scene, I would need my 25, not a 50 on the om-d. That's the practical side of equivalence that the mental masteurbaters like to discount. Maybe equivalence doesn't matter on paper, but it means everything in the field.

I choose to shoot my om-d for lots of different and excellent reasons, but shallow dof isn't one of them. Not that it isn't possible, its just that my d800 does it a lot better.

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BushmanOrig
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Re: Depth of Field on the M43 is shallower
In reply to Agitprop, May 27, 2012

Please take a beer and read the article
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