MFT Users: Do you miss the shallower depth-of-field of bigger sensor cameras?

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
Sergey_Green
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In reply to mrc4nl, 10 months ago

mrc4nl wrote:

Short tele lenses give me plenty of dof control. For me 50mm f2 (ff) is plenty enough more would be hard to work whith when I shoot portrets. I want the whole face in focus not just the tip of the nose..But wide angle us hard to get bokeh on mft (even at minimum focus distance) selective focus can look great for landscapes

It depends on the distance you shoot it from, what is behind your subject, and how you want it to stand out from the overall scene. If you are talking about the passport photos, then yes, what you describe is plenty, with the 100mm equal lens especially. Hope you have enough room for it.

And don't forget that mft to apsc is a much smaller step than apsc to full frame

Ok, and ..?

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Gravi
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Re: Depends on what?
In reply to Sergey_Green, 10 months ago

Sergey_Green wrote:

Gravi wrote:

You ask for the difference with APS-C camera's. The difference is not that obvious. You can still get lovely shallow DoF images.

I think the difference between APS-C and smaller formats is noticeable for two reasons, 1) it is almost by a stop wider frame, and 2) it always had more available fast lenses than there were at smaller formats disposal. Recent mFT is seemingly catching up with fast primes, but most of them are still not f/1.4 lenses, and the format will not change.

2/3 of a stop is not THAT much. In my book.

f/1.8 lenses that are sharp wideopen are fast enough to get good DoF control. That was my point and still is.

If you compare with fullframe cameras the difference is more obvious. The more extreme shallow DoF images you can get with these (combined with fast glass) cannot be achieved with micro fourthirds.

Unless you use some exotics, like f/1 and below manual focus primes. Those are neither affordable for what they are, nor quality comparable at wide open at the same blur.

So first you state that APS-C has much more shallow DoF control than m43rds, now you say that FF does not have that much to offer. Sir, you are just here to pick a fight.

But personally I find that micro fourthirds gives enough possibilities to play with shallow DoF, you just have to be a bit more aware of the situation, aperture, and composition.

What if the situation does not present itself, like busy backgrounds, not enough space, the frame is too wide to capture, ..etc.? Sounds like most of the scenarios one would encounter on day to day shooting. Unless you are in a big studio of course.

Picking a fight again. Please stop. The second word in my above statement says it all.

I would advise you to add a faster prime to the kit mentioned, such as the 45mm f1.8 which is not overly expensive and really opens up the shallow DoF capability of the system.

90/3.6 would be neither here no there on a full frame camera.

Go play with your FF camera then.

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Gravi
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In reply to Great Bustard, 10 months ago

nt

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Heyseuss Hoolio
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Re: Light intensity and light in total are not the same!
In reply to Sergey_Green, 10 months ago

Sergey_Green wrote:

Heyseuss Hoolio wrote:

Great Bustard wrote:

MrScorpio wrote:

Sometimes yes, but sometimes it is good to have the good light gathering with a large Aperture without having to have the very shallow DoF.

This is a profound misunderstanding that many have, which causes a great deal of confusion. First of all, we need to distinguish between the relative aperture (f-ratio) and the virtual aperture (entrance pupil), where the relative aperture is the quotient of the focal length and the diameter of the virtual aperture. For example, a 25mm lens with an 18mm aperture diameter will have a relative aperture of 25mm / 18mm = 1.4. Likewise, a 50mm lens with an 18mm aperture diameter will have a relative aperture of 50mm / 18mm = 2.8. Thus, 25mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/2.8 both have the same aperture diameter.

As it turns out, for a given perspective, framing, and display size of the photo, the same aperture diameter results in the same DOF. If we also include the same scene luminance and shutter speed, it also results in the same total amount of light falling on the sensor, which, in turn, will result in the same noise for equally efficient sensors.

In other words, your statement that "sometimes it is good to have the good light gathering with a large Aperture without having to have the very shallow DoF" is a physical contradiction. Specifically, 25mm f/1.4 does not have a "larger aperture" than 50mm f/2.8 -- in fact, they are the same. Of course, f/1.4 is a lower f-ratio than f/2.8, but that is neither here nor there in terms of cross-format comparisons.

Yes what you're saying is partly true and the concept/idea is being looked at the wrong way. Aperture diameter is different than f/stop. I can see you know that. And that the light hitting the sensor formats as a whole is the same. Although, that same concept is what changes the intensity of light that hits the sensor surface itself.

He is talking about he light gathering, as total light, you are switching it to the light intensity - although related, those are not the same.

I know what is being talked about, light intensity and total light are different but both factor into your final image.

The f/stop is the amount of concentrated(focused) light hitting the sensor (m43 or FF). If you crop your FF 50mm f2.8 in the center with a m43 sensor crop, it's still f2.8 on the m43 sensor crop. That's why if you adapt a FF lens to a m43 body the f/stop is still the same, unless you have a speed booster which takes the uncropped light and concentrates it.

Because light gets cut off due to the smaller medium it is projected on. Again, apples and oranges.

It's not apples and oranges, you can't solely talk about one aspect without factoring in the other.

..

"So, if we took a photo of a scene at 25mm f/1.4 1/100 on mFT and 50mm f/2.8 1/100 on FF from the same position, and displayed the photos at the same size, they would have the same DOF and the same amount of light would fall on the mFT and FF sensors, resulting in the same noise if the sensors were equally efficient."

No, not necessarily,

If not, why do these images look almost identical?

Bokeh Test: Olympus ZD 25mm f/2.8 vs Canon EF 50mm f/1.4

They look identical because the equivalent apertures where used and either the shutter speed or ISO were changed to give the same exposure for that given aperture, though the poster doesn't display those other two values.

I think I see what you're saying but it can't be presented in that manner, it's not as simple as that and there's factors that are at play; there's crop factor, there's distance to focal point, there's ISO(if you wanna go there, but we're just talking about light).

All very small factors on the grand scale, contribute almost nothing to this discussion.

Very small factors on the grand scale?  A 2x crop is a pretty big factor towards your final image composition.

Yes they have the same "aperture diameter" but the intensity of light is different across the sensor format as a whole.

Again, those are not the same.

Did I say they were the same?

Put a squarish piece of tape on the wall, take a flashlight and hold it over the tape to cover the corners with the light, it has concentrated brightness, now keep stepping backwards while pointing at the same area. The projection of light gets bigger but that center you were shining on before is getting dimmer, that's f/stop (luminosity) on that square, not solely aperture diameter decisive.

Whatever ..

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I did laugh at the "whatever.."

Obviously we understand what's going on with this discussion, though just looking at it from different view points.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Gravi, 10 months ago

Gravi wrote:

2/3 of a stop is not THAT much. In my book.

If you compare diagonal. For the same horizontal framing - and I did compare it - APS-C frame is wider, so you get a step closer. In addition there are more faster lenses then there are for the smaller formats. That was my point.

f/1.8 lenses that are sharp wideopen are fast enough to get good DoF control. That was my point and still is.

But there are also f/1.8 lenses for APS-C, and plenty f/1.4 ones as well.

Unless you use some exotics, like f/1 and below manual focus primes. Those are neither affordable for what they are, nor quality comparable at wide open at the same blur.

So first you state that APS-C has much more shallow DoF control than m43rds, now you say that FF does not have that much to offer. Sir, you are just here to pick a fight.

If you use Voigtländer Nokton f/0.95 (and the likes) on mFT, you get the same (or shallower) DoF then with f/1.4 lenses on APS-C. We can copy/paste the rest from here, those (exotic lenses) are neither affordable for what they are, nor quality comparable at wide open at the same blur. In other words, APS-C will likely deliver better detailed images.

But personally I find that micro fourthirds gives enough possibilities to play with shallow DoF, you just have to be a bit more aware of the situation, aperture, and composition.

What if the situation does not present itself, like busy backgrounds, not enough space, the frame is too wide to capture, ..etc.? Sounds like most of the scenarios one would encounter on day to day shooting. Unless you are in a big studio of course.

Picking a fight again. Please stop. The second word in my above statement says it all.

No, just stating the obvious. In fact, let's do it again - What if you have busy background, not enough space, or the frame is too wide to capture - how do you go about DoF control in such scenarios?

I would advise you to add a faster prime to the kit mentioned, such as the 45mm f1.8 which is not overly expensive and really opens up the shallow DoF capability of the system.

90/3.6 would be neither here no there on a full frame camera.

Go play with your FF camera then.

Which means you would like to disagree.

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Gravi
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In reply to Sergey_Green, 10 months ago

You never give a reaction to the OP, you only start bickering on others that do try to give advice to the OP. Are you here to help the OP, or to help yourself?

please stop it.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Gravi, 10 months ago

Gravi wrote:

You never give a reaction to the OP, you only start bickering on others that do try to give advice to the OP. Are you here to help the OP, or to help yourself?

please stop it.

And I apologize if I come across that way. But I think the OP reads and learns from the thread, not only from the responses given directly to him.

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Dheorl
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Re: Shallow DOF harder to achieve w/ M43
In reply to Nippero, 10 months ago

Nippero wrote:

Dheorl wrote:

William Prip wrote:

Superzoom2 wrote:

I'm thinking of buying my first ever MFT camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 14-42 EZ lens.

I've had lots of compacts and DSLR's, mostly Canon. Once in a while, you have these beautiful blurry background pics when the lens and aperture combination are right. I am a former pro photog, and understand fully camera optics and depth-of-field physics.

I just want to know if you sometimes miss the easily attainable shallow depth-of-field that you usually get with an APS-C or bigger sensor camera.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Thanks!

In a word, YES! I do miss using a large sensor body.

The first three are just fun pics of my son begging to eat a Kit Kat. Shot with the Canon 5D with the Canon 135 2.0:

The next batch was shot at the NY Fashion Week with my Canon 1D Mark IV with either the 135 2.0 or the 24-70 2.8:

The final batch were short at the same venue with my Oly OMD-EM5 with the 75 1.8:

I'm confused. You say you miss the shallow DoF of larger sensors but then show two at the end with fairly comparable background blur.

The key here is flexibility.

He was only able to achieve such similar shallow DoF with his EM5 when using a 75/1.8. That's equivalent to 150mm.

Which isn't that far off the 135mm he was using for a lot of the shots.

On the other hand, the 1D was able to obtain shallow DoF with a much wider (as in more varied) FL range.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Dheorl, 10 months ago

Dheorl wrote:

Nippero wrote:

..

The key here is flexibility.

He was only able to achieve such similar shallow DoF with his EM5 when using a 75/1.8. That's equivalent to 150mm.

Which isn't that far off the 135mm he was using for a lot of the shots.

The 75/1.8 acts like a stopped down FF lens. The amount of blur clearly shows it.

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nrwhitman
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Re: FF Users: Do you miss the greater depth-of-field of MFT sensor cameras?
In reply to Dave Lively, 10 months ago

First, thanks for the reply. Felt compelled to ask the question from the other direction. Wasn't sure what response I would get.

Dave Lively wrote:

Deep DOF is limited by diffraction, not sensor size. If you stop down until diffraction becomes unbearable FF users can get just as much DOF as m43 users. The FF cameras will be stopped down 2 stops more and using 4 times the ISO but their better high ISO performance makes up most of the difference.

isn't part of the gain with MFT the 2x multiplier so for a given FOV you use a lens of half the focal length and have the advantage of the better DOF?  So in this sense sensor size would bring an advantage, or at least allow DOF without having to close lens down and risk diffraction?

I am using a m43 camera because it is smaller, lighter and much less expensive than FF but still provides good image quality and adequate DOF control for my purposes. But when it comes to DOF control m43 is at a distinct disadvantage when I want shallow and has no advantage when I want a lot

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Steen Bay
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Re: And the amount of time spent ..
In reply to Sergey_Green, 10 months ago

Sergey_Green wrote:

s_grins wrote:

I like deeper DOF

You can add some shallow DOF later, during PP. It is easy

Can you show us some examples, do they look realistic and good?

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Does shallow DoF look "realistic"? Don't think so. I've never noticed a blurred background in the real world. Guess that's what makes shallow DoF desirable, that it (if used well) can give the image a more artistic/dreamy look, that distinguishes it from reality.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to Steen Bay, 10 months ago

Steen Bay wrote:

Does shallow DoF look "realistic"? Don't think so. I've never noticed a blurred background in the real world.

You do, you just do not realize it.

Guess that's what makes shallow DoF desirable, that it (if used well) can give the image a more artistic/dreamy look, that distinguishes it from reality.

With everything in-focus many non-landscape images would simply look ugly. Same as when it is over-used. The difference is that with one format you have control over it, with the other you don't (and plain say you do not need it). It is one way to bring the eye of the viewer straight to the main point of interest, just what you would see when facing it in real.

By realistic I mean it is not faked, not what the camera saw and captured.

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oeoek
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Re: Yes, occasionally. More often grateful for greater DOF.
In reply to JBurnett, 10 months ago

JBurnett wrote:

Miss shallower DOF of larger sensor: very occasionally

Grateful for greater DOF of M4/3: more often (landscapes, macro)

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Second that!

In general, background blur is often misused to hide wrong focal length or standing in the wrong spot. If the background is distracting, move, or get a different angle on the subject. Only on rare occasions a blurred background actually adds something to the picture that would not work when sharp. I see way to much 'lazy' blur in pictures.

When used properly, blur can be great, but in those cases, a Gaussian blur layer will save the day any time.

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s_grins
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Re: And the amount of time spent ..
In reply to Sergey_Green, 10 months ago

Sergey_Green wrote:

s_grins wrote:

I like deeper DOF

You can add some shallow DOF later, during PP. It is easy

Can you show us some examples, do they look realistic and good?

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Just for you... I did not spent more than 30 sec, I did not try to be realistic, the only purpose is to show that extra blur can be done during PP. Final result depends on the skills and taste which I probably do not have.

What you can see is a possibility do do this.

This is a presentation only, do not judge hursh. Thanks for your interest

S.

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Jacques Cornell
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DoF equivalents
In reply to Superzoom2, 10 months ago

Superzoom2 wrote:

Wow, thank you for all the thoughtful and personal responses. I suspect I will eventually buy some fast primes, but I am trying to convince myself that I will not end up spending too much on switching to a MFT system in the long run. Cost is a concern. Flexibility is a concern. I mostly want the OM-D E-M10 as a smaller travel camera, rather than taking my T3i with 17-55 or 18-200.

Someone stated that to achieve an equivalent degree of background blur, MFT has to be opened up a stop compared to APS-C. Is that true, or is it less than one stop?

That's about right. MFT at f2.8 gives about the same DoF as f4 on APS-C and f5.6 on FF. Shallow DoF junkies will want super fast primes on FF. For me, 100mm at f2.8 (equivalent to 200mm at f5.6 on FF) yields sufficiently pleasing bokeh for podium shots and portraits. On FF, f5.6 was always my optimal portrait aperture. With MFT, I get the same DoF at f2.8, and I get the nice round blurred highlights created by a wide open aperture. MFT glass generally performs very well wide open, more so than my Canon glass.

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Sergey_Green
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For what you photograph ..
In reply to JBurnett, 10 months ago

JBurnett wrote:

Miss shallower DOF of larger sensor: very occasionally

Grateful for greater DOF of M4/3: more often (landscapes, macro)

It works quite well for you. Some really fantastic frames you have in your gallery,

http://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/7775545074/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/5423550227/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/8905208228/
a bit much behind the chair ..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/burnettjn/10258740385/

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Dheorl
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Re: You think so?
In reply to Sergey_Green, 10 months ago

Sergey_Green wrote:

Dheorl wrote:

Nippero wrote:

..

The key here is flexibility.

He was only able to achieve such similar shallow DoF with his EM5 when using a 75/1.8. That's equivalent to 150mm.

Which isn't that far off the 135mm he was using for a lot of the shots.

The 75/1.8 acts like a stopped down FF lens. The amount of blur clearly shows it.

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I was talking purely with respect to focal length. As for the amount of blur though between shots it's very hard to judge. The heads in the 75mm shots are smaller with the models clearly further away and the models behind them look at a more similar distance than a lot of the 135mm shots. I know that obviously the 135mm can get a "shallower DoF" but I don't think these shots are the most fair representation.

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Nippero
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Re: Shallow DOF harder to achieve w/ M43
In reply to Dheorl, 10 months ago

Dheorl wrote:

Nippero wrote:

Dheorl wrote:

William Prip wrote:

Superzoom2 wrote:

I'm thinking of buying my first ever MFT camera, an Olympus OM-D E-M10 with 14-42 EZ lens.

I've had lots of compacts and DSLR's, mostly Canon. Once in a while, you have these beautiful blurry background pics when the lens and aperture combination are right. I am a former pro photog, and understand fully camera optics and depth-of-field physics.

I just want to know if you sometimes miss the easily attainable shallow depth-of-field that you usually get with an APS-C or bigger sensor camera.

I know you can buy fast MFT lenses for more aperture control, but I'm probably going to just stick with a cheap 14-42 for various reasons.

Thanks!

In a word, YES! I do miss using a large sensor body.

The first three are just fun pics of my son begging to eat a Kit Kat. Shot with the Canon 5D with the Canon 135 2.0:

The next batch was shot at the NY Fashion Week with my Canon 1D Mark IV with either the 135 2.0 or the 24-70 2.8:

The final batch were short at the same venue with my Oly OMD-EM5 with the 75 1.8:

I'm confused. You say you miss the shallow DoF of larger sensors but then show two at the end with fairly comparable background blur.

The key here is flexibility.

He was only able to achieve such similar shallow DoF with his EM5 when using a 75/1.8. That's equivalent to 150mm.

Which isn't that far off the 135mm he was using for a lot of the shots.

On the other hand, the 1D was able to obtain shallow DoF with a much wider (as in more varied) FL range.

I can tell you from experience with my own Canon 5D, the shallow DoF he achieved could have been easily done with the 24-70/2.8 at 70mm and f/2.8. Again, its all about flexibility here.

It would probably take the 75/1.8 on m43 to match my sigma 50/1.4 on FF.

Is shallow DoF a huge deal? Not always. Depends on what you want to do. But you cant deny that FF format gives you much more flexibility with DoF.

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Sergey_Green
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In reply to s_grins, 10 months ago

s_grins wrote:

Just for you... I did not spent more than 30 sec, I did not try to be realistic, the only purpose is to show that extra blur can be done during PP. Final result depends on the skills and taste which I probably do not have.

What you can see is a possibility do do this.

This is a presentation only, do not judge hursh. Thanks for your interest

It looks very much like what you would get with the lens-baby. It does add some interesting look to the images, I agree here, and perhaps this was not even the best example. But that is why the lens-baby does not cost as much as true 35/1.4 for instance. I mean, if you think of it, why do they even make those fast lenses, and why is there a market for it.

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Nippero
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Re: Light intensity and light in total are not the same!
In reply to Heyseuss Hoolio, 10 months ago

All I care about is the following... I take my two cameras and point it at the same scene:

5D with 50/1.4 set at f/1.8 and ISO 800: I get a shutter speed of 1/60s

GM1 with 20/1.7 set at f/1.7 and ISO 800: I get a shutter speed of 1/60s

The only difference? 5D has paper thin DoF at these settings, GM1 doesnt.

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