Is shallow DOF a phase? asking for advice on my future photography

Started Sep 23, 2012 | Discussions thread
Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 6,249
Re: Is shallow DOF a phase? asking for advice on my future photography

Today, instead of discussing photography - the publications discuss gear. In say 1075 you did not see an issue of Popular Photography say that did not have a nice article on photography.

The misconception comes with framing and the realization that depth of field is a function of the distance of the subject from the sensor.

I would suggest to the original poster if he seeks answers to his questions, he invest in the "Daybooks of Edward Weston" and "The Camera" from the Adams series. He would also be wise to go to the library and check out some books on the works of Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith.

Shallow DOF is one of the tools a photographer has in his tool box to express his vision. Sometimes it is very useful - sometimes in is a distraction.

Rich42 wrote:

But the greatest confusion about the subject seems to have been born with the dawn of the digital camera era. It makes me nuts to read even otherwise knowledgable professional photographers repeat the misinformation that "large sensors give more shallow DOF than small sensors." Newcomers to the field repeat this like it is gospel: "FF (FX) DSLRs give shallow DOF when used as video cameras compared to inexpensive video cameras due to the large sensor in the DSLR." Or: "It's impossible to achieve shallow DOF with a small sensor point and shoot type of digital camera."

The size of the sensor (or film for that matter) has absolutely NOTHING to do with DOF (shallow or deep). How come there NEVER was any such claim comparing 35 mm (or smaller) film cameras to large format cameras? NEVER! EVER!

It is perfectly possible to make an 8x10 print (or any other size print) from a small digital point and shoot and from an 8x10 view camera and have the DOF exactly the same in both prints. The only thing that can't be the same ("all other things being equal") is the Image Quality of the resulting prints. If good technique is used with both cameras, the 8x10 view camera print IQ will always beat the small camera IQ. But DOF WILL be the same, IF THE SAME CONDITIONS PREVAIL IN BOTH SHOOTING SITUATIONS.

DOF is related to shooting aperture, lens focal length and the size of the image in the reproduction (print) compared to the subject (magnification ratio).

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