Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 26,089
I can already predict a response.

I can already predict a response by some people likely to chime in here.

They will say that having shallow DOF at one's disposal is never a disadvantage, because if deeper DOF is desired, the aperture can always be stopped down a bit (while it cannot be "stopped up" to make the DOF more shallow than the lens wide-open on the sensor will allow).

And actually, that is a reasonably valid argument : having wider apertures (and shallower DOF) available is a benefit, even if it is not used all the time.

But there is also the factor of shutter speed (and that seems to be forgotten sometimes by those same people); stopping down the lens for deeper DOF will make the shutter speed slower, and that is something that the photographer can not always afford (in low light).  ISO helps, but there are limits.

Anyway, the likely discussion that will develop here, will boil down to always the same conclusion:

* every systems has its benefits and its drawbacks, and is a compromise between lots of factors (cost, weight, size, speed, DOF shallow or deep, weathersealing, lens range, etc);

* every photographer should prioritize what matters most to him/her, pick a system (or go dual system) and enjoy the benefits and live with or work around the drawbacks; and be happy.

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images:
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara:

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