Rethinking 4/3 Depth Of Field

Started Apr 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
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David Kieltyka
David Kieltyka Veteran Member • Posts: 4,697
Good post, plus my own comments on DOF

I've used a variety of different systems/formats over the decades, from 4x5" view cameras to compact digicams. Depth-of-field control isn't something that just *happens* due to the use of one format or another. Instead it's one of the elements of taking photographs you can usually (though not always) *create*.

It's largely a matter of technique. Compared to 6x6cm or 35mm, when I want/need shallow DOF with my Oly OM-D5 I use lenses with narrower fields-of-view, choose wider apertures, get closer to my subjects and when possible place or frame them such that potentially distracting background stuff is farther away and thus more OOF. In film days, when I switched between medium format and 35mm I made the same sorts of adjustments back & forth. No just *do* it. With practice it becomes automatic.

The M43 format is just large enough that you can get shallow DOF when you want it. Of course there are post-processing DOF control techniques too, but I much prefer to get it right in-camera. It's not only more fun, it also requires that you be attentive and creative *in the moment*...which is what photography, for me, is all about.

One last comment: though I continue to use 35mm gear, film and digital, that format IMO has become a sacred cow that deserves to be gored. Hard. The glorious "full frame" is no larger than an overseas postage stamp, and cameras are not objects of worship or veneration...they're just tools.


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Leica M8.2 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 +6 more
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