Depth of Field Preview feature ?

Started Jul 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Leonard Migliore
Leonard Migliore Forum Pro • Posts: 16,336
Re: Depth of Field Preview feature ?

will222 wrote:

At face value, this seems like a useful feature to look for in a camera.

Is the implementation of this pretty consistent across cameras, or do certain models do an excellent job and on others it's not very useful?

Is this something you guys use pretty often, and wouldn't get a new camera without it? Or not all that useful after the initial novelty wears off?

I find DOF preview quite useless on the optical viewfinder of an autofocus SLR. That's because the screen is too clear to show focus. It is, however, useful in live view.

But now we have to look at how live view is implemented. On Canon DSLR's, live view defaults to having the lens wide open; the DOF preview button stops the lens down to the set aperture. This works pretty well. On Nikon DSLR's, live view defaults to having the lens stopped down to the taking aperture. But what's really bad is, if you change the taking aperture, the diaphragm does not respond until you take the picture. So you can't look at the effect of changing aperture.

So to summarize, I find DOF preview useless with the optical finder on DSLR's. I find DOF preview useless on Nikons in live view. I find DOF preview somewhat useful on Canons in live view.

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Leonard Migliore

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