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

Started Feb 8, 2014 | Discussions thread
Nippero Contributing Member • Posts: 668
Re: Shallow DOF harder to achieve w/ M43

Dheorl wrote:

Nippero wrote:

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.


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.

So you're saying an f2.8 lens can give the same DoF as an f2.0 lens... I think one of us is missing something here.

Why couldn't it? DoF depends on much more than just f stop.

I have no idea how he took those pictures and what FL, F/stop, etc he used.. But, yes... take the 24-70mm, put it at 70mm and f/2.8, and walk closer to the subject, you can achieve the same DoF as a 135mm f/2.0 that is standing further away from the subject. Framing wont be identical of course, but you can definitely get similar DoF. Are you telling me a f/2.8 lens CANT give the same DoF as an f/2.0 lens?

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

Again, I think you're getting confused here.

I don't think I am. I could be wrong. You could be wrong. Who knows *gasp*

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.

 Nippero's gear list:Nippero's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Rokinon 14mm F2.8 IF ED MC Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH
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