Potential dead horse: how bad is FF's deep DoF disadvantage?

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,361
Re: Potential dead horse: how bad is FF's deep DoF disadvantage?

Back in the days when I was shooting 35 mm film, I sometimes found that achieving very deep DOF was difficult, particularly if a polarizing filter was used, as the small aperture and additional 2 stop loss from the polarizer pushed the limits of hand holding, even with ISO 400 film.

At Yosemite, shooting from Glacier Point, I was trying to get a nearby pine in focus, half dome at some distance, and the mountains in the far distance all in focus.  I was shooting hand held and at f/16 the resulting shutter speed was below 1/100 second.  It did come out OK, and the resulting print is still on my wall.

Taking that same shot today with something like my G15 would be much easier.

I'd also like to take this opportunity for a small rant.  There seems to be an obsession with bokeh and separating the background these days.  Back when I started this hobby in 1955; a lot more was being written about how to increase DOF, than there was about limiting it.  Sure, any text or paper on portraiture discussed DOF and the relation of the background.  But for most other subjects, the emphasis was on increasing the DOF.

Then, sometime in the 80's something called selective focus came into vogue.  Frankly, I didn't like the look, and still don't.  Now DPReview (and others) are showing graphs of equivalent f/# for smaller sensors.  I know it relates to equivalent DOF; but, unfortunatly I'm seeing a lot of posts on this site where people are taking those numbers as the equivalent f/# in terms of exposure, and cautioning about the slow shutter speeds that will result.  Enough already!

Overall, this has been an interesting thread.

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