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

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions thread
Sergey_Green Forum Pro • Posts: 11,059
Can be, or can be not ..

TrapperJohn wrote:

Those are two areas where a larger sensor can be at a disadvantage.

With long tele, not only is the magnification less for a given focal length, the DOF can be too shallow at even moderate stops. That huge 300 F2.8 is actually being shot at F8 to get enough DOF back to get the subject fully in focus. True that one can crop a large sensor tele shot, but there's still no substitute for being able to visualize the actual image in the VF.

This was from some time in the past, I really liked these images,



And the subjects look quite in focus to me.

For something similar, I wonder which lens it would be on a smaller format.

Close macro - I struggled with 35mm film and close macro, where the shallow DOF was a real problem, too shallow. Add light, and subtract aperture. The smaller sensor is definitely at a distinct advantage there, you have much greater latitude with lighting. I can't recall close macro where I wanted less DOF, but I can think of quite a few close macro shots where I wanted more.

Because you struggled does not mean that the others do. On the contrary, I do like FF closeups quite a lot. They are certainly more detailed, and the aperture did not really move that far back as it was on APS-C. Later, by the way, you also denounced in the past as a format with less latitude for lighting, yet it worked quite well by every comparison.

Balance those off with the portrait, street, etc... where the shallower DOF of the larger sensor is very desirable.

What's the ideal? I would guess, both systems are, depending upon what is being captured. The Sony A7 points to one possible direction: a multiaspect sensor that can adjust the EVF to show the full cropped view when the sensor is 'cropped down'.

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- sergey

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