DoF may not exist...

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
Greg7579
Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
It is Science and Perception

We can make GFX DOF work for sure, despite the noticeable lack of DOF as compared to FF.  Landscape shooters will miss the stops vs FF, but like you have said many times Erik, (as have Jim and I), as you push into F11 and 16 you suffer some diffraction.

But I shoot 11 and 16 almost all the time on landscapes because I would rather suffer a little diffraction than have OOF pixels all over the foreground and deep background, depending on where you choose to put the focus point.   I have even had two of the world's best GFX landscape photographers tell me not to be afraid to dive into even smaller apertures than F16 when you think you need to with GFX.  But I avoid F22 and try to hit with F11 to get as much DOF as I can.  I will shoot F8 if there is a drop-off and I have a little distance at the bottom of the frame.  But I can't tell even with intense pixel peeping the cost of diffraction at F16 vs 11, so I'm not afraid of it, but I know it is there.

You are also onto something when you say absolute sharpness is really only at the focus point plane, which Jim has also said many times.  That it is why it is so strange to me that people argue with me about this 1 vs 2 stop thing and the DOF tables.  That basically proves my point.  We didn't always see that until recently with these high res cameras and screens.

It's a matter of where you think the pixels start falling off focus, which could be immediately as you say.  That alone proves that the DOF tables are vastly exaggerated as to distances when the focus falls off the chosen point / plane of focus.  They are academic general guides and interesting for students to study, as I did from the very beginning as a teenager in the 70s.

Whether GFX is 1 or 2 stops difference from FF is not just a matter of science as you guys describe science.  It is also the science of the human eyeball and brain and what it sees and perceives at full res on a great pro high res monitor shooting with GFX gear that provides an image fidelity previously unknown.

It is also a matter of perception.  We all see things differently and process it differently while having different opinions about what we see.  I had a world-class GFX photographer tell me one time that all of this is a matter of perception and some people's ability to see differently - depth or perception or whatever.  That might have something to do with our differing opinions about the GFX Look and DOF.

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