Are Depth of Field Tables Still Accurate?

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MarshallG
MarshallG Veteran Member • Posts: 8,557
Are Depth of Field Tables Still Accurate?

This is not a rhetorical question; I truly don’t know the answer.

In the late 70’s and into the 80’s, I could focus on a subject to determine its distance, and then use the lens’ depth of field scale to determine whether all of my subject would be in focus at my selected aperture.  It worked well!

Fast forward to today, and images are far sharper than they were with 35mm film. Computer displays have “Retina display” technology.  The bar is a lot higher when we consider what makes an image “sharp.”  This is by no means theoretical; you can count the number of whiskers and eyelashes on a man’s face these days!

The whole science behind DoF is a little over my head, but I understand it’s based on an agreed upon size of a “circle of confusion.”  It seems to me that the values we accepted in 1979 can’t possibly be valid in 2022.  So I’m curious to know what the experts here have to say about this subject.

 MarshallG's gear list:MarshallG's gear list
Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM Canon EF 16-35mm F2.8L II USM Canon Extender EF 1.4x II +3 more
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