How much DOF do you like?

Started Feb 4, 2013 | Discussions
William DIllard Senior Member • Posts: 2,492
Re: How much DOF do you like?

Christoph v Ballmoos wrote:

Hi,

Yesterday, when I looked at my pics from the afternoon, I found a burst of pics from my dog with almost identical photos, except for the aperture setting (and the obvious consequences ;-). Of course, I know all the DOF comparisons with boring objects, but now I had something from the real world.

And while it is obvious, that the one at f2.2 looks more artistic, I am not completely sure, which one I like more.

What do think? Is it a clear case for you? Do you have similar comparisons, where you feel unsure? Would be interesting to see other examples.

Thanks for watching, please feel to C&C.

5D + 135f2

f2.2

f4

f10

Cheers,

Christoph

It depends on the conditions of the day which will look best. In this case the first shot to my eye is the most attractive.

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Scott Larson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,121
Re: why f2.2 on the 135?

In this case the white bark on the trees in the left make a distracting white spot in the background in the wide open shot. If you stop it down, you see how nice the trees look and the bark compliments the white snow and white dog.

And I'm a guy who shoots wide open 90% of the time. I would have screwed up this shot.

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Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 41,768
Gonna have to disagree.
1

tkbslc wrote:

f4 vs f2 (two stops) and there's barely a difference. Funny.

In my opinion, the difference is significant, in the same manner that taking the pic at 50mm or 100mm would have been significant.

MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,824
Re: why f2.2 on the 135?

Scott Larson wrote:

In this case the white bark on the trees in the left make a distracting white spot in the background in the wide open shot. If you stop it down, you see how nice the trees look and the bark compliments the white snow and white dog.

And I'm a guy who shoots wide open 90% of the time. I would have screwed up this shot.

I hear ya.

good eye.

but now that we see the distraction, we take it into photoshop and do something like burn the distraction

if you read the op's love for his dog, and I'm there with that feeling for my dogs, then there is nothing more important than the dog portrait- see his F2 in his post below

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qianp2k Forum Pro • Posts: 10,350
Re: Here is the shot at f2... have none between f4 and f10

MAC wrote:

Christoph v Ballmoos wrote:

f2:

This! Now you're cookin!

Nothing should detract from the dog! The shot is about the dog! The bokeh and blur backdrop are great, "not to distract our attention", and to bring our eyes to the beautiful dog!

Good Work!

As I said, use a different zoom lens for deep dof so you can frame deep dof shots. For Portraits, F2, F2, Only F2

+1, +1, +1.  Provided you don't sacrifice the sharpness of the dog.  It's the value of a fast aperture lens to pop up the subject.  If use it at F4 and up most times you waste this lens, and better to get 70-200L/4.0 IS or 70-200L/2.8 IS II, as sharp as, have IS and more versitile as a zoom.

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,824
Re: Here is the shot at f2... have none between f4 and f10

qianp2k wrote:

MAC wrote:

Christoph v Ballmoos wrote:

f2:

This! Now you're cookin!

Nothing should detract from the dog! The shot is about the dog! The bokeh and blur backdrop are great, "not to distract our attention", and to bring our eyes to the beautiful dog!

Good Work!

As I said, use a different zoom lens for deep dof so you can frame deep dof shots. For Portraits, F2, F2, Only F2

+1, +1, +1. Provided you don't sacrifice the sharpness of the dog. It's the value of a fast aperture lens to pop up the subject. If use it at F4 and up most times you waste this lens, and better to get 70-200L/4.0 IS or 70-200L/2.8 IS II, as sharp as, have IS and more versitile as a zoom.

yep, and if they added IS to the 135, I'd pay $1300 

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qianp2k Forum Pro • Posts: 10,350
Re: Here is the shot at f2... have none between f4 and f10

MAC wrote:

yep, and if they added IS to the 135, I'd pay $1300

All Canon prime lenses below 300mm show their ages and need to be updated.  My guess is that 135L II may comes with 'IS' but will be around $1400.  All L primes below 100mm probably still will not have 'IS'.

Personally I got 70-200L/2.8 IS II that do multiple functions including portrait so I will skip 135L and 85L (but will consider Sigma 85/1.4 if it updated in Arts series).  But pro portrait photog will still pickup L prime over zoom for attractive extreme shallower DOF, better bokeh and smoother and creamier background blur.  BTW, 70-200l/2.8 IS II is not that heavy if I just use it in fields from time to time but it's pretty heavy if I carry it and walk in a city entire day.  Under the same consideration I got 24-70L/2.8 II and will skip 24L, 35L and 50L but might get Sigma 35/1.4 later.  For my purposes, zoom are just more useful and versatile but will collect a few fast-aperture prime lenses down to the road.

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tkbslc Forum Pro • Posts: 12,638
Re: Gonna have to disagree.
1

It is significant in that you can see a difference, side-by-side.   Not significant in how it affects the success and feel of the overall picture.

Great Bustard Forum Pro • Posts: 41,768
That's a rather good point.

tkbslc wrote:

It is significant in that you can see a difference, side-by-side. Not significant in how it affects the success and feel of the overall picture.

Good point, but equally applicable to noise, resolution, perspective, framing, color, etc.

mailman88
mailman88 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,853
Re: Fill the fame edge to edge...

....with the dog, same spec's and compare pics. The results will surprise you.

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davel33 Senior Member • Posts: 1,678
Re: How much DOF do you like?

I like to have enough DOF so everything I want the viewer to focus on is in focus.  In this thread I have agree with MAC.

BUT it seems your 135 is front focusing and thats why the f5.6 and higher are sharper. In the 2.2 shot the back half of the dog is not sharp but the snow in front of dog is.  If it nailed the focus the 2.2 and the 2.0 would be very nice.

How in the world do you get your dog to stand still that long, my dane will turn her head the minute she see's me point my camera at her I just about got the perfect shot once, was in the back yard testing my new sigma 50-150 and turned and saw her watching something.  I hit the shutter release and got one shot and before I had a chance to adjust the zoom, she turned and it was all gone.





Say hi to Ella

She was 8 then which is very old for a Dane, she is still with us

Dave

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Mike CH Veteran Member • Posts: 9,631
Huh?

tkbslc wrote:

f4 vs f2 (two stops) and there's barely a difference. Funny.

We can't be looking at the same images, I'd have to say.

Regards, Mike

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Wait and see...

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Rick Knepper
Rick Knepper Forum Pro • Posts: 16,134
Re: Huh?
1

Mike CH wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

f4 vs f2 (two stops) and there's barely a difference. Funny.

We can't be looking at the same images, I'd have to say.

Mike, I agree there is a big difference in these images. While even f2 wouldn't obscure this annoying background enough, it is clear that f2.2 and f4 are not as sharp as f10. It is also clear, unless one likes parts of their subject matter inappropriately oof, f2.2 and f4 are the wrong apertures for a serious attempt at a portraiture which it probably was not.

Another thing that is clear: that is one well-trained and fine looking dog.

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MAC Forum Pro • Posts: 13,824
Re: Here is the shot at f2... have none between f4 and f10

qianp2k wrote:

MAC wrote:

yep, and if they added IS to the 135, I'd pay $1300

All Canon prime lenses below 300mm show their ages and need to be updated. My guess is that 135L II may comes with 'IS' but will be around $1400. All L primes below 100mm probably still will not have 'IS'.

Personally I got 70-200L/2.8 IS II that do multiple functions including portrait so I will skip 135L and 85L (but will consider Sigma 85/1.4 if it updated in Arts series). But pro portrait photog will still pickup L prime over zoom for attractive extreme shallower DOF, better bokeh and smoother and creamier background blur. BTW, 70-200l/2.8 IS II is not that heavy if I just use it in fields from time to time but it's pretty heavy if I carry it and walk in a city entire day. Under the same consideration I got 24-70L/2.8 II and will skip 24L, 35L and 50L but might get Sigma 35/1.4 later. For my purposes, zoom are just more useful and versatile but will collect a few fast-aperture prime lenses down to the road.

sounds like you hit the lotto?

you're probably right on the $1400.  I almost bought non-IS for $900 - lowest price I had seen

with 70-200II and 24-70 II you got the best for pj action for sure - except you needed a 1dx instead of 1d3 to go with your 5d3.  Go for it!

with the high iso bodies these days I'm seeing wedding photogs switch back from prime sets to these two awesome zooms because they know they can get the shot at f2.8 without flash with their hi iso and still isolate the subject with f2.8 on FF.

So for me, the ultimate 5 would be

1dx + 70-200II

5d3 + 24-70II

35 f1.4 art + new 85 f1.4 art

new 14-24 f2.8 IS

what's that price $17K - I wonder if I could carry all of that - LOL

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fad
fad Forum Pro • Posts: 16,363
DOF is beside the point

The background doesn't work.

The verticality of the trees creates havoc with the vertical white strip on the dog's face.

DOF is easy to have an opinion on --it is a technical issue, and can easily be a gimmick, something applied automatically to mimic art.   Getting the subject and background right, even in a simple photo like this, takes a much higher order of skill.

Just studying your dog against different backgrounds, or taking a series of images at f8 and studying how the background affects the portrait, now that's how we make progress. 

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Frank
Unless noted, all photos shot in downtown Manhattan.
Thanks in advance for the kindness of your comments.
http://sidewalkshadows.com/blog/ (street photos)

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Scott Larson Veteran Member • Posts: 6,121
Re: why f2.2 on the 135?

MAC wrote:

but now that we see the distraction, we take it into photoshop and do something like burn the distraction

Heck, if you want to go the Photoshop route then take the f2 shot and blur the background even more or replace it with something else entirely. It's no longer is a DOF issue.

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hedwards Regular Member • Posts: 268
Re: How much DOF do you like?

This isn't a F-Stop problem, this is a lighting problem. The only place where you're having trouble with background separation is on the left hand side of the image where the dog is mostly whitish-blue and the snow is a very similar color.

Changing the F-Stop isn't likely to help that out too much as the snow isn't particularly detailed to begin with.

If you want more separation, what you need is a gold reflector to light the dog's tail end a bit, the added warmth should help the dog separate from the background a bit.

Or, you could probably do that in Photoshop as well. Just warm up the dog's backside a bit should help a lot.

Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 15,188
Re: How much DOF do you like?
1

just passing by, I don't belong here but just had to say great pictures and I like number 3. Everything looks so much more natural and the dog pops out so much that the background isn't distracting. I know I'm out of step with the rest of the world who think narrow DOF is everything.

I wonder sometimes if it's an incurable obsession.

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OP Christoph v Ballmoos Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Huh?

Rick Knepper wrote:

Mike CH wrote:

tkbslc wrote:

f4 vs f2 (two stops) and there's barely a difference. Funny.

We can't be looking at the same images, I'd have to say.

Mike, I agree there is a big difference in these images. While even f2 wouldn't obscure this annoying background enough, it is clear that f2.2 and f4 are not as sharp as f10. It is also clear, unless one likes parts of their subject matter inappropriately oof, f2.2 and f4 are the wrong apertures for a serious attempt at a portraiture which it probably was not.

You are right, it was not a serious attempt, of course. The background is not the greatest. Working with a more homogeneous background and stopped down to get the whole dog in focus would be better. But very often with the 135f2 and the 5D, I like the pics anyway.

Another thing that is clear: that is one well-trained and fine looking dog.

Thanks for this comment. My girlfriend feels relieved that at least after 30 posts, someone was mentioning the dog

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OP Christoph v Ballmoos Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: How much DOF do you like?

davel33 wrote:

I like to have enough DOF so everything I want the viewer to focus on is in focus. In this thread I have agree with MAC.

BUT it seems your 135 is front focusing and thats why the f5.6 and higher are sharper. In the 2.2 shot the back half of the dog is not sharp but the snow in front of dog is. If it nailed the focus the 2.2 and the 2.0 would be very nice.

I don't think, it is front-focusing. But you are right, the pic at f2.2 is sharp at the black nose, however at f2, it is tacksharp at the eyes. But at f2, the lens is a tad less sharp than at f2.2 or above.

How in the world do you get your dog to stand still that long, my dane will turn her head the minute she see's me point my camera at her I just about got the perfect shot once, was in the back yard testing my new sigma 50-150 and turned and saw her watching something. I hit the shutter release and got one shot and before I had a chance to adjust the zoom, she turned and it was all gone.

He is quite good in standing still. He knows that I am doing something with the camera and him and that we all like it (my girlfriend was there as well). Usually, when I grab a camera at home, he is immediately hoping that we might go out. He also knows that he has to be quiet, when I tell him, because of a bird or something. This, however, does not always work very well all the time.

But yes, he is my favorite subject, and HE knows it.





Say hi to Ella

She was 8 then which is very old for a Dane, she is still with us

Lovely dog, they are so kind and playful. I love to watch them run...

Dave

Christoph

thats with the 85mm at f1.8

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