If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?

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zurubi Contributing Member • Posts: 541
If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?

I am posting this here because I am a Fuji shooter and recently added a full frame system. Since I've been shooting with Fuji gear/APSC for years, the depth of field for different apertures and lenses is kind of natural and somehow burned into my brain. I find that when I grab my FF camera I am not mentally adjusting to the reduced DOF for the same aperture and FL and I often miss the correct DOF for landscapes where I want a big part of the frame in focus.

Just curious what other folks are doing; please don't answer that I can look at tables or zoom into parts of the frame. Many shots require muscle memory and I clearly don't have this for the FF system.

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Schleiermacher Senior Member • Posts: 2,363
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?
8

My rule of thumb is that there’s one stop of difference to achieve similar depth of field with the two sensor sizes. As a general practice, that seems to woek for me.

matt

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Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Forum Pro • Posts: 11,812
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?
4

For the same FOV there is approximately one stop difference, that is the 35 f1.4 on APS-C is approximately equivalent to a 50 f2 on a FF although they give the same FOV on their respective sensors.

so a rule of thumb, one stop.

You can start there as you develop muscle memory.
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OP zurubi Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?

Truman Prevatt wrote:

For the same FOV there is approximately one stop difference, that is the 35 f1.4 on APS-C is approximately equivalent to a 50 f2 on a FF although they give the same FOV on their respective sensors.

so a rule of thumb, one stop.

You can start there as you develop muscle memory.
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I was looking at some hyperfocal charts and for close focusing distance there seems to be more than 1 stop..... almost 2. I guess I can start with 1.

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Buttons252
Buttons252 Senior Member • Posts: 1,500
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?
1

I almost always shoot aps-c wide open (F2) so i can create some separation between my subject and the background.   With my Canon 5Ds instead of shooting at F1.4, i stop down to F2.8 so the entire face is in focus.   F2.8 on aps-c is probably F4 on Full frame.  I know 56mm F1.2 is equal to 85mm F1.8

If i am shooting landscapes and light allows i usually go for F5.6-F11 depending on light.  Most lenses have peak sharpness at F8.  Depth of field is rarely something I am considering though, my first priority is lowest ISO followed by a minimum shutter speed.

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GossCTP Veteran Member • Posts: 5,505
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?
1

zurubi wrote:

Truman Prevatt wrote:

For the same FOV there is approximately one stop difference, that is the 35 f1.4 on APS-C is approximately equivalent to a 50 f2 on a FF although they give the same FOV on their respective sensors.

so a rule of thumb, one stop.

You can start there as you develop muscle memory.
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I was looking at some hyperfocal charts and for close focusing distance there seems to be more than 1 stop..... almost 2. I guess I can start with 1.

It's more like a stop and a third, through its kind of splitting hairs for DOF. F/4 x 1.5 (crop factor) = f/6

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maltmoose Senior Member • Posts: 2,053
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?
7

Dont try to match them and do all this equivalence crap. Just use what you need.

I remember when I first used m43 people used to tell me to use f8 for landscapes etc, what a load of crap.

Labe Forum Pro • Posts: 12,029
Re: If you shoot both FF and APS-C, how do you mentally adjust to the change in depth of field?
2

My brain goes back to film days with F8 and be there and the sunny 16 (f16) .

For me it was harder to get used to apsc .
 Now using bridge cameras more I just shoot wide open , review and retake if possible if I needed more dof.

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Back to bridge cameras......

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Valdai21 Regular Member • Posts: 321
One stop difference but beware about focal lenght
1

I use micro 4/3, Fuji X and full frame.

It's true there is one stop difference between APS-C and full frame. Shooting f/2 on APS-C looks the same as f/2,8 on full frame assuming you are using the same lens, which is rarely the case.

I mean, 35mm f/2 on APS-C has the same depth of field as 35mm f/2,8 on full frame but if you want to shoot 50mm equivalent on both systems, you will use a 35mm lens on APS-C and a 50mm lens on full frame.
If you stop down your 50mm lens to f/2,8 on your full frame setup, you will still have less depth of field than with your 35mm f/2 lens on APS-C because of the focal lenght difference.

That's why you can have quite a lot of background blur with wide angle lenses on full frame even at moderate aperture. That's also why you can get depth of field problems with a 24mm lens if you are not careful.

For everything in focus if you have enough light, sweet spot is between f/5,6 and f/8 on APS-C and f/8 to f/11 on full frame. You can stop down more if you need but you usually loose some sharpness.

OP zurubi Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Re: One stop difference but beware about focal lenght

Valdai21 wrote:

I use micro 4/3, Fuji X and full frame.

It's true there is one stop difference between APS-C and full frame. Shooting f/2 on APS-C looks the same as f/2,8 on full frame assuming you are using the same lens, which is rarely the case.

I mean, 35mm f/2 on APS-C has the same depth of field as 35mm f/2,8 on full frame but if you want to shoot 50mm equivalent on both systems, you will use a 35mm lens on APS-C and a 50mm lens on full frame.
If you stop down your 50mm lens to f/2,8 on your full frame setup, you will still have less depth of field than with your 35mm f/2 lens on APS-C because of the focal lenght difference.

That's why you can have quite a lot of background blur with wide angle lenses on full frame even at moderate aperture. That's also why you can get depth of field problems with a 24mm lens if you are not careful.

For everything in focus if you have enough light, sweet spot is between f/5,6 and f/8 on APS-C and f/8 to f/11 on full frame. You can stop down more if you need but you usually loose some sharpness.

Thanks. This is exactly the conundrum I am facing because as you correctly said, I have to change the FL of the lens to obtain equivalence. 35mm/50mm in your example.

If you use all 3 systems, your situation is even worst than mine. So have you developed some rules of thumb for this DOF conversion among the different systems?

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redisred Forum Member • Posts: 77
Re: One stop difference but beware about focal lenght

Helpful tool in this regard:

https://mmcalc.com/

These numbers line up with my own experience. 1 stop is a good rule of thumb, but the truth is more like 1 & 1/3. But, it’s very hard to pick out that difference in a real image, so the rule of thumb is useful enough.

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