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on May 15, 2012 in Camera Tech

Long Lens & DOF

Depth of Field (DOF) seems to truly mystify photographers, probably you just can’t see it with the naked eye or in the viewfinder. But it’s there and it effects every image, every story you’re trying to tell. When you go low to the ground like I did with this Piping Plover, the DOF effect is even more pronounced. This is because DOF is a FLAT PLANE that is ALWAYS parallel with the film plane (digital cameras have a film plane!). When you’re photographing a subject that is parallel to the film plane, with the right background you can see radically just how little DOF you have. In this case, you can clearly see the very narrow band of DOF that is running through the Plover from edge to edge of the frame. Now shooting with a 600VR w/converter connecting to a D4 the DOF working with the narrow angle of view is perhaps 20mm being only 18′ away from the subject. Now if I closed the lens down to f/64 with this combo, my DOF might increase to 60mm. That ain’t much and that’s the whole idea of going down low. I want the small plover to visually pop. Does that help?