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Another Depth of Field Question

 
 
Jules Vide
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      07-15-2006
If depth of field is the degree to which foreground, subject, and
background remain in focus, then is depth of field a misnomer? If all
three remain in focus, isn't that sort of anti-depth of field? Is
there another term--for lack of better articulation, I'll call it a
"3-D quality"--photographers use to describe the ability of a camera to
mimic the capacity of the human eye to perceive the actual "depth" in
any old field?

 
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Marvin
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      07-15-2006
Jules Vide wrote:
> If depth of field is the degree to which foreground, subject, and
> background remain in focus, then is depth of field a misnomer? If all
> three remain in focus, isn't that sort of anti-depth of field? Is
> there another term--for lack of better articulation, I'll call it a
> "3-D quality"--photographers use to describe the ability of a camera to
> mimic the capacity of the human eye to perceive the actual "depth" in
> any old field?
>

The brain assembles several images from the eye to form a
scene. If you could somehow interrupt that assembly process
and see look at a single image, it would have the same kind
of depth of field property as an image from a camera.

The meaning of depth of field in optics and photography is
rather precisely defined. See, for example,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth-of-field/.
 
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minnesotti
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      07-15-2006

Jules Vide wrote:
> Is
> there another term... photographers use to describe the ability of a camera to
> mimic the capacity of the human eye to perceive the actual "depth" in
> any old field?


You seem to be an avid reader. Read about the term "bokeh", e.g. in
here -- http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm

 
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jeremy
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      07-15-2006
"Jules Vide" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) oups.com...

> Is there another term--for lack of better articulation, I'll call it a
> "3-D quality"--photographers use to describe the ability of a camera to
> mimic the capacity of the human eye to perceive the actual "depth" in
> any old field?
>


Might you be referring to what is often called, "The Leica Glow?"

See this link for examples:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/co...02-04-28.shtml


 
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Paul Mitchum
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      07-15-2006
Jules Vide <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

> If depth of field is the degree to which foreground, subject, and
> background remain in focus, then is depth of field a misnomer?


Nope.

Actually, depth of field is the extent to which objects appear sharp in
the print. But your definition is close enough for practical purposes.

The 'field' is an area in front of and behind the object in focus. As
the field shrinks (by, say, opening the aperture), it's depth narrows.
The depth of the field changes. Close the aperture and it gets wider.

> If all three remain in focus, isn't that sort of anti-depth of field?


Nope. It's just a large depth of field. It's possible to have a
depth of field so large that it encompasses all elements of the image.

As an aside: There's a technique involving what is called the
'hyperfocal distance,' which allows you to maximize aperture size and
depth of field at the same time. Google it. Learning how hyperfocal
distance works will teach you how depth of field works.

> Is there another term--for lack of better articulation, I'll call it a
> "3-D quality"--photographers use to describe the ability of a camera to
> mimic the capacity of the human eye to perceive the actual "depth" in any
> old field?


A narrow depth of field focused on a near-field object, with the
background all fuzzy is a standard technique. To use it, you open up the
aperture and focus on the near-field object.
 
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Jules Vide
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      07-15-2006
minnesotti wrote:
>
> You seem to be an avid reader. Read about the term "bokeh", e.g. in
> here -- http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/bokeh.htm


Thanks, but as of yet I am far too uninformed about photography in
general to appreciate the nuances of this (obviously) professional site.

 
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Jules Vide
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      07-15-2006
Paul Mitchum wrote:
>
> Actually, depth of field is the extent to which objects appear sharp in
> the print. But your definition is close enough for practical purposes.


[SNIP HELPFUL CLARIFICATION]

> A narrow depth of field focused on a near-field object, with the
> background all fuzzy is a standard technique. To use it, you open up the
> aperture and focus on the near-field object.


Am I right or wrong in assuming you can't do this with a p&s camera,
even if the camera has a setting called aperture priority?

 
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John Bean
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      07-15-2006
On 15 Jul 2006 13:29:38 -0700, "Jules Vide"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Paul Mitchum wrote:
>>
>> Actually, depth of field is the extent to which objects appear sharp in
>> the print. But your definition is close enough for practical purposes.

>
>[SNIP HELPFUL CLARIFICATION]
>
>> A narrow depth of field focused on a near-field object, with the
>> background all fuzzy is a standard technique. To use it, you open up the
>> aperture and focus on the near-field object.

>
>Am I right or wrong in assuming you can't do this with a p&s camera,
>even if the camera has a setting called aperture priority?


You're wrong. It's not as easy or flexible to do with
small-sensor cameras but if the point of focus is close
and/or a longer focal length is used it's perfectly
possible, and something I do quite often.

--
John Bean
 
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Jules Vide
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      07-15-2006
John Bean wrote:
> >
> >> A narrow depth of field focused on a near-field object, with the
> >> background all fuzzy is a standard technique. To use it, you open up the
> >> aperture and focus on the near-field object.

> >
> >Am I right or wrong in assuming you can't do this with a p&s camera,
> >even if the camera has a setting called aperture priority?

>
> You're wrong. It's not as easy or flexible to do with
> small-sensor cameras but if the point of focus is close
> and/or a longer focal length is used it's perfectly
> possible, and something I do quite often.


I took the camera out of the box and tried to do this. I set the
aperture for its lowest setting, then tried to focus on my exquisite
Subaru. Whenever I touched the focus, even though I was in the "Av
Priority" setting, the aperture setting changed. How else are you
supposed to focus if not with the auto focus; and if the auto focus has
dominance over the other customized settings, is this not just another
way of saying the p&s can only autofocus?

I'm not being rhetorical. I don't know any other way to focus outside
of bodily getting the subject in focus by waltzing with myself, at
which point my neighbors will have all the proof they need I've finally
gone over the edge.

 
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John Bean
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      07-15-2006
On 15 Jul 2006 14:21:37 -0700, "Jules Vide"
<(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>John Bean wrote:
>> >
>> >> A narrow depth of field focused on a near-field object, with the
>> >> background all fuzzy is a standard technique. To use it, you open up the
>> >> aperture and focus on the near-field object.
>> >
>> >Am I right or wrong in assuming you can't do this with a p&s camera,
>> >even if the camera has a setting called aperture priority?

>>
>> You're wrong. It's not as easy or flexible to do with
>> small-sensor cameras but if the point of focus is close
>> and/or a longer focal length is used it's perfectly
>> possible, and something I do quite often.

>
>I took the camera out of the box and tried to do this. I set the
>aperture for its lowest setting, then tried to focus on my exquisite
>Subaru. Whenever I touched the focus, even though I was in the "Av
>Priority" setting, the aperture setting changed. How else are you
>supposed to focus if not with the auto focus; and if the auto focus has
>dominance over the other customized settings, is this not just another
>way of saying the p&s can only autofocus?
>
>I'm not being rhetorical. I don't know any other way to focus outside
>of bodily getting the subject in focus by waltzing with myself, at
>which point my neighbors will have all the proof they need I've finally
>gone over the edge.


AF - autofocus - should have no effect whatsoever on the
chosen aperture no matter what mode the camera is in unless
you have selected some sort of auto-picture mode. The whole
point of aperture-priority mode is that the aperture you set
is fixed - in other words it takes priority over shutter
speed.

You're not confusing AF with zoom are you? If you "zoomed
in" on the car the lens may have been forced to stop down;
most P&S cameras don't have the same maximum aperture across
the whole zoom range.

--
John Bean
 
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