Apparent Depth of field with Canon 20D

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by W, Dec 19, 2006.

  1. W

    W Guest

    Folks,

    I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    W, Dec 19, 2006
    #1
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  2. W wrote:
    > Folks,
    >
    > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?


    Can you post the photo and link to it in this thread? IAE, tho, I
    suspect it's the proper working of the human eye in play here.....

    --
    John McWilliams
    John McWilliams, Dec 19, 2006
    #2
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  3. W

    Jim Townsend Guest

    W wrote:

    > Folks,
    >
    > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?


    I'm not quite sure I follow you...

    Note that when you look through the lens, it's always wide open and
    that's the DOF you'll see. The lens iris doesn't shrink to your
    selected aperture until you press the shutter release.

    You need to use the DOF preview button on the side of the camera
    to see what the DOF will look like at smaller apertures.
    Jim Townsend, Dec 19, 2006
    #3
  4. W

    Dave Cohen Guest

    Jim Townsend wrote:
    > W wrote:
    >
    >> Folks,
    >>
    >> I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    >> field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    >> surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    >> depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    >> 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    >> the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    >> looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    >> a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    >> greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?

    >
    > I'm not quite sure I follow you...
    >
    > Note that when you look through the lens, it's always wide open and
    > that's the DOF you'll see. The lens iris doesn't shrink to your
    > selected aperture until you press the shutter release.
    >
    > You need to use the DOF preview button on the side of the camera
    > to see what the DOF will look like at smaller apertures.
    >
    >

    What you say is true, but that simply makes his observation harder to
    explain.
    Dave Cohen
    Dave Cohen, Dec 19, 2006
    #4
  5. W

    frederick Guest

    W wrote:
    > Folks,
    >
    > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    >


    Do Canon lenses work like Nikon?
    AFAIK with Nikon the maximum aperture "at rest" is f2.8 (or is it f2?) -
    if you look at a f1.4 lens, when set at f1.4 the aperture blades are
    closed slightly - when you press the DOF preview button - or make an
    exposure the aperture opens to the fully wide f1.4 position.
    frederick, Dec 19, 2006
    #5
  6. W

    W Guest

    Folks,

    I'm afraid to say this may have been a false alarm. It appears that
    some of the shots were not properly focused (OOPS....sorry). I would
    have to carefully repeat this experiment. If/when I do, I will report
    back here.



    frederick wrote:
    > W wrote:
    > > Folks,
    > >
    > > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    > >

    >
    > Do Canon lenses work like Nikon?
    > AFAIK with Nikon the maximum aperture "at rest" is f2.8 (or is it f2?) -
    > if you look at a f1.4 lens, when set at f1.4 the aperture blades are
    > closed slightly - when you press the DOF preview button - or make an
    > exposure the aperture opens to the fully wide f1.4 position.
    W, Dec 20, 2006
    #6
  7. W

    Bhogi Guest

    W wrote:
    > Folks,
    >
    > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?


    I observed this with the 50mm 1.8 on 20d. I think the reason might be
    that the focusing screen lets some of the image forming rays pass thru
    uninterrupted.

    To approximate, the image of the 50mm in the viewfinder of a DSLR is
    magnifyed 1:1 so the viewfinder also has 50mm focal length. This means
    a very limited actual aperture of say 5mm (taking the iris in account),
    if there was no focusing screen. This gives an actual f10, not f1.8!
    I tryed that on some trees in the distance while focusing on 0.45m.
    There were no trees in the photo at 1.8 at all, while at f10, the shape
    resembled what I saw in the viewfinder only not in such detail.

    This means it's a combination of the two "images" we are observing in
    the viewfinder, so it should appear sharper than the real image formed,
    and it realy does.

    That makes sense, the majority of light rays form the image on the
    screen, but the ones that pass are still enough to increase the DOF.
    Bhogi, Dec 20, 2006
    #7
  8. W

    W Guest

    Okay, I repeated this experiment using careful focusing, mirror lockup,
    and cable release. The effect I saw was indeed real. I shot at f/1.4
    with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The shot was of a pair of folded glasses sitting
    on a page of small text. The focus was on the glasses probably about an
    inch to inch and a half above the page. The camera was 2 to 3 feet away
    from the subject. I could read the text when looking through the
    viewfinder but it was out of focus and unreadable in the captured
    image.
    I am not sure how to post the image here. Also, that would be of little
    use because I cannot post what I actually see through the viewfinder.


    W wrote:
    > Folks,
    >
    > I'm afraid to say this may have been a false alarm. It appears that
    > some of the shots were not properly focused (OOPS....sorry). I would
    > have to carefully repeat this experiment. If/when I do, I will report
    > back here.
    >
    >
    >
    > frederick wrote:
    > > W wrote:
    > > > Folks,
    > > >
    > > > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > > > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > > > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > > > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > > > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > > > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > > > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > > > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > > > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    > > >

    > >
    > > Do Canon lenses work like Nikon?
    > > AFAIK with Nikon the maximum aperture "at rest" is f2.8 (or is it f2?) -
    > > if you look at a f1.4 lens, when set at f1.4 the aperture blades are
    > > closed slightly - when you press the DOF preview button - or make an
    > > exposure the aperture opens to the fully wide f1.4 position.
    W, Dec 20, 2006
    #8
  9. W

    W Guest

    Very interesting. I am not sure I understand the explanation. How do
    uninterrupted rays get focused in the eye?

    Bhogi wrote:
    > W wrote:
    > > Folks,
    > >
    > > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?

    >
    > I observed this with the 50mm 1.8 on 20d. I think the reason might be
    > that the focusing screen lets some of the image forming rays pass thru
    > uninterrupted.
    >
    > To approximate, the image of the 50mm in the viewfinder of a DSLR is
    > magnifyed 1:1 so the viewfinder also has 50mm focal length. This means
    > a very limited actual aperture of say 5mm (taking the iris in account),
    > if there was no focusing screen. This gives an actual f10, not f1.8!
    > I tryed that on some trees in the distance while focusing on 0.45m.
    > There were no trees in the photo at 1.8 at all, while at f10, the shape
    > resembled what I saw in the viewfinder only not in such detail.
    >
    > This means it's a combination of the two "images" we are observing in
    > the viewfinder, so it should appear sharper than the real image formed,
    > and it realy does.
    >
    > That makes sense, the majority of light rays form the image on the
    > screen, but the ones that pass are still enough to increase the DOF.
    W, Dec 20, 2006
    #9
  10. "W" <> writes:
    >Okay, I repeated this experiment using careful focusing, mirror lockup,
    >and cable release. The effect I saw was indeed real. I shot at f/1.4
    >with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The shot was of a pair of folded glasses sitting
    >on a page of small text. The focus was on the glasses probably about an
    >inch to inch and a half above the page. The camera was 2 to 3 feet away
    >from the subject. I could read the text when looking through the
    >viewfinder but it was out of focus and unreadable in the captured
    >image.


    What kind of focusing screen does the camera have? If it's not a ground
    glass, you may not be seeing the effect of all of the light that comes
    through the lens. If light from the outer edges of the lens doesn't
    actually make it into your eye, the effect is as if the lens had a
    smaller aperture (and more DOF). So what you see doesn't match what
    the film sees.

    >I am not sure how to post the image here. Also, that would be of little
    >use because I cannot post what I actually see through the viewfinder.


    You *could* take a picture of what's seen in the viewfinder by using a
    second camera to shoot into the viewfinder.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Dec 20, 2006
    #10
  11. W

    W Guest

    The focusing screen is the standard 20D screen (not removable). Not
    sure exactly the type but it does not appear to be 'pure' ground glass
    screen.
    Taking a picture through the viewfinder that's too hard :). But I can
    assure you I can read the text through the viewfinder and not on the
    captured image.

    Dave Martindale wrote:
    > "W" <> writes:
    > >Okay, I repeated this experiment using careful focusing, mirror lockup,
    > >and cable release. The effect I saw was indeed real. I shot at f/1.4
    > >with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The shot was of a pair of folded glasses sitting
    > >on a page of small text. The focus was on the glasses probably about an
    > >inch to inch and a half above the page. The camera was 2 to 3 feet away
    > >from the subject. I could read the text when looking through the
    > >viewfinder but it was out of focus and unreadable in the captured
    > >image.

    >
    > What kind of focusing screen does the camera have? If it's not a ground
    > glass, you may not be seeing the effect of all of the light that comes
    > through the lens. If light from the outer edges of the lens doesn't
    > actually make it into your eye, the effect is as if the lens had a
    > smaller aperture (and more DOF). So what you see doesn't match what
    > the film sees.
    >
    > >I am not sure how to post the image here. Also, that would be of little
    > >use because I cannot post what I actually see through the viewfinder.

    >
    > You *could* take a picture of what's seen in the viewfinder by using a
    > second camera to shoot into the viewfinder.
    >
    > Dave
    W, Dec 20, 2006
    #11
  12. W

    Bhogi Guest

    W wrote:
    > Very interesting. I am not sure I understand the explanation. How do
    > uninterrupted rays get focused in the eye?


    Without the focusing screen, looking thru the viewfinder would be like
    looking thru a monocular of 1:1 magnification. For a 50mm objective and
    50mm ocular your eyes will always see an image formed by f10 lens
    (50mm/5mm iris opening). That's the limitation of our iris - the same
    width the iris opening is, the same width of lens aperture is used. The
    rays outside this aperture fall ON the iris and are wasted. So even if
    you had a 50mm 0.5 lens, the image would be no brighter and DOF the
    same as at f10.
    It's like looking thru a magnifying glass, which is exactly what the
    viewfinder is, only a very small one. Image forming rays of one detail
    pass only thru a small portion of the glass that has the same width as
    the opening of our iris, so a very big part of the magnifying glass is
    not used for that detail.
    "Uninterrupted" rays are just like that, only a lot dimmer, since most
    of the rays form an image on the screen.

    With the help of the focusing screen you can observe all the rays,
    because the image is actualy formed as if it was printed there. Idealy
    that would be so, but in reality it isn't.

    It's just a guess, I don't see any other explanation for it.


    > Bhogi wrote:
    > > W wrote:
    > > > Folks,
    > > >
    > > > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > > > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > > > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > > > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > > > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > > > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > > > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > > > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > > > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?

    > >
    > > I observed this with the 50mm 1.8 on 20d. I think the reason might be
    > > that the focusing screen lets some of the image forming rays pass thru
    > > uninterrupted.
    > >
    > > To approximate, the image of the 50mm in the viewfinder of a DSLR is
    > > magnifyed 1:1 so the viewfinder also has 50mm focal length. This means
    > > a very limited actual aperture of say 5mm (taking the iris in account),
    > > if there was no focusing screen. This gives an actual f10, not f1.8!
    > > I tryed that on some trees in the distance while focusing on 0.45m.
    > > There were no trees in the photo at 1.8 at all, while at f10, the shape
    > > resembled what I saw in the viewfinder only not in such detail.
    > >
    > > This means it's a combination of the two "images" we are observing in
    > > the viewfinder, so it should appear sharper than the real image formed,
    > > and it realy does.
    > >
    > > That makes sense, the majority of light rays form the image on the
    > > screen, but the ones that pass are still enough to increase the DOF.
    Bhogi, Dec 20, 2006
    #12
  13. W

    Bhogi Guest

    W wrote:
    > The focusing screen is the standard 20D screen (not removable). Not
    > sure exactly the type but it does not appear to be 'pure' ground glass
    > screen.
    > Taking a picture through the viewfinder that's too hard :). But I can
    > assure you I can read the text through the viewfinder and not on the
    > captured image.


    I think it's called "laser matte" screen and it's supposed to be
    brighter than ordinary ground glass. I think that means it redirects
    more light in the general direction of the viewfinder. Ground glass
    perhaps casts light in all directions and so wastes brightness.


    > Dave Martindale wrote:
    > > "W" <> writes:
    > > >Okay, I repeated this experiment using careful focusing, mirror lockup,
    > > >and cable release. The effect I saw was indeed real. I shot at f/1.4
    > > >with a 50mm f1.4 lens. The shot was of a pair of folded glasses sitting
    > > >on a page of small text. The focus was on the glasses probably about an
    > > >inch to inch and a half above the page. The camera was 2 to 3 feet away
    > > >from the subject. I could read the text when looking through the
    > > >viewfinder but it was out of focus and unreadable in the captured
    > > >image.

    > >
    > > What kind of focusing screen does the camera have? If it's not a ground
    > > glass, you may not be seeing the effect of all of the light that comes
    > > through the lens. If light from the outer edges of the lens doesn't
    > > actually make it into your eye, the effect is as if the lens had a
    > > smaller aperture (and more DOF). So what you see doesn't match what
    > > the film sees.
    > >
    > > >I am not sure how to post the image here. Also, that would be of little
    > > >use because I cannot post what I actually see through the viewfinder.

    > >
    > > You *could* take a picture of what's seen in the viewfinder by using a
    > > second camera to shoot into the viewfinder.
    > >
    > > Dave
    Bhogi, Dec 20, 2006
    #13
  14. W

    Bhogi Guest

    Take a look here
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/canonf1n/metering/screens/screens.htm
    If the focusing screen is realy shaped like that "honeycomb", it's not
    difficult to see it passes uninterrupted rays at regular intervals. But
    I think the situation is much more complex than that.


    Bhogi wrote:
    > W wrote:
    > > Very interesting. I am not sure I understand the explanation. How do
    > > uninterrupted rays get focused in the eye?

    >
    > Without the focusing screen, looking thru the viewfinder would be like
    > looking thru a monocular of 1:1 magnification. For a 50mm objective and
    > 50mm ocular your eyes will always see an image formed by f10 lens
    > (50mm/5mm iris opening). That's the limitation of our iris - the same
    > width the iris opening is, the same width of lens aperture is used. The
    > rays outside this aperture fall ON the iris and are wasted. So even if
    > you had a 50mm 0.5 lens, the image would be no brighter and DOF the
    > same as at f10.
    > It's like looking thru a magnifying glass, which is exactly what the
    > viewfinder is, only a very small one. Image forming rays of one detail
    > pass only thru a small portion of the glass that has the same width as
    > the opening of our iris, so a very big part of the magnifying glass is
    > not used for that detail.
    > "Uninterrupted" rays are just like that, only a lot dimmer, since most
    > of the rays form an image on the screen.
    >
    > With the help of the focusing screen you can observe all the rays,
    > because the image is actualy formed as if it was printed there. Idealy
    > that would be so, but in reality it isn't.
    >
    > It's just a guess, I don't see any other explanation for it.
    >
    >
    > > Bhogi wrote:
    > > > W wrote:
    > > > > Folks,
    > > > >
    > > > > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > > > > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > > > > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > > > > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > > > > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > > > > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > > > > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > > > > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > > > > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    > > >
    > > > I observed this with the 50mm 1.8 on 20d. I think the reason might be
    > > > that the focusing screen lets some of the image forming rays pass thru
    > > > uninterrupted.
    > > >
    > > > To approximate, the image of the 50mm in the viewfinder of a DSLR is
    > > > magnifyed 1:1 so the viewfinder also has 50mm focal length. This means
    > > > a very limited actual aperture of say 5mm (taking the iris in account),
    > > > if there was no focusing screen. This gives an actual f10, not f1.8!
    > > > I tryed that on some trees in the distance while focusing on 0.45m.
    > > > There were no trees in the photo at 1.8 at all, while at f10, the shape
    > > > resembled what I saw in the viewfinder only not in such detail.
    > > >
    > > > This means it's a combination of the two "images" we are observing in
    > > > the viewfinder, so it should appear sharper than the real image formed,
    > > > and it realy does.
    > > >
    > > > That makes sense, the majority of light rays form the image on the
    > > > screen, but the ones that pass are still enough to increase the DOF.
    Bhogi, Dec 20, 2006
    #14
  15. "W" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > The focusing screen is the standard 20D screen (not removable). Not
    > sure exactly the type but it does not appear to be 'pure' ground glass
    > screen.
    > Taking a picture through the viewfinder that's too hard :). But I can
    > assure you I can read the text through the viewfinder and not on the
    > captured image.
    >
    > Dave Martindale wrote:


    FYI the screen is perfectly removeable, it's just a bit fiddly because the
    screen release tab doesn't project so far out that you can see it. The tab
    is still there, though, you can get at it with a flat screwdriver.

    Third-party focusing screens with various manual-focusing aides are
    available for the 20D. The "focus pop" varies, depending on the type of
    screen... the 20D is designed for autofocus so it actually makes a bit of
    sense for Canon to sell it with a focusing screen that doesn't blur things
    too much. Easier to use for the newbies and so on.
    Ståle Sannerud, Dec 21, 2006
    #15
  16. W

    W Guest

    Interesting, I was not aware that you could remove it and that there
    were alternatives. Personally, I would like to have a split image
    "focusing aid" in the center as I tend to manually focus for "tripod"
    shots. Also, I find it interesting that the stock screen significantly
    misleads the user in terms of depth of field. Isn't the point of an SLR
    that you see the image you will capture?

    Ståle Sannerud wrote:
    > "W" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > The focusing screen is the standard 20D screen (not removable). Not
    > > sure exactly the type but it does not appear to be 'pure' ground glass
    > > screen.
    > > Taking a picture through the viewfinder that's too hard :). But I can
    > > assure you I can read the text through the viewfinder and not on the
    > > captured image.
    > >
    > > Dave Martindale wrote:

    >
    > FYI the screen is perfectly removeable, it's just a bit fiddly because the
    > screen release tab doesn't project so far out that you can see it. The tab
    > is still there, though, you can get at it with a flat screwdriver.
    >
    > Third-party focusing screens with various manual-focusing aides are
    > available for the 20D. The "focus pop" varies, depending on the type of
    > screen... the 20D is designed for autofocus so it actually makes a bit of
    > sense for Canon to sell it with a focusing screen that doesn't blur things
    > too much. Easier to use for the newbies and so on.
    W, Dec 21, 2006
    #16
  17. W

    W Guest

    Thanks for the info. Very interesting. I will from now on beware that
    what I see in the viewfinder can vary significantly in terms of depth
    of field from what the camera will end up capturing ( :( ).

    Bhogi wrote:
    > W wrote:
    > > Very interesting. I am not sure I understand the explanation. How do
    > > uninterrupted rays get focused in the eye?

    >
    > Without the focusing screen, looking thru the viewfinder would be like
    > looking thru a monocular of 1:1 magnification. For a 50mm objective and
    > 50mm ocular your eyes will always see an image formed by f10 lens
    > (50mm/5mm iris opening). That's the limitation of our iris - the same
    > width the iris opening is, the same width of lens aperture is used. The
    > rays outside this aperture fall ON the iris and are wasted. So even if
    > you had a 50mm 0.5 lens, the image would be no brighter and DOF the
    > same as at f10.
    > It's like looking thru a magnifying glass, which is exactly what the
    > viewfinder is, only a very small one. Image forming rays of one detail
    > pass only thru a small portion of the glass that has the same width as
    > the opening of our iris, so a very big part of the magnifying glass is
    > not used for that detail.
    > "Uninterrupted" rays are just like that, only a lot dimmer, since most
    > of the rays form an image on the screen.
    >
    > With the help of the focusing screen you can observe all the rays,
    > because the image is actualy formed as if it was printed there. Idealy
    > that would be so, but in reality it isn't.
    >
    > It's just a guess, I don't see any other explanation for it.
    >
    >
    > > Bhogi wrote:
    > > > W wrote:
    > > > > Folks,
    > > > >
    > > > > I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    > > > > field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    > > > > surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    > > > > depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    > > > > 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    > > > > the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    > > > > looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    > > > > a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    > > > > greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    > > >
    > > > I observed this with the 50mm 1.8 on 20d. I think the reason might be
    > > > that the focusing screen lets some of the image forming rays pass thru
    > > > uninterrupted.
    > > >
    > > > To approximate, the image of the 50mm in the viewfinder of a DSLR is
    > > > magnifyed 1:1 so the viewfinder also has 50mm focal length. This means
    > > > a very limited actual aperture of say 5mm (taking the iris in account),
    > > > if there was no focusing screen. This gives an actual f10, not f1.8!
    > > > I tryed that on some trees in the distance while focusing on 0.45m.
    > > > There were no trees in the photo at 1.8 at all, while at f10, the shape
    > > > resembled what I saw in the viewfinder only not in such detail.
    > > >
    > > > This means it's a combination of the two "images" we are observing in
    > > > the viewfinder, so it should appear sharper than the real image formed,
    > > > and it realy does.
    > > >
    > > > That makes sense, the majority of light rays form the image on the
    > > > screen, but the ones that pass are still enough to increase the DOF.
    W, Dec 21, 2006
    #17
  18. W

    Guest

    W wrote:
    > Interesting, I was not aware that you could remove it and that there
    > were alternatives. Personally, I would like to have a split image
    > "focusing aid" in the center as I tend to manually focus for "tripod"
    > shots. Also, I find it interesting that the stock screen significantly
    > misleads the user in terms of depth of field. Isn't the point of an SLR
    > that you see the image you will capture?


    Katz Eye Optics <http://www.katzeyeoptics.com/> make focusing screens
    for most DSLR cameras.
    I use one in my Pentax *ist-Ds and it's pretty bright, clear and the
    split prism and collar make manual focusing so much easier.
    , Dec 22, 2006
    #18
  19. In article <>, W
    <> writes
    >Folks,
    >
    >I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    >field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    >surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    >depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    >1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    >the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    >looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    >a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    >greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    >


    That is a very common, but rarely discussed, disadvantage of "bright"
    focussing screens which prevents the SLR from actually achieving one of
    its main objectives - showing the viewfinder image "as is".

    An ideal focus screen would accept all of the rays forming the image
    from the lens and project them equally into the eyepiece so that you
    could see the image exactly as it was formed on the sensor.
    Unfortunately it is only possible to achieve a rather crude
    approximation of that ideal where the focus screen scatters the image
    forming rays equally in all directions. Some of these rays then reach
    the eyepiece and hence the eye. Without such scattering, rays from the
    periphery of the lens would miss the eyepiece and hence would not form
    any of the image that you see in the viewfinder. Only rays coming from
    the central portion of the lens would reach the eyepiece lens and hence
    form the viewfinder image. Since the screen has scattered all of the
    image forming rays, you see a relatively faithful reproduction of the
    image from all parts of the objective lens - you see light from the
    peripheral parts of the lens just as much as light from the central
    parts and hence get a view of the depth of field of image. The downside
    of this is, of course, that the highly scattering focus screen means
    that most of the light doesn't reach the eyepiece and hence although the
    image is reasonably accurate, it is fairly dark.

    Brighter focus screens scatter less of the image, so that more of the
    light reaches the eyepiece directly, however this is at the expense of
    more of that light coming from the centre of the lens and less coming
    from edges, which must be deflected to reach the eyepiece. The downside
    is that the image in the viewfinder, despite being brighter, actually
    corresponds more to the image from the stopped down lens than it does to
    the wide open aperture that the lens uses in normal viewing. You will
    still see a darkening of the screen when the lens is stopped down,
    because some of those peripheral rays are still scattered towards the
    eyepiece, but the darkening is much less than would be produced from an
    older, darker, conventional ground glass screen.

    If you remove the focus screen entirely, you get a very bright image
    indeed, but completely lose the ability to assess DOF in the image. In
    addition, the image will not darken as you stop the lens down until you
    reach very high f/#s.

    The image in the viewfinder of the SLR is only an approximation of what
    the sensor sees. How good an approximation depends - advantages in some
    aspects can be traded off against disadvantages in others. People
    generally value the brighter viewfinder at the expense of DOF accuracy
    for AF cameras. However these focus screens are almost useless for
    manual focus lenses because they only show a "stopped down" DOF. Hence,
    for many of their interchangeable SLR cameras, Canon also offer manual
    focus screens (which scatter more of the peripheral rays into the
    viewfinder hence producing an image more representative of the open
    aperture). These manual focus screens usually have the caveat that the
    viewfinder image is darker than the standard screen.
    --
    Kennedy
    Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed;
    A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.
    Python Philosophers (replace 'nospam' with 'kennedym' when replying)
    Kennedy McEwen, Dec 22, 2006
    #19
  20. Kennedy McEwen wrote:
    > In article <>, W
    > <> writes
    >> Folks,
    >>
    >> I recently did a shot where I bracketed f-stops to tailor depth of
    >> field. The shot was of eye glasses sitting on a page of print. I was
    >> surprised to see that the viewfinder image appears to have way more
    >> depth of field than the actual photographed image (20D with 50mm f
    >> 1.4). With the lens wide open (f/1.4), I could almost read the print on
    >> the page (focus was above the plane of the page on the eyeglasses) when
    >> looking through the viewfinder. On the photographed image, the page was
    >> a total blur. It seems the viewfinder appeared to have significantly
    >> greater DOF than the actual image. Any ideas why this would be?
    >>

    >
    > That is a very common, but rarely discussed, disadvantage of "bright"
    > focussing screens which prevents the SLR from actually achieving one of
    > its main objectives - showing the viewfinder image "as is".
    >
    > An ideal focus screen would accept all of the rays forming the image
    > from the lens and project them equally into the eyepiece so that you
    > could see the image exactly as it was formed on the sensor.
    > Unfortunately it is only possible to achieve a rather crude
    > approximation of that ideal where the focus screen scatters the image
    > forming rays equally in all directions. Some of these rays then reach
    > the eyepiece and hence the eye. Without such scattering, rays from the
    > periphery of the lens would miss the eyepiece and hence would not form
    > any of the image that you see in the viewfinder. Only rays coming from
    > the central portion of the lens would reach the eyepiece lens and hence
    > form the viewfinder image. Since the screen has scattered all of the
    > image forming rays, you see a relatively faithful reproduction of the
    > image from all parts of the objective lens - you see light from the
    > peripheral parts of the lens just as much as light from the central
    > parts and hence get a view of the depth of field of image. The downside
    > of this is, of course, that the highly scattering focus screen means
    > that most of the light doesn't reach the eyepiece and hence although the
    > image is reasonably accurate, it is fairly dark.
    >
    > Brighter focus screens scatter less of the image, so that more of the
    > light reaches the eyepiece directly, however this is at the expense of
    > more of that light coming from the centre of the lens and less coming
    > from edges, which must be deflected to reach the eyepiece. The downside
    > is that the image in the viewfinder, despite being brighter, actually
    > corresponds more to the image from the stopped down lens than it does to
    > the wide open aperture that the lens uses in normal viewing. You will
    > still see a darkening of the screen when the lens is stopped down,
    > because some of those peripheral rays are still scattered towards the
    > eyepiece, but the darkening is much less than would be produced from an
    > older, darker, conventional ground glass screen.
    >
    > If you remove the focus screen entirely, you get a very bright image
    > indeed, but completely lose the ability to assess DOF in the image. In
    > addition, the image will not darken as you stop the lens down until you
    > reach very high f/#s.
    >
    > The image in the viewfinder of the SLR is only an approximation of what
    > the sensor sees. How good an approximation depends - advantages in some
    > aspects can be traded off against disadvantages in others. People
    > generally value the brighter viewfinder at the expense of DOF accuracy
    > for AF cameras. However these focus screens are almost useless for
    > manual focus lenses because they only show a "stopped down" DOF. Hence,
    > for many of their interchangeable SLR cameras, Canon also offer manual
    > focus screens (which scatter more of the peripheral rays into the
    > viewfinder hence producing an image more representative of the open
    > aperture). These manual focus screens usually have the caveat that the
    > viewfinder image is darker than the standard screen.


    Wow. And thank you. I think I now understand both the question and answer.

    But I am not agreeing to sitting for an exam here, though!

    --
    John McWilliams
    John McWilliams, Dec 22, 2006
    #20
    1. Advertising

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