This link does better then I can in explaining DoF..
Also playing with this DOF caculator can help you understand the effects of various settings and lenses on DOF..
MaddogOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...
In his book 'understanding exposure' Bryan Peterson talks aboutdistance settings to get maximum depth of field. On p.38-41.I gotta admit I have no idea what he is talking about. What does itall mean?How can I do that?Or how else could I get great depth of field?I forgot how you call it, where you focus on a specific distance andthen everything to infinity... is in focus. But I would have tocalculate things for every single shot and carry a tape measure withme if I'm not good at guessing from what I understand.So how do I do it and what is Bryan Peterson talking about?.
I have a D80 by the way if that makes a difference. And 75-300mm18-135mm and 50mm lenses..
I would appreciate any help and advice..
It is Hyperfocal focusing. Follow the link below for great-landscape-photography.com's article about hyperfocal focusing..
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You are not the only one who finds this book difficult to understand. It's not you a good editor would have been handy..
I don't have the book, but a lot of the content is pretty old and film based, and those pages might be, too..
In the old days, prime (fixed focal length, non-zoom) lenses had distances engraved on them, along with little numbers corresponding to f stops engraved on either side of the "marker" you lined distance up against to know you were, for instance, 10 feet fromt he subject..
The little numbers, 2.8 - 5.6 - 11 - 22 etc would then line up against the main distance engravings, and so you could read the range of depth of field by, for instance, setting the camera at f5.6 and at 10 feet, and then see what distance the left litle 5.6 was opposite and what distance the right little 5.6 was against..
I've got thess lenses here; two do not even have a distance scale on them, let along a depth of field scale. The third lens Sigma 24-135 has a distance scale and a depth of fieold scale, but as a zoom, both scales are only accurate at the wide angle zoom position..
In his book 'understanding exposure' Bryan Peterson talks aboutdistance settings to get maximum depth of field. On p.38-41.I gotta admit I have no idea what he is talking about. What does itall mean?How can I do that?.
Sorry to say, many of us have not found Mr Peterson to be a great communicator..
Suggestyou Google "Hyperfocal Distance"...
... I would have tocalculate things for every single shot and carry a tape measure withme if I'm not good at guessing from what I understand..
In extreme cases this may be the only way to get things right - if you want everything in focus from 6 feet to infinity then you will have to put some effort into it. Similarly if you are photographing garden birds from 4 feet with a remote release, and you want 4 inches of depth of field to get the whole bird in focus, but no more than that so the background is nicely blurred. But mostly this is less about precise measurements and more about understanding depth of field so that you can go on to make sensible estimates and judgements based on experience. Or to put it another way, to get better at guessing...
Or how else could I get great depth of field?.
Most lenses these days don't include useful distance and depth of field scales. An interesting alternative technique is described by Harold Merklinger at the link below. I have to admit that I've not reached a satisfactory level of comfort with his method, but that's probably due to proactive inhibition brought about by decades of using lenses with nicely detailed depth of field scales..
Last month I was trying to catch some birds in flight, and the autofocus didn't like the clear sky. I would up switching to manual focus and setting for something near infinity. The Pentax lens has a focus scale but no DOF scale. I was using shutter priority to keep the speed at 1/1000 and the aperture set automatically at around f/11. I probably had good DOF from ten feet to infinity..
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