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  1. #61
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Do you see a trend today in pursuing very thin depth of field

    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    The trouble with hi-def 54" screens is the detail - the horribleness of so much programming is so much more detailed...
    I agree. I only watch accidentally. TV gives me absolutely zero value.

    Whether what I see on the screen looks real or not is not even important.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  2. #62
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chan Tran View Post
    , it seems that today there is a trend in very thin depth of field.
    For me that narrow depth of field fad reached its low point when I got the 1996 Calumet catalog and saw all the products were photographed with a shallow depth of field and an odd focal plane.

  3. #63

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    Personally, I see narrow DOF as a tool to bring a photograph much closer to the way we see.

    The thing is, our eye is far from ideal. Our vision is really concentrated in the center, where our eyes have the fovea. The further from the center you go, the less detail you see, even if technically the image is in focus.

    But that's actually just the sensoric part of it. We look with the eyes but see with the brain. And some recent research showed that we actually hallucinate quite a lot of what we "see". This explains why we don't perceive the blind spot - the brain hallucinates the missing parts. That actually explains a lot.

    Anyway, a photograph with wide DOF is very foreign to us, as it's far from our perception. What should we be looking at? What's the important part? It's simply not clear. Shallow DOF hence is easier to comprehend, brain friendly so to speak.

  4. #64
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Shallow DOF is NOT the way we see. The human eye lens aperture does not get wide enough. A 16mm still camera with a 18mm lens going from f2.8 to f16 would produce the range of DOF the human eye sees.

  5. #65
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    I didn't read the whole thread, but all my video guys are big on short DOF and pulling focus to show different emphasis in a movie.

    As far as I tell my eyes are always in focus as I look from from near to far. Our eyes are way better than any lens or technique.

  6. #66
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Shallow DOF is NOT the way we see. The human eye lens aperture does not get wide enough. A 16mm still camera with a 18mm lens going from f2.8 to f16 would produce the range of DOF the human eye sees.
    I think that it's not possible to compare the human eye to a lens, because humans fill in the gaps with imagination, emotion, and other brain activity. It also remembers, so if you study a face, and look at somebody's eyes, you will remember what they look like as you move on to the nose, lips, ears, cheeks, chin, forehead, etc. Even though we're focusing just on a single part of the face, our mind remembers the rest of it. It gets really funny when it's realized that we will remember differently based on how we relate to and feel about the object. Different people will also remember different things about it, and remember the same thing differently based on their experience as humans.

    Regardless of how the human eye sees, or whether that's compared to a lens and how it renders or not, one can search photographs online and by other photographers and see that a lot of photography is done today with wide open lenses. I'm not sure why that is, but I know more than a few photographers who insist on shooting that way. I try not to pay too much attention to it, and just look at their photographs and determine whether I think their pictures are any good or not.
    What bothers me about always shooting at f/1.4 is that the actual depth of field, as measured in distance, will vary based on focusing distance. f/1.4 at infinity could mean a very long distance of a scene is in focus, while a close-up portrait at the same aperture could give us a few millimeters. This is why I think it's stupid to not use the full range of apertures on a lens, because sometimes it's necessary to stop down to f/5.6 or f/8 to get all of the detail in somebody's face during a close-up portrait, and the depth of field will still be shallow.

    Sometimes I wonder if the whole concept was invented and secretly slipped into our diet by lens manufacturers that charge a premium for fast lenses today, like Leica. Just kidding, of course, but I'm a bit dumbfounded by the whole thing.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  7. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Shallow DOF is NOT the way we see. The human eye lens aperture does not get wide enough. A 16mm still camera with a 18mm lens going from f2.8 to f16 would produce the range of DOF the human eye sees.
    Please read what I've written throughly.

    Yes, the the picture drawn on the eye's retina by the lens is mostly in focus.

    At the same time, we have 50 cones per 100 micrometers in a very, very small region - only 1.5mm in diameter - called fovea.
    Around the fovea we have perifovea, with only 12 cones per 100 micrometers - 4 times decrease! Perifovea is a belt only 0.5mm thick around the fovea.
    4mm from the center of fovea we only have about 2 cones per 100 micrometers.

    Since retina is about 22mm in diameter, it's easily compared to 35mm film.
    Imagine a single frame with microfilm emulsion in the center, but only about 2mm in diameter. Around that you have a band of ISO50 fine grain emulsion, and then very quickly you have something with low resolution, maybe like delta 3200 in rodinal... and around that there's something you can hardly call emulsion anymore, forming just impressions of the picture drawn by the lens. That's your eye.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truzi View Post
    I agree. When someone tells me their new high-def TV makes it look like they are actually "there," I point out that they would never "see" things in that manner if they were actually there.
    We got a 50" HD TV earlier this year, we were watching the Isle of Wight Rock Festival and my wife said "it's so real, I can smell the toilets"
    Ben

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I agree. I only watch accidentally. TV gives me absolutely zero value.

    Whether what I see on the screen looks real or not is not even important.
    It's sad in a way because there is good programming available... after you have waded the morass of reality dreck, witless sitcoms, contentless news programs, and all the other garbage... and you pay serious money for your cable service around here (Time-Warner), roughly 50% more than auto insurance per year.
    I've been collecting DVDs lately, my most recent find was "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with Charles Laughton - in glorious black and white.

  10. #70
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    I think the trend started well over 10 years ago. There was an article in Photo District News on "The art of being blurry". The fashion photographer Mathew Ralston was one of the trend setters. Before then, a lot of photographer in the 80's wanted everything to be sharp. It's just a trend and I'm sure things will go sharp again sometime in the future.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

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