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  1. #1

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    Do you see a trend today in pursuing very thin depth of field

    Do you notice it too or just me. Reading posts in many photo forums, it seems that today there is a trend in very thin depth of field. A lot of people talking about it and make it a very important feature of their equipment. In the old days I think people tried to get more depth of field as I remember. Neither way is wrong but do you notice that there is a trend toward narrow depth of field today?

  2. #2
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    I notice that many people who have paid a small fortune for ultra fast lenses insist on using them wide open even in most unsuitable circumstances to ensure they.get their money's worth, I get sick of portraits shot with 85mm f1.2 lenses where only the sitters nose and eyes are in acceptable focus.
    Ben

  3. #3
    Andrew Moxom's Avatar
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    There is.... Especially portraits.
    Please check out my website www.amoxomphotography.com and APUG Portfolio .....

  4. #4
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Narrow DOF portraits are terrible with one eye in focus and the other not. People are caught up with the capabilities of the technology rather than the aesthetics of what they should produce. Head should all be in focus. Back in the old days, (am I really that old?), big fast lenses with large openings were often required because film was slow. Not so much a problem today with high ISO's. Also, the other advantage with large glass lens is that they transmit more light before the aperture closes down. That makes it easier to see the subject in reduced light and focus better (manually, of course back in the old days). With AF and now digital viewfinders, that's not necessary. But people are willing to spend whatever and shoot likewise because they think it makes them better photogs or at least more important. Me? I shoot landscape mainly so I like little openings for DOF. I also bracket because I don't trust myself. (Gosh I am getting old!)

  5. #5
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    Narrow DOF portraits are terrible with one eye in focus and the other not.
    I'll tell you what's worse, is one subject in focus and one not. Took a photo of one of my best mates from high school at his wedding, with his brother (the best man). Light was fading (sunset wedding outdoors), so I was shooting wide open. His brother was perfectly in focus, my friend wasn't. And that was 120/2.8 on 6x6. Good thing I was just there as a guest and not the official, I still haven't shown him the crappy result a year later...


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Klein View Post
    But people are willing to spend whatever and shoot likewise because they think it makes them better photogs or at least more important.
    Maybe you shouldn't read this. Good old Ken likes stirring controversy (purposeful or not, it just happens), with comments like this:

    "Today when every other amateur photographer is probably using the same camera (or better) than you are, one way to stand out and win more jobs is to master a lens like this and give your images something that weekend amateurs can't copy. "

    "Will this lens make you a pro? Of course not, but if you are a pro, it will help set your work apart from the weekenders who offer to do your job for free... Digital makes it far tougher to stay ahead of the pack who probably already use the same camera you do. It's not like 1970 when you, as a pro, had the Hasselblad no hobbyist did. This lens is one way today to regain your edge. "

    (except that I don't think many Pros really read KR reviews, so it's just really telling cashed-up amateurs to get this to stay ahead of other amateurs)
    Last edited by Dr Croubie; 11-24-2013 at 10:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

  6. #6
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    Yeah, those portraits with 90% of the face out of focus look weird to me. I guess it's like somebody buying a fast car, and deciding that since he's got it, he may as well drive fast.

  7. #7

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    it goes hand in hand with the wet plate + brass lens revivals
    im empty, good luck

  8. #8

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    Everything has it's purpose. Just like the trend of having everything as sharp as possible and as much detail as possible in everything.
    Different photos, different subjects, different vision... DOF is just a tool that can be used in many different ways. By the way, I do like narrow DOF, as long as it isolates the subject I'm interested in from clutter and unnecessary elements that I find distracting for that particular photo.

    I wish I could get a dollar for everytime someone says they would like to see more details in the shadows or have the photo sharper in certain place to see detail which didn't matter etc... The photo was intended to be certain way and if you don't like it, just move on.

  9. #9

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    i think it's a reaction (over?) to the point and shoot digital camera trend -- folks are so used to seeing everything, near and far, in sharp focus because p and s digital cameras are pinhole cameras, pretty much...or at least have the same DOF of a Minox camera.

    So when they see actual depth of field effects -- selective focus! -- they think it is something nifty and cool and want to do it more.

    So they do. I've even seen NY Times camera reviews refer to selective focus as a "professional" effect, as if it weren't something that everyone was able to do at one time.

    I like using it to shoot portraits with my Rollei and a Rolleinar #1 -- makes a nice effect.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
    darkosaric'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.
    I noticed this for last couple of years. On rare examples I find this nice, but most of the time not. I will stick to my good old nikkor 105/2,5 .

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