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How to get a shallow depth of field

cageyman (Steve's Digicam, Panasonic forum, 29 April 2005)...

I've found that the DoF {depth of field} is a function of your aperture and your focal length (zoom). I've gotten my best DoF results when I'm far enough away to zoom in {i.e. use increased focal length} somewhat and use the biggest aperture (smallest f-stop, preferably f2.8) I can.

Online depth of field calculator is a good site for computing your DoF. Our cameras are listed -- our circle of confusion is 0.005, and our real focal lenghts range from 6mm to 72 mm (1x to 12x).
squirl033 (Steve's Digica, Panasonic forum, 29 April 2005)...

normally, using a wide-open aperture (f2.8 will get you minimum DOF {depth of field} with the FZ20. sometimes, though, even that's not enough. if you're shooting macro shots, and want a very shallow depth of field, consider getting an adapter ([*]) and a close-up lens ([*]). you'll get increased magnification, plus the ability to use the full zoom range and focus from 12-14 (about one foot, or 30 centimetres) away instead of right on top of your subject (plus you get better lighting, and there's no shadow from the lens hovering over the subject). it'll also give you a very shallow DOF. i have a Phayee adapter ($22.50 US, plus $6.50 S&H from Rong Jin at rongjin@phayee.com), and a 62mm Nikon 6T close-up lens.
See also the section about getting a `fake shallow depth of field' through post-processing [*].


next up previous index Link to 'photography' page
Next: Manual focusing at close Up: Manual focussing Previous: Why is the depth-of-field   Index
David Fong 2009-09-04