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Thread: How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

  1. #1

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    I was baffled by a situation today in which my subject was a vertical close-up o f a dense bank of reeds. The bank of reeds began about a foot from the lens and extended away from the lens to about 15 feet. My intention was to create a str ong, powerful feeling yet was unable to do this because of inadequate DOF. No m atter what aperture or movements I used I could not retain sharpness front to ba ck. I've never encountered a DOF problem as severe as this. My question is wha t could I have done to correct this? (I was using a 4x5 monorail with all movem ents available and a 135mm WF Ektar. I would have liked to use a longer lens but I neglected to bring my other lenses with me)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 1998

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    About all you could do is to use the smallest aperture possible. If your lens wo uldn't stop down far enough you could make a stop by drilling a smaller hole in a lenscap but at some point you'd get so much diffraction it'd be as if you were using a pinhole camera.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    Perhaps you could have moved back (i.e. increased your distance from the front of the bank) to increase depth of field, then cropped the image to include only the portion that you wanted.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 1998

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    A longer lens would certainly not have helped. Use a shorter lens, I'd say. And did you swing your front (top forward in case you faced the bank)?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Mar 1998
    Anchorage, AK

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    The large format camera is not the best solution for all compositions. In situations such as the one you describe, dropping back to 35 mm may be the only way to make the photograph. I personally believe that the camera is only a tool, and you use the appropriate tool for each task.


  6. #6

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    Listen to Ellis. That's the only way to do it. You're using 4x5. Plenty of enlargability. Move back. Crop it in the printing stage. 35mm? Where's the advantage? f16 or maybe f22? Listen to Ellis. He knows. But I don't see why you can't get sharpness at those distances. you must have an older shutter that only goes to f32. f45 or f64 should have gotten you there. Are you focusing halfway into the scene? That should do it. Could you get higher and then shoot down a little. Then you could use some tilt. Interesting. Let me know what you come up with. James

  7. #7

    How can I get lots of DOF in this subject?

    Thanks everyone for your insights!

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