What are some nice close-ups

Depth of field or depth of field for close-ups

How do we succeed in photos in which the subject is sharp, but the background is nicely blurred? To do this, we have to deal with the depth of field or depth of field.

The depth of field is the area of ​​spatial depth in which objects in front of the camera are sharply imaged. The depth of field increases with the stopping down of a lens, see image examples on the right and also my article Aperture and depth of field.

Is depth of field the same as depth of field? - Refugees may rightly object that a nature photographer ’is something different from the nature of a photographer’. Because in a compound word, the second word denotes the topic that is specified in more detail by the first word. But in common parlance, the terms depth of field and depth of field are often used for the same phenomenon, which makes sense, because whether it is the depth of focus in a subject or the depth of focus, it ultimately comes down to the same thing. More details e.g. on this website. I use the two terms here equally.

Down to business. The closer you get to an object with a camera, the smaller the depth of field, i.e. the area in focus. A shallow depth of field also means that three-dimensional objects can no longer be fully focused. Stopping down helps only to a limited extent, on the one hand, because even with strong stop-off, the focus area still remains very small, and on the other hand, because longer and longer exposure times are then required. A tripod or external light sources, e.g. flash units, can help with stationary objects. That is, the closer the photographer gets to the subject, the more effort he has to make if he wants to have a greater depth of field. And that's what you often want, e.g. if you want to take a sharp picture of a single blossom.

But stop! On the other hand, isn't the shallow depth of field just what we need if we want to create the beautiful blurry backgrounds? - Exactly! - So do we just get as close as possible and tear open the bezel? - In principle yes, but there are still a few factors to consider.

E.g. the focal length, see picture examples, but also the sensor size of the camera used.

Examples of depth of field and aperture at close range

Fig. 1 shows an image with a 50 mm focal length KB equivalent (it was actually a m.Zuiko 25 mm on an Olympus OM-D E-M1). The aperture is quite wide at 2.8, and the depth of field is correspondingly small.

In Fig. 2 the same lens is stopped down to aperture 8. The depth of field is significantly larger.

Fig. 3 was shot with a 120 mm focal length 35 mm equivalent (with Zuiko Macro 2.8 60 mm), from the same shooting distance, with an aperture of 2.8. As a result, the angle of view is smaller, we are 'closer', and the depth of field is significantly less than in Fig. 1 with the 50 mm focal length.

In Fig. 4 the same focal length has been stopped down to aperture 8, the depth of field is slightly larger.

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Last update: August 15, 2018 - © Garten-pur GbR