The f-stop. Large f-numbers (f8, f11, f16, etc.) generate greater depth
of field than do smaller f-numbers (1.8, f2, f4).
Perhaps the best example of the use of this is a picture where the background
is blurred while the foreground is rendered perfectly sharp. This would be made with
the aperture set at f2. With shallow depth of field only the focused subject is sharp.
Another excellent example is the photo that is perfectly sharp from ten or twelve inches
to infinity. This is accomplished by setting the aperture to f16, or f32.
The depth of field on a wide angle lens at this aperture can be from one foot
Here are some photos taken with a 35mm Nikon camera fitted with a 150mm Zeiss
lens made for the Hasselblad Camera and attracted to the Nikon with a Spiratone
Remember, what we are talking
here about a zone of acceptable
sharpness. That's important. The camera lens is always focused on the subject, in front
of and behind the subject the focus becomes less sharp. This loss of
sharpness is gradual, fading into blur.
Can you see depth of field before taking the picture?
Yes you can.
To actually see the depth of field change as you look through the
camera you need to stop down the lens.
To do this use the depth of field
The depth of field preview button exists because the camera is designed to keep the
aperture wide open until the picture is taken. In this way you always have a bright
viewfinder to focus and frame the subject. To actually see the depth of field you must
stop the lens down to the aperture that you will make the exposure at. Hence, the depth
of field button preview button.
NOTE: When you Press the depth of field preview button the image
in the viewfinder will become dark at small apertures. that is normal because
you restrict the light into the camera at small apertures.
You may have trouble seeing the depth of field at small apertures initially. With practice
you will do just fine.
This is a skill well worth the time it takes you to master. So, take you time and
get this skill in your bag of tricks. It will take your photography to new heights.
Soon, you will use this technique when you begin creating pictures before you take
Go take pictures. Use Depth of Field, see it, understand it. Make it part of your
photographic toolbox. You will never be sorry. Know this short chapter and the camera
becomes an extension of your mind, of your intellect. Of you.