Really dumb ?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by bob_smith, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Howdy, I have just entered the digital camera world with an Olympus 5060. I do mostly
    portraiture with my medium format gear and will be doing the same with the Olympus. I
    know with a long telephoto on my Hassy, I get my preferred shallow depth of field, if I
    purchase the 1.7 telephoto lens, will I get the same effect? The lens as is gives almost
    adequate minimal DOF so I am assuming this is the case. I really don't have to re-learn
    DOF do I? Enlighten me please. Bob
  2. Going wide open at the telephoto settings will reduce DoF with the Oly 5060, and adding
    the telephoto extender will provide even shallower DoF. However, you will likely find that
    the distance to obtain the appropriate head/shoulders/torso portait framing at that focal
    length will be different between the Hassy and the Oly: your portraits will have a different
    look anyway due to perspective differences.

    No matter how you cut it, the Olympus 5060 is a small sensor camera with a 7.2x5.3mm
    sensor format where the Hasselblad is a 6x6 cm format camera. The relationship of DoF
    and Field of View is going to be different no matter what you do, and this will affect
    perspectives and aesthetics in your photographs.

    I'd suggest experimenting with portraits that don't rely upon shallow DoF for subject
    isolation, get a feel for some other visual tools that will net you fine portraits while
    exploiting the deep DoF characteristics of the small sensor format. You might find this fun
    and energizing to your photography.

  3. Thanks, I am assuming this is a DOF issue similar to 35mm vs 6X6, I went to MF for better
    B&W skin tones and small DOF. I haven't used 35mm for over 10 years, guess I have to use
    MF for the minimum DOF and digital for other shots. But then am learning photoshop so
    maybe there is something there too.
  4. ..."I am assuming this is a DOF issue similar to 35mm vs 6X6"...

    It is similar but even more extreme: the 5060 sensor format's 'normal' focal length is about 8mm, equivalent to an 80mm on the Hassy. One of the biggest influences on Depth of Field is the physical size of the aperture. The maximum physical aperture at f/2.8 with an 8mm lens is 2.9mm, where with an 80mm lens it's 29mm ... you can immediately see that with a physical aperture size difference of 10x, you will get hugely different DoF to FoV relationships. The Hassy with that 80mm normal lens would get the same DoF as the 5060 at around f/27 or so.

    If you want to explore the differences in DoF with various focal lengths, I find the DOFMaster web calculator very handy: see They provide settings for 35mm, 6x6cm and a host of digital camera sensor formats including the C5060.

  5. There are also some Photoshop tricks you can pull to fake the blurred background look. Take these images, for instance:

    This guy walks around Times Square with a Leica and a 21mm or some such superwide. In other words, DOF in spades. He uses gausian blur and some other tricks to blur out stuff and force the center of attention. Not the same photographic discipline, but it shows what's possible.

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