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crisp quality without shallow DOF??

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Chris Barnes
crisp quality without shallow DOF??
on Jan 5, 2012 at 3:40:09 am

I shoot on a t2i and am seeing good quality with my interviews and B-reel stuff, but I have to shoot at F6+ in order to have a shot at keeping the riders in focus. (I shoot motocross clips, but not full on race coverage. Just mix clips and highlights)I am at the point were I feel like I need to splurge for the L series lenses (currently shoot allot with the 75-300 zoom and 50mm 1.8)so my question is this:

Am I really gonna benefit from these expensive lenses? I wanna be able to take advantage of the killer DOF 50% of the time, but what I really need is to get the crisp clean footage without the shallow DOF for the remainder.

Can I get clean quality footage without the shallow DOF?


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Owen Wexler
Re: crisp quality without shallow DOF??
on Jan 5, 2012 at 11:57:51 am

Shooting with a wide lens (or a fully zoomed out zoom lens) and keeping the aperture closed are the two best ways to get deep DOF with a DSLR. For what you are doing a wide lens is a good investment.

Cinematographer - Editor - Motion Graphics Artist - Colorist

http://www.owenbwexler.com


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Chris Barnes
Re: crisp quality without shallow DOF??
on Jan 5, 2012 at 8:42:09 pm

But can I get a good quality video with a deep DOF? Seems like shooting wide open gains better results as far as clarity, not just shallow DOF. So if I was too buy a lens that I want to perform well in the 70-80mm range or close and most of my shooting will be at F8+, what lens would you recommend?


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Steve Crow
Re: crisp quality without shallow DOF??
on Jan 6, 2012 at 1:14:46 am

If by "clarity" you mean sharpness...you don't need L glass. First of all, most us create custom picture profiles where we actually turn sharpness way DOWN...sharpness, while great for still photographs, tends to make video look like, well...video. By which I mean the kind of video you might see filming with a typical Mini-DV type camcorder where everything is in focus and sharp. If you want sharpness I guess you could into the same menu and turn that setting up.

Also, video is actually pretty low resolution, even HD video is technically less than 2K resolution and any standard Canon lens can handle that.

Just my thoughts on the matter.


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Owen Wexler
Re: crisp quality without shallow DOF??
on Jan 6, 2012 at 11:13:02 pm

Deep DOF doesn't necessarily mean lack of quality. Look at Citizen Kane and all the great deep focus movies of the 1950's for example. Shallow DOF is aesthetically pleasing and is a very useful tool but it is not the be all end all for all situations (especially footage with fast-moving subjects). Getting a decent prime lens is important for the best quality. Canon 85mm EF glass is good on a budget and I've heard good things about the 85mm Rokinon as well. I still think a wide lens (24mm or so) is best for what you are doing. At 70-80mm there is always going to be some shallow focus even at F8 which makes shooting fast moving subjects tricky. Having a 24mm for the action shots and a 85mm for portrait shots and interviews is best for your situation. Steve is right about turning down the sharpness, that will make what you are shooting look more film-like.

Cinematographer - Editor - Motion Graphics Artist - Colorist

http://www.owenbwexler.com


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Andrew Somers
Re: crisp quality without shallow DOF??
on Jan 17, 2012 at 11:42:43 pm

DOF is a function of the max circle of confusion of the final image *as viewed*, and is affected by aperture size relative to the focal length and the camera's distance from the subject.

It is also *limited* by diffraction, and as you make the aperture smaller, diffraction limiting comes into play - especially apertures smaller than f11 to f16.

If you need large DOF, used a wider focal length, and keep the subject farther from camera - for max DOF, set focus to the "hyperfocal" length, and keep the subject in the hyper focal area.

For instance, on a 35mm lens, at f8, set the focus to about 20', and everything from 10' to infinity will be in focus.



None of this is why you want pro glass like a Canon L series, or Nikon pro glass - high end lenses will give you better bokeh, better edge to edge performance, etc etc. Of course, high end lenses will also tend to be able to work at larger apertures, which will allow you to make the DOF very narrow and selective. But you can stop them down for large DOF, just as you can with lesser lenses.


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