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Re: Determining DOF with Canon (and other) AF lenses...
Old 01-09-2005, 03:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Depends on the Camera. My Canon 20D has a DOF preview button....Or just get one of the DOF tables

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I'm very familiar with preview buttons as my old Minolta X-700, my Canon A2 and both the Digital Rebel & D30 I've borrowed from time to time have a preview button or function. The problem I have with that is viewing the result through the viewfinder especially when the aperture closes down (?) to show the DOF...image gets so dark as it's difficult to see.

The old lens technology at least gave you somewhat of an indication by checking the markings on the lens itself.

One would think that, given today's autofocus lenses and fairly powerful computing mechanisms in the cameras, you should be able to see what you are going to get as written information in the viewfinder by pressing the release halfway. If the manufacturers can indicate aperture and speed (and other information) there in the base of the viewfinder, surely they can also compute the DOF of a given focal length (obtained via AF) and display that also...before you commit to the shot and fully depress the shutter release? Should be a no-brainer.

I've come across one guy's attempt at providing a DOF guide that can be printed on card stock to take with you. It probably works but I feel you need a manual to figure out how to use the blessed scale.

I guess the only other option is to practice, practice, practice and learn to intuatively know that for a given lens at a given aperture/speed and focal length at a given distance from the subject you are looking at a DOF from 'X' to 'Y' distance. Luckily Digital technology allows for a lot of practice relatively inexpensively...but one still needs to document the parameters of any given shot and then remember the results.

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