Completely Focused Landscapes - no matter what the distance! How??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by ashfordphoto, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. ashfordphoto

    ashfordphoto TPF Noob!

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    Okay, so I love love love Ansel Adams and I'm looking at his work and see that in a ton of the shots I love - the full frame is entirely in focus, no matter what the distance is. The mountain could be a mile a way and be just as in focus as the ground in the foreground.

    How how? Is it the lens? The style of camera? The exposure? If it's possible, I'd like to try and duplicate that focus - but I don't know where to start.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    I just guess that simply large DOF due to looong exposures??
     
  3. firemedic0135

    firemedic0135 TPF Noob!

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    F/64
     
  4. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    long exposures which obviously imply miiiinimun apertures ;)
     
  5. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    " Another creative use of depth of field is to use a shallow depth of field when taking a portrait if you're in a less-than-ideal setting. Tightly focus on the subject's face and open up your aperture to blur that city street or whatever is in the background and you'll have a portrait that jumps out at you. Finally, don't take this to mean that stopping down your aperture and throwing your focus on infinity will give you a completely in-focus landscape photograph. We've talked about shallow depth of field, but when you want deep depth of field in a landscape image, you should use something called "hyperfocal distance". If you go back and refer to the lake image used earlier in the lesson where I noted the rocks in the foreground, that sharp focus throughout the image was achieved using this method. It's the best way to assure your foreground is tack sharp as well as the rest of the photo.

    First, you need a lens with a depth-of-field scale imprinted on it. A lot of lenses don't have this on them, so if you're selecting a lens to buy, this is a good thing to look for. It's a bunch of numbers written on the lens that coincide with the apertures on the lens. Each number is printed twice - once on the left of the center position, once on the right.

    If your lens has apertures running from f/2.8 through f/32, you will see a "2.8" written in the center and a "32" printed way to the left and then again way to the right. I know, you're saying, "Man, all those little numbers look so CONFUSING! What the heck am I supposed to do with those?" It's not as hard as it looks, and I promise you'll be happy you learned this. This is what you do:
    Set your lens to its smallest possible aperture. That's f/32 on the fictional camera I'm talking about, so we'll stick with that. So now find the "32" markings on the depth-of-field scale on the lens. Got Ôem? Okay, now instead of the normal procedure of positioning the infinity distance mark at the center, position the infinity symbol above the "32" mark on the right. Now you are now focusing most sharply on a distance of somewhere around ten feet or so, but infinity is just within your depth of field, also sharp. Okay, now look at the left-hand marking that says "32" and it will tell you at what distance your depth of field starts - from about three or four feet out all the way to infinity."

    Taken from: http://www.morguefile.com/archive/classroom.php?lesson=3&MORGUEFILE=i55680t0h2bl8u1m2hd27q2rf0

    Also heres a snapshot of a lens with the DOF scale if you dont have one: http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b172/sik66/100_3322.jpg
     
  6. ashfordphoto

    ashfordphoto TPF Noob!

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    wow streetshark - thanks for that great info. So basically, I need to find a lens with a small enough aperture?
     
  7. StreetShark

    StreetShark TPF Noob!

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    Don't thank me, Thank the person who wrote that course.
     
  8. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    yes, that's the basic procedure to use DOF. A shame that most "modern" AF lenses don't have those things anymore. But for all of us who learned with older MF cameras, that was the typical procedure to calculate DOF. You end up focusing something that you have no interest on at all! ;) But then, when stoping down to check DOF, you see that it was exactly like those guides promised! :D

    ...and then we come back to the eternal question: do newer cameras allow to learn photography as well as older ones? My answer has always been: no. Take an old MF camera, fully manual, and you'll learn photography the way it has to be learnt. ONLY when you really know how the camera functions, can you let the camera automatically do the job for you
     
  9. panocho

    panocho TPF Noob!

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    Almost any lens will have a small enough aperture. f22 is a typical one, and will work just fine with most situations

    keep in mind, though, that you will not always be able to have everything in focus. If, for example, something is very close from the lens, DOF might not focus it. But in landscapes that's not a typical problem. the object would have to be VERY close to the lens not to be focused at f22/32

    and finally, I don't think you can find f64 in 35mm cameras. but again, f32 should be enough
     
  10. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Large Format Cameras with tilts front and back. Extremely slow speed film and tiny apertures that only come with large format lenses. Learn about hyper-focal lengths. Then develop and print your own photos. Ansel had 5 books on learning photography where he spelled everything that he did out. They are relevant still.

    mike
     
  11. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you wish to attempt to duplicate Adams' great b&w prints, you'll have to become familiar with the equipment and techniques he used. Happily, as noted above, he wrote it all down. It's far too much information for me to begin to provide here.

    If, on the other hand, you simply wish to take landscapes in which all objects are equally in focus, the path is far easier. First, learn what DOF is and learn its relationship to aperture and lens focal length. You can then work backward to see if your lens [or lenses] can provide what you want. If not, you'll know just what to add to your gear. There is simply no real substitute for understanding this relationship in depth, if you'll excuse the play on words.

    If you're a real 'newbee' to the relationship of aperture, shutter speed and DOF, you might start here:

    http://www.thephotoforum.com/node/36
     

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