Canon Elan 7 and Depth of Field

Mattsw

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Hi everyone,

I am a newbie here. I have been enjoying photography for about a year now on a used Canon Rebel G that I bought. I have been going through the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, and have enjoyed being able to set my own shutter speed and f-stops. Most photos have turned out well. I am now to the point of learning about and wanting to do depth of field. The Canon Rebel G allows manual focus, but it appears that if I try depth of field that I am not allowed to manually set the shutter speed and f-stop, but rather the camera sets to do those automatically. The Peterson book references the ability to do Distance Settings. However, the Rebel G does not appear to have those.

I have found some Canon Elan 7 used cameras on Amazon. As far as I can tell, the Elan 7 will allow me to do Distance Settings while still having the freedom to set my shutter speed and f-stop manually. Does anyone know if that is actually the case? I would like to know for sure before I spend the money on an Elan 7.

Thank you for the advice,
Matthew
 

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On the Canon Rebel you would set the Command Dial to M ... manual exposure. This will allow you to set any shutter speed and aperture combination you want: http://www.cameramanuals.org/canon_pdf/canon_eos_rebel_g.pdf

Many "modern lenses" do not have DoF markings on them anymore
upload_2019-7-20_12-55-29.png

(some cameras have the ability to electronically communicate with the lens about distance and display it on LCD/viewfinder).

Some cameras have a DoF preview button ... which, when depressed, will stop down the aperture for you to view what it will look like.
 
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Derrel

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A few years ago I was reading one of the new Michael Freeman books about making great pictures. And he described depth of field in a way that I had never read about it before but I knew from experience. He basically broke down depth of field into different categories.

One good example would be when you want to make a picture showing near to far relationships: stop the lens down to F/16 or F/22. If you wish to isolate the subject from its environment use a wide Aperture such as F/4or f/2.8.

For general picture taking the aperture values of F/5.6,down to F/8, and perhaps even F//11 are very useful.

For extremely low light situations wide Aperture prime lenses are very useful such as the 28 mm F1.4, 35 mm F1.4, or 50 mm F1.4 or F1.8 lenses. At longer distances such as 15 to 25 feet, even F1.8 gives enough depth of field to make many pictures possible. On close-up subjects such as portraits using a wide aperture such as F1.8 means that the depth of field is fairly small, and not much will be in focus. Many times the tip of the nose might be out of focus but the eyes will be in focus and sharp, or one eye
will be sharp and the other eye will be slightly out of focus
 
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Derrel

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There should not be any problem with the Canon EOS Elan. It is known to be a really nice camera.
 
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Mattsw

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Thank you for the excellent responses. I have tried the f-stop at around f/16 and f/22, and I keep my camera on "M" all of the time. If I keep the f/stop high, and with appropriate shutter speed, will this get me depth of field? An example is a photo I took of my daughter on a roadside with my hometown in the valley background. She is in focus but the background is blurred. If I were to take photos similar to that, with high f/stop and appropriate shutter speed, and focus set to Manual, would I get both her and the town in good focus, or do I need a lens with a DoF setting? Or is it just that the Rebel G cannot accommodate a DoF meter?

If I could avoid buying a new camera, so much the better (although I did appreciate the verification above that the Elan 7 is a good camera).

Thank you,
Matthew
 

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About four years ago I think it was there was a weeklong discussion about depth of field. This discussion was held at the online photographer blog, which is run by Mike Johnston.

Depth of field is not fully understood by many people. It is not a really simple thing to understand, at least as far as nuance goes. I will tell you this though: the biggest way to get increased depth of field is to move farther from the subject. How close you are to the focused distance, which is usually the subject, is the single most important factor in depth of field-- not focal length, and not f-stop!

A good case in point is found when shooting at say 100 yards at F1.4: you'll have fairly deep depth of field! If, however, you focus the same lens let's say a 50 mm F1.4 at 5 feet at F 1.4 Your depth of field will be measured in inches. The same thing goes with an 85mm Lens, or a 200 mm lens, or even a 300 mm lens. If you wish to have shallow depth of field, shoot close up. For example with the lowly 18 to 55 mm kit zoom lens, you can get pretty shallow depth of field effects by shooting close-ups , Meaning at distances of less than 4 feet. If however you move your subject back to 15 feet, it is extremely hard to get shallow depth of field with a lens like an 18 to 55 mm kit zoom lens

This effect holds true no matter what kind of camera you use. However the size of the film or the digital camera sensor does play into The depth of field that you will get with various lenses. An example I have used for years: with a 1.6 X crop sensor digital single lens reflex, and an 85 mm lens, your picture of two people standing side-by-side at 35 feet is just exactly as tall as is the same lens shot on a full frame camera like a Canon 6D at precisely 20 feet. Both pictures will have a picture area about 8 1/2 feet tall. However because you were standing roughly 35 feet away with the crop frame camera, but only 20 feet away with the full frame camera, there will be less depth of field with the full frame camera, and things in the background Will appear less recognizable with a full frame camera compared to the crop frame camera.
 

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If you want deep depth of field, you need to learn about the hyperfocal distance. This is the distance at which you can focus,and get the maximum amount in-focus from Near,to infinity. The smaller the sensor or film, the easier it is to pick a hyperfocal distance that is within reason in most modern shooting environments. What I mean is a real indoor distance, or a backyard distance, and not some astronomical distance like 2000 feet or so.
 

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If you would like to get a photograph of your daughter in good clear sharp focus, and your hometown valley behind her in clear focus,then do not position her closer to you than say 15 feet. If she is close to you,and the background is a great distance behind her, it is very likely that you will not be able to get sufficient depth of field with your camera and lens.
 

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Again I will reiterate this for you. If you want shallow depth of field shoot at close distances. If you want more depth of field, shoot from farther away. If you want really deep depth of field, then shoot at the longest possible distance.

Many people seem to think that aperture or focal length are the two most important determinants of depth of field, But this is not entirely accurate. For example, with a 300 mm lens focused at 900 yards, there is a pretty extensive band of depth of field that goes clear out to the moon. Roughly 200,000 miles of depth of field. But with the same 300 mm lens focused at 15 feet there is a relatively small amount in sharp clear focus.

Look into the hyperfocal distance, and do some online research. Some of the best and most clear writing on the subject of depth of field like I said was done over a week's time on The Online Photographer blog. Another really good writer Is a fellow named Bob Atkins. There are literally thousands of YouTube videos and online articles that dole out half-truths and misconceptions about depth of field. Take it from me, if you read the week long discussion about depth of field at The Online Photographer blog from several years ago you will gain an incredible amount of insight into ways to achieve both limited and shallow depth of field using whatever lens and camera you would like
 
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Mattsw

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Thanks again for the replies. I found The Online Photographer's Blog and the several threads for DoF. Very interesting reading. I do not understand everything that I am reading, but I am comprehending much of it though.

One quick question to button up a point above that I had not considered: is the setting for the 1 to infinity meter on the camera or is it part of the lens that is detachable from the camera?

Thanks,
Matthew
 

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Depth of field scales go with the lens. Each lens length has its own depth of field scale. As we have moved in to the auto focus era, depth of field scales on lenses have become less comprehensive, or have been almost entirely eliminated, compared to lenses that were intended for Manual focus use.
 

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