DOF Preview Button


TPF Noob!
Jun 25, 2007
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New York City
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I have another question real quick:

Can someone please explain to me how to use the Depth of Field preview button? I see that it gets much darker, but what am I able to see in that darkness?

When you press that button, the iris closes down to the aperture you've selected to give you a preview of what your shot will look like at that aperture. The camera normally leaves the lens wide open so you'll have a bright viewfinder for framing.
Whenever you are looking through the viewfinder, the lens is at full wide aperture. This allows for easier view and focus. The lens is only stopped down at the time you press the shutter button and an exposure is taken.

On the other hand, full wide aperture also means that you are seeing a shallower Depth of Field than when the lens is stopped down for exposure. So the DOF preview button manually stops down the lens so you can see what the actual Depth of Field is at the time the an exposure is taken by the camera.
It's exactly what it says it is. If you look really closely and you're using a large aperture lens, you can tell how the depth of field will change between framing your shot and when the actual photo is taken. This is a hold over from the film days when you didn't have image review capability. Nowadays just look at your LCD for the image review and if you don't like it, delete it and re-shoot. I wish the DOF preview button on my D80 was replaced by a 2nd function button. I could really use two of those but don't have much use at all for a DOF preview button.
When you have a speedlite it also does a modelling you know what's going to happen.
I feel like I can't see a thing unless I'm in a completely dark room when I press the button.

Sideburns, can you explain what you said about the flash a little further? Thank you!
LeavingOhio--LOVE your photo.
DOF Preview Button is useless. It's too dark to really get a sense of what most shots will look like.
I think it is a matter of training yourself to see through the darkening and pay attention to the nature of the DOF, so like anything a bit of practice is in order.

Nowadays just look at your LCD for the image review and if you don't like it, delete it and re-shoot.
It's still faster/easier to just push the button. I actually do use mine sometimes, when the DOF has to be 'just right'. Checking the LCD after every shot is much more of a pain in the ass to me.

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