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DOF in the ESystem ex&les vs others

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi

I would be interested in your experience about the depth of field (DOF) of the E-System lenses in real life situation, especially compared to analog photography and/or DSLRs with 1.6 crop factor

I am a fan of using DOF for my type of photography. I know that the DOF will be bigger with the E-System. But I would like to know, wehther this was in your type of photography (ex&les?) a problem or not.

I use mainly lenses in the range between 25mm up to 135mm. Very seldom more tele. So I would be interested in ex&les of the lens range 25-135mm.

If some of you could upload some photos in this therad with a note which lens & aperture & distance to the object, this would help a lot in evaluating it. I am sure many users would be interested in these comparisons

Thanks in advance
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
I believe this is a relatively easy one, Dirk: the DOF is the DOF for the "real" focal length of the lens. That means that when you set the 14-54 at 14 on the E-1, while you may think of that as a 28, and expect the depth of field of a 28, you will be shooting with a "28" with the DOF of a 14 mm lens. The 50 f2 - with its 2x focal length of 100 - gives you the crop of a 100 f2 with the DOF of a 50 f2. So if you really want to isolate subjects reasonably well, I'd suggest the 35-100 f 2 zoom, which will give you the crop of a 200, and the DOF of a 100 f2, which is pretty shallow. Or, of course, you can shoot with the 50 1.2 - 100 mm crop, 50 1.2 dof, or the 50 1.4
 

dirk

CI-Founder
Hi Bdcolen,

thanks for your quick reply. I just try to imagine whether I ike the idea to be forced to use a lot longer lenses (although they are lighter then their counter parts at Canon or Nikon) to be able to use teh same shallow DOF I am used to get with more wideangle.

If I use a tele insteaqd of a normal standard lens, not only the DOF is affevted, also the perception foreground/background. So I would imagine, the picture looks very different although the DOF might be the same. Also in the wideangle area, it is more difficult (and more expensive) to design a 11mm lens to have a 22mm (in "35mm life"), than to design "just" a 22mm lens. Even more if it dahll be somthing like a 35/1.4 in the nalogue time.

This is my problem: It is easy to exchange a lens to get a similar DOF, but other factors are changing at the same time too (imagewise and pricewise).

So IMHO, I would either change my habit in using lenses to get the same DOF (i.e. closer to the object, which has downsides too) or I have to live with a different image and alos different DOF.

The tele lens range is not my problem. My problem are the wideangles. As fart as I can see it, images like with a 35/1.4 would not be possible anymore with the same DOF and same "image characteristics".

Did you experienced the same in your "E-System History"?
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
Absolutely. As a Leica M shooter I primarily used the 35 1.4 and 28 f2 as my 'standard' lenses, and always shot as close to wide open as possible. I still shot as close to wide open as possible, but just have to deal with the fact that I'm not going to be able to isolate subjects in the same way. But the reality is that while this problem is more extreme with the 2x of the 4/3 sensor, is exists in every digital format except for the 35 mm full frame of the Canon 5D and EOS full frame.

Oddly enough, it hasn't been as much of an issue as I would have expected - I think I've simply adapted my style to work within the constraints of the system.
 

dirk

CI-Founder
"...Oddly enough, it hasn't been as much of an issue as I would have expected - I think I've simply adapted my style to work within the constraints of the system..."

This is exactly my concern. But maybe I think too much about it and in "real life situations" it turn out to be unimportant as soon as someone adapts to it, as you said.

Unfortunately thare is the choice on the market of fullframe (Canon, soon Nikon and Sony), 1.6 crop factor and 4/3 (2x crop factor). Since Olympus is a new system, every costumer has to buy everything new. So it is fair to compare this investment with a totally new investment in any other brand.

And this is why I hesitate (unfortunately). And I am convinved this is a major "blokker" for many potential costumers regarding the 4/3 system.

They do not know, whether the constraints of the system are really important in real life or not. So they prefer to choose an "already known" system with its constraints. Although every system has constraints - in "analogue time" too. But "perceiption is reality" and it does not count what is true or not, only what the user thinks is true or not ;)

Maybe I have to rent an E-3 or so as soon as it comes out with some lenses and give it a try. But it relaxes me to hear from you, that these restrictions, have not been a big issue for yourself. This gives me hope that it is more a theoretical "barrier" than a real or significant disadvantage in real life shootings.

Is it safe to say that vignetting and distortion are neglectable with the new Oly lenses in real life sitiations (not test charts) when "adapting" the disadvantage of the 2x crop factor with going "wider" & "closer" to get a simlar image?
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
Let's consider a few things...First, digital is a whole new world. It requires some different ways of thinking, of approaching photography, of shooting. So what? Were you planning on remaining artistically static for life? Yes, I wish Olympus would come out with 12, 14, 17, and 25 1.4 lenses, because they would allow me to much better isolate subjects, to say nothing of shooting in low light. But do you know what the lack of fast primes has forced me to finally do after more than 45 years of shooting - learn to master flash. Sure, there are some times and places where it just isn't appropriate to use it. But I've come around to the Eugene Smith philosophy that "available light is whatever light is available." ;-)

I have to say that I don't quite understand your feeling badly about not thinking the E system is for you. Either it is or it isn't. You were, I gather, an OM person, not because you owned stock in Olympus, but because the OMs were, for you, the best tools available. Well, approach each tool on its own terms, because that's all cameras are - tools. I know that my friends on the Leica list have come to consider me a "Leica basher" and worse because I don't oggle and drool over everything the company does, and because I consider their forays into digital a joke. Well, I have no loyalty to a German corporation called Leica. Instead, I will say that the M6 was, for me, the ideal tool for creating images using lenses in the 21-50mm range. Period. Be loyal to yourself and your photographic needs. If you need a beautifully constructed, ideally balanced, relatively small, ridiculously quiet DSLR with a reasonable range of well constructed, reasonably fast zooms and a few world-class fast lenses, the E-1 is for you - as long as you don't want the kind of plastic/creamy images the Canon DSLRs produce, because the E1 doesn't produce them. But if you need a 35 mm size sensor, go somewhere else and don't hold your breath waiting for Olympus to give it to you.

:) -Not meant to sound rude, hectoring, or in any other way belligerent, which it probably does. :)
 

dirk

CI-Founder
.. do not worry. Sometimes it is better to say something more direct to make it clear than not to be "on the same planet"
 

zuikoholic

Active Member
> If I use a tele insteaqd of a normal standard lens, > not only the DOF > is affevted, also the perception > foreground/background.

The best way around this IMO is for Oly to produce brighter lenses, say f/1, or brighter if they can manage it. The 4/3 system is noted for its compact size. Perhaps they could make lenses of "Normal" size but brighter. Sure, these would start out frightfully expensive, but prices should fall over time, as happened with Canon's FF digital.

This would allow conventional DOF with the conventionally associated field-of-view. I think they could do this, but the big question is Will they do this? Likely, it is a marketing question more than anything, and so may never happen.

Note that I'm not suggesting that those who like the current DOF characteristics of 4/3 must lose this - presumably, their lenses would still be on sale, and in any case, they can always stop-down
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
There's a real danger in being a "zuikoholic," or a "leicaholic," or any kind of "holic," and that is that the disease causes one to lose touch with reality. Olympus is now in a 'do or die' position with its digital pro line - either the new E1 really knocks people's socks off, or they're dead. Based on the current prices, I'd guess that they're having trouble giving the E-1 away - which is sad, because it's a terrific camera. The last thing they should be worrying about is producing lenses of "f1 or faster" that are priced so high that people will wait years for them to drop in price; that's a sure route to bankrupcy court. The reality is that most people have little interest in lenses faster than f 2.8 - and most people either shoot outdoors, and want great depth of field, or shoot indoors with flash. So producing a group of hyperfast primes wouldn't appeal to enough people to pay for development. (I'd be curious to know how many 55 1.2s they sold over the years v how many 50 1.4s and 50 1.8s ;-) )
 

zuikoholic

Active Member
My comment about f/1 or faster is to do with the DOF question (which was what the O.P. asked about). If people are happy with 4/3 the way it is then that's quite fine too. I have my FF 5D so I don't need to buy into the 4/3 system and try to force a change just because I prefer to have less DOF. I meant only to have them as an alternative lens line-up, not to replace the existing line-up.

I realise that economically it's just not going to happen, but that's OK too.
 

bdcolen

Well-Known Member
I, too, would like greater control over depth of field - but not enough to go to the larger, noisier, not as well built, polyester-smooth-image-producing Canons. ;-)
 
Is there any chance that the whole depth of field issue could become mute is someone makes a plugin for Photoshop that can duplicate that will take care of this. Does anyone know Photoshop and computers well enougth to say if this is a real possability or not?

Adam
 
W

walrichard

> [It is quite possible to create shallow DOF in Photoshop. You make a > duplicate of the background layer, select the part you want out of > focus on the top layer, (using the pen tool and/or the Extract filter, > delete it to see the bottom layer, and Gaussian blur the bottom layer > to the effect you need. Finally collapse layers to save the image. > (It is a good idea to keep the layers as a copy until all is OK'ed.). > It is a lot of work though compared to taking the shot, so for > specific photos that you are taking seriously.]
 
Thx Richard. Far too much work for me who generally likes to shoot a good 80% of my subjects with minimum depth of field on bright lenses BUT as you have explained it is possible. My hope would be that in time this will become as easy as a pre defined filter that I could apply to all pictures I took to give me the look I was after (or used to).

While on the topic of Photoshop, are there filters available that will duplicate the look of particular types of film (B&W Grain, or Ilford XP2 grainless dye, Kodak NC etc?)

Adam
 
W

walrichard

> [There is a filter in Photoshop called Blur>lens blur which appears to > have a dof amount, but I have yet to work out how best to use it. You > can introduce as much 'noise' as you like to replicate grain. There > are people who make all sorts of filters for Photoshop users, but I > have not come across what you describe. Use the channel mixer > monochrome to convert to black and white. > ]
 
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