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  1. #1
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    the DOF preview button

    i don't use this very much. do you guys use it and if so can you give me some situations where it helped you and how you used it ?

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  2. #2
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    Most people do not use it often. It comes in handy when depth of field actually matters. In macro photography which has a natural shallow depth of field, it can come in handy to check just what actually sort of is still in focus.
    But in normal snap shots, out doors scenery and such it does not have that much use.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

  3. #3
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    Ive used it just to see what it does and for me, it didnt do anything. Maybe I am doing something wrong but but it just emits a strobe flash onto the subject. I couldnt see any diffference in DOF with the button pressed, it looked just like it does when I dont press it.

    Glad you brought this up Rooz, I have been thinking about starting a thread the past few days
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcon View Post
    I couldnt see any diffference in DOF with the button pressed, it looked just like it does when I dont press it.
    The camera always uses the widest aperture while you're composing the shot using the viewfinder. If you also have the camera set to use the widest aperture for the shot, hitting the DOF button won't do anything useful. As mentioned, the DOF button can be useful if you're using a smaller aperture for the shot (as is generally the case with macro shots).

    To see the difference, put the camera in "A" mode and set the aperture to the highest number (smallest opening). Now hit the DOF button and you should see quite a difference. The first thing you'll notice is that the viewfinder gets very dim (which is why you want to compose using a wide open aperture). You should also see that more of the shot is in focus, given that a smaller aperture allows for a greater DOF.

    Rob

  5. #5
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    rob can you pls expand on that. does it have to be a macro lens to get the use out of it ? i used f1.8 and hit the DOF button and i know the cam is doing something cos i can hear it but i can;t tell for the life of me what the hell it is. i did notice the focus point changed somewhat...maybe thats cos i slightly moved the cam as i was pressing the button though.
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  6. #6
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    rooz, try the following,

    use f/1.8 and frame a pic and focus on something in the middle such that you get shallow depth of field. make sure you can see some thing in the foreground and it should be blur, the background should also be blur., except the subject you focus on. now, if you press the depth of field button, you'll see exactly the same thing, cos the aperture "shuts down" to f/1.8, which is also the widest and what you see thru the viewfinder when composing the pic.

    now crank it up to f/22 for the exact same composition. nothing should change in your viewfinder yet, since the aperture is still at f/1.8.. But u know that f 22 will give you larger depth of field, rendering the foreground and background sharper. try pressing down the depth of field now... everything now turns dark, since the aperture had "shut down" to f/22, ie less light coming thru... it might be too dark to see, but you should see that the foreground and background is rendered sharper, like what you would get in the image after u take the pic.

    Thats why is called a DOF preview, it lets you see your DOF before taking the pic, so you know exactly what DOF you'll get/..

    hope this was clear..
    Nikon D80
    Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D-AF
    Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO DG Macro
    ML-L3, Hoya HMC UV (52mm), Sigma EX UV (58mm)

  7. #7
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    Related question

    Nicely explained guys it was a feature I used to use all the time when I had a film slr many moons ago. I've missed it with my digi P&S lately although as the DOF is wider with them they've not been too bad.

    Can I ask a related question do all the new dslr's have the DOF preview button? or are there any of them to watch out for that have left this function off to keep the price down?
    Around every picture there's a corner & round every corner there's a picture
    - the fun's in finding them

  8. #8
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    They all do NOT have the DOF button. As far as I know all the lower end models dont, although I could be wrong. I know the D50 does not.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  9. #9
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    great explanation lightinsky. now i see something happening. thanks !
    but tell me...what would be the point of doing that with digital ? why not take the photo, if its too dark then retake it. isn;t it quicker to just take a shitload of photos at difference ap rather than fiddling around with that DOF ?

    curious as to what circusmatnce this would come in handy.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phill D View Post
    Nicely explained guys it was a feature I used to use all the time when I had a film slr many moons ago. I've missed it with my digi P&S lately although as the DOF is wider with them they've not been too bad.

    Can I ask a related question do all the new dslr's have the DOF preview button? or are there any of them to watch out for that have left this function off to keep the price down?
    Almost all DSLRs have a button to close the aperture to judge the depth of field. I do not know about the different Olypus models (I think they have one but strangely located at the back), but apart from those only the Nikon D50 and D40/D40X lack a DOF function.

    great explanation lightinsky. now i see something happening. thanks !
    but tell me...what would be the point of doing that with digital ? why not take the photo, if its too dark then retake it. isn;t it quicker to just take a shitload of photos at difference ap rather than fiddling around with that DOF ?

    curious as to what circusmatnce this would come in handy.
    Rooz, the reason for it has nothing to do with if a photo is too dark or not. It only has to do with judging the depth of field. And this you want to do when the depth of field actually is important in the photo...
    If you want a certain area to "be in focus" more or less, you just hit the button, the aperture will get smaller, and yous ee through the lens what the effect of the chosen aperture will be in the photo. If it is too shallow, you at that point choose a smaller aperture setting.

    That is a lot more handy than taking a photo, then having to look at the review on the small screen, trying to judge it, having to reframe, adjust aperture, take another photo, taking the camera away again, checking on the review, having to reframe again, and so on.

    In most cases, when you have experience, just selecting the right aperture for a certain situation to get the desired effect will do too. But this does require a certain experience, of course.
    Only in some situations it is really invaluable.

    Take a look at this thread:
    http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=30334

    Most shots I chose the aperture for the desired effect from experience. A bit more or less depth often does not matter much. But one photo it did matter, the ladybird shot. So there the DOF button came in handy, and let me know that I had to stop down to f13 to get and the ladybird and most of the daisy in focus for the desired effect.

    If I would have had to check that on the display in trail and error the ladybird would already have been out of view on its way down to the grass.
    Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30

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