Will close-up filters help to get shallow depth of field? at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old August 15th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #1
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Will close-up filters help to get shallow depth of field?

Been looking at these +1, +2 & +4 Digital Optic close-up filters, available from a variety of manufacturers and wondered if they would help in separting subject from background (without the usual problems, camera far away from subject etc.)

They are also available in 72mm flavour which could couple well with a wide angle adapter. I'm a newbie with a pal hv20 so pls let me know if i'm way off here,

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Adrian White
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Old August 15th, 2007, 09:46 PM   #2
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well your pictures will certainly have really blurry backgrounds with these lenses, the thing is tho, with all of them on, you'll only be able to focus on things that are like 2 feet from the camera, so anything big wouldn't be able to be in the entire view and still be in focus

but it would work great for small things, like if u were trying to get a view of words in a book, you can get some nice depth of field....etc
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Old August 16th, 2007, 12:29 AM   #3
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Jay's right - if you go more than 3-4 feet from the camera, it won't focus at all (and maybe less depending on the strength of the close up lens.) And the ones I have aren't even great for close up work: they can cause reflections and generally produce low contrast, flat looking images.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 10:32 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. This has definetly put me on the path for some experimentation. I have been looking at the 35mm adapters but for me the cost is prohibitive and I don't like some of the reported side effects, eg. loss of light, image has to be inverted etc. Maybe using a +1 or even a +0.5 would give a more subtle effect. I would prefer this as a cheaper workaround solution. I am currently trying to concentrate on other areas, lighting and camera blocking/staging, which are critcal, btw, two great sources of learning are "hollywood camera work" and "power of lighting" DVD box sets. I have learnt a lot from them already. When I have done some experiments with close up lenses I will see if I can post some findings.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #5
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Adrian,
Close-up lenses aren't going to give you the cinematic DOF you're looking for except for such a limited set of extreme close-up scenarios as to be practically useless for narartive story-telling ... unless your story involves a lot of talking bugs. ;-)

If this worked even slightly well, then people wouldn't be spending more for 35mm adapters than they do for their cameras.

Sorry.
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Old August 16th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #6
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A telextender is a better device to set up shallower depth of field than close up lenses...
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Old August 17th, 2007, 12:03 AM   #7
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You may be able to get by by staging your scenes like the ones shown in the Hollywood Camera Work DVD's. Create depth by building out the scene using foreground/background elements. Shooting at the long end of the HV20 zoom along with those techniques may be enough for now...
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