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Old June 10th, 2004, 08:38 AM   #1
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How to obtain the DOF effect.

Hello,

I have been trying to create the effect of my main subject in focus with the background out of focus. I picked up a Century Optics .6 wide angle adapter I'm using with my Xl1-s. I have tried moving my camcorder away from the subject and focusing in but I still can't get the effect I have seen others produce. Can anybody shout out a few tips?

Thanks for the help.

Jerome
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:28 AM   #2
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Jerome

First off, you're probably not helping yourself with the wide angle adapter. Depth of field "effect" is typically most apparent at longer focal lengths. However, it can be done with the wide angle, or any other lens on the xl1s, and here are a few steps toward getting there.

1) Use a large aperture. I think the max on the xl1s is 1.8...but try to stay around 2.8 or larger for the most noticeable effect. Anything above 8 will tend to negate any of the following techniques.

2. Pick a focal length towards the long end of the xl1s lens (again you can do this wide angle, but for experimentation sake, lets start long)

3. Move as close to your subject as possible (while still maintaining focus). Heres the kicker...The larger your subject (or the more of it you see), the less likely you will be able to throw the background out. For instance, if your subject is a person and you try to shoot them from head to foot, you will have more difficulty throwing out the background), however if you crop to a tight head shot, you should be able to see the effect, even without step 4.

4. Make sure that your background items are a considerable distance from the subject. What is considerable?...well this depends on the decisions you make in steps 1-3...however you'll know it when you see it. If your main subject is the size of a quarter, then considerable may be only a few inches...if it's an elephant with riders, then we might be talking miles...

All of these steps work on a sliding scale...ie the more extreme you take each of them the more of the effect you will get, and they are inter-related so that one can either cancel out, or intensify all the others. There are a few folks around here that will give you a different interpretation of this, based on circles of confusion and such...but for a practical approach to this issue, this is a pretty good starting point.

.....or buy a mini35. : )

good luck

barry
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:28 AM   #3
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Lose the wideangle.

Zoom all the way in and move your camera away from the subject to get your desired framing. If outside, go to your heaviest ND filter and adjust your exposure accordingly. This should give you what you want.

RB
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #4
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you can buy a big semi-transparent sheet and use that behing your in-focus subject
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Old June 10th, 2004, 02:49 PM   #5
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This topic has been recently covered.
Check out:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=26529
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Old June 10th, 2004, 10:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the information folks. I'm taking that wide angle back to the store.

Thanks again!!!!!!

Jerome
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Old June 11th, 2004, 03:43 AM   #7
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Why would you take back the wide angle? It can still be very
usefull. DOF is not some magic thing. You don't need it for every
scene. It is just ANOTHER tool. As is the wide angle if you are
in small spaces like cars or small rooms etc. If you've already
bought it, why bring it back?

Besides buying the mini35, you could also rent one ofcourse...
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:51 AM   #8
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Jerome

I agree with rob, unless your only purpose in purchasing it was to maximize the DOF effect. The one weakness of the xl1s stock package is that you don't have much in the way of wide angle coverage, so this adapter is a relatively inexpensive way of getting it. I mostly shoot with my DVX these days because it has this feature built in (and by the way, just a few days ago I was shooting some "brillliant" DOF stuff of a dj at a party...actually close ups of the turntable...at full wide angle.)


Barry
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Old June 11th, 2004, 03:57 PM   #9
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Thanks Rob and Barry,

You guys made a great point about the wide angle adapter. I originally thought I needed it to get a good DOF, but after studying your postings and the other links I see that I don't. What I realized after I brought it home was that my sun shade will not fit over the .6wa. Also I brought the Tiffen DV film look filter kit a couple of months ago and none of the filters will fit the adapter. I'm trying accesorize my camcorder and I'm wondering what best to spend my cash on. LCD?, Stablizer? audio?etc....

Thanks, Jerome
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Old June 11th, 2004, 04:38 PM   #10
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Jerome

occasionally, the term good depth-of-field, gets bantied around and mixed up with the term "DOF effect", which as imprecise as they both are, as intended, they are in fact opposites...Perhaps you read somewhere that a wide angle adapter would give you improved depth of field, thinking that referred to shallow depth of field (the DOF effect), when in fact wide angle lenses cause an increase in DOF (or at least the appearance of it) or essentally the reverse of your intended look.

regardless, a wide angle option should certainly be among the top items in completing your kit...the same follows for all the other options you mentioned as well. Which to buy first really depends on your needs, and that depends on the kind of work you wish to do. As most of us here have found out...this is a very long road, and there is always a new "need" around the corner.

Barry
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Old June 11th, 2004, 10:14 PM   #11
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The road is long and I hope that I have enough gas!!!!!! :-)
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