Blog / Shallow depth of field
One of the hot topics for photographers is shallow depth of field (dof). You can learn about dof in general here.
Shallow dof renders very narrow piece of space in detail and everything out of focus (or out of dof range) is captured as smeared blurry silhouettes spots and lines.
Small dof is important because of its ability to isolate the important photographic subject while blurring the distracting detail. It is a very basic but a very powerful photographer tool. Portraits, reportage shots and even sometimes landscapes can benefit from very small depth of field.
You can use LensTutorial to investigate how to make shallow dof with your photographic setup. Set up large aperture at least f/3.5 or f/2.8 and watch how shallow dof can be obtained by rolling distance and zoom dials. LensTutorial features very fast stops such as f/1.2 and f/1.4. Moreover recently we’ve added a special f/0.75 aperture which is available on a very few special purpose lenses such as Rodenstock TV-Heligon 50 mm f/0.75 lens and some others.
As it can be seen for larger zoom values it is easier to obtain shallow depth of field, and that is why portraits are best shot with tele-lenses. It can be hard however to put your whole subject into the picture frame if there is not enough space. Explore lens setting to get a better idea of what focal length and distance need to be in order for your model to occupy enough space in your photographs.