Depth of field (depth of field) is the area within which objects look sharp. Depth of field, Depth of Field (DOF, DOF, Depth-of-Field, Depth of Field) - distance along the optical axis lens between two planes in the space of objects, within which objects are displayed in the conjugate focal plane, subjectively sharply. This is what Wikipedia says about it.

What is depth of field in photography

Depth of field (depth of field, DOF) small

Depth of field is inversely proportional to focal length lens and is directly proportional to the f-number. That is, the higher focal length, the less (thinner) DOF, and the less focal length - the wider the DOF borders (thicker, more).

What is depth of field in photography

Also, the more relative hole lens, the thinner the DOF. Thin DOF is used more often in reportage (due to physics), portrait photography, in order to separate the subject from the background. BоThe greatest values ​​of depth of field are in landscape photography, in group photography, and in other genres.

What is depth of field in photography

Depth of field (depth of field, DOF) large

Same "depth of field»Also depends on the area of ​​the camera's photosensor - the larger it is, the thinner the depth of field (compare a photo from your smartphone and a DSLR camera - with the same aperture and focal length lens, for a smartphone, the depth of field will be higher due to the smaller area of ​​the sensor, i.e., the image from the smartphone is almost always more detailed and has a deep drawing on the background).

What is depth of field in photography

Gimbal cameras and tilt-shift lenses with tilt axes are changing the traditional concept of depth of field. In these devices, the depth of field can vary both diagonally and vertically, depending on the model of the device. Also, there are devices that allow you to set the depth of field immediately after photographing, in the process of post-processing.


Depth of field

optical axis distance lens between two planes in the space of objects, within which objects are depicted on the photosensitive layer of the photographic material rather sharply. When the lens focuses on a subject at a hyperfocal distance, the rear edge of the field of focus is at infinity.

Depth of field

optical axis distance lens in the image space, within which the optical image formed by the lens has satisfactory sharpness - the diameter of the circle of confusion does not exceed the permissible value. The depth of field is related to the depth of field, determines the required focusing accuracy of the lens and does not exceed tenths of a millimeter. Depends on focal length lens, the diameter of its light hole and the distance from the focusing point to the subject.

DOFV button and A-DEP mode

In normal camera modes, the Depth of Field Preview (DOFV) button is used to preview the depth of field just before the photo is taken. After pressing the button diaphragm the lens is closed to the set value, gate does not work. The mechanical implementation of this mechanism is called "diaphragm repeater" and is present on most lenses / film cameras of German, Japanese and Soviet origin (since the 70s of production).

dof 7

In A-DEP mode on Canon cameras, the DOF used to tell the camera to start and end the depth of field zone. Then the camera adjusts the parameters of the exposure pair according to the program to obtain a normally exposed image with a user-defined depth of field.

dof 6

On the Pentax K200D camera, depth-of-field viewing is possible using the “pre-shot” function, when the camera takes an image, but does not write it to the card. At the same time, the buttons for changing the image scale remain active.

What is depth of field in photography

small DOF example

You can see the difference in "depth of field" between open and closed apertures below.

What is depth of field in photography

Hopefully, thanks to this great example, you were able to imagine how depth of field depends on the aperture value.

Hyperfocal distance

Hyperfocal distance is set to half the possible focusing distance lens and ad infinitum. It is used in street photography and is actively used in landscape photography, especially with short throw lenses. You can calculate this distance manually, or you can play around with the exposure settings directly at the shooting location.

Previously, a depth of field calculator was applied to all lenses and it was relatively easy to calculate the hyperfocal distance using it. Now this is not found on the lenses of the lower price segment.

What is depth of field in photography

Lens depth of field calculator

On the DOF calculator lens it was possible to see the distance and the magnitude of the obtained depth of field in meters, with the set aperture value. Using these readings when taking photos, even without looking into the camera lens, is as easy as shelling pears.

Cameras on smartphones, most of the old "soap boxes" and camcorders are fixed precisely at a hyperfocal distance. The use of this method made it possible to obtain a huge number of cheap devices, since, in fact, the circuit lens is simplified and has only a few elements in total (fixed diaphragm, plastic lens and CCDmatrix).


Depth-of-field. Depth of field, depth of field.


Depth-of-field View. Depth-of-field preview mode. When connected outbreak mode activates the stroboscopic flash.

What is depth of field in photography


Grab your camera and play around with the aperture settings. This will allow you to compare the depth of field of your lens depending on the set aperture value, and estimate how and where you can use the already gained knowledge.

  • DOF - depth of field
  • Depth of field
  • DOF - depth of field
  • DOFV - depth of field view
  • Depth of field
  • field of sharpness

This is a practical name for the same definition.

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