New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Foundations of Photography: Lenses
Illustration by

DOF and sensor size


From:

Foundations of Photography: Lenses

with Ben Long

Video: DOF and sensor size

We've already talked about how some cameras have smaller sensors than others, and how sensor size impacts field of view. But sensor size also has an effect on depth of field. Smaller sensors inherently have more depth of field than larger sensors. That means that you cannot achieve as shallow a depth of field with a camera with a smaller sensor as you can with a camera with a larger sensor. Here's an image shot with a full frame digital SLR using an f/1.2 lens. It has extremely shallow depth of field.

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
Foundations of Photography: Lenses
2h 32m Beginner Feb 11, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Many of the creative options available to a photographer hinge on an in-depth understanding of lenses. In Foundations of Photography: Lenses, Ben Long shows how to choose lenses and take full advantage of their creative options. The course covers fundamental concepts that apply to any camera, such as focal length and camera position, and shows how to evaluate and shop for DSLR lenses. The second half of the course focuses on shooting techniques: controlling autofocus, working with different focal lengths, and managing distortion and flare. The course also examines various filters and contains tips on cleaning and maintaining lenses.

Topics include:
  • Understanding field of view and camera position
  • Depth of field and lens choice
  • How to choose a lens
  • Examining lens features
  • Using specialized lenses such as fisheye and tilt/shift lenses
  • Focusing techniques
  • Using filters
  • Camera maintenance
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations
Author:
Ben Long

DOF and sensor size

We've already talked about how some cameras have smaller sensors than others, and how sensor size impacts field of view. But sensor size also has an effect on depth of field. Smaller sensors inherently have more depth of field than larger sensors. That means that you cannot achieve as shallow a depth of field with a camera with a smaller sensor as you can with a camera with a larger sensor. Here's an image shot with a full frame digital SLR using an f/1.2 lens. It has extremely shallow depth of field.

By comparison, here is an image shot with a typical point-and-shoot camera. While the background is a little soft, it's not nearly as soft as the image from the SLR was. This is about as shallow as you can hope to go with a point-and-shoot camera. Now, there are advantages to the inherent deep depth of field of smaller sensors. If I am shooting with a point-and- shoot camera, I don't have to worry as much about everything being in focus. This is great for landscape shooting. It's great for times when my subject is moving in and out relative to my camera position.

So for quick shooting, for landscape stuff, having a smaller sensor can be a good thing. If I am wanting to shoot portraits with really soft buttery backgrounds, this isn't going to be the best choice. With SLR, we've already looked at how some SLRs have smaller sensors than others. The cropped sensor cameras that have a sensor that's the size of a piece of APS film, those have inherently deeper depth of field than a camera with a full frame sensor, that is one that has a sensor that's the size of a piece of 35 millimeter film. So, again if you're really finding that shallow depth of field is something that you would like to regularly use, then you may need to consider your camera choice.

If you're an all in focus all the time type person, then a smaller sensor is great for you. If you want the ability for shallower depth of field, you're going to want to consider a camera with a bigger sensor.

There are currently no FAQs about Foundations of Photography: Lenses.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Foundations of Photography: Lenses.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.