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Extremely shallow depth of field


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#1 William Middleton

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:12 PM

My apologies if this is a dumb question or has already been covered--does anyone know how the extremely shallow depths of field are attained in modern feature films today?  This 'style' seems to be very popular at the moment; I've seen it in a number of films recently, one of which is 'Side Effects'. There were even a few moments in the movie where everything in the scene was out of focus until the actor moved a literally just a few inches and came into focus.  What exactly is causing this interesting effect?  Is it a particular Lens? Camera?  Some combination of the two?  Is it a result of newer lens/camera technology or has this type of DOF always been possible?


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#2 Travis Gray

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:18 PM

Check out a depth of field calculator online or an app (probably should just link to one: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html)

 

It's a combination of focal length, aperture, and sensor size.

 

Big sensor, long focal length, and wide open aperture gets you a shallow depth of field, plus distance to object factors in as well.

 

So on a Super35 sensor, 85mm, f/2.8, and 5ft away = .14ft (too lazy to convert haha) depth of field.


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#3 William Middleton

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:49 PM

Thanks.  That helps alot.


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