DoF in m43 versus FF?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by crashwins, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Ugh, feel I missed the mark on this a little bit with my lack of research. I sold off my 5Dii about 4months ago in favor of sticking strictly to my m43 kit (OMD, 20mm, 45 1.8)...Super happy with it, but one thing I wanted to experiment more with is portraiture and shallower DoF shots, isolating my subjects. I usually don't go for this kind of photography, but I wanted to explore it more for artistic interest - say, compared to street stuff, which I usually do.

    I just bought a Oly 75mm..Hasn't gotten here yet, but it was a small fortune. How far off the mark am I going to be from the FF cousins will I be? Seems like people are doing pretty remarkable things with this lens. Thanks!
  2. powderbanks

    powderbanks Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 7, 2012
    north carolina
    Depends on the maximum aperture of the given lens, but anything less than f/4 is fine for me. If that isn't enough shallow depth of field, there's the SLR magic f0.95 25mm or 50mm lenses.

    NOKTOR - Ultra Fast Lenses - Products

    Panny 14-42 @ 14mm/3.5
    Moms Sweet Shop Fall 2012 by honorableninja, on Flickr

    Panny 45-200 @ 200mm/5.6
    Bladderwort Flowers by honorableninja, on Flickr

    C-mount 25mm @ ~1.4
    moravian stars by honorableninja, on Flickr

    Untitled by honorableninja, on Flickr

    The last two may not the be best examples, since it's so dark and the CCTV lens has serious distortion, but it's something. I can't find any really shallow DoF photos with the 1.8 or 2.8 lenses I have
    • Like Like x 1
  3. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Thanks..Yeah, because it's dark I suppose not the best examples..Ha, like that first pic, though - pretty solid. I wasn't aware of that lens lineup..Might be worth checking out. Not exactly giving those away, though! :) Anyone else have any thoughts on that? I guess I wanted that pop-out kind of DoF..
  4. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    And when you say anything better than f4 is good for you are you considering that an f2 on an m43 is an f4 on a FF - don't I have that correct?
  5. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Unless I misunderstand...isn't f2, still f2 no matter what format your using?
  6. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I think it's more like a 75mm on 4/3 is like a 150mm on FF in terms of point of view. Most of the depth of field issue is, to my understanding, a matter of having to use a wider lens for the same point of view, which is determined by sensor size along with focal length. The reason you have comparatively a lot of depth of field with a 4/3 "normal" is that a 25mm is going to give you more depth at a given aperture than a 50mm. Other considerations aside, I believe that in the comparison of FF with 4/3 this issue predominates.
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    In terms of pure light, F2 is F2 is F2.
    However, the M. Zuiko 75mm at ƒ2 has the same DOF as 150mm ƒ4 on a full frame sensor.
  8. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Yes, several inputs are correct here. The depth of field per lens is going to be the same, but because the crop factor cause the image effect to increase the DoF will also increase accordingly. That is not to say that the DoF is going to ruin bokeh, focus will will just be a little deeper - but again the same as the crop factor creates. Here is a recent image made with the 45/1.8 wide open:


    Look at the pavement in front of and behind mr snapper... Nice bokeh in my opinion (sorry, I'm biased) :smile:
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    (please no one mention photons, please no one mention photons, please no one mention photons...)

    You can generally get pretty nice portraiture with m43 by using a longer, brighter lens. 75/1.8 is a great example, but it will require stepping back a bit more. Full Frame will do shallower DOF easier on shorter FL. For instance, my 28mm 1.8 on my Canon 6D would require a 14mm 0.9 to get the same DOF. However, is 28mm really a portrait lens? Maybe for some, lol.

    I would look more to the quality of the lens itself. I really like my cheap-o portrait 85/1.8 on my 6D. I like the bokeh, vignetting and color characteristics more than the Oly 45/1.8. The Oly 75/1.8, from what I've seen, can rival my 85/1.8, but require stepping back farther than I'm interested in. I've VERY curious about the proposed Panny 45/1.2, as I tend to prefer Panny's lens recipe over Olys. I'll bet the 45/1.2 will be a killer portrait lens. I hope it's close focusing!
  10. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    75 1.8 is as good as you're going to get in native glass, as far as background-destroying abilities are concerned :) 45 1.8 is great as well.
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Don't forget the Voigtlanders....:wink:
  12. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Nearly forgot! Get behind me satan! Too rich for my blood :biggrin:
  13. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
  14. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Ahhh thanks. This has been illuminating. Definitely learning something in this thread and what i'm reading elsewhere. Definitely curious of the Voigtlander 0.95s, but a heavy price indeed!
  15. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Ie, unless I want to be making all my portrait shots from a FL of 150 (with the 75), maybe a Voigtlander would be better down the road...AF isn't a huge concern for me.
  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    IMO the best regular portrait lens for MFT is the Oly 45/1.8. Plenty of shallow DOF opportunities with that lens. Can get even more shallow DOF with 75/1.8, but you need greater working distance with that lens.

    Oly 45/1.8 wide open:

  17. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    I had both the 45 and the 75 for portraiture, and as great as the 45 is, the 75- for me- was dramatically better. Sharper (sharpest lens for the MFT as far as I've seen with my photos), slightly more pleasing colors, and much better subject isolation. Again for my needs, the 75 was clearly the way to go for portrait work, I sold the 45 and never looked back. Only negatives are cost, size (it is bigger than the 45, but it's got a nice solid heft to it), and that you do need to step back to use it well. But since you've already ordered the 75, you'll soon see what I mean. Let us know what you think.
  18. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    For comparison,
    This was shot with my 85mm ƒ1.8 or 50mm ƒ1.8 (I can't remember) on cheapo Walgreens Film (i.e. "Full Frame")..Notice that her nose is pretty much the only thing in focus...

    (One of the reasons why I still shoot film is that I'm a narrow DOF junkie) :eek:

    Sis N' Law by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr
  19. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    mFT lenses such as the 45 f/1.8 will do a great job of blowing out backgrounds in head & shoulder portraits. More difficult are full-length shots where you need to stand further from the subject. The Sartorialist, who does this for a living uses (I believe) full frame and a Canon 85mm 1.2 to get that kind of isolation. I doubt there's any way to match that in the current mFT lens line up.
  20. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Is there a better manual for the OMD out there? I'm finding it less intuitive than I thought coming from the 5D...Basically, trying to figure out how to get a shot like Amin's above (nice, btw). I even have the 45 1.8 :)