1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

F-Numbers and DOF Observation (Best Reuters Photos of 2012)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by MAubrey, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Peta Pixel just posted an interesting discussion of the gear behind the Reuter's best photos of 2012.

    The Most Popular Cameras and Settings for Reuters' 2012 Photos of the Year

    Someone took the time to work through the EXIF data in terms of cameras, lenses, and settings.

    The most common equipment and exposure settings for the Reuters "Best photos of 2012"

    Of course all the cameras are FF. But it was interesting when you look at the chart of F-numbers, for the vast majority of images, the equivalent DOF is rarely out of reach for μ43.

    Capture2.JPG

    That isn't to say that μ43 is as good as FF cameras. That's not the point. For one, obviously if you're shooting action and sports, PDAF still rules the roost. But it is interesting and notable that the vast majority of the most compelling photos of the past year didn't need a super narrow DOF to be compelling. Less than 20% used f/2.5 or lower (=f/1.2 or lower for μ43).

    Good photographs don't need to depend on narrow DOF to be good photographs.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    28% were at f/2.8 probably because the PJ was using a 24-70 or 70-200 and wanted the fastest shutter speed.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Wow, no offense but that is one of the worst graphics I've ever seen. What a horrible way to display information. What would have been wrong with a simple bar chart, arranged in order of increasing f-stop?

    Pie charts are the spawn of the devil.

    One thing that occurred to me is that you'd need to know the sensor size in order to interpret those f-stops in terms of DOF.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    None taken. I didn't make it. It's a terrible chart.

    Like I said above, all the cameras are FF.
     
  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Or a 16-35, or a 300 ...

    Fast shutter, shallow DOF, low ISO ... mix and match.
     
  6. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    Interestingly 24-70 is seldomly used by these guys, just what KR keeps on saying.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Nearly 50% are f/2.8 or faster, and there is only one native 1.4 lens for m43.
     
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    If you look at the photos, very few of them use shallow DOF, and the great majority could have been taken with MFT. At least one of them was taken with a Sony DSC-H5 (tiny sensor camera). Most are great photos because of the content and many would have been as great if taken with an iPhone.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Omega

    Omega Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Oct 3, 2012
    Honestly I'm working on that as we speak, to making a new one in whatever Open Office has to offer in terms of looking like Excel. It's a great opportunity to brush up on Excel knowledge.

    I'm going to have to call up my Statistics teacher from last year, though. :c
     
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Not surprised. Shallow DOF is not that important in most great photos I've seen, but I was just making an observation.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Like I said above, all the cameras are FF.[/QUOTE]

    Oops! Read before you type. Read before you type. Read before you type.
     
  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Interesting analysis, and even more interesting photos, thanks for posting the link.

    The one thing that jumped out at me actually was how few of the prime lens shots were done with a 35mm lens. Looks like it's 24mm, 16mm and 50mm were the heavyweights among this set at least. I don't know much about photojournalism but I guess I expected the classic 35mm would be more common than 24mm or 16mm. In retrospect I suppose it doesn't surprise me that lots of reportage happens at either wide shots or telephoto ranges.
     
  13. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Surprised to see the D7000 on there but not the 7D.
     
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    I had the same thought.
     
  15. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    It could be that 35mm weighs more and is often more expensive than 50mm for full frame DSLRs.

    Nikon 35mm f/1.4: 600 g, 90 mm (length), C$1,999.95 MSRP
    Nikon 50mm f/1.4: 280 g, 54 mm (length), C$579.95 MSRP

    Canon 35mm f/1.4L: 580 g, 86 mm (length), C$1,709.99 MSRP
    Canon 50mm f/1.4: 290 g, 51 mm (length), C$429.99 MSRP

    If I was a working pro shooting a full frame DSLR, it would be immediately obvious that the one prime I carry would be a 50/1.4.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Very true, unless you're using a 35mm f/2 version at least. I imagine it's probably also that if you're carrying, say, a 24mm and a 50mm already then a 35mm is rather overkill.
     
  17. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    If these were all professional photo journalists, then money and weight are a primary consideration. It's about filling the frame is a fashion that is most dramatic yet still true to the story.

    Gary
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Finally got a chance to go through them (over the weekend, I wasn't at my computer, so no a great time to look through).

    A couple of thoughts:

    Nearly all (or is it all) are PJ shots, so any conclusions apply to PJ. Personally, I don't shoot PJ. Not sure about anyone else here.

    Second, it seems to me that A LOT (if not most) of them are wide angle. Many I saw were fast 17mm or 21 or 24mm. Though I imagine quite a number may be MF lenses, and the aperture may be mis-reported (some showed 17mm f/1.0 -- I don't think that lens exists, but I could be wrong). Any rate, there are few truly fast WA lenses in m43, so the pic would look different. Would it matter? I'm not sure, TBH. I'll leave that up for folks like Gary Ayala to comment on.

    Many of them are using shallow DOF, too. Like the goat in the taxi, the man with stitched lips, etc. etc.

    So, I'm just commenting that:

    1) There is only 1 native 1.4 lens in m43
    2) there is no wide angle lens that fast, with the fastest being 2.0 (which isn't too bad)

    How about a 1.4 WA zoom for m43? :biggrin:
     
  19. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    There aren't a whole lot in that "etc etc" group. Overall shallow DOF shots were a small minority.

    As for wide angle shots, many were taken at 24mm, most of those were stopped down, and hardly any couldn't have been done with the Oly 12. Also, 35mm equivalent is wide angle, even if most of the PJs were using wider.

    The bottom line is that if you flip through the images and ask yourself, could this image be done with the current MFT system, I think there are less than 10% where the answer would be no.
     
  20. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I disagree. The following all benefit from the faster aperture/DOF. Some more subtle than others, but they would be different shots with the 2X crop factor/DOF impact (or whatever it is properly called): 2,9,13,15,18, (maybe 20), 22, 25, 26, 30, 33, 36, 44, 48, 53, 57, 59, 64, 70 (screwy numbering -- there are two #70s), 74, 75, 77, 78, 79, 80, 83, 84, 86 and 90 -- it's not just one or two. This is from reviewing the photos here: http://blogs.reuters.com/fullfocus/2012/11/30/best-photos-of-the-year-2012/#a=1 assuming i'm looking at the right page!

    Many of these are fast WA. a WA shot at f/1.4-2.8 has a MUCH different feel than at f/4.0-5.6 or even f/8 or f/11 (the equivalents of the Oly 12/2.0, 16-35, 2.8 14 2.5, etc. or the UWA 7-14/4 or 9-18/5.6). I just don't think it's accurate to suggest that DOF is not relevant in most of these shots.