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Falling out out of love with shallow DOF and Canon

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by WT21, May 15, 2012.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    A year or two ago, like many amateur photogs, I was chasing shallow DOF (well, chasing it within my budget -- no M9 or 35L lenses for me).

    I had a 5D with fast lenses like 85/1.8, 50/1.4, etc. They really produced a dreamy quality when needed. Of course, the other beauty of the 5D was you could get creamy bokeh under the right conditions, and that wonderful 3D "pop." You could get that pop even with telephotos, where I routinely could get some great results with an old 70-210 USM (still love that lens, but it was stolen :(

    I got an EP1 about 3 years ago. I had looked at 43 DSLRs prior to that, as I wanted "smaller" but didn't like the IQ or the large amount of DOF (unless you bought REALLY expensive lenses), for bodies that really weren't THAT much smaller IMO. But the EP3 was different -- it was gorgeous, small and delivered "enough" IQ to make it worth while. And the 20/1.7 was very nice at launch.

    But, on one forum especially (initials are dee pee arrrr), in trying to learn about my new system, I was constantly bombarded with NEXtians and others, trying to make me feel inadequate about my little sensor (although it's not the size of your sensor, but how you use it!)

    Fast forward 3 years later, and with the 25/1.4 (great 3D pop), 45/1.8 (wonderful portraits), 20/1.7, I just got a 100-300, which is a ridiculous lens and can generate great subject isolation, and I have to ask myself, what else could I need?

    I still do pine for FF. Maybe it's reflexive. Maybe it's habitual. I still have Canon glass, and a DSLR. But, as I look at the OMD output (I don't have the camera yet, as I'm waiting for the sensor to get to the Pens, but reviewing samples on0line), and I look at the m43 lens line-up, and then I see the rumors about a Canon CSC, I have to think "what could Canon possibly release that I would care about?"

    MAYBE if they did a FF CSC with new, smaller lenses (smaller than Canon's current EF lenses), they might catch my attention, or MAYBE if they built an electronic rangefinder, but the OMD is producing files that seem to (finally!) hold up under post production. Throw in the fast primes, and all I'm waiting for now is a fast zoom -- which I'm sure a Canon CSC first iteration will NOT include. I just can't imagine what I would want from Canon's upcoming system.

    Once we get a fast zoom for m43, I think I will sell the last of my Canon DSLR gear, and I can't imagine looking back.

    I used to be a DOF junky, wondering about ASP-C vs. m43, pining for FF, feeling inadequate to the NEX users. I think now, I just need a couple of more lenses and the new sensor in the Pen, and I'm done needing a larger sensor. I have all the DOF control I actually need, and now some great, workable files.

    Anyone else follow a similar journey, or some to a similar conclusion?

    Sample pics:

    Canon 5D
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oly w/PL25
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    It's easy to caught up in pursuing shallow DOF in its' purest form. But shallow DOF just for its' own sake is pretty shallow. Now with the fast primes (and that great 100-300), one can shoot with DOF in mind compositionally, but not be a slave to it or use it as a compositional crutch.

    Merely having a razor thin plane of focus does not a great photo make. I think we are seeing the maturing of the m4/3 range of products. And it is good. Now we can sit back and shoot without the painful bloat of GAS.
     
  3. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    No you didn't:tongue:
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    lol. Corrected to EP1.
     
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    lol, I see that's been corrected already.
     
  6. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I never did go full frame, but I surrounded my 40D with some respectable lenses, including some primes (35, 50, 85). I still have it, but have used it only once in the last year (birthday portrait of my one-year old grandson). I guess I'm holding on a little longer, probably more out of nostalgia than any rational analysis.

    The tipping point for me may be a Fuji xPro next generation; not sure I can get over the MFT vs. CSC difference, but it's getting close. I'm not participating in the current round of new camera buying, so I may be missing that breakthrough. Next year will be soon enough...
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Isn't this a bit of a physical impossibility? With a larger sensor, larger lenses are necessary, correct?

    Anyway, as I've said before I believe :43: represents a "sweet spot" between the bulk, speed and shallow DOF of FF DSLRs on one side and the pocketability, ease of use and sacrificed IQ of point-and-shoots/cell phones. Yes, there are times when a 5D Mark 3 will get a shot that I can't get with my E-PL1 and there are other times when my Android phone is the best tool (mostly because it's the tool at hand), but for MOST situations, I feel that :43: is the perfect compromise.
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Smaller lenses, as in smaller than current Canon FF lenses, not smaller than m43 lenses. Sorry about that.
     
  9. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    For me after testing the x1 pro i don't think I'll buy the OM D. The quality of the images that come out of that camera with are outstanding, but the auto focus is terrible and for that reason I really want to see hot the next gen Fuji's are.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I think Oly or Panny have to release a 17mm 1.4. Perferably a PL 17/1.4. I'm not a 35mm equivalent FOV shooter, but I know many are, and that's the one weak link in the m43 AF prime line-up.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. I can't speak for any of the other newer Micro 4/3 cameras, but you would need a full-frame Canon to get a sensor that might outperform the E-M5. I think that it has pulled in front of the current Canon APS-C sensor.

    I thought that I might get a bit sentimental but I'm actually quite enjoying selling off my DSLR gear. There's literally nothing about it that I am missing it all, despite the kit including a few L-series zooms and some nice primes. It's kinda feels like selling off your old VHS player or something similar that you just know you won't ever want to use again.
     
  12. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    I specialize in two areas -- architecture, and business portraits. I will be keeping my Canon 5D because I need the tilt and shift lenses for architecture. However, I am switching to m4/3 for the business portraits.

    As for the depth-of-field issue, I am off the old school and believe that front-to-back sharpness is generally a good thing, although not for portraits.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    We were supposed to get rid of those? I just moved mine to the second bedroom... :eek:
    And yes, I still have DSLRs in the basement, too... lol.
     
  14. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    125
    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    I've never quite understood this obsession with a shallow DOF. It's not the way our eyes work, and is really just an imaging artifact, a necessary evil due to the way lenses work. In real life, you always see both your subjects and the background in focus (except for extreme cases). If you want a 'true' image of the scene, then you should not have a shallow DOF. Anything else is a distortion of reality, not an honest record of what you can see.

    Sure, it can be used for artistic effect, to isolate your subject, and I can appreciate it when it's done right. But think about it: you're standing in front of a giant waterfall with some friends, and you want to get a picture of them with the beautiful waterfall behind them. Shallow DOF means you've just destroyed the whole point of the picture, since either your friends or the waterfall won't be in focus. Is that really what we should be striving for?
     
  15. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    FF 35mm has been around for a very long time, we call it film. We're used to seeing it in journalism, print for many years before the last decade when aps-c and digicams took over.

    Now that FF is getting affordable, we actually able together back to it. Many of my 50/1.4's are 30-40 years old.
     
  16. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    In that case, I hope that sensor appears in other models/form factors in the next couple years!
     
  17. While they're still worth a lot of money I don't want to be the one left holding the hot potato, especially if I'm not getting any more use out of them.

    P.S. Don't go telling us about your old VHS tape collection now :wink:
     
  18. Me too! Hopefully sometime this year...
     
  19. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    No, take a look at the Leica M9 and lenses.

    Fred
     
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  20. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    693
    Jul 8, 2011
    Leica doesn't have have zoom lenses, nor do they have AF or IS both will make lenses a bit bigger.
     
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