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Is this kind of DoF possible with a M/43?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by marcusmichaels, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. marcusmichaels

    marcusmichaels Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Marcus Michaels
    I saw this photo on the National Geographic website and I thought to myself - with the smaller sized sensors to that of a Canon 1D-X or a 5DMKiii - is this kind of depth of field, at that distance, possible to do with let's say, my OM-D E-M5?

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I imagine with the right adapter and lenses it would be, but I don't know. Any thoughts on kit set-up or technical limitations would be great. What would be amazing if anyone has taken a shot with similar depth of field and to share it here!

  2. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Hmm probably the best native option would be the 75mm 1.8. Too new for enough sample pics to show off it's abilities though imho. Probably still couldn't blur that the background that much.

    Possibly an adapted 85mm 1.4?
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    At the same distance, probably not. The DoF equivalent of a 300/2.8 or 400/2.8 on FF just doesn't exist for m4/3. At double the distance, easily.

    But we're talking about $5000+ lenses here. That a dreadfully small niche.

    • Like Like x 2
  4. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 13, 2010
    That particular image would be quite easily achieved in Photoshop.

    A carefully constructed mask, a little bit of gaussian blur, and tada!

    In fact, the uniformity of the out of focus area, even as it goes further away, makes me suspect photoshop anyway.
    • Like Like x 5
  5. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Sure, if it is a 35mm camera, just adapt that lens to an m4/3 camera and stop down one stop.
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    You could probably approximate it using the Brenizer method provided you could get close enough to the subject (probably not advisable with the particular example you chose, though).

    For the most part I'm with Dara, the application for this sort of lens is really pretty limited. We've got to leave SOME niches to allow the full frame (and larger) camp to justify their investments. :wink:
  7. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    No doubt this is with a fast telephoto - I'd bet my $600 tamron 300mm f2.8 could do something similar though, it doesn't need to cost $5K! (not that it couldn't easily though).

    The more I look at that photo, the more it looks smeared and not out of focus. I am likely wrong, but is it possible there is digital blur added to the image? The foreground (bottom road) in particular looks very abrupt and quite sharp, evenly defined focus line.
  8. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    This looks sooo familiar that I suspect (s)he used Alien Skin Bokeh plug-in, and used the planar option (with selection on the big cat). I tried that once with the exact same effect - super abruptly bokeh'd foreground - and I didn't use it again. Should have known that it could land on NatGeo. :biggrin:
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Blow this up and look closely at the ears - definitely looks like blur added in PP. :eek: 
  10. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Interestingly, the DOF of a 300mm f2.8 wide open on FF from 30 feet is 0.5ft - this would actually be shallower than the apparent DOF shown in this image (the front to back of the jaguar appear to be within the focus area), but the out of focus fall-off would be much more gradual than what is shown. The look this image has is almost more of a medium to large format portrait than a telephoto animal shot.
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Looks nothing like a medium- or large-format shot.
  12. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Yeah it just looks like a very long prime lens on a DLSR. It could well be cropped, which would make the DOF look even more narrow.

    There are no lenses like that on m43, or indeed any other mirrorless system. If there was, it would be so huge as to defeat the purpose of a compact system. If you want that look, you're stuck with DSLRs (or adapted lenses) I'm afraid. Also worth noting that it's basically essentially to use a tripod for this kind of work, adding more bulk.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Kees

    Kees Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 30, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Kees Dignum
    I'd say yes. It reminded me of this picture, posted in a motorcycle thread a while ago.
  14. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    According to Online Depth of Field Calculator :

    Nikon D800, 400mm f/2.8, 100feet subject distance >> DOF is 3.19 feet
    E-PM1, 400mm f/2.8, 100feet subject distance >> DOF is 1.6 feet

    Is dofmaster.com broken? If this is correct you should have an even shallower DOF on m43 :wink:

    // Edit: E-PM1, 200mm f/2.8, 100 feet subject distance >> DOF is 6.43 feet
    // so with the same tele adapted to m43 , you would have half the DOF. At same FOV, double the DOF. You could pick a ~280mm 2.8 tele and have same DOF.
    // conclusion: that DOF is possible
  15. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    You can mount any Nikon or Canon lens on m43. It will be more compact than on a FF DSLR because you need only half the focal length to achieve the same FOV.
  16. marcusmichaels

    marcusmichaels Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Marcus Michaels
    I think my original question has been sufficiently answered, my thanks to all of you! Looks like I'll need to play around with some lenses/adapters and more importantly, photoshop, to get my desired result.

    Thanks for the link - I was going to look for a DoF calculator after reading all the posts. It does look like something has gone wrong though - doesn't seem right to me either!
  17. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    When the FF 400mm 2.8 lens is mounted on m43 it acts like a FF 800mm 2.8. Hence we will have half DOF but also half FOV.
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I agree with others - this doesn't look like optical blur. Strongly suspect software blurring here.

    For a very similar effect, any 300/2.8 would work given sufficient working distance. Oly 4/3 150/2 would also create some stunning isolation in this scenario.
  19. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Now I'm tempted to go out with the 100-300mm and see what I can come up with. According the to DOF calculator, at 300mm and f/5.6, the DOF is 1.41 ft for a subject that is 50 feet away.
  20. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    So...there must be a NIK plug-in for that... :eek:  :biggrin:
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