Landscape photos your advices ??

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by PantelisMor, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013

    i shoot landscape photos. i have some questions ? first and most important what F is the right ? an f22 or f8 ? how calculate this ?? Second what other settings are important for landscape photos ??

    Merry christmas
    thx a lot
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Following is a link for an online depth of field calculator:

    Try using hyperfocal distance. I am usually able to get everything I want sharp in the f4-5.6 range. If you stop down more than this with micro four thirds, you will start to lose detail due to diffraction.
  3. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    What F stop is right depends on what you're trying to do. Your choice of F stop will affect 3 things:

    1- The length of your exposure. The smaller your aperture, the longer your exposure. Sometimes you want a long exposure, for example if you want to blur moving water or capture star trails, but you'll need to use a tripod to do that and, depending on how much light there is, you may need a small aperture. If you're trying to blur water movement in daylight you'll need a small aperture. If you're trying to get star trails on a very dark night, you may not need as small an aperture. You can also use neutral density filters to increase your exposure times instead of stopping down the lens.

    2- It affects depth of field. Smaller apertures give greater depth of field but you don't always want the greatest depth of field. Landscape photos don't have to have everything sharp. In addition, if all of the important subject matter is relatively far away, like spectacular clouds over a mountain range or something like that, and your point of focus is a long way away, you don't need a small aperture. If you have subject matter close up, it will all depend on whether or not you want to isolate that subject matter from the background or link it to the background.

    3- It affects the sharpness of the image because results will be less sharp at small apertures because of the effects of diffraction. With M43 cameras you will start to notice a reduction in sharpness once you stop the lens down to F/8 or so. There are those who will tell you never to use a smaller aperture than F/8 because you won't be able to get a sharp image due to diffraction limiting but they are wrong. You can get a sharp image but it won't be as sharp as an image shot at F/8 or larger and you can use a bit more sharpening in your processing anyway. How far down you can stop a lens and get good results depends a bit on the lens and also a bit on how good you are at sharpening your images. Go back to the points above, however, and you may not want sharpness. If the aim is to blur moving water, for example, the photo isn't going to have detail which can be rendered sharply so stopping the lens down to a very small aperture isn't going to be a problem anyway and the loss of sharpness from diffraction may actually help you get the result you want,

    So there is no hard and fast answer to your question. A lot of the time you probably will not want to use smaller apertures (i.e. larger F stop numbers) than F/5.6 or F/8 and you will probably be able to get enough depth of field for most situations at those apertures with an M43 camera. There are times when you will want to stop the lens down to F/11 or 16 to get a particular result and times you will want to open it up to its widest aperture for a different reason. You need to choose the aperture which best suits what result you're trying to achieve.
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  4. PantelisMor

    PantelisMor Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2013
    Hello , happy new year.

    David , you are very helpful..... I read your article. Some questions have solved. I don' t understand the greatest dof. I think that if i want a greatest dof , everything sharp, i have to put small aparture ; it's a little complex. I am comfused.

    Perhaps my english isn't good enough..
  5. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Yes, greatest DOF = smallest aperture and smallest aperture means largest F stop number (F/16 is a smaller aperture than F/4).

    If you want to have everything from the foreground to the distant background looking in focus then you need maximum DOF. That doesn't necessarily mean choosing your smallest aperture. If you have the camera close to the ground with the closest thing in the frame only a couple of feet away and a mountain range on the far horizon in the background and you want foreground to background in focus then you are going to need a very small aperture. If you're on a mountain top shooting a mountain in the far distance and the closest part of the scene in the frame is another mountain a kilometre or more away you don't need the maximum DOF, you only need to have from a kilometre away to the horizon in focus and you won't have to stop down anywhere near as far. Similarly, if you are photographing a wildflower scene from close up and you want the closest flowers in focus and want to blur the background so that it doesn't detract from or overpower the flowers, then you not only won't have to stop down as far because you only want an area close to the camera in focus, but you're going to want a fairly large aperture in order to ensure the background really does look out of focus. Landscape photography can include a wide range of subjects and scenes with very different DOF requirements and getting maximum DOF is not necessary for a lot of scenes.

    If you want to get maximum DOF you need to learn about hyperfocal distance because that's the distance you need to focus at in order to achieve maximum DOF and, of course, it changes with your choice of aperture and the focal length of your lens. It used to be easy to set your lens to the hyperfocal distance in the old days when we had manual focus lenses with depth of field scales on the barrel. We don't have that with most M43 lenses so probably the easiest way to work out hyperfocal distance these days is to use an application on your smart phone and then focus on something about that distance away. Not the most elegant way of doing it but it works reasonably well. A Google search or a look at a site like Wikipedia will give you a lot on hyperfocal distance.