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Depth Of Field

Depth of field is controlled by the Aperture setting, but is also dependent on the focal length of the lens used.

Stated simply, it is the amount of a photograph in focus in front of, and behind, the point of focus. In other words, if you focus on an object, depth of field is the amount of the photograph that is in focus in front of and behind the object (see example below).

The depth of field is greater using a small aperture setting (eg. F11) than when using a large aperture setting (eg. F2.8).

The focal length of the lens also makes a difference to depth of field – a longer focal length reduces depth of field, while a wide angle lens will give a larger depth of field in a photograph.

It’s important to understand the basics of depth of field as it can ruin a photograph if a critical part is not in focus.

Most SLR cameras have a Depth of Field Preview button, usually found beside the lens mount, which, when pressed, will show amount of the photograph that will be in focus based on the current settings.

A point to note is that there will be two thirds of the available depth of field behind the object, while there will be one third in front of an object.


Small Depth of Field  
Large Depth of Field
Small Depth of Field (F3.5)
Large Depth of Field (F13)



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