how to determine depth of field : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

How to determine depth of field in large format photography?

-- Kuet Ee Foo (, January 19, 1998


Response to depth of field

This is a difficult question since there are no hard and fast answers. Basically, this is determind by the degree of enlargement and the amount of unsharpness you will tolerate. If you contact print only, your so-called "depth of field" will be much greater than if you enlarge. Swings and tilts will enable you to bring the subject into the plane of focus of the film. They are your greatest ally in the depth of field struggle. And of course, check the groundglass with a loupe after stopping down to the taking aperture. This is the "depth of field preview" of the view camera.

-- Peter Hughes (, January 26, 1998.

Response to depth of field

I recommend that you take a look in Strobel ("View Camera Technique") and Adams ("Camera and Lens"). Also Kodak on "Large Format Photography". The issues of depth of field and how it may be affected by camera movements and enlargement (and of course lens focal length and fstop used) can sometimes be subtle.

In general a good answer to 75% of photo questions is to go out and just try it. This however is an area where a little research and foreknowledge may be a value add.


-- John D. Bridgman (, January 27, 1998.

Response to depth of field

The Mar/Apr 1996 issue of Photo Techniques had a good article on this subject. It basically boiled it down to line pairs/mm vs. focus spread vs. aperture. They may have reprints available.

-- Ron Shaw (, February 25, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ