Camera blurred background like DSLR without apps?

vaultwit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
192
7
Is the iPhone 5 capable of taking pictures with focused foreground and blurred background, similar to a DSLR? I know you can't adjust the aperture on the iPhone 5 but maybe there's some track, perhaps using the AE/AF lock?

Also, I mean purely using the iPhone 5's camera only, not by using apps to create an after effect...
 

Woodcrest64

macrumors 65816
Aug 14, 2006
1,179
332
Is the iPhone 5 capable of taking pictures with focused foreground and blurred background, similar to a DSLR? I know you can't adjust the aperture on the iPhone 5 but maybe there's some track, perhaps using the AE/AF lock?

Also, I mean purely using the iPhone 5's camera only, not by using apps to create an after effect...
The only way to get what you want without any apps is to take a picture of something super close with a background far way. I.E. Taking a macro shot of a flower or bug and have the horizon with mountains in the background.

That's the only way to do it because the sensor is much smaller than the ones found in a DSLR.
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,299
2,180
US
Is the iPhone 5 capable of taking pictures with focused foreground and blurred background, similar to a DSLR?
Not really. Depth of Field depends on aperture and focal length. Neither are adjustable on the iphone camera, so your DoF is not adjustable.

As Woodcrest64 mentions, the sensor physical size affects depth of field but it is an indirect effect. DoF ultimately depends on the physical size of the aperture in the lens. As sensor size decreases, to keep the same field of view you need to shorten the lens focal length. As lens focal length shortens, the aperture must also shrink to retain the same f-stop ranges (f/2.8 etc). There are practical and physical limitations to how low an f-stop can be created; below f/1.8 gets expensive to make and f/0.5 is considered the physical limit of glass lenses.
 

vaultwit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
192
7
Not really. Depth of Field depends on aperture and focal length. Neither are adjustable on the iphone camera, so your DoF is not adjustable.

As Woodcrest64 mentions, the sensor physical size affects depth of field but it is an indirect effect. DoF ultimately depends on the physical size of the aperture in the lens. As sensor size decreases, to keep the same field of view you need to shorten the lens focal length. As lens focal length shortens, the aperture must also shrink to retain the same f-stop ranges (f/2.8 etc). There are practical and physical limitations to how low an f-stop can be created; below f/1.8 gets expensive to make and f/0.5 is considered the physical limit of glass lenses.
Thank you for the explanation. Although I have absolutely no knowledge in photography, your explanation gave me some general insight which was helpful.

One question I thought of is, what about if you use one of the many third party detachable lenses available for the iPhone? Is it possible to achieve depth of field with that, or no bc of the iPhone's built-in camera hardware?
 

deeddawg

macrumors G3
Jun 14, 2010
8,299
2,180
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what about if you use one of the many third party detachable lenses available for the iPhone? Is it possible to achieve depth of field with that, or no bc of the iPhone's built-in camera hardware?
I'm glad I was able to help.

As to this question, I'll start by saying I honestly don't know for sure.

My gut feeling is they would not help since an add on lens cannot make the existing aperture any larger. They'd probably make it worse as they'd essentially increase focal length while keeping the aperture fixed.

I may very well be wrong as I've never tried any of those add on lenses. I just use my phone camera for snapshots and switch to a DSLR for more creative / technical stuff.
 

Mr Rabbit

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2013
637
4
'merica
You can using the tap to focus and/or AE/AF lock. Bender was about 6-7" from the iPhone, the book shelf & iMac are about 5' from the iPhone...
 

Attachments

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,897
1,125
Washington DC
Another example similar to Jayotherock and Mr. Rabbit:



This is the only way to get a shallow depth of field on an iPhone. A VERY close subject with a far away background.

This pretty much limits you to taking photos of tiny things.

So the answer to your question is technically yes, but only in very, very specific situations. So in the real world, the answer is generally no.
 

xdhd350

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2010
335
54
I'm glad I was able to help.

As to this question, I'll start by saying I honestly don't know for sure.

My gut feeling is they would not help since an add on lens cannot make the existing aperture any larger. They'd probably make it worse as they'd essentially increase focal length while keeping the aperture fixed.

I may very well be wrong as I've never tried any of those add on lenses. I just use my phone camera for snapshots and switch to a DSLR for more creative / technical stuff.
Only way to achieve this with add on gear is through a 35mm DOF adapter as has been used on many smaller chip video cameras to achieve 35mm DOF qualities. In essence, the image from the 35mm glass is projected onto an intermediate screen which is then captured by the camera which is focused on the screen.
 

vaultwit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
192
7
Only way to achieve this with add on gear is through a 35mm DOF adapter as has been used on many smaller chip video cameras to achieve 35mm DOF qualities. In essence, the image from the 35mm glass is projected onto an intermediate screen which is then captured by the camera which is focused on the screen.
Is there one of these currently available for the iPhone? Is there one you would suggest?
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,375
1,735
May I ask why not get a decent point and shoot with an adjustable aperture?

Seems like you'll spend quite a bit of money for mediocre results with an iPhone.
 

vaultwit

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 20, 2012
192
7
May I ask why not get a decent point and shoot with an adjustable aperture?

Seems like you'll spend quite a bit of money for mediocre results with an iPhone.
You are probably right, and if I decide to spend money at all it'll probably be for that.

But given the iPhone 5's fairly good camera, I wanted to explore what the possibilities were. Half the reason was just out of curiosity.
 

N e e k

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2011
263
0
Who cares about bokeh. Everyone is trying to achieve that "blurred background" look, just shoot. That look is so overrated. Who cares. Take pictures of a good subject and be a better photographer before you start worrying about aperture, and if you really want that, get a DSLR. It won't look like you'll want it to be on an iPhone.
 

xdhd350

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2010
335
54
Is there one of these currently available for the iPhone? Is there one you would suggest?
cynics pretty much said it. You'll spend a lot of money on such an adapter, when you could buy a DSLR.

That being said, there are some good lens options for the iPhone that will help you get a shot but not with shallow DOF.

Check out the iProlens from Schneider Optics. Top notch glass.