Manipulate depth of field with filters?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ppc_michael, Sep 9, 2007.

  1. ppc_michael Guest

    ppc_michael

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    Los Angeles, CA
    #1
    Is there a way to manipulate depth of field other than through aperture? With filters or something? This is actually something I want to do with my video camera, but I figure you photography people would be more in touch with lens filters and techniques.

    I have a rather nice Sony HDV camera (HVR-Z1U). Even at f/1.8 at a longer focal length, the amount that's in focus is way too much for my liking. (This is, I believe, because the censors on the video camera are much smaller than those found on SLRs).

    So I want more of a photographic look. I want razor thin focus. ;) But I don't want to spend a million dollars on a 35mm lens adapter (I'd like to, but don't have the money).

    Can I buy filters or anything? I was thinking about maybe a macro filter, would that work?
     
  2. JohnMC macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Michael, I do not know how good you are with Photoshop or Applescript, but I have used this process to do similar things. Here is a tutorial on Hollywood DoF with PS. What I did is use Applescript to create a automatic image processor out of PS. If you have a lot of action in your shots this may not work as well, but with some tweaking you may be able to pull this off.

    JohnMC
     
  3. Q-Dog macrumors 6502

    Q-Dog

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    Sep 9, 2007
    #3
    I don't know anything about that camera, but if you can get a neutral density filter to fit your lens, you will be able to do what you want.

    A neutral density filter reduces the amount of light coming into your lens. To compensate for the lower light you will have to open up the iris (or the camera will have to do it if it is full auto). The wider your iris opening (known as aperture in still photography), the narrower your depth of field.
     
  4. redrabbit macrumors 6502

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    Aug 8, 2006
    #4
    i'm not into film, but that was a great tutorial, thanks for posting that
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    I'm sorry, but it probably won't look natural other than doing it the natural way. Just shoot using the widest aperture you can, and with the background far away from your subject. If the background is close to your subject, you're never going to get a perfect bokeh. Also, you're likely to need at least a DSLR to get better bokeh, like you said.
     
  6. ppc_michael thread starter Guest

    ppc_michael

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    #6
    That's the thing, I'm already shooting as open as I can at f/1.8 but it just doesn't knock out the background.

    Thanks everybody, I guess it's not happening. :/
     
  7. JohnMC macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Not hijack this thread, but redrabbit if you liked that you may like this site.

    JohnMC
     
  8. JohnMC macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Michael, quick question, what is your zoom at? Are you wide or tight? I have no experience with your camera, but with my Panny HVX200 if I have the zoom at 3/4 or more at f/3.5 or wider, I have no problem getting great DoF.

    John
     
  9. ppc_michael thread starter Guest

    ppc_michael

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    #9
    Pretty tight, usually around 80mm or so (I don't get f/1.8 there). It helps, but is still no where near "filmic."
     
  10. valiar macrumors regular

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    Mar 14, 2006
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #10
    Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a filter that directly modifies your DOF.

    This will only depend on lens focal length and aperture - and for a small video sensor your focal length will be rather small to achieve a shallow DOF even when you zoom out to a rather impractical telephoto setting.

    I have looked at the product that you have linked in your original post, and it sounds quite interesting. I think that this is indeed what you need to get for your purposes. Did you notice they also sell the DIY guide and ground glass for just $45?

    http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.472981/it.A/id.15/.f
     
  11. JohnMC macrumors 6502

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    #11
    <2 CENTS>
    Coming from the film world, I would say that the DIY version of the M2 is not that great. Even when assembled properly it still does not look right to me. But, having said that, depending on your needs the DIY kit may be for you. If you do this professionally you should have no problem paying for the M2 in a couple months, if this is more of a hobby you really should look at the the DIY kit.

    </2 CENTS>

    JohnMC
     
  12. ppc_michael thread starter Guest

    ppc_michael

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    #12
    Thank you, I did not know about the DIY kit. But to be honest, that looks like a lot of hard work that I wouldn't be willing to do. :eek: This is for a TV show that I want to make look wonderful. But nobody else cares about how it looks, so I don't think anybody would appreciate it except for me.

    So I guess I just wanted to know if there was some common trick or not. If it's going to be involved, I'll just opt out. Thanks everybody, I appreciate it.
     

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