View Full Version : How Aperture Selection Affects DOF and Background

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:16 PM
How Aperture Selection Affects DOF and Background

Nikon 600mm Lens at about 30' This image is F4

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:17 PM
Nikon 600mm Lens at about 30' This image is F5.6

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:21 PM
Nikon 600mm Lens at about 30' This image is F8

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:21 PM
Nikon 600mm Lens at about 30' This image is F11

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:23 PM
Nikon 600mm Lens at about 30' This image is F16

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:24 PM
Nikon 600mm Lens at about 30' This image is F22

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:27 PM
Here side by side, is a real world example.
Do you want a smooth background or do you prefer a little more texture?

James Shadle
12-16-2009, 10:28 PM
Here they are side by side, all in 1 stop increments.

Alfred Forns
12-16-2009, 10:30 PM
Love the series James !!! Great examples !!!

Kerry Perkins
12-16-2009, 11:09 PM
This is excellent, thanks so much for posting! I am always looking for the f/4 setting on my 400mm lens, but it just isn't there. :( Maybe some day!! :) Thanks Captain.

Harshad Barve
12-16-2009, 11:28 PM
Cant get better tutorial than this James

Lance Peters
12-17-2009, 12:13 AM
Nice James!!!
Thanks for taking the time to do this for us.

Jay Gould
12-17-2009, 05:08 AM
Cool series; you can see a change in the sharpness in the top of the piece of wood from aperture to aperture. Where was the actual focal point; in the center of the wood measured both ways?

kostas nianiopoulos
12-17-2009, 06:24 AM
great series , we can lern from those ... well done

Thanaboon Jearkjirm
12-17-2009, 06:48 AM
Thank you for posting this, definitely help.

David Smith
12-17-2009, 09:03 AM

Great post.. That should be made a "sticky"..


Jeff Donald
12-19-2009, 05:48 AM
Very well done, James. Your test shots also show the effects of diffraction. The limb is not near as sharp at f/16 and f/22 as f/8.

Doug Brown
12-21-2009, 12:31 AM
Excellent stuff James!

Julie Kenward
12-26-2009, 05:43 PM
If this doesn't help someone understand better why their background looks the way it does I don't think anything will. It just doesn't get any simpler than that!

Xristos Zo
12-29-2009, 01:24 PM
The side by side shots are very informative, thanks

Arthur Morris
12-29-2009, 08:05 PM
Well done Frog-teacher :)

Dave Mills
12-30-2009, 12:01 AM
James, very useful and the examples making it self explanatory

Stephen Stephen
01-20-2010, 01:13 PM
James, "seeing is believing". A lot of photographers could benefit from this visual tutorial.


Juan Carlos Vindas
05-02-2010, 09:11 PM
Thanks again for this lesson, much appreciated.

Dave Leroy
06-06-2010, 03:08 PM
I have been back to this to check things out a couple times.

Tks James.


Akash Panchbudhe
01-25-2011, 03:22 AM
thanks for such a great lesson.

Sir, plz keep on posting such threats


Arthur Morris
01-26-2011, 05:25 AM
I am thinking that I like the smooth BKGRs :)

Herb Houghton
03-14-2011, 06:57 PM
Great examples James. Thanks for the info.

Dinesh Kowshik
07-12-2011, 04:50 AM
Bokeh and the sharpness of the subject at given aperture seems to differ with every lens. Your lesson on the 600mm is as informative as it can get. Thank you.

Eric Weaver
07-12-2011, 10:52 AM
Very nice examples of the effects. Wanted to add to the comments that it also depends on how far away the background is to the subject. At different background depths each f stop will give a different effect than the ones shown. Things like lighting, blade shape and configuration, lens quality also come into play. My Canon lenses gave a much different bokeh than my Leica or Schneider lenses do as will a Nikon lens. This gives a good general visual representation of how it works. A nice starting point for folks to consider.