Is Depth Of Field Affected By Focal Length? A Practical Test

The fact that the depth of field varies depending on focal length seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Matt Granger however says that wide angle lenses don’t necessarily have a smaller depth of field when compared to longer telephoto lenses:

To understand any of this, you have to know what depth of field is: (Yes, this is very basic) Depth of field is basically the depth of your image that is in sharp focus, it is usually about 1/3 in front of your focus and 2/3 behind it.

In his video, Matt conducts a test to prove his point: He takes the same shot with the same framing and only changes the focal length and the position of the camera. The aperture was kept the same – f/2.8 – throughout the shoot. Of course when changing the focal length of your lens you’ll have to physically move the camera if you want your final result to have the same crop.

Here are the results:

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The Effects Of Changing Focal Length

When I was your age, we did not have zoom lenses, we used to zoom with our legs. Barefoot. In the snow.

So what is the effect of changing focal length vs. zooming with your legs?

Mike Browne has a great video explanation packed with examples on the impact that zooming vs walking has.

Basically it changed three things: Field of view, Depth of field and Perspective, as the vidoe so wonderfully demostrates.

Focal Length Changes 3 Things via csbphoto

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