Depth of Field Preview

On most cameras, a change in depth of field caused by changing the diaphragm is usually undetectable in the viewfinder or on the display screen. The reason behind this is that on most cameras diaphragm doesn't stop the lens down to the working aperture until the image is being captured. If the camera were to stop the lens to the working aperture before taking the shot, the viewfinder would- depending on the set working aperture-darken considerably. This could potentially make creating an image using the viewfinder impossible.

Some single-lens reflex cameras therefore have a so-called "depth of field preview button". This button can be used check the working aperture before capturing an image. The depth of field can be checked and facilitates the creative design of an image.

If your camera does not have this button, a test shot can be taken and assessed on the display screen. If the depth of field is insufficient, another shot must be taken after diaphragm and/or focusing settings have been adjusted.

The following images show the difference between what is perceived through the viewfinder and the actual photographic result. The dark image simulates the view through the viewfinder as the depth of field preview button is being pressed down. Ignore the brightness in this picture and instead focus on the difference in depth of field. Perceiving the depth of field while using the depth of field preview button often takes time and practice.

The following image shows the view through the viewfinder with a diaphragm set to 11

Visuelle Wahrnehmung durch den Sucher bei Blende 11


The following image shows the finishing result with a diaphragm of 11

Ergebnis bei Blende 11


The following image shows the view through the viewfinder with a diaphragm set to 11 and the depth of view preview button being pressed down

Arbeitsblende 11

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