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| p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Are you calculating dof in your head as you shoot? |
I work mostly via "seat of the pants" or use live view, as others have mentioned above. One thing that most modern lenses lack is a depth of field scale. That was so common back in the manual focus film days, but is mostly gone now. But the Canon manual focus Tilt Shift lenses have a reasonable "throw" on the focus ring, and a few depth of field markings to help you out. The Zeiss ZE manual focus lenses that fit Canon bodies also have depth of field scales on them, all though I have never used one of those lenses. Anyway the old fashion way is another alternative to keep in mind for knowing what your depth of field is, especially if you own a Canon TS-E lens.
Most current Canon lenses can report the distance they are focused at back to the camera, which is used for flash photography exposure calculations. There is no reason why a camera could not display the focus distance the lens is set at, as well as calculate the depth of field and display the far and near distance values, as well as calculate the size of the depth of field. I would guess that the distance information reported by the lens is not super accurate, so that may be why we do not get the information right now. But even if the distance has some error, the depth of field calcualtions would still be very handy. I have never seen that feature built in to modern cameras, but it might exist out side of the Canon world. Obviously you would need to interpert the distances and try to make sense of them in the scene, which could be hard to do, but if you are good at estimating distances, it could be handy, especially compared to trying to open an app and estimate the shooting distance and enter the current aperture and lens focal length values.
Using live view to check and inspect at the stopped down shooting aperture is very useful when you are on a tripod and have the time. But is can be slow to check the near and far with only the one zoom in box. It would be very nice to have a second or even a third zoom in box available, so you could watch up to three points zoomed in while you adjust focus. This is another feature that some cameras might now have, but I am not aware of it.
Another thing that would help with live view focusing is to add some display readout scale that interperts a given live view zoom in box, and shows how well that part of the image is in focus, in a way that could be seen without careful close inspeciton of the live view screen. Something like a little bar along the side of the zoom in box, that gets short as focus improves. I do not know how hard that is right now, but it should be easier with the new sensor style used in the 70D, that can report focus information from every dual pixel on the screen during live view.