Photography cheat sheet: how to affect depth of field

photography cheat sheet depth of field
You'll find a full-size downloadable cheat sheet on depth of field below (Image credit: Thinkstock)

To explain what depth of field is, it can be helpful to start by looking at lenses. Lenses can only focus precisely at one distance at a time. But things that are closer or more distant than the subject can still look sharp. This ‘zone of apparent sharpness’ can be so shallow that it’s virtually non-existent, or can stretch to a distant horizon.

‘Zone of apparent sharpness’ is a good working definition of depth of field (DoF). Only perfect focusing at one distance can create pin-point sharpness, but things on either side may still appear sharp – any blur is too slight to be perceptible. It’s apparent sharpness that counts in the real world. If something looks sharp, even if theoretically it isn’t, it’s sharp enough for our purposes.

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N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine is a monthly publication that's entirely dedicated to Nikon users. As a 100% independent magazine, you can be assured of unbiased opinion from a trustworthy team of devoted photography experts including editor Adam Waring and Deputy Editor Mike Harris

Aimed at all users, from camera newcomers to working pros, every issue is packed with practical, Nikon-specific advice for taking better photos, in-depth reviews of Nikon-compatible gear, and inspiring projects and exciting video lessons for mastering camera, lens and Photoshop techniques.

Written by Nikon users for Nikon users, N-Photo is your one-stop shop for everything to do with cameras, lenses, tripods, bags, tips, tricks and techniques to get the most out of your photography.

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