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Depth of field

Understand the magic of depth of field...


What is depth of field?

Depth of field (DoF) in photography and videography refers to the range within your image that is acceptably sharp and and in focus.

The depth of field in your image is affected by your aperture size, focal length, distance to subject, and camera sensor size:

Aperture size

The aperture size of your lens affects the depth of field in your image.

Smaller apertures (larger f-stop numbers) like f/16 provide a larger depth of field which means more of your image will be in focus from forground to background.

Snowy mountains landscape using narrow aperture.
Landscape with large depth of field

Larger apertures (smaller f-stop numbers) like f/1.8 provides a shallower depth of field focusing on a more narrow point and blurring the background and foreground. You can also create bokeh with a shallower depth of field.

Man with white shirt in the middle of trees.
Portrait with shallow depth of field

Focal length

The focal length of your lens also influences the depth of field in your image.

If you use a longer lens like a telephoto lens, you'll tend to have a shallower depth of field compared to a shorter lens like a wide-angle lens even when used at the same aperture (f-stop).

Distance to subject

The distance to your subject also influences the depth of field in your image.

The closer your subject is to your camera, the shallower the depth of field. As the distance increases from your subject increases, the depth of field also increases.

Sensor size

The sensor size of your camera also influences the depth of field in your image.

Cameras with larger sensors like full-frame sensor cameras often provide a more shallow depth of field at equivalent apertures (f-stops) compared to cameras with smaller sensors such as crop-sensor cameras.


Overall, depth of field in photography and videography is an important concept to understand as in order to have better creative control over your final images.

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