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Thread: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

  1. #1

    Lightbulb How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    I had my kit lens with me over the year now and i just want to share how shallow DOF the 18-55mm can produce. From Mid-range Macro to creative abstract Photography.

    Please share your opinions, some of your own pictures taken with the 18-55mm or close comparisons with other lenses.

    [Rice Texturing]


    Just look at how Shallow the DOF is. Focused in the middle, a nice bokeh is created in the background and foreground.


    Specs:
    1/160sec
    f/4.5
    Focal length of 45mm





    [Non-Macro]


    Here is a shot of a Tiny little green thing on a flower. The flower is sized at a radius of an average empty toilet paper roll. (the brown thing) It's not that close to real macro but the DOF is just delicious.


    Specs:
    1/250sec
    f/5.6
    Focal Length of 55mm
    ISO 200



    [The December Paper Bag]


    As seen on my APAD, someone asked me if this was done using a macro lens. Well i'm using a kit lens for this. I'm able to go so close to capture this with slight DOF at the top.


    Specs:
    1/30sec
    f/5.6
    ISO 200
    Focal length of 48mm
    Last edited by Sgdevilzz; 2nd April 2011 at 10:11 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Yes, the kit lens can produce shallow depth of field, but it is limited in that you can usually only do that at short working distances, which is not optimal for some types of photography. The bokeh is also quite harsh.

    I'm not trying to say that the kit lens is not good. It is excellent, and has one of the best, if not the best, performance to price ratio. But you get what you pay for. At short working distances, f5.6 will still blur out the background, but it will still never be as good as f2.8 and larger apertures.
    Last edited by brapodam; 3rd April 2011 at 07:23 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Yes, but being a kit lens that can produce such quality simply makes people think that it's not shot using a kit lens. I've seen alot of people buying only the body and goes to 18-200 straight but in actual fact the 18-55 is more sharp than the 18-200, of course you'll lose the tele zoom.
    Last edited by Sgdevilzz; 3rd April 2011 at 07:58 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    with ur skills, using a f2.8 or f1.4, ur images will be at least 2 or 3 times nicer.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    I wish i had the money for a f/2.8 or at least a f/1.8, i mean i can buy the 50mm f1.8 but my camera doesn't have built-in motor. Well, i'll just make due to what i currently have...

  6. #6

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by baggiolee View Post
    with ur skills, using a f2.8 or f1.4, ur images will be at least 2 or 3 times nicer.
    Agreed.

    And yes, Nikon screws around with the entry level bodies, so that a lot of good lenses can't be used. Lenses like

    -Nikon 50/1.8D
    -Nikon 85/1.8D
    -Nikon AF-D 80-200 (AF-S version was only available for a short time and was discontinued)
    -Tokina 11-16 f2.8
    -Tokina 16-50 f2.8
    -Nikon DX 10.5mm Fisheye (of course, AF is not very important to have in this lens but still)

  7. #7
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    Thats y I always ask those who wants to buy camera, do u want to learn photography or do u just want to take pictures of your family during occasions. The earlier will be D90 & above, the later will be D3100.
    Equipment: D800|D700|11-16|28-75|105 Micro VR|50 F1.4G|85 F1.8G
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  8. #8

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cowseye View Post
    Thats y I always ask those who wants to buy camera, do u want to learn photography or do u just want to take pictures of your family during occasions. The earlier will be D90 & above, the later will be D3100.
    For the latter, they will at first just take photos of family and friends. But the more pictures they take, the more they wanna do more in photography. This is where the real passion starts, seeking better lenses and better bodies. Some people are smart to start with the simplest D90. Then again, you'll realize that you needed more functions, thus buying a newer body. In this case, you'll lose more money because the D90 costs more than a D3100.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    For the latter, they will at first just take photos of family and friends. But the more pictures they take, the more they wanna do more in photography. This is where the real passion starts, seeking better lenses and better bodies. Some people are smart to start with the simplest D90. Then again, you'll realize that you needed more functions, thus buying a newer body. In this case, you'll lose more money because the D90 costs more than a D3100.
    Depends on whether you buy 1st hand or 2nd hand. If you buy 2nd hand, you won't lose that much.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam View Post
    Depends on whether you buy 1st hand or 2nd hand. If you buy 2nd hand, you won't lose that much.
    well, most people that are new to photography usually buys 1st hand. Hardly have any that buys 2nd hand because they didn't know that there is ClubSnap BnS or 2nd hand shops. Unless they did their homework.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    well, most people that are new to photography usually buys 1st hand. Hardly have any that buys 2nd hand because they didn't know that there is ClubSnap BnS or 2nd hand shops. Unless they did their homework.
    True. I did not dare to buy 2nd hand when I first started. My first body (D5000) was bought first hand, but now my D90 is a 2nd hand one, and I think in the future, all my stuff will be 2nd hand (except if I want to get some third party lenses which are notorious for AF issues and need calibration etc.)

  12. #12

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    I had to read your post like 3 times to understand your English. Can you make an effort and get your sentences right?
    i am still not sure if you are asking how shallow or deep the DOF produced by your kit lens is or if you are excited about it and you want to tell us. But if you want to know in mm how big it really is, then go to http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html and you can find out. You will also be able to find out how much smaller the DOF will get if you use f2.8 or f1.8
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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Great close up pics. Dof is much affected by focusing distance. At close focusing distance, dof is greatly reduced. Almost any lens can do that if it has a reasonably shorter mfd. This is a good example to show the power of understanding your equipment and basic concepts on optics.

    I love the 18-55 and have shot many pictures on it. But I am sure it can't do this:


  14. #14

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Great close up pics. Dof is much affected by focusing distance. At close focusing distance, dof is greatly reduced. Almost any lens can do that if it has a reasonably shorter mfd. This is a good example to show the power of understanding your equipment and basic concepts on optics.

    I love the 18-55 and have shot many pictures on it. But I am sure it can't do this:

    Where there's a will, there's a way. I'm pretty sure if you have the right plugins for photoshop and spend enough time post processing, you can do that. But that's another thing.

    I notice a lot of the people on this forum over-emphasize skills over equipment, to the point where they say equipment does not matter at all. That is totally untrue, as equipment complements skill. The kit lens is definitely capable of many things, but subject isolation is just something that isn't the kit lens' forte. Obviously at short focusing distances DOF will be shallow. But you don't shoot at minimum focusing distance all the time.

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    Moderator daredevil123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam

    Where there's a will, there's a way. I'm pretty sure if you have the right plugins for photoshop and spend enough time post processing, you can do that. But that's another thing.

    I notice a lot of the people on this forum over-emphasize skills over equipment, to the point where they say equipment does not matter at all. That is totally untrue, as equipment complements skill. The kit lens is definitely capable of many things, but subject isolation is just something that isn't the kit lens' forte. Obviously at short focusing distances DOF will be shallow. But you don't shoot at minimum focusing distance all the time.
    Photoshop blur has a different quality to lens blur. You can certainly get close but never 100% unless you put many many hours into working on the gradations on the blur in different areas of the subjects face, etc.

    Vision is the seed of photography. Skills form the base of photography. With the skills and experience one will be able to know what tools to use to reach that end goal and make that vision into fruition. Equipment are just tools. Tools are important as well but tools on their own have no life in them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Skill and lens performance should be separated. Everyone has different level of skills and the skill level can improve over time depend on the efforts the person put in, but a 50mm f1.8D is just a 50mm f1.8D, it won't become a Sigma, Carl Zeiss or Leica 50mm 5 years down the road.
    Yes some people can create nice photos with cheap lens, but these photos could be much nicer with more expensive lens. Some people buy expensive CS5 suite and spend hours in processing a single RAW file but some are just contended with straight out of camera JPEGs. So it depends on the person's level of satisfaction. Some people are picky, some are not. It also depends on the person's priorities in life. Some don't wish to invest a lot of money in the camera gears although they can afford it. Some even invest the money in a BMW, but they are happy with a point&shoot LX3 and refuse to buy a D700.
    With such human variables, it's not fair to criticise a lens performance. If you are happy with what you pay for the lens, so be it.
    Kent Wong Photography |Leica Q & Leica M-P 240 | 75 & 28mm Summilux

  17. #17

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    Yes, but being a kit lens that can produce such quality simply makes people think that it's not shot using a kit lens. I've seen alot of people buying only the body and goes to 18-200 straight but in actual fact the 18-55 is more sharp than the 18-200, of course you'll lose the tele zoom.
    some people will buy a lens because of it's reach. these people will probably not be the pixel peepers. so sharpness at 1:1 will not be a concern to them.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Photoshop blur has a different quality to lens blur. You can certainly get close but never 100% unless you put many many hours into working on the gradations on the blur in different areas of the subjects face, etc.

    Vision is the seed of photography. Skills form the base of photography. With the skills and experience one will be able to know what tools to use to reach that end goal and make that vision into fruition. Equipment are just tools. Tools are important as well but tools on their own have no life in them.
    Tools are also important, bro. Some tools are more suited to do certain tasks than other tools. For instance, you could probably use a pair of pliers to to knock nails into wood. But a hammer works better. Same goes for lenses; a small aperture lens can certainly produce some background blur, but it will not work as well as a f2.8 lens for that purpose.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by brapodam

    Tools are also important, bro. Some tools are more suited to do certain tasks than other tools. For instance, you could probably use a pair of pliers to to knock nails into wood. But a hammer works better. Same goes for lenses; a small aperture lens can certainly produce some background blur, but it will not work as well as a f2.8 lens for that purpose.
    Yes. Tools are impt. But one has to know that he wants the nail in the wood in the first place. Only then with experience he will know a hammer will work better than the pilers. Then he needs the skill to be able to hit the nail on the head, driving it into the wood with one shot. Having a hammer in hand with no objective of what to accomplish is quite useless as well. Having a hammer with no skill, may take more strikes to drive a nail in properly. In the process may bend the nail or worse, miss the nail and hit the thumb.

    Hope you get what I am driving at.
    Last edited by daredevil123; 5th April 2011 at 01:13 PM.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How shallow does the DOF of the 18-55mm produce?

    Quote Originally Posted by daredevil123 View Post
    Yes. Tools are impt. But one has to know that he wants the nail in the wood in the first place. Only then with experience he will know a hammer will work better than the pilers. Then he needs the skill to be able to hit the nail on the head, driving it into the wood with one shot. Having a hammer in hand with no objective of what to accomplish is quite useless as well. Having a hammer with no skill, may take more strikes to drive a nail in properly. In the process may bend the nail or worse, miss the nail and hit the thumb.

    Hope you get what I am driving at.
    Yes I get what you are driving at, and my point is that many people here prefer to advise others to gain the skills to drive in the nail with one strike, but use a pair of pliers to do it, because a hammer is not needed.

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