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Shallow DOF.

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Old Sunday 10th July 2016, 00:02   #1
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Shallow DOF.

First I would just say that I have no technical ability with a camera just a bird watcher who takes a few photos of birds but have this problem that I do not know if its me and my fault in setting the camera up or a normal fact of life but I do seem to get shots that show in my opinion very shallow DOF!
As illustration I will put up these two examples that have been re-sized and sharpened back up
I use a Olympus E-M5 Olympus 75-300 lens. Set here on S mode, 1/1000, 5.4-6.3.
Any thoughts appreciated.
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Old Sunday 10th July 2016, 00:10   #2
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Personally I think these are good shots. Really puts the birds on center stage. My thoughts though.
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Old Sunday 10th July 2016, 02:47   #3
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The problem with your photos is not so much shallow depth-of-field but with point of focus. The trick in these situations is to focus on the eyes, not on the wings as per both your shots. If the eyes are sharp, softness in other parts of the photo is comparatively unobnoxious.
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Last edited by fugl : Sunday 10th July 2016 at 03:25.
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Old Sunday 10th July 2016, 03:06   #4
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The level of depth of field in your images is entirely normal with a lens like this, at least if it is anywhere close to full zoom. You could try to increase DOF by stopping down to e.g., F8, but not much more than that because you will get into trouble with softness due to diffraction.

Therefore, the best way forward is to listen to fugl and make sure focus is on the eye of the bird. If there are two birds, most often going for the nearer one will give the best results.

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Old Monday 11th July 2016, 10:40   #5
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You may find this link informative, you are more or less stuck with minimal dof with this length of lens, select E-P1 for camera (dof is the same for all normal m4/3 cameras). If you experiment with it you will get a feel for how much leeway you have. fugl and Neils have given you excellent advice.
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