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Behind the Lens by Jay Holben

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2.2Optical Illusions: Understanding Interchanging Optics

In the world of digital video, there is much ado about depth of field—and deservedly so. Decreased depth of field is one of the more attractive attributes of the “film look.” However, many digital video shooters don’t have a firm grasp on field of view. Whereas depth of field denotes the area before and after the plane of focus that will appear in an acceptable range of sharpness, field of view denotes the total area (both horizontally and vertically) that will be captured by a given lens onto a given target.

What we’re going to talk about here is “crop factor,” a term that gets thrown around quite a bit, but not everyone seems to really understand what it means. By “crop factor,” we’re ...

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