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Nuts and Bolts Filmmaking by Dan Rahmel

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Depth of Field Spreadsheet

Applications

For many filming setups, a cinematographer (DP) will want to decide explicitly the degree of focus necessary to tell a story with a particular shot. Deep focus may be preferred or at other times the choice is made to blur the background while the actors remain in sharp focus. Depth of field (DoF) calculations allow the DP or cameraperson to determine the size of the field of focus based on a given lens size and aperture setting.

On a professional set, you will often see the Assistant Camera people (ACs) use a tool called a Kelly Wheel (or Guild Kelly Wheel or Mark II Calculator) to determine the DoF. Unfortunately ...

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