Shallow DOF with a Kit Lens

 

I am new to DSLR photography and one of the first things I have attempted is to shoot is to get a shallow DOF effect that blurs the background aesthetically. Such photographs have always fascinated me. After a few attempts, I have managed to shoot a blurred background. However, I am unable to get this same effect in every photograph, even while shooting at f/3.5. Please help.
Biswarup Biswas, via email

Depth-of-field is dependent on the focal length at which you are shooting, the aperture, the distance between the subject and the lens and that between the subject and the background. In order to achieve shallow DOF with a regular kit lens, make sure you are shooting at the widest aperture and are at the telephoto end of your lens. Also, move as close to your subject as possible and shoot at the minimum focusing distance. Also, try to get the subject as far from the background as possible. This should give you the shallowest possible depth-of-field with your lens. Lastly, ensure that your focusing is accurate so that your main subjectis perfectly sharp.

This image was shot at the telephoto end at the minimum focusing distance, while using an aperture of f/5.6 on a regular kit lens. Photograph/Raj Lalwani

This image was shot at the telephoto end at the minimum focusing distance, while using an aperture of f/5.6 on a regular kit lens. Photograph/Raj Lalwani

Tags: bokeh, Depth of Field, November 2010, Question of the Day, Shallow DOF with a Kit Lens

  • Avirup

    I am not sure whether the F80 has the in-body motor or not. But D3100 does not have, so if the lense dont have autofocus motor or we can say if it’s not AF-S then it wont autofocus. SO for that you have to do the focusing manually in D3100 or have to have the lense AF-S. AF lense wont autofocus in D3100.

    Nikon’s inbody focus motor starts from the model D90.

  • DIPSHIKHA HAZARIKA

    I have a nikon F80 with AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D lens.but today the analog SLR is out dated.So yesterday I have purchased a new D3100 body only.because I already have a good normal lens.my question is that can I shoot any photograph using auto focus in D3100 with this normal lens?if yes how?In AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 G VR lens there is a option for auto focus and manual focus i.e.A & M mode.In F80 body also the option was as M S & C.But in D3100 body there is no A or M focus mode and in this normal lens also no any A or M mode.please let me know it.
    DIPSHIKHA HAZARIKA,GUWAHATI