Skip to main content

FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

Lesson 22 of 52

DOF Preview & Focusing Screens

John Greengo

FAST CLASS: Fundamentals of Photography

John Greengo

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

22. DOF Preview & Focusing Screens


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
1 Photographic Characteristics Duration:06:36
2 Camera Types Duration:02:53
3 Shutter System Duration:08:51
4 Shutter Speed Basics Duration:10:06
5 Camera Settings Overview Duration:16:02
6 Camera Settings - Details Duration:06:05
7 Sensor Size: Basics Duration:16:26
8 Focal Length Duration:11:26
9 Practicing Angle of View Duration:04:49
10 Lens Speed Duration:08:53
11 Aperture Duration:08:15
12 Depth of Field (DOF) Duration:12:32
13 Lens Quality Duration:06:56
14 Light Meter Basics Duration:08:54
15 Histogram Duration:11:38
16 Dynamic Range Duration:07:15
17 Exposure Bracketing Duration:07:59
18 Focusing Basics Duration:12:58
19 Manual Focus Duration:07:04
20 Digital Focus Assistance Duration:07:25
22 DOF Preview & Focusing Screens Duration:04:45
23 Camera Movement Duration:08:13
24 Focus Stacking Duration:07:48
25 Lens Adaptors & Cleaning Duration:08:24
26 Flash & Lighting Duration:04:37
27 Tripods Duration:14:03
28 Cases Duration:02:53
29 Natural Light: Mixed Duration:04:10
30 Sunrise & Sunset Light Duration:17:14
33 Light Management Duration:10:06
34 Speedlights Duration:04:02
35 Built-In & Add-On Flash Duration:10:37
36 Editing Assessments & Goals Duration:08:48
37 Editing Set-Up Duration:06:49
38 Importing Images Duration:03:49
39 Culling Images Duration:13:47
40 Adjusting Exposure Duration:07:53
41 Remove Distractions Duration:03:52
42 Cropping Your Images Duration:09:43
43 Angle of View Duration:14:25
44 Framing Your Shot Duration:07:17
46 Rule of Odds Duration:04:50
47 Visual Drama Duration:12:20
48 Elements of Design Duration:09:14
49 Texture & Negative Space Duration:03:47
50 Black & White & Color Duration:10:23
51 The Photographic Process Duration:08:58
52 What Makes a Great Photograph? Duration:06:39

Lesson Info

DOF Preview & Focusing Screens

For those of you with SLR cameras, most of you have the option of a depth of field preview. But when you look through the viewfinder, the aperture is completely open so that you can see the brightest, easiest view so you can manually focus. But if you're shooting a picture at F 16 it's gonna be completely different when that aperture stops down and you get a whole bunch more depth of field. So a long time ago, professional cameras put on a depth of field preview button over on the side. It is now migrated all the way down to some of the entry levels, not all of the entry levels. But some of the entry level cameras will have this little hidden button down on the side, and that when you press it normally in the viewfinder, you get this shallow depth of field look because that's what you're going to see with lens wide open. When you press it in, it closes the aperture down, and when you look through the viewfinder, it's going to give you a really dark image. Now, most people who see this ...

for the first time and you're explaining it to him. They always say the same thing. I can't see anything got dark. Let your eyes adjust to take a moment for your eyes to people's adjust and then you'll see that you're actually getting more depth of field. You see how much is in focus? Oh, I see it now. And so you press the button in you wait for a second or two for your eyes to adjust, and then you can see how much depth of field you're going to get. Now back in the days of film, this was really important cause you didn't know how much depth of field you're getting until you got your film pack from the processor. Now with digital cameras. This is kind of useless because you want to see how much you get in focus to shoot a picture and look at it. Ah, the fact that matter is, though, if you're using an SLR, it's hard to see the back of the camera in bright sunlight. And so, for a landscape photographer who's got a lot of light that they're working with, it's nice to hit that depth of field preview to see if those flowers in the foreground are and focused with the mountain in the background, and so it's a handy little device. Now, those of you with muralist cameras, you may want to do a little experiment. Don't take a picture of yourself, but hold the camera pointed at yourself and press halfway down. When it presses halfway down, some of the cameras will do an automatic depth of field preview for you. I believe Fuji's will do this. When you press halfway down, you hear a little noise, the apertures stops down. Other cameras don't stop down until the actual picture is taken. And this may even be a feature that you can turn on and off on your camera. But you will get this as an option on some muralist cameras if you look for it in that manner. Now, for those of you with S l ours and any of you that have very fast lenses, there is an important little secret change that has happened in cameras over the years. When we went into auto focus, the focusing screen in your camera in past cameras actually used to be replaceable, used to be able to interchange it, and you could exchange it for one with grid lines or had a special focusing mark on it. And there was also some ones that were brighter than normal, and you could change these. But now there are no current model of cameras where you can change the focusing screen anymore. They have all disappeared from the market. What you get in the camera, is it? And when we went to auto focus, they had to change. Or they chose to change the type of focusing screens that Aaron the cameras. And it's because there was a new demand for these small, lightweight, slow lenses. And in order for them to work, they needed to change the way these focusing screens were in the camera, and they made them mawr bright, less accurate. And so we traded accuracy so that we could actually see our subjects. I don't know if anybody remembers the old film cameras, but if you remember film cameras with a slow lands at that point was like an F four lands, and you didn't get your eye right in the middle. Everything got really dark. The thing was, it was accurate, but it was dark. And so now we're choosing brightness over accuracy. And what that means for the person who uses an SLR camera is that if you use a fast lens anything faster than 2.8, the camera in the viewfinder will not show you the proper, shallow depth of field that you are likely to get. So if you have a 1.4 lens, you look through the viewfinder. You go okay? Yeah, I see how much depth field I'm gonna get, and then you shoot it at 1.4, you're gonna get even shallower it up the field. And so this focusing screen changes what you are seeing in the amount that you're gonna get by by the depth of field. And so for anyone with a very, very white open aperture, it's gonna look different in the final picture than it does through the viewfinder. Take a look. Do your own tests. It's true. So check it out

Class Description


Try a Fast Class – now available to all Creator Pass subscribers! Fast Classes are shortened “highlight” versions of our most popular classes that let you consume 10+ hours in about 60 minutes. We’ve edited straight to the most popular moments, actionable techniques, and profound insights into bite-sized chunks– so you can easily find and focus on what matters most to you. (And of course, you can always go back to the full class for a deep dive into your favorite parts.)

Full-length class: Fundamentals of Photography with John Greengo

SUBSCRIBE TO CREATOR PASS and cue up this class and other FAST CLASS classes anytime.

As a photographer, you will need to master the technical basics of the camera and form an understanding of the kind of equipment you need. The Fundamentals of Digital Photography will also teach something even more important (and crucial for success) - how to bring your creative vision to fruition.

Taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo, the Fundamentals of Digital Photography places emphasis on quality visuals and experiential learning. In this course, you’ll learn:

  • How to bring together the elements of manual mode to create an evocative image: shutter speed, aperture, and image composition.
  • How to choose the right gear, and develop efficient workflow.
  • How to recognize and take advantage of beautiful natural light.

John will teach you to step back from your images and think critically about your motivations, process, and ultimate goals for your photography project. You’ll learn to analyze your vision and identify areas for growth. John will also explore the difference between the world seen by the human eye and the world seen by the camera sensor. By forming an awareness of the gap between the two, you will be able to use your equipment to its greatest potential. 


Jasna Crnjaric

Ayumi Bechdel