Just thought i’d chat about one of the best cameras I ever bought, and which allowed me to learn all about that magical and mysterious thing photographers call DOF….or Depth of Field.
Most photographers who have all-singing, all-dancing cameras with electronic focusing etc, do not need to know much about DOF…their cameras do it automatically.
But the REAL way to enjoy your photography and become more creative, is to use a manual camera like the Vito B.
I know some of the Voigtlander cameras have rangefinders fitted, which makes focus very easy but sometimes, I prefer a fully manual camera.
So, how do you focus this camera?
Easy! We use the DOF scale on the lens barrel…..come with me, I’ll show you how below:
First thing you do, is make sure your film is correctly installed in your camera..obvious really!
Then you need to decide the speed of the shutter….to make life easy, I recommend using either 1/50s or 1/100s…..if you opt for 1/50s, you will need to make sure you hold the camera as still as possible, because at any speed from about 50 down to 25 or 10 etc, you really should use a tripod to hold the camera still.
The higher the speed, the better it will handle any slight camera movement.
Ok, so once the speed has been set, then forget all those confusing numbers on the lens barrel!
You will only get yourself confused and end up putting the camera away forever!
Those numbers define DOF which the camera is capable of.
Again, easy-peasy is the name of my game….you see that RED triangle mark on the lens? All you need to do is align that mark with the smaller clear triangle next to the “12” mark as shown…..the 12 mark and the other numbers either side of it are the number of feet from you to the subject.
Once those 2 marks are aligned, then all you need to do is set the aperture on the lens…I’ll show you how.
See the pic below….this is the extreme front of the lens barrel and here you can see all the aperture settings for the camera.
This camera goes from f3.5, 4, 5.6 to f16…..see that? Ok, fine….let’s move on.
Now depending upon how close or far you are to your subject, choose one of the aperture settings…this one is set to f8….which is by far the commonest one to use by the way.
If you’re not sure what distance your subject needs to be, to remain in focus at this etting, just look at the markings in the top pic above….the red number 8 shows that all subjects from 7 feet to 20 feet, will be in focus in your photo.
Say you want to set your camera to f16 instead, then what?
Easy! Just look at the red numbers again…on the left side of the barrel, the red number 16 is near the 5 foot mark and the right side of the barrel shows the f16 mark adjacent to the infinity mark, so this means that at f16, all subjects from 5.5 feet to infinity, will all be in focus, ok?
Let me do one more example, then you can truly say you understand DOF!
Ok, so say you want to choose f3.5 ….let’s look at the lens barrel once again.
This time, the red f3.5 number is adjacent to the 9 foot mark on the left of the barrel and the right side of the barrel, the red f3.5 number is adjacent to the 12 foot mark. So what does that mean?
It means that all subjects from 9 feet to 12 feet from your camera will all be in focus.
Now you can confidently say you understand DOF!
By the way, these markings are similar on other film cameras, too, not just this particular model.
So there you go. This camera allowed me to understand DOF and made my enjoyment and creativity using film cameras on manual settings that much more enjoyable!
Feel free to ask me any questions on here should you have any!