Chip Size and Look


I thought I would republish this image I shot some time ago. My ‘rough’ attempt to have a look at the DOF of different sensor sizes for a fixed field of view, camera position and aperture.

DOFFAFFOV – Depth of Field at Fixed Aperture and Field of View.

The cameras were;

  • Nikon D80 with a 35mm lens – similar to S35Film Sony FS700 etc
  • Nikon D3 with a 50mm lens, similar to 5d2, vistavision D800 etc
  • Hassy H1, with an 80mm lens, similar to nothing in motion picture recording.


My observations at various apertures were that is it hard to get a lot of DOF with a big chip camera, and that with a small chip camera you can minimise DOF by opening up the aperture.. when such a lens is available, which is not always, especially at the wide end.

DOF seems to drop off on a flattening curve, meaning that roughly a doubling of sensor area reduces the DOFFAFFOV by 1/4 not 1/2

I think DOFFAFFOV is a useful test because, chip size is the only varied factor.

Click the image to see it bigger.

written by
Sam Morgan Moore - working with cameras since 1995, stills and motion