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Lens sweet spot for stills
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Alvaro L
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Hi

I have an phanton 4 adv and I am looking for some help about the sweet spot of the camera lens for stills photography, what's the experience of other people about it and whether someone has reviewed this lens professionally.

I personally think this is a great sensor and not so good of a lens job. Thanks in advance for your answer.


2018-5-18
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Hurley1718
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No really sure what you are asking.

Are you looking for the best settings to take stills?  That is going to be determined by what time of day you shooting and your location. I would head over to YouTube and do some searches for best drone camera settings and watch a few videos and then start practicing with your drone. Good luck and have fun.
2018-5-18
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Alvaro L
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A lens sweet spot is the aperture setting at which a lens is able to produce the sharpest result and is a common test in professional reviews of lenses. I suppose I will have to try on my own. Thanks for your help anyway.
2018-5-18
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Labroides
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Alvaro L Posted at 2018-5-18 09:50
A lens sweet spot is the aperture setting at which a lens is able to produce the sharpest result and is a common test in professional reviews of lenses. I suppose I will have to try on my own. Thanks for your help anyway.

There is no single "sweet spot" for the lens.
It performs very well at all apertures up to 5.6 and is still pretty good beyond that.
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Rodger8
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The sweet spot (best aperture) for any Lens is 2 stops over the widest Aperture.  That being said, you must consider your depth of Field.  If you are doing a Portrait, your would want a wide open Aperture which would bring the subject  into focus and the Background a soft focus without detail. If your are doing a Landscape you would want the fore ground and back ground in focus. therefore you would want the smallest Aperture available. All of that being said, the available light will determine any and all settings. I have found the the Auto Setting works very well with the DJI Cameras.
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-18 13:41
The sweet spot (best aperture) for any Lens is 2 stops over the widest Aperture.  That being said, you must consider your depth of Field.  If you are doing a Portrait, your would want a wide open Aperture which would bring the subject  into focus and the Background a soft focus without detail. If your are doing a Landscape you would want the fore ground and back ground in focus. therefore you would want the smallest Aperture available. All of that being said, the available light will determine any and all settings. I have found the the Auto Setting works very well with the DJI Cameras.

The lens on the P4 pro has so much depth of field at any aperture, this is not something anyone needs to be concerned about.
2018-5-18
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-18 20:01
The lens on the P4 pro has so much depth of field at any aperture, this is not something anyone needs to be concerned about.

Exactly, and considering the P4 is an aerial camera, 99.9% of the time the lens is at infinity focus.
2018-5-18
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mrbill
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I don’t like the flare characteristics of the p4p (and I like lens flare). I saw a post where someone suggested you can mitigate this by using a high value nd filter and shooting with a wide aperture, so am going to do some tests to check this out.
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mrbill
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-18 13:41
The sweet spot (best aperture) for any Lens is 2 stops over the widest Aperture.  That being said, you must consider your depth of Field.  If you are doing a Portrait, your would want a wide open Aperture which would bring the subject  into focus and the Background a soft focus without detail. If your are doing a Landscape you would want the fore ground and back ground in focus. therefore you would want the smallest Aperture available. All of that being said, the available light will determine any and all settings. I have found the the Auto Setting works very well with the DJI Cameras.

I don’t think that’s the case for ANY lens, although it’s fair to say most sweet spots are f5.6/f8. I have a set of vintage Zeiss primes for ground camera work, and they certainly like running at f5.6 or thereabouts
2018-5-18
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paul2660
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I feel the best settings for stills are in the F5.6 to 7.1 range, I have gone smaller, but diffraction will start to show up.

The P4 Pro camera does have a wide DOF, however I still often check focus, hit AF then switch back to MF and leave the camera in MF.  I do this with stills and panos and for videos.  On the iPad, there is no real way to check your focus as the image is being displayed at way too low a resolution around 720.  Plenty to fly and setup shots, but nowhere near enough to get accurate focus checking.  For this you need to be able to zoom into 100% just like on any DSLR.  The djigo4 app like many others, doesn't "respect" the retina resolution.  Thus when zoomed in the images on iPad will get muddy.  This is why I tend to reset focus a lot during a flight by hitting AF to set the focus and then going back to MF.  The Crystalsky monitor is better but still not where it should be IMO.  

Flare, yes, the P4 Pro lens will flare, anytime you have at an angle to the sun.  Flare is destructive IMO and quite difficult to remove as it registers as large blobs (magenta) on the image.  The Mavic camera has an arc flare most times opposite the point of light, which is a bit easier to fix in post.  The flare is not too bad when the lens is pointed towards the light but at times can still be problematic.

ND filters IMO will not effect flare, just darken it.  You need a hood/shade and I don't know of one that fits the P4 camera.

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2018-5-19
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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-18 20:01
The lens on the P4 pro has so much depth of field at any aperture, this is not something anyone needs to be concerned about.

The Aperture dictates the Depth of Field. Depth of field varies with the chosen Aperture. Depth of field is not constant, it varies with the opening of the diaphram.
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Rodger8
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mrbill Posted at 2018-5-18 21:58
I don’t think that’s the case for ANY lens, although it’s fair to say most sweet spots are f5.6/f8. I have a set of vintage Zeiss primes for ground camera work, and they certainly like running at f5.6 or thereabouts

The glass manufacturers optimize the glass at around two stops above wide open on your everyday Lens. Probably not the case when you get into a $30K Lans. What makes you say that they like running at 5.6/8 ?   Most Lenses like f8. That is a general setting with good depth od field fo the everyday photo. What is the speed of the Lens that you are talking about?
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-19 03:55
The Aperture dictates the Depth of Field. Depth of field varies with the chosen Aperture. Depth of field is not constant, it varies with the opening of the diaphram.

That is correct.
But it's also correct that the P4P lens has an incredible depth of field - it is a strong wide angle equal to 24mm.
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Rodger8
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Eric13 Posted at 2018-5-19 05:03
That is correct.
But it's also correct that the P4P lens has an incredible depth of field - given that it is a strong wide angle equal to 24mm.

True, a wide angle lens has a greater Depth of Field than a normal or telephoto Lens. The longer the Lens the shallower the Depth of Field and the longer Lens has a smaller Aperture and is slower than a wide angle Lens.
2018-5-19
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-19 03:55
The Aperture dictates the Depth of Field. Depth of field varies with the chosen Aperture. Depth of field is not constant, it varies with the opening of the diaphram.

The Aperture dictates the Depth of Field. Depth of field varies with the chosen Aperture. Depth of field is not constant, it varies with the opening of the diaphragm.
While interesting, that's irrelevant to aerial photography with the Phantom.
Instead of your theoretical knowledge, here are some real numbers to show what I mean.
At f2.8 and focused at 50 feet - everything from 12ft - infinity is in focus
At f5.6 and focused at 50 feet - everything from 6ft - infinity is in focus
At f11 and focused at 50 feet - everything from 3ft - infinity is in focus

Depth of Field is meaningless when shooting with the P4 pro.
You will never shoot a subject so close that it makes any difference.
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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-19 06:12
The Aperture dictates the Depth of Field. Depth of field varies with the chosen Aperture. Depth of field is not constant, it varies with the opening of the diaphragm.
While interesting, that's irrelevant to aerial photography with the Phantom.
Instead of your theoretical knowledge, here are some real numbers to show what I mean.

What University do you work at? Actually in my work I do shoot extremely close.
2018-5-19
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rent
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-19 06:12
The Aperture dictates the Depth of Field. Depth of field varies with the chosen Aperture. Depth of field is not constant, it varies with the opening of the diaphragm.
While interesting, that's irrelevant to aerial photography with the Phantom.
Instead of your theoretical knowledge, here are some real numbers to show what I mean.

Gonna agree with @Rodger8 here. DoF, even with a Phantom camera, can have impact on the result.

The data you provided is also a bit misleading. There is only a singular distance at any given time that is truly "in focus" - that is the focal distance.

DoF merely gives a warm fuzzy feeling of what may be perceived as sharp enough given normal viewing distance of the image. I can very confidently tell you that even with a Phantom camera at f/2.8, I'd not be happy with the sharpness of something at infinity if I focused at 50 ft, even though it's technically the hyper-focal distance.
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-19 09:25
What University do you work at? Actually in my work I do shoot extremely close.

What university do you work at?
What is the point of that question?
What size shoes do you wear?

So you shoot extremely close.  That's great.
You'll still have plenty of depth of field to play with.
And to get back to the original question, the lens is quite sharp at all apertures especially from full open to 5.6.
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Labroides
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rent Posted at 2018-5-19 10:40
Gonna agree with @Rodger8 here. DoF, even with a Phantom camera, can have impact on the result.

The data you provided is also a bit misleading. There is only a singular distance at any given time that is truly "in focus" - that is the focal distance.

DOF, even with a Phantom camera, can have impact on the result.
What is it that you're photographing, what distance is your subject at?
I didn't suggest that you don't need to focus, just that there's so much depth of field that if you focus on your subject, there's no need to worry about depth of field.
The numbers I presented aren't misleading at all.
They are indicative of how there is a truckload of DoF at whatever aperture you select.

I can very confidently tell you that even with a Phantom camera at f/2.8, I'd not be happy with the sharpness of something at infinity if I focused at 50 ft.
Can you confidently tell me of a real world situation where you would be needing to shoot at f2.8 and focus at 50 ft and be concerned with how in focus objects out on the horizon are?

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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-19 14:16
What university do you work at?
What is the point of that question?
What size shoes do you wear?

The point is that I figured that you were a Professor. You are an expert at everything.

The original question was answered. You, as usual, jumped in with your unsolicited sarcastic uninformed comments to grab your 2 points, to what end? My statement was not theoretical, it was fact!

You crack me up, great entertainment, only for a couple of seconds
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-19 16:07
The point is that I figured that you were a Professor. You are an expert at everything.

The original question was answered. You, as usual, jumped in with your unsolicited sarcastic uninformed comments to grab your 2 points, to what end? My statement was not theoretical, it was fact!

The point is that I figured that you were a Professor. You are an expert at everything.
Thankyou for the recognition
The original question was answered.
Yes, it was.  In post #4 by me.
You, as usual, jumped in with your unsolicited sarcastic uninformed comments to grab your 2 points, to what end? My statement was not theoretical, it was fact!
As usual I jumped in with correct and relevant answers to the question asked.
Your statement was irrelevant and just confusing for readers who may not have enough photography experience to understand properly.
Now you are just trolling.
But please go on and explain what kind of photography it is that you are doing with a Phantom where depth of field is an important consideration?
2018-5-19
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Eric13
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Well - another thread that developes into some fighting.
I think Labroides is a professor at the UCGT - Univercity of Grumpy Town!
He has had stupid drone students for the last 80 years and they still don't want to understand. Dammit!

Don't get me wrong, Labroides - I highly respect your input ever since I joined here.
I learned a lot from you (and others) and you corrected me often when I was wrong or when I did some stupid speculating.

But you do have a way of answering that implies the guy on the other side is an idiot.
If you could just add a little bit of respect or politeness I think that would help a lot.

So let's act like what we all are - brothers in arms!
I wish you all a good night from Germany!  


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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-19 16:32
The point is that I figured that you were a Professor. You are an expert at everything.
Thankyou for the recognition
The original question was answered.

Sorry for the delay in answering but, the PM's are overwhelming.

You are my Hero
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Labroides
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Eric13 Posted at 2018-5-19 16:36
Well - another thread that developes into some fighting.
I think Labroides is a professor at the UCGT - Univercity of Grumpy Town!
He has had stupid drone students for the last 80 years and they still don't want to understand. Dammit!

But you do have a way of answering that implies the guy on the other side is an idiot.
Particularly when that is the case and he insists on proving it repeatedly.
2018-5-19
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Alvaro L
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-18 13:18
There is no single "sweet spot" for the lens.
It performs very well at all apertures up to 5.6 and is still pretty good beyond that.

There is no single "sweet spot" for the lens.

Sorry if I have not expressed myselft correctly, of course that there is not a single "sweet spot" but usually a range in which a lens gives the best performance, and this range usually can be found in the middle aperture settings of a lens. Since this lens minimun aperture is rather unusual compared with a DSLR camera, I wonder if F11 would be a good setting to work with.

It performs very well at all apertures up to 5.6 and is still pretty good beyond that.

I wonder if you have images to show, since sweets spots usually are in the middle area for every lens. However, I ask because I am interested in the upper aperture range  (F9-F11)

In fact there is a thread here just I have found that answer my question and pretty much says that sweet spot is between  f2.8 to f5.6, anything beyond that is pretty much useless for good shots :

https://forum.dji.com/thread-77939-1-1.html

I don’t like the flare characteristics of the p4p (and I like lens flare). I saw a post where someone suggested you can mitigate this by using a high value nd filter and shooting with a wide aperture, so am going to do some tests to check this out.

Thanks for the answer, but in my case I am interested in high shutter speeds in manual camera mode.



2018-5-20
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-19 17:14
Sorry for the delay in answering but, the PM's are overwhelming.

You are my Hero

Was the question too hard for you?
Explain what kind of photography it is that you are doing with a Phantom where depth of field is an important consideration?
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-20 11:07
Was the question too hard for you?
Explain what kind of photography it is that you are doing with a Phantom where depth of field is an important consideration?

Perhaps close-ups aerial videos...
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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-19 17:15
But you do have a way of answering that implies the guy on the other side is an idiot.
Particularly when that is the case and he insists on proving it repeatedly.

Particularly when that is the case and he insists on proving it repeatedly.

Read your own Replies to everyone. Every single one is an arrogant uninformed one liner to everyone. Just read this thread from the beginning. I made a factual statement about the manufacture of a Lens. As usual you jump in with an unsolicited one liner that has nothing to do with the subject. A better idea would be to have someone read it to you. Stop Trolling me.
2018-5-21
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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-20 11:07
Was the question too hard for you?
Explain what kind of photography it is that you are doing with a Phantom where depth of field is an important consideration?

The Thread and the reason for this forum is to hard for you. I do not have nor will I explain myself to a babbling fool. It is better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. Now stop. There are people here with legitimate questions and trying to learn the proper way of doing things in this hobby. They do not come here to be insulted and or embarrassed by you for asking a question. If they knew or were sure they would not have asked. And FYI, it is not a Compass in the Phantom, it is a Magnetometer.
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-21 03:02
The Thread and the reason for this forum is to hard for you. I do not have nor will I explain myself to a babbling fool. It is better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt. Now stop. There are people here with legitimate questions and trying to learn the proper way of doing things in this hobby. They do not come here to be insulted and or embarrassed by you for asking a question. If they knew or were sure they would not have asked. And FYI, it is not a Compass in the Phantom, it is a Magnetometer.

I made a factual statement about the manufacture of a Lens.
You made a factual (but irrelevant) statement and then went on suggesting that I was incorrect in saying that DoF was practically irrelevant in Phantom photography, but strangely can't come up with anything at all to back up your position.

As usual you jump in with an unsolicited one liner that has nothing to do with the subject.

As usual I stuck to the facts and the topic of the thread.

There are people here with legitimate questions and trying to learn the proper way of doing things in this hobby.
And I help many of them each day.

They do not come here to be insulted and or embarrassed by you.

And they get good advice on any topic I can help with, given in a patient and friendly manner.
Trolls and fools and trolls get treated differently.

It is better to be thought a fool than open your mouth and remove all doubt.

You should take your own advice.

And FYI, it is not a Compass in the Phantom, it is a Magnetometer.

Really?   That's fascinating.
Perhaps you should pass that gem on to DJI.
They don't use the word magnetometer at all in the P4 pro manual (but the word compass appears 14 times).
FYI the terms are not necessarily exclusive.  The Phantom uses 1 or 2 magnetometer sensors as compasses.
2018-5-21
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rent
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-21 03:34
I made a factual statement about the manufacture of a Lens.
You made a factual (but irrelevant) statement and then went on suggesting that I was incorrect in saying that DoF was practically irrelevant in Phantom photography, but strangely can't come up with anything at all to back up your position.

You made a factual (but irrelevant) statement and then went on suggesting that I was incorrect in saying that DoF was practically irrelevant in Phantom photography, but strangely can't come up with anything at all to back up your position.

It is true that the smaller sensor size gives a wider DoF at any aperture as compared to a larger sensor, but to say it is practically irrelevant is irresponsible and may mislead others. Are you saying no one can / should / will use a Phantom to capture something at close enough range that DoF would matter at f/2.8? If you insist that the answer is yes, then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

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rent Posted at 2018-5-21 10:22
You made a factual (but irrelevant) statement and then went on suggesting that I was incorrect in saying that DoF was practically irrelevant in Phantom photography, but strangely can't come up with anything at all to back up your position.

It is true that the smaller sensor size gives a wider DoF at any aperture as compared to a larger sensor, but to say it is practically irrelevant is irresponsible and may mislead others. Are you saying no one can / should / will use a Phantom to capture something at close enough range that DoF would matter at f/2.8? If you insist that the answer is yes, then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

Are you saying no one can / should / will use a Phantom to capture something at close enough range that DoF would matter at f/2.8?

Guys - I love it! When I'm bored I just check this thread - entertaining!
It turned into an entirely academic/theoretical discussion.

Still Labroides question stands:
What could be a real life scenario you are shooting with your drone that DoF becomes important?
Shooting a flea-circus, a snail race?

Even with close-up inspection of power lines/cell tower/wind plants/chimneys you are not gonna get so close that it matters - because your props are in the way.
And if you do such work you do it in sufficient ambient light and not during dusk/dawn which forces you to shoot at 2.8 and 1600 ISO.

Again: Where is the real/professional/hobby scenario where it matters?

Indoor work is different and Rodger8 apparently does these things.
It would help if scenarios are disclosed so things can be discussed less theoretically.


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Labroides
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rent Posted at 2018-5-21 10:22
You made a factual (but irrelevant) statement and then went on suggesting that I was incorrect in saying that DoF was practically irrelevant in Phantom photography, but strangely can't come up with anything at all to back up your position.

It is true that the smaller sensor size gives a wider DoF at any aperture as compared to a larger sensor, but to say it is practically irrelevant is irresponsible and may mislead others. Are you saying no one can / should / will use a Phantom to capture something at close enough range that DoF would matter at f/2.8? If you insist that the answer is yes, then I guess we will just have to agree to disagree.

to say it is practically irrelevant is irresponsible and may mislead others.
On the contrary.  Insisting that DoF is an important consideration in Phantom photography is what's misleading.
Are you saying no one can / should / will use a Phantom to capture something at close enough range that DoF would matter at f/2.8?
Not at all.  I've said that as the lens on your Phantom has so much depth of field at any aperture, and that in aerial photography the subject matter is generally a good distance from the camera, DoF is not a factor that you need to be concerned about.
I'm sure you can come up with a contrived, hypothetical scenario involving photographing ants in low light and needing the mountains in the background to be acceptably sharp - but I still haven't encountered any practical situation where a Phantom photographer needs to have any worries about DoF.
If there was one, Roger would have saved himself the embarrassment and presented it.
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-19 17:15
But you do have a way of answering that implies the guy on the other side is an idiot.
Particularly when that is the case and he insists on proving it repeatedly.

Particularly when that is the case and he insists on proving it repeatedly.

If anyone proves it repeatedly, take a look at yourself. BTW, you set a Forum Record, 5 Downvotes on a on a needless, nonsense, Reply. Congratulations!   You amuse all of us, but, it does get old. Just go away, it is obvious that you are irritating the members of this forum. We are not impressed and this is not a Battlefield.
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-21 13:45
Particularly when that is the case and he insists on proving it repeatedly.

If anyone proves it repeatedly, take a look at yourself. BTW, you set a Forum Record, 5 Downvotes on a on a needless,  Reply. Congratulations!

Still having a problem answering the question Roger?   It's a simple one and if you answer it correctly, you get an apology from me and I'll have learned something.
As for downvotes, look at post #4 where the question was answered promptly and correctly to get two downvotes.
What does that say about downvotes?

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As for downvotes, look at post #4 where the question was answered promptly and correctly to get two downvotes.


Hi

I don't mind the arguments if it helps to get us to the bottom of the problem. The question was not answered correctly in post #4 IMO, the sweet spot of this lens does not go below F6.3 and the nature of my work (close range photogrammetry) makes me to use the smallest aperture within the sweet spot range available. I can imagine several close range photogrammetry scenarios where DOF at 4 metres would pose a problem, for instance a tall facade in a dark narrow street (we have many of these here in Europe) where tripod photography woud not deliver or an archaeological site with GMD in millimeters. We need this lens and sensor tested by professionals the way other lenses are tested, it would be useful not only for us but for DJI to improve their cameras. I bought my phantom only because of the camera and I hope someday we have a renowned company signing DJI lenses (the sony sensor is good stuff I think)


2018-5-21
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Alvaro L Posted at 2018-5-21 21:48
As for downvotes, look at post #4 where the question was answered promptly and correctly to get two downvotes.

Hi

where DOF at 4 metres would pose a problem

Which f-stop setting/focus point gives only 4 meters in DoF?
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Alvaro L Posted at 2018-5-21 21:48
As for downvotes, look at post #4 where the question was answered promptly and correctly to get two downvotes.

Hi

The question was not answered correctly in post #4 IMO, the sweet spot of this lens does not go below F6.3
(The answer was correct for aerial photography)
That's a different story from what you said up in post #25 above.
Have you done some further testing to decide this?

The thread has moved from what is the sweet spot (aperture at which the lens creates the sharpest image) to how to get the most depth of field.
The drone and it's camera aren't ideal for photogrammetry at 4 metres.
I'm not sure that any camera equipment would work well for such short range photogrammetry.

and the nature of my work (close range photogrammetry)  ... I can imagine several close range photogrammetry scenarios where DOF at 4 metres would pose a problem, for instance a tall facade in a dark narrow street where tripod photography would not deliver
That's a very unusual and specialised use for the drone and quite different from how they are usually used.
Do you have trouble stitching the images when the subject is so close to the camera?
What overlap do you use?

2018-5-22
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Rodger8
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Labroides Posted at 2018-5-21 13:52
Still having a problem answering the question Roger?   It's a simple one and if you answer it correctly, you get an apology from me and I'll have learned something.
As for downvotes, look at post #4 where the question was answered promptly and correctly to get two downvotes.
What does that say about downvotes?

The only problem is you still trying to provoke me and I am not wasting any more time with you because in your opinion you are the only one that is correct

As far as your Post #4 goes Alvaro is correct in what he states and a Lens has a sweet spot where the focus is perfect. You do not know what you are talking about.

You cannot even spell my name right with it right in front of you. I know, in your little mind I don't know how to spell my name. Suppose I should change it to the way that you say it is.
2018-5-22
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Labroides
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Rodger8 Posted at 2018-5-22 04:37
The only problem is you still trying to provoke me and I am not wasting any more time with you because in your opinion you are the only one that is correct

As far as your Post #4 goes Alvaro is correct in what he states and a Lens has a sweet spot where the focus is perfect. You do not know what you are talking about.

As far as your Post #4 goes Alvaro is correct in what he states and a Lens has a sweet spot where the focus is perfect. You do not know what you are talking about.
Roger, I have no idea what you are talking about and I doubt you do either.  Whatever you are trying to say, it's got nothing to do with anything I said.

Still waiting for you to answer the basic question I've asked a few times now.
If you could, you would have by now.
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