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Depth of Field Adapters
By admin (when...  06/08/2009 @ 10:45:46, Where Film Making, linked 1153 times)
One of modern-day camcorders' little let downs is the problem of relatively large depth of field. Put basically, it means that more often than not, everything in shot is in focus, or as near as dammit as to be negligible. If you want to focus on just one thing in shot, with everything else blurred to hell, well you will have to work hard to make the aperture wide as possible, with varying results. Now, if you can put on 35 mm lenses (for example those for still cameras) then suddenly you have minute depth of field, with very nice results that at times can loom reminiscent of good old film. As someone who shot 8mm film many years ago this is something very interesting indeed.

What these adapters actually do is use a 35mm lens to focus an image on a miniature screen, and then your camcorder films that, Problems you'll have are 1: the image is upside down unless you get a prism in there somehow, 2: the image is darker than normal, and 3: minute imperfections on the screen are as clear as day on your footage. This last problem can be avoided by either keeping the screen spotless, or making it either revolve or vibrate, meaning the camera no longer sees the hairs and dust. The latter does make the whole adapter really complicated and unwieldy though.

So, your options are to buy a ready made unit, or make your own, and as always the internet has many ideas on how to go DIY.

This one is pretty simple, and does the job, albeit with the inherent limitations of its design.

For an idea of what you can hope to get at the end, here's a few starters, but a quick search for DOF adapter on Youtube or Vimeo will open up new worlds.