Graphical Depth-of-Field Chart

This is a graphical depth-of-field chart (with generic exposure guide) that I've worked up for the Minolta 16-II. Distribute freely. (The copyright line is just for vanity, and to hold a revision number.) For those interested in playing with this thing, I have produced various file formats:

I welcome any and all suggestions for improving this chart. Here are some considerations that went into its design:

The scale for each lens is a different color, and each f/stop is indicated by a different shade of that color, i.e., f/2.8 is 100%, f/4 is 75%, etc. If your monitor is running fewer than 256 colors, you probably won't see all the shades.

I tried to make the shading of f/stops as simple as possible because I know every monitor and printer might display this chart differently. I reasoned that a display or printer that can't reproduce 5 shades of a primary color plus white isn't likely to do well with a more complex color scheme. What's more, I think a printer that can't reproduce all the colors will fail less disagreeably with this scheme than it might with others.

Obviously, the DOF scales have to maintain their left-right positions. I could have put the rows in any vertical order, but I preferred that it be in order of distance as much as possible. I originally had the close-up scale on the bottom, but put it on the same row with the distance lens to save space.

Don't be alarmed by the -0.25 D scale. That applies only to an ad-hoc distance lens that I made from a -0.25 diopter lens blank. I'll post more about that some other time!

My rationale for separating the feet/meters scales is that when I'm judging distance I only care about feet, and I don't want the meter scale getting in the way. I suspect other folks might feel the same about feet getting in the way of their meters.

That's all for now!

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Marcus Brooks — 11 March 2000