Circle of Confusion Simplified (Camera Lesson 05)

Summary: Ryan explains the circle of confusion and shows you why it matters in filmmaking.

Length: 5:59 minutes

Video Lesson

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Transcript

Introduction

To many, the circle of confusion is well named as it can be a tough subject to understand. In this video not only will I help you understand it, but I’ll show you why it matters.

What is it?

The circle of confusion defines the transition point in-between what appears acceptably in focus and what is out of focus. It works like this: take a point of light from in front of the lens. That light travels through your lens and it is focused down to the focal point. The focal point is where the light beams cross, or converge behind then lens. When the focal point falls on the focal plane, which is where the cameras sensor is located, that subject is in sharp focus, or what we call “critical focus.”

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
7 replies
    • Ryan E. Walters
      Ryan E. Walters says:

      Thanks- I’m glad you like it. I’ll look into expanding this video in the future – I appreciate the suggestion. Right now I’m working on getting the rest of the videos in the Camera Foundations done. 🙂

      Reply
  1. kinopasha
    kinopasha says:

    Great explanation, Ryan! As for the ways to correct the insufficiency of DoF, I’ve heard someone suggesting to focus in between subjects, which ties nicely with the subject of the vid.

    Reply
    • Ryan E. Walters
      Ryan E. Walters says:

      Thanks. 🙂 Yep focusing in-between the subjects is another good way to solve the problem. The only catch with that, is that you now have to keep a close eye on two people- as they both now have a greater chance of going more out of focus. But as long as they don’t move a whole lot- that can be a great solution as well. Thanks for suggesting it. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Rich49er
    Rich49er says:

    I don’t understand the bit about the circles of confusion becoming smaller on a larger screen. Surely if the screen gets larger the circle of confusion would be easier to spot and be larger because everything else is larger, for example the characters or background.

    Reply

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