Nikon vs. Fujifilm


I am having a debate with a friend as to which lens can shoot with the least depth of field. The two lenses are a Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 on a Nikon D800 or a Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R on a Fujifilm X-T1. I suspect the Nikon lens has the edge. Is there a simple way of working this out?
Harvey Collier

The Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 and a Nikkor f/1.8 85mm have equivalent DOF

For the same framing and subject distance, it's pretty much identical for these camera and lens combinations at their respective widest apertures of f/1.8 and f/1.2. When comparing lenses that offer the same angle of view on their respective formats - as these two do - the single most important factor inflencing this is the diameter of the lens's entrance pupil, which is the focal length divided by the f-number. For both lenses this is approximately 47mm, so you'll see similar depth of field and background blur (although the latter is also influenced by the lens's optical design). It follows that we can define 'equivalent apertures' that give the same depth of field on different format, that are related simply by the crop factor. So to get the same depth of field on APS-C as on full frame we need to use an aperture that's larger by a factor of 1.5 (in this specific case, 1.2 × 1.5 = 1.8).

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