Depth of Field Spreadsheet
Depth of Field Spreadsheet (download)
In my Nuts and Bolts filmmaking book, chapter 18 includes instructions that demonstrate how to make a complete depth-of-field spreadsheet that can be printed out for various lenses and brought on a shoot.
For many filming setups, a cinematographer (DP) will want to decide explicitly the degree of focus necessary to tell a story with a particular shot. Deep focus may be preferred or at other times the choice is made to blur the background while the actors remain in sharp focus.
Depth of field (DoF) calculations allow the DP or cameraperson to determine the size of the field of focus based on a given lens size and aperture setting. On a professional set, you will often see the Assistant Camera people (ACs) use a tool called a Kelly Wheel (or Guild Kelly Wheel or Mark II Calculator) to determine the DoF.
Unfortunately for the average filmmaker, these devices cost over $100, so they're too expensive for easy purchase. Fortunately, many ACs find that carrying pocket-sized tables for the lenses they'll be using is just as functional and sometime more convenient.
With this simple spreadsheet, you can generate these tables yourself. The DoF tables provide the hyperfocal, near focal, and far focal distances in both meters and feet. This information will be calculated for a given lens and aperture setting (or f/stop).
Download the Excel spreadsheet for Depth of Field here (149K)