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Old 11th December 2010
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Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Yesterday I published a tutorial on hyperfocal distance over at the DPNow website (which I run alongside this site and Four Thirds User). You might find it useful:

http://dpnow.com/7641.html

Ian
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Old 11th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Thanks for that, I enjoyed the read. I could use this when photographing in low light areas or darkness which I'd I regularly find myself in.

It me thinking, i wonder how accurate the scale is on the zuiko lenses?
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Old 11th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

"If you know the hyperfocal distance for your camera's lens and aperture setting, you can guarantee your photo will be in focus from the closest possible distance through to the furthest distance, or infinity."

I don't think it's being picky, given the technical nature of the article, to suggest that this sentence, early in the article, is mis-leading...as you explain more clearly towards the end.

Use of 'closest possible distance', and wording near to far, both working against it. In the simple terms of the opening it's 'the nearest distance you can focus on that will ensure objects in the far distance are also in focus - for any lens/aperture/camera combination.'

You can then explain the implications to the near subjects later (as you do)
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Old 11th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrie View Post
Thanks for that, I enjoyed the read. I could use this when photographing in low light areas or darkness which I'd I regularly find myself in.

It me thinking, i wonder how accurate the scale is on the zuiko lenses?
given the scale, and normally used aperture/HFL combination's, it's more a case of how accurately can you set it on the scale than how accurate is the scale! eg you have 3mm covering the scale between 30ft and infinity - and it's a log scale as well!

they are useful for dof shooting relating to close objects but not HF work.

pre setting focus from an illuminated source at a suitable distance is the best solution.
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Old 13th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_owl View Post
"If you know the hyperfocal distance for your camera's lens and aperture setting, you can guarantee your photo will be in focus from the closest possible distance through to the furthest distance, or infinity."

I don't think it's being picky, given the technical nature of the article, to suggest that this sentence, early in the article, is mis-leading...as you explain more clearly towards the end.

Use of 'closest possible distance', and wording near to far, both working against it. In the simple terms of the opening it's 'the nearest distance you can focus on that will ensure objects in the far distance are also in focus - for any lens/aperture/camera combination.'

You can then explain the implications to the near subjects later (as you do)
Fair enough - wasn't too happy with the wording at the time and I find it different to keep it concise and to the point, but I have now altered it to:

"If you know the hyperfocal distance for your camera's lens and aperture setting, you can set focus on your lens so you guarantee your photo will be in focus from the closest possible distance possible (if not the absolute closest possible) while also being in focus to the furthest distance, or infinity."



As I have said elsewhere, camera manufacturers seem to have missed a trick in not providing depth of field and hyperfocal length info in the camera, after all we used to have this on many lenses in the old pre-autofocus days

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Old 13th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Okay here comes the silly question

If I focus on something and the lens shifts to the infinity symbol is that the same as achieving the hyperfocal distance?

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Old 14th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Quote:
The term 'hyperfocal' doesn't do itself any favours. For many photographers it's a technical word that switches them off immediately.


But it's a very readable article Ian, thanks.

Would it be too hard, though, for camera manufacturers to reintroduce the infinity setting? It's make life a lot easier.
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Old 14th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

The distance scale on many lenses is not adequate to set Hyperfocal distance, indeed some lenses dont have any scale whatsoever.

This should NOT prevent you from being able to set the hyperfocal distance so long as you have something to focus on in the scene you are shooting, at or around the hyperfocal distance. You will have to estimate the distance, focus on something at that distance and lock the AF, then recompose and shoot.

The 4/3 format has positive benefits here due to the enhanced DOF over full frame (35mm).

I assume most DOF calculators assume 35mm lenses, we just need to halve the size e.g 50mm standard 35mm would be 25mm 4/3, and away you go.
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Old 14th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howi View Post
The distance scale on many lenses is not adequate to set Hyperfocal distance, indeed some lenses dont have any scale whatsoever.

This should NOT prevent you from being able to set the hyperfocal distance so long as you have something to focus on in the scene you are shooting, at or around the hyperfocal distance. You will have to estimate the distance, focus on something at that distance and lock the AF, then recompose and shoot.

The 4/3 format has positive benefits here due to the enhanced DOF over full frame (35mm).

I assume most DOF calculators assume 35mm lenses, we just need to halve the size e.g 50mm standard 35mm would be 25mm 4/3, and away you go.
A good DOF calculator will offer you choices for sensor size, usually by make and model of camera.

Ian
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Old 14th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregles View Post
Okay here comes the silly question

If I focus on something and the lens shifts to the infinity symbol is that the same as achieving the hyperfocal distance?

Greg
No If the lens distance scale is calibrated properly, then if it's set to infinity, you won't be maximising the near limit for things to be in focus. The hyperfocal distance is never at infinity, it's always closer to you.

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Old 15th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
No If the lens distance scale is calibrated properly, then if it's set to infinity, you won't be maximising the near limit for things to be in focus. The hyperfocal distance is never at infinity, it's always closer to you.

Ian
Thanks for that Ian

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Old 15th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

I have downloaded the DOFMaster hyperfocal distance chart and had a wee look at it. Can someone confirm that I am reading it correctly please??

If using the sigma 10-20mm at, for example, 12mm and f8 the hyperfocal distance would be 2 feet? If I then set the focus point to 1 foot then everything from 1 foot to infinity would then be in focus ??

Sorry for being a pain but just a bit unsure about this

Cheers

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Old 16th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Using the calculation given in wiki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperfocal_distance

I get a Hyperfocal distance of 3.94ft for a CofC set to 0.015 (4/3rds factor)
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Last edited by Graham_of_Rainham; 16th December 2010 at 12:36 AM. Reason: CofC added
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Old 16th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

I agree with Graham, the hyperfocal distance is just under four feet, so if you focus to 4ft, everything from around 2 feet to infinity should be in focus.

This is for a 12mm focal length on Four Thirds (or Micro Four Thirds) @f/8.

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Old 16th December 2010
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Re: Hyperfocal distance and other depth of field hints

Thank you both for your replies

I will obviously have to look at all this in a little more detail

I am finding myself in a rather large circle of confusion at the moment but I will get a handle on this one way or another

Thanks again

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