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Hyperfocal distance question

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    MiqsPix
    MiqsPix  341 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 11:28 AM

    I have been trying the hyperfocal technique for some time and getting varied results but still need clarification please.

    According to DOFmaster if I focus on a subject at 10ft using my wide angle lens at 13mm focal length the near limit of acceptable sharpness is 1.55 ft. Then it says the hyperfocal distance is 1.87 ft and depth of field extends 0.935 ft to infinity. So do I keep my camera focussed on my subject at 10 ft? Does this mean that whatever the subject distance is, the hyperfocal distance remains constant when using the same aperture, i.e. HF distance1.87 ft at f16 at 13mm focal length with Canon EOS 60D?

    I have read that best results are gained "when focus is set at the hyperfocal distance". Is that what I am doing above? I don't want to get involved in the mathematics of it ( CoC and all that) but need some help.

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    MiqsPix
    MiqsPix  341 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 11:48 AM

    Just found this which explains it .... I think! Smile

    Quote:
    " In practical terms, all you need to do is focus on anything at or beyond the hyperfocal distance. How, or what you focus on, whether it is in front of you or behind you makes no difference so long as the focus plane is at or beyond said Hyperfocal distance.

    Personally, I start at f11, 25mm and look for anything about 10' away and focus on that using the back button. Having done that, then I'll start to
    frame the shot."

    HFD is a great technique when you have objects of foreground interest very close to the camera and still want the distance to be acceptable. If your foreground interest is 10 feet away though, the last thing you want to do is focus at an HFD of 7 feet. You have an option to focus on the object at 10 feet, to maximise sharpness there, and also improve sharpness at the horizon. Or focus a little past the foreground interest, say at 11-12 feet, which will still keep it sharper than focusing at 7 feet and also improve sharpness at the horizon even further.

    sparrowhawk
    sparrowhawk e2 Member 5267 forum postssparrowhawk vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Jun 2012 - 11:50 AM

    http://www.petapixel.com/2010/12/10/quick-hyperfocal-distance-tutorial-for-sharp... this might help

    oldblokeh
    oldblokeh  3820 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 11:56 AM


    Quote: So do I keep my camera focussed on my subject at 10 ft? Does this mean that whatever the subject distance is, the hyperfocal distance remains constant when using the same aperture, i.e. HF distance1.87 ft at f16 at 13mm focal length with Canon EOS 60D?



    I'd say "It depends on the subject" and "Yes", respectively.

    Bear in mind that the DOFMaster calculator is a bit simplistic, as it does not take into account the print size or viewing distance in its assumptions about acceptable sharpness. Also bear in mind that you're going to get loss of sharpness with diffraction using 13mm @ f/16.

    Steve_S
    Steve_S e2 Member 8176 forum postsSteve_S vcard United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Jun 2012 - 11:57 AM

    The hyperfocal distance is the distance at which you need to focus to get the absolute maximum DOF. So if your subject is 10 feet away but you focus 2 feet (1.87 to be exact) away everything from 0.935 feet to infinity will be in focus. At 13mm focal length and f16 virtually everything is in focus anyway Wink

    MiqsPix
    MiqsPix  341 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 12:01 PM

    ".....Also bear in mind that you're going to get loss of sharpness with diffraction using 13mm @ f/16."

    What do you suggest? I am using my 10-24mm wide angle but set at 13mm purely so I can attach and p size filters and not to show any vignetting or the holder itself. Would stopping at f11 be better?

    oldblokeh
    oldblokeh  3820 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 12:13 PM

    I'd go for the largest aperture that's a) at least two stops smaller than wide open and b) gives me the required depth of field.

    mikehit
    mikehit  56473 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    12 Jun 2012 - 12:13 PM

    In my opinion, diffraction is one of those things that exists but its effects are greatly overstated (by which I mean it is talked about in a way that is out of proportion to its visible effects) and even more so if you are pinting your pictures in the same way noise is less visible in print than on screen. If you can use f11 then all the better but there is no way I would not take a picture at f13 or f16 or f22 if that is what is required to get the shot I want - so if I needed f16 to get a nearby object in acceptable focus then worries about diffraction would come way down my list of priorities.

    NEWDIGIT
    NEWDIGIT  3401 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 12:29 PM


    Quote: How, or what you focus on, whether it is in front of you or behind you makes no difference so long as the focus plane is at or beyond said Hyperfocal distance.

    Blimey Ive heard of wide angle but focussing behind you takes it to a whole new level

    lemmy
    lemmy  71873 forum posts United Kingdom
    12 Jun 2012 - 12:44 PM

    It's all much simpler than it sounds. As a rule of thumb, your depth of field is 1/3 in front of where you focus and 2/3 behind.

    The hyperfocal distance is a calculation of what, at a given f stop, is the closest distance you can focus your lens while retaining acceptable sharpness at infinity.

    The more you stop the lens down, the more depth of field you have, of course. So, if for a given lens you focus on 3metres at f11, it might give you sharpness from 2 metres to infinity. If you open up to f8 you might need to focus at 4 metres to get sharpness to infinity. Conversely, stopped down to f16, you could bring focus down to 1.5 metres while keeping infinity sharp.

    Hyperfocal distance cannot give you more depth of field. That is a product of the lens, the f stop and the size you will view the photograph. It just maximises the efficacy of it by calculating when it will stretch it to infinity.

    I wouldn't worry too much about diffraction if I were you. If you really do need the widest possible depth of field, a certain amount of diffraction is inevitable with the tiny focal length lenses we use nowadays. But it's more a pixel peepers problem than a real world one.

    When I was a Fleet Streeter and photographing riots and fast moving news events, I would use a 35mm lens on one of my Nikons, set it at f8 on a good day and distance 10 feet. Because of the quite coarse nature of newspaper reproduction, that effectively gave me depth from 6 or 7 feet to infinity. That meant I could stick a Nikon B/L finder on the Nikon and wade in with no thought for camera settings at all.

    With modern APS sensors requiring such short focus lenses, it's more often a problem to shed of depth of field than to find it Wink

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