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Depth-Of-Field Hyperfocal Distance Charts

Find the ideal hyperfocal distance to ensure your landscape images are sharp throughout.

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Depth-Of-Field Hyperfocal Distance Charts: David Clapp - A man walks down the steps at Glastonbury Tor towards a misty Somerset Levels at Glastonbury, Somerset, England, UK
Photo by David Clapp.
 

When shooting landscapes it can be difficult to get the whole scene sharp and knowing the hyperfocal distance will help you to do so. This is the distance that you should focus on to maximise depth-of-field, thus keeping the whole scene sharp. When the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp.

You can guess the hyperfocal focusing distance, but life is much easier if your lens is marked with a depth-of-field scale. This used to be regarded as an essential feature, but with the development of wide-ranging zooms many manufacturers now omit one. If you do have such a scale, simply line up the infinity mark against the mark for the aperture you've set and, although the image in the viewfinder will look out-of-focus, the finished image will be sharp from front to back.

Depth-Of-Field Hyperfocal Distance Charts: Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm F2,8 Vertical View
Carl Zeiss Tessar 50mm f/2.8 Vertical View
 

There is a mathematical formula which can be used to find the hyperfocal distance:

H = ( f2 / Nc ) + f where f is the focal length, N is the aperture and c is the circle of confusion. To create the tables below which can be used for reference, we have taken the circle of confusion to equal 0.029mm for full frame DSLR's, 0.019mm for APS-C Nikon/Sony/Pentax, 0.018mm for APS-C Canon and 0.015mm for Four Thirds.

  16mm 20mm 24mm 28mm 35mm 50mm 100mm 135mm 200mm 300mm
f/2.8 3.2m 4.9m 7.1m 9.7m 15.1m 30.8m 123.3m 224.6m 492.8m 1108.7m
f/4 2.2m 3.5m 5.0m 6.8m 10.6m 21.6m 86.3m 157.2m 345.0m 776.2m
f/5.6 1.6m 2.5m 3.6m 4.9m 7.6m 15.4m 61.7m 112.4m 246.5m 554.5m
f/8 1.1m 1.7m 2.5m 3.4m 5.3m 10.8m 43.2m 78.7m 172.6m 388.2m
f/11 0.8m 1.3m 1.8m 2.5m 3.9m 7.9m 31.4m 57.3m 125.6m 282.4m
f/16 0.6m 0.9m 1.3m 1.7m 2.7m 5.4m 21.7m 39.4m 86.4m 194.3m
f/22 0.4m 0.6m 0.9m 1.3m 2.0m 4.0m 15.8m 28.7m 62.9m 141.4m
f/32 0.3m 0.5m 0.6m 0.9m 1.4m 2.7m 10.9m 19.8m 43.3m 97.3m

Full-frame DSLR's

 

  16mm 20mm 24mm 28mm 35mm 50mm 100mm 135mm 200mm 300mm
f/2.8 4.8m 7.5m 10.9m 14.8m 23.1m 47.0m 188.1m 342.7m 752.1m 1692.0m
f/4 3.4m 5.3m 7.6m 10.3m 16.2m 32.9m 131.7m 239.9m 526.5m 1184.5m
f/5.6 2.4m 3.8m 5.4m 7.4m 11.5m 23.5m 94.1m 171.4m 376.1m 846.2m
f/8 1.7m 2.7m 3.8m 5.2m 8.1m 16.5m 65.9m 120.m 263.4m 592.4m
f/11 1.2m 1.9m 1.8m 3.8m 5.9m 12.0m 47.9m 87.3m 191.6m 430.9m
f/16 0.9m 1.3m 1.9m 2.6m 4.1m 8.3m 33.0m 60.1m 131.8m 296.4m
f/22 0.6m 1.0m 1.4m 1.9m 3.0m 6.0m 24.0m 43.7m 95.9m 215.6m
f/32 0.4m 0.7m 1.0m 1.3m 2.0m 4.2m 16.5m 30.1m 66.0m 148.3m

APS-C Nikon/Sony/Pentax

 

  16mm 20mm 24mm 28mm 35mm 50mm 100mm 135mm 200mm 300mm
f/2.8 5.1m 8.0m 11.5m 15.6m 24.3m 49.7m 198.5m 361.7m 793.9m 1786.0m
f/4 3.6m 5.6m 8.0m 10.9m 17.0m 34.8m 139.0m 253.3m 555.8m 1250.3m
f/5.6 2.6m 4.0m 5.7m 7.8m 12.2m 24.9m 99.3m 180.9m 397.0m 893.2m
f/8 1.8m 2.8m 4.0m 5.5m 8.5m 17.4m 69.5m 126.7m 278.0m 625.3m
f/11 1.3m 2.0m 2.9m 4.0m 6.2m 12.7m 50.6m 92.2m 202.2m 454.8m
f/16 0.9m 1.4m 2.0m 2.8m 4.3m 8.7m 34.8m 63.4m 139.1m 312.8m
f/22 0.7m 1.0m 1.5m 2.0m 3.1m 6.4m 25.4m 46.2m 101.2m 227.6m
f/32 0.5m 0.7m 1.0m 1.4m 2.2m 4.4m 17.5m 31.8m 69.6m 156.6m

APS-C Canon

 

  16mm 20mm 24mm 28mm 35mm 50mm 100mm 135mm 200mm 300mm
f/2.8 6.1m 9.5m 13.7m 18.7m 29.2m 59.6m 238.2m 434.1m 952.6m 2143.2m
f/4 4.3m 6.7m 9.6m 13.1m 20.5m 41.7m 166.8m 303.9m 666.9m 1500.3m
f/5.6 3.1m 4.8m 6.9m 9.4m 14.6m 29.8m 119.1m 217.1m 476.4m 1071.7m
f/8 2.1m 3.4m 4.8m 6.6m 10.2m 20.9m 83.4m 152.0m 333.5m 750.3m
f/11 1.6m 2.4m 3.5m 4.8m 7.5m 15.2m 60.7m 110.6m 242.6m 545.8m
f/16 1.1m 1.7m 2.4m 3.3m 5.1m 10.5m 41.8m 76.1m 166.9m 375.3m
f/22 0.8m 1.2m 1.8m 2.4m 3.7m 7.6m 30.4m 55.4m 121.4m 273.0m
f/32 0.5m 0.9m 1.2m 1.7m 2.6m 5.3m 20.9m 38.1m 83.5m 187.8m

Micro / Four Thirds

 

  16mm 20mm 24mm 28mm 35mm 50mm 100mm 135mm 200mm 300mm
f/2.8 4.0m 6.2m 9.0m 12.2m 19.1m 38.9m 155.4m 283.1m 621.3m 1397.8m
f/4 2.8m 4.4m 6.3m 8.5m 13.4m 27.2m 108.8m 198.2m 435.0m 978.6m
f/5.6 2.0m 3.1m 4.5m 6.1m 9.5m 19.5m 77.7m 141.6m 310.8m 699.1m
f/8 1.4m 2.2m 3.2m 4.3m 6.7m 13.6m 54.4m 99.2m 217.6m 489.4m
f/11 1.0m 1.6m 2.3m 3.1m 4.9m 9.9m 39.6m 72.2m 158.3m 356.0m
f/16 0.7m 1.1m 1.6m 2.2m 3.4m 6.8m 27.3m 49.7m 108.9m 244.9m
f/22 0.5m 0.8m 1.2m 1.6m 2.5m 5.0m 19.9m 36.2m 79.3m 178.2m
f/32 0.4m 0.6m 0.8m 1.1m 1.7m 3.4m 13.7m 24.9m 54.5m 122.6m

APS-H Canon
 

When you have found the value required from the tables you simply need to set the lens focus to the distance and the depth-of-field will extend from half that distance to infinity, if you have a lens with a distance scale on. If not you have to estimate the distance and focus on it.

 

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Comments

pabloisme Avatar
pabloisme 13 566 England
3 Oct 2011 2:52PM
well that'll stop them using it!

when I was a boy there was a card (all binned now?) HF calculator with all the distances from nearest to furthest "sharp" point, there wern't so many focal lengths then....

mmmmm wonder if there would be enough demand for an app?

ps; the table looks like BT's worksheet, as to why the broadband is not working!
pabloisme Avatar
pabloisme 13 566 England
3 Oct 2011 3:14PM
OPPPS! sorry!! did a check & someone beat me to it!

I am now the proud posessor of an android app to calculate dof / hyperfocal distance
NeilSchofield Avatar
NeilSchofield Plus
16 1.8k 1 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2011 4:47PM
What about us folk with an ASP- H 1.3x crop sensor
pabloisme Avatar
pabloisme 13 566 England
4 Oct 2011 7:14AM
got an android? phone or tablet? it on one of them APPS that is! (about 10 to12 to choose from)

even a linhof 5x4! mmmmmmmmmmm

(those were made when crop sensors were farmers!)
YoBellzaa Avatar
6 Oct 2011 2:34PM
Hi Neil, I have added the ASP-H distances.
bigaly Avatar
bigaly 13 2
6 Oct 2011 3:04PM
have now enrolled at university ???? to understand it ???
ANNIEKERR Avatar
ANNIEKERR 12 6 Ireland
21 Oct 2011 10:01PM
I have a Canon 7D with a kit 15-85mm IS lens - what does the infinity mark look like to see if I have one or not because DOF is something I'm struggling with Sad
Pete Avatar
Pete 22 18.8k 97 England
21 Oct 2011 10:54PM
the infinity mark is like a letter 8 laid down on its side
pabloisme Avatar
pabloisme 13 566 England
22 Oct 2011 8:14AM
sent a PM as you DO know (but havent worked it out yet!)
SueLeonard Avatar
SueLeonard 17 72 United Kingdom
23 Oct 2011 8:22PM
Well that's nice and confusing.Sad
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