Hyperfocal and stacking strategy

Started Jan 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Hyperfocal and stacking strategy
Jan 21, 2012

The object is to find some simple focus strategies for use where the object is:

1.Landscapes using a few primes at one standard aperture IE F8.
2.Lenses 17,24,35,50 and 70mm

3.Get the maximum DOF for the focal length being used, with an emphasis on sharp infinity.

The reality is that for 17mm and 24mm, fairly deep DOF is obtained with the lens focused at infinity so long as the tripod is at normal height and no tall objects are near. But with a second shot at a closer distance, the two can be stacked for very deep dof which is especially useful for low shots. My 17mm and 24mm lenses are TSE, but TSE requires live view adjustments and tilting does not work when a tall subject is near. My method can be used with AF confirm and does not depend on sharp vision as live view does.

I also note that when hyperfocal focus is used with the standard CoC, infinity tends to be softer than I like. If you tighten the CoC to calculate hyperfocal, the near sharpness gets further away.

For 35mm and above, really deep dof is seldom the object because the near subject is far enough to be included in an infinity focus shot or a hyperfocal shot. But stacking can provide deeper DOF if desired and possible.

I have prepared a set of charts that show the following for each lens.

1. Hyperfocal chart shows the hyperfocal focus distance for acceptable infinity with the near acceptable distance recorded.

2. Infinity focus shows the near acceptable distance when infinity is the focus distance. The near distance in this chart is always very close to the hyperfocal distance.

3. Stack for near . This chart finds the focus that will provide a far acceptable distance that is the same with a bit of overlap as the near distance when infinity focus is used. When the two are stacked you will get the maximum dof for a two shot stack.

4.Including a hyperfocal shot in the above stack provides some overlap and safety.

5.Stopping down has no adverse effect as it simply improves the dof. Faster apertures are never required for my landscape work. F8 is the sweet spot for the lenses I use.

6.I made two charts, one with the standard CoC of .030, another with a CoC of .015.

7.I noted that when the CoC is halved, the distance is doubled. A handy metric.

I would show the chart, but have no way how to upload an Excel or PDF file.

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When you can't focus, nothing else matters
Once you can, everything else does.



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