Hyperfocal Distance Help!

Started Mar 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
Senior MemberPosts: 1,986
Re: Hyperfocal Distance Help!
In reply to moony16, Mar 18, 2012

This is how I see it... Acceptable DOF will depend on how much you wish to enlarge, and how close you wish to view the final image. When you are looking at the DoF calculations on something like DOFMaster, you will notice the CoC (Circle of Confusion). You'll need to read into that some to gain more understanding, but bottom line is use their default value for most cases, or you can relax (larger) or constrain (smaller) the CoC size depending on just how "acceptable" the focus is to you. This will be beneficial in determining the hyperfocal distance.

For the aperture to select, you will run into diffraction, and that will vary by lens, but for the most part, you'll probably only find it an issue once you step down beyond about f/11 on typical shots. If you look very closely, you may see it after f/8. So, take these into account as well.

To gain maximum sharpness you will want to use a tripod of course, but also a cable release so you don't have to touch the camera body itself. If you don't have one, use the 2 second self timer. Also, use mirror lock-up if your camera has it. If not, use the Shutter Delay Mode (set to On).

For a given scene, if you don't have any subject matter within the lower bounds (i.e., closest point of acceptable focus), then it won't help you to focus at hyperfocal. In this case, you can move the focus further back. You can always rerun the calculation so that the lower bounds of acceptable focus will equal the closest subject matter in the scene.

If you have very close subjects and very distant subjects, then even f/11 won't suffice. For this case, you do have another option assuming the scene is "static". You can focus 'close', shoot, focus 'middle', shoot, and focus 'infinity', shoot, and focus stack the frames using software. This will give accurate focus across the scene, at non-diffracting apertures like f/8.

Of all these, the tripod will probably be the most beneficial.

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