An Easy Way to Set Infinity Focus on DP Merrill Cameras

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Discussions
Scott Greiff
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An Easy Way to Set Infinity Focus on DP Merrill Cameras
Feb 14, 2013

Fukui-san today wrote a post today that gives a super-easy way to set the DP Merrill cameras to infinity focus.  The original article is here:

http://shinzlogclips.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-dp-merrill.html

The procedure is:

  1. Set the camera to Auto Focus.
  2. Turn off the camera.
  3. Turn the camera back on.  When the camera restarts, focus will be set to infinity.
  4. Turn the camera to Manual Focus to ensure the shutter won't auto focus.
You have to be careful here, not to touch the focusing ring on the lens, of course.
-Scott
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SandyF
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Re: An Easy Way to Set Infinity Focus on DP Merrill Cameras
In reply to Scott Greiff, Feb 14, 2013

Does this mean that the camera is set at infinity essentially any time it starts up? You could then just switch to manual focus and it would be at infinity? I have mine set to turn off rapidly, so it's always off and on. It would be useful if it set itself to infinity focus each time (?)

Best regards, Sandy
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http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current)

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Scott Greiff, Feb 14, 2013

Scott Greiff wrote:

Fukui-san today wrote a post today that gives a super-easy way to set the DP Merrill cameras to infinity focus. The original article is here:

http://shinzlogclips.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-dp-merrill.html

The procedure is:

  1. Set the camera to Auto Focus.
  2. Turn off the camera.
  3. Turn the camera back on. When the camera restarts, focus will be set to infinity.
  4. Turn the camera to Manual Focus to ensure the shutter won't auto focus.
You have to be careful here, not to touch the focusing ring on the lens, of course.

It may go to what it thinks is infinity, but I wonder if it's accurate... it seems like if it really knew where infinity was it would not ever let you focus past it (which I think it does).
A great tip if it works...
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PicOne
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Feb 15, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Scott Greiff wrote:

Fukui-san today wrote a post today that gives a super-easy way to set the DP Merrill cameras to infinity focus. The original article is here:

http://shinzlogclips.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-dp-merrill.html

The procedure is:

  1. Set the camera to Auto Focus.
  2. Turn off the camera.
  3. Turn the camera back on. When the camera restarts, focus will be set to infinity.
  4. Turn the camera to Manual Focus to ensure the shutter won't auto focus.
You have to be careful here, not to touch the focusing ring on the lens, of course.

It may go to what it thinks is infinity, but I wonder if it's accurate... it seems like if it really knew where infinity was it would not ever let you focus past it (which I think it does).
A great tip if it works...

Yeah.. infinity or beyond?  If you're willing to do all as described, why not put the camera in MF and just spin the lens focusing ring all the way til focus is at the end?

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Laurence Matson
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Feb 15, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Scott Greiff wrote:

Fukui-san today wrote a post today that gives a super-easy way to set the DP Merrill cameras to infinity focus. The original article is here:

http://shinzlogclips.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-dp-merrill.html

The procedure is:

  1. Set the camera to Auto Focus.
  2. Turn off the camera.
  3. Turn the camera back on. When the camera restarts, focus will be set to infinity.
  4. Turn the camera to Manual Focus to ensure the shutter won't auto focus.
You have to be careful here, not to touch the focusing ring on the lens, of course.

It may go to what it thinks is infinity, but I wonder if it's accurate... it seems like if it really knew where infinity was it would not ever let you focus past it (which I think it does).
A great tip if it works...

Maybe there is a reason why it focusses past infinity. Most lenses do, btw.

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victorgv
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Feb 15, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Scott Greiff wrote:

Fukui-san today wrote a post today that gives a super-easy way to set the DP Merrill cameras to infinity focus. The original article is here:

http://shinzlogclips.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-dp-merrill.html

The procedure is:

  1. Set the camera to Auto Focus.
  2. Turn off the camera.
  3. Turn the camera back on. When the camera restarts, focus will be set to infinity.
  4. Turn the camera to Manual Focus to ensure the shutter won't auto focus.
You have to be careful here, not to touch the focusing ring on the lens, of course.

It may go to what it thinks is infinity, but I wonder if it's accurate... it seems like if it really knew where infinity was it would not ever let you focus past it (which I think it does).
A great tip if it works...

It works and it faster then manual adjustment. . It focuses past the infinity but may be they did it such that when you use  aperture around f11 you still be able to blur everything but very distant objects.

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victorgv
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Re: An Easy Way to Set Infinity Focus on DP Merrill Cameras
In reply to SandyF, Feb 15, 2013

SandyF wrote:

Does this mean that the camera is set at infinity essentially any time it starts up? You could then just switch to manual focus and it would be at infinity? I have mine set to turn off rapidly, so it's always off and on. It would be useful if it set itself to infinity focus each time (?)

Best regards, Sandy
http://www.pbase.com/sandyfleischman (archival)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sandyfleischmann (current)

It sets to infinity after power off power on in autofocus mode and remembers last focus distance in manual.

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SigmaChrome
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Laurence Matson, Feb 15, 2013

Laurence Matson wrote:

Maybe there is a reason why it focusses past infinity. Most lenses do, btw.

And so did Dave Bowman. He went to Jupiter - and beyond: The Infinite.

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PicOne
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to victorgv, Feb 15, 2013

victorgv wrote:

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

Scott Greiff wrote:

Fukui-san today wrote a post today that gives a super-easy way to set the DP Merrill cameras to infinity focus. The original article is here:

http://shinzlogclips.blogspot.com/2013/02/sigma-dp-merrill.html

The procedure is:

  1. Set the camera to Auto Focus.
  2. Turn off the camera.
  3. Turn the camera back on. When the camera restarts, focus will be set to infinity.
  4. Turn the camera to Manual Focus to ensure the shutter won't auto focus.
You have to be careful here, not to touch the focusing ring on the lens, of course.

It may go to what it thinks is infinity, but I wonder if it's accurate... it seems like if it really knew where infinity was it would not ever let you focus past it (which I think it does).
A great tip if it works...

It works and it faster then manual adjustment. . It focuses past the infinity but may be they did it such that when you use aperture around f11 you still be able to blur everything but very distant objects.

ability to 'focus past infinity' is by design to accommodate potential temperature (climate) changes, which as you can imagine heat etc.. makes things expand (eg. lens elements) etc.. and therefore affect where 'infinity', as denoted by the lens barrel, really is.

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rick decker
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to PicOne, Feb 15, 2013

There was some discussion, somewhere, that perhaps there was less stress on AF by letting it go past infinity.  I have shot in a wide variety of weather conditions, and I have never had problems with AF that stopped at infinity.

Many I have talked with actually prefer an AF that stops at infinity. Nothing worse than having AF shoot out past infinity and you take the picture and nothing is in focus. Another 'questionable' advancement in technology.

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Scott Greiff
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Re: An Easy Way to Set Infinity Focus on DP Merrill Cameras
In reply to Scott Greiff, Feb 15, 2013

To elaborate a bit more on the three shots shown in Fukui-san's blog post, the first one was shot with auto focus on the building.  The second shot was shot using the "Infinity Steps" in my original post, and the third was shot using manual focus using the magnification guide.

-Scott

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Laurence Matson, Feb 15, 2013

Laurence Matson wrote:

<...>

Maybe there is a reason why it focusses past infinity. Most lenses do, btw.

I always figured that it was because you couldn't be exactly sure of where infinity was in any final lens build due to slight manufacturing differences, so you had to allow a little movement beyond infinity so that you wouldn't accidentally build a lens that could not reach infinity at all...

Also I guess it could be in support of things like closeup filters, where you can't even reach infinity anyway and so you may as well let it focus a bit more.

But the manufacturing thing is what made me wonder if it really knew where infinity was, though it could be calibrated at the factory to know I suppose.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to rick decker, Feb 15, 2013

rick decker wrote:

There was some discussion, somewhere, that perhaps there was less stress on AF by letting it go past infinity. I have shot in a wide variety of weather conditions, and I have never had problems with AF that stopped at infinity.

Many I have talked with actually prefer an AF that stops at infinity. Nothing worse than having AF shoot out past infinity and you take the picture and nothing is in focus. Another 'questionable' advancement in technology.

That could be a good use of the upcoming custom focus range for landscapes - you could figure out where "real" infinity was and set a range that stopped exactly at infinity so you could not overshoot.

I wonder (from another post) if exactly where infinity was would depend on temperature at all...

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rick decker
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to victorgv, Feb 15, 2013

When you go past infinity, nothing is in focus, at least in normal temperature ranges.  Hard to say about zero kelvin or 100 centigrade.

One mfr's rep  said it was to reduce wear and tear on AF be keeping iy from banging against the "wall". Possibly with the infinity point varying by focal length within a zoom, it was just adopted with primes for uniformity.  Or it was adopted because of mfg tolerances to prevent cameras going out that couldn't focus to infinity.

It would be interesting to know what the real reason was.

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Feb 15, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

I always figured that it was because you couldn't be exactly sure of where infinity was in any final lens build due to slight manufacturing differences, so you had to allow a little movement beyond infinity so that you wouldn't accidentally build a lens that could not reach infinity at all...

Yes, thats it.

Old manual focus lenses had a stop at infinity, or maybe at hyper focal distance for max aperture. The latter is quite annoying if you need/want exact focussing.

Auto focus lenses can focus beyond infinity, partly because that decreases the need for accuracy when making the lens and partly because auto focus hunt back and forth, and then may need to hunt beyond infinity.

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Roland Karlsson
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to rick decker, Feb 15, 2013

rick decker wrote:

It would be interesting to know what the real reason was.

As I wrote above, I am quite sure the main reasons are two.

  1. It decreases the need for accuracy.
  2. It makes it possible to hunt behind infinity when searching for focus.
  3. Hmmm ... and maybe it also was to decrease tear when the lens hits the wall.
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PicOne
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Re: How does it know "real" infinity?
In reply to Kendall Helmstetter Gelner, Feb 16, 2013

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner wrote:

rick decker wrote:

There was some discussion, somewhere, that perhaps there was less stress on AF by letting it go past infinity. I have shot in a wide variety of weather conditions, and I have never had problems with AF that stopped at infinity.

Many I have talked with actually prefer an AF that stops at infinity. Nothing worse than having AF shoot out past infinity and you take the picture and nothing is in focus. Another 'questionable' advancement in technology.

That could be a good use of the upcoming custom focus range for landscapes - you could figure out where "real" infinity was and set a range that stopped exactly at infinity so you could not overshoot.

I wonder (from another post) if exactly where infinity was would depend on temperature at all...

My understanding is that this is in fact the case.  Even my slr lens (eg. EF 35 f/1.4 does this)..  there must be a reason for this in all lenses.

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