Jim Strutz - Anchorage, AK , Jan 23, 2004; 02:06 a.m.
Without a distance scale, the tape measure isn't going to help without a lot of leg work. For hyperfocal settings to work, you need to know the distance the lens is focused at, and the distance of the near & far objects.
You can do it of course. You measure (or estimate) the distances of the subjects and then consult your hyperfocal chart (You do carry this with you don't you?), set your aperture and then carefully measure to the hyperfocal distance, mark it, and focus right there.
Kind of clumsy in this modern age.
Anyway, you don't mention what camera body you are working with. All Canon EOS cameras have some form of a hyperfocal calculation feature designed into them. Some of them have a DEP feature (Look at the Command Dial on top of the camera) where you AF on the far, and then the near subject and then take the picture. The camera then calculates the different distances, selects the appropriate aperture, and adjusts the focus to the hyperfocal distance, before taking the picture.
Lower end EOS cameas use an A-DEP function where it does the above in one step, but only if you have an AF point on each of the distances you want to keep in focus.