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Lens Distance Scale (Hyperfocal Distance)

Rupa Sztraka , Sep 03, 2009; 05:07 a.m.

Hi all. I have noticed that the "distance scales" on most lenses i see only go up to 10m & then straight to infinity, lets say i have a 150mm lens (for 4x5) & i want everything from 7.1m to Infinity to be in focus, then 14.2m would be the Hyperfocal Distance to focus at @ f16 (According to my DOF calculator), but the Distance Scale on my 150mm lens only goes up to 10m & then Infinity. I could just stop down to f22 & then 10m would be the Hyperfocal Distance, but i am wandering if there is a way to know the distance the lens is focused at after 10 metres.
Any advice appreciated. cheers - Rupa

Responses

Edward Woods , Sep 03, 2009; 06:19 a.m.

Rupa, I use my depth of filed preview button all the time if the goal is for the greatest depth of field and I may preset the focus manually guestimating my distance as a starting point with the awareness that I am trying to obtain the hyper focal setting empirically. I stopped using my DOF calculator when my Palm pilot died a few years ago but often wished had still had it. If you really want to know the distance then a range finder from Adorama, B&H or Cabelas may be something you will want to use to determine the correct distance away from your camera and then spot focus on that point with your camera. Perhaps the next step in digital imaging will be to add distance information to the focus point. You can find an inexpensive range finder for $150. Good hunting. Andy

Frank Uhlig , Sep 03, 2009; 09:55 a.m.

Simply extrapolate: 14 m is a bit further out than 10 m, so set the lens a bit out from 10. Done.

Except for the fact that hyperfocal distance setting will leave your infinity objects, the ridges, trees, clouds unsharp. If you like that: ok. Otherwise just focus at infinity and see your pictures become much more pleasing. Google Harald Merklinger if you want to know the detail behind this commonsense approach. In fact, just take two identical pics of a landscape from a tripod, one with the hyperfocal nonsense setting and one with infinity focus. Then compare the results to become convinced, even if you do not want to study the math and geometry behind H. M.'s method.

Hyperfocal is the scrounge of many a landscape photographer who leaves critical sharpness and visual pleasures behind systematically because he/she was taught wrongly!

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