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Thread: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

  1. #1

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    DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Passed over the DOF, and found another big frustration :'(.

    I have an 24-70mm 2.8 Lens from Canon.

    Steps:

    1. Read about hyperfocal distance, focus at infinity, stuffs of this kind.
    2. Went outside to practice.
    3. BIG BIG DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!.

    Set the aperture at f/13, 24mm, the HFD = 1.72 let's say. The distance scale has a 1.5(m). Toggle the Manual Focus of the Lens on, move the ring at 1.5 first, and gently 1 or 2 mm to left(where i presume would be 1.7). Press the shutter half way and all the way.

    Arrived home, SURPRISSSSSEEEEE!!!! , the landscape it's awful .only a small part of the image in focus.

    Tried the other way, to focus at 1.5/1.7 aprox. with autofocus, the same problem. If i move the focus ring between 3m to infinity maybe maybe a small improvment.

    Q: What am I doing WRONG? .

    Ps: Used the Mirror-lock up + Self-Timer shutter. It doesn't seem to get to a satisfing result.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2

    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    According to my calculations, for 24 mm and f/13, hyperfocal is nearly at 235 cm.

  3. #3

    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    I take c as 0.019.

    (f*f)/(N*c)+f
    where,
    f = focal length,
    N = f stop,
    c = circle of confusion.

    You can use this formula for hyperfocal distance.

  4. #4
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    I know that lots of people want to manually focus their lenses either by selecting the focus distance scale on the lens or by using either live view or the through the lens viewfinder. IMO, one of the problems with manually focusing auto-focus lenses is that autofocus lenses and auto focus cameras are not optimized for manual focus.

    You did not need to do any calculations in order to set your manual focus lens on the hyperfocal distance. Most manual focus lenses had an indicator which showed the point focused on. On each side of that focus point were a set of f/stop indicators. Simply by setting right f/stop indicator, which coincided with the f/stop you were using, to the infinity point on the distance scale, you were focused at the hyperfocal distance of the lens. You were in acceptable focus from the distance at the left f/stop indicator to infinity...

    This would not work with EF lenses because they can be used on both full-frame and crop cameras and the hyperfocal distances would be different. I also not sure if this would work with manual focus zoom lenses either because I only used a manual focus zoom lens twice - once a Nikkor 43-86mm zoom and once a Canon zoom. Neither of these lenses produced image quality up to my standards and I did not shoot with either a second time.

    Many manual focus lenses had finer distance scales than the relatively coarse distance scales of auto focus lenses and it was easier to determine the various distances.

    Most viewfinders of manual focus cameras were better for manually focusing than are most of the viewfinders of auto focus cameras. Many manual focus lenses had center point split-image rangefinders incorporated while other cameras had a variety of different viewfinder configurations. Some of today's auto focus cameras have interchangable viewfinder screens and there are after market accessories available for some cameras which simplify manual focus.

    While focusing on the hyperfocal distance is a quick and dirty way of shooting without focusing, it certainly (IMO) is not the best way of achieving knife sharp focus. It will provide an image which is "acceptably in focus" from about half of the hyperfocal distance to infinity. Acceptably in focus does not mean that you have nailed the focus. It means that the image is not out of focus enough to be unacceptable when enlarged to about an 8x10 inch size and viewed from arm's length.

    I cut my teeth on manual focus lanses and cameras. Many of the earlier cameras had no rangefinder at all and some of them had a separate rangefinder which was not connected with the camera focus. It would simply tell you the distance you were aiming at and you had to set that distance scale on the lens. Then came rangefinders which were connected to the camera focus but, were in a separate window. You would focus the camera using the rangefinder and then view the image in a different window. Then came the rangefinders which were integrated into the viewfinder and finally, you had the single lens reflex cameras which utilized automatic lenses. Previously, using SLR cameras/lenses, you set the f/stop on your lens but needed to manually open the lens to the full aperture to focus and then manually close down the lens to the shooting aperture.

    I skipped an entire generation of Canon SLR cameras (EOS film cameras) because I figured that I could manually focus faster with my Canon A-1 and AE-1P and achieve focus more accurately than any dumb camera could focus automatically. I WAS WRONG. I almost never focus manually anymore except in macro work. I love autofocus and the autofocus of my Canon 7D is unbelievably accurate and versatile. However, I also had no problems achieving correct focus with earlier DSLR cameras ranging from the old D60 through my 40D.
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 27th February 2012 at 04:35 PM.

  5. #5
    arith's Avatar
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Hyperfocal distance is useful to work out what is going to be in focus; but always stick the infinity mark next to the line, if you don't foliage always looks like porridge.

    But if your doing dof, it's different.

  6. #6
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Hi Ana,

    As Richard has pointed out, the hyperfocal distance is based on a barely satisfactory level of sharpness. If you are more critical of your image sharpness then the standard hyperfocal distance calculators will be wrong for you.

    Check out this article by Keith Cooper on why using the hyperfocal distance can be bad:

    http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/a..._distance.html

    The article has a few good picture examples. It basically says that you should focus on what you want to be in focus.

    My experience has told me that using the hyperfocal distance causes the far objects to be a bit fuzzy. If you want a sharp distant object then you had better focus on it.

    I also tend to use the next stop up (or more) from depth of field calculators. E.g. if it says use f8 to get your required depth of field then use f11. This is useful for macro photography where falloff in depth of field usually occurs on the subject, not an irrelevant background, so is more critical to avoid.

    Alex

  7. #7

    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Forget about my previous calculations It seems that you're using a full frame camera. For a full frame c = 0.03, so it is 150 cm.

  8. #8

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Could you post it, along with the exif data for analysis please Ana?
    I'm assuming that you used a tripod so that the blur isn't down to camera movement?

  9. #9

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    I'll try to post some photos this days.

    http://www.juzaphoto.com/index2.php?...ia_en&gal=3528
    http://www.juzaphoto.com/index2.php?...ia_en&gal=3535

    How does this guy take this wonderfull photos?

    Or this one:
    http://miriadna.com/preview/514.

    Where&how does he focus? :'(

    At the beginning i thought it was the camera, after that, when i got the camera, i said it was the lens, after the lens, i realized that i'm the problem :'(. It's so difficult.

    Any help will be highly aprecciated. ;'(.

    Anyway, i would like to thank you all very much for your answers.

  10. #10
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Ana

    I think it would be more helpful if you could post some of your images, rather than links to the work of others.

    In terms of those that you did post, you will note that the first one is taken with a 12-24 lens, something with a much wider field of view and which will render a much greater depth-of-field than your 24-70.

  11. #11

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    http://tinypic.com/r/4lte/5, pls excuse my underexposure...

    DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.
    Last edited by Donald; 28th February 2012 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Image posted inline

  12. #12
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Ana

    The next thing that we need to work on is helping you to get your images posted inline. If you just post hyperlinks, people will tend not to take the time to click on the link to view them.

    As you can see, i have posted your image into your post.

    Given you are using TinyPics, then please click here and read Dave's very helpful instructions on how to post images. If this does not provide all the help you need, then please do ask.

  13. #13

    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    For the last image, I think that the entire sharpness is not bad as far as I can see, am I wrong?

    By the way, you should stop down a little bit more, I think. For example, Bryan Peterson says f/22 in his "Understanding Exposure".

  14. #14
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    I, too, can see nothing wrong with the DoF in this image. It seems well in focus from front-to-back.

    Can you tell us, Ana, is this one of the images you were referring to in your original post? If so, I'm afraid I'm struggling to understand what the problem was that you were highlighting viz-a-viz only part of the image being in focus. If not, then it is one of those that I think we need to see.

  15. #15

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Hello hello!

    So, you guys are saying that the DOF is ok? That i shouldn't worry about it? (Anyway that pic was shot hand-held).

    If you are telling me that this photo it's ok, then:
    - i won't be so frustrate;
    - i will try to shoot at f.16/f.22;
    - continue to find interesting subjects;
    - continue to HOPE!

    I would just have one more wish. If someone is willing to take the original picture, post-process it to see that it can be done, and all it's missing is my experience. It could also be an example and motivation for others "wanna be" photographers.

    Anyway i would like to thank you all for your answers and to communicate to all of you that i like this forum and it makes me feel very ... GOOD .

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by anita View Post
    Hello hello!

    So, you guys are saying that the DOF is ok? That i shouldn't worry about it? (Anyway that pic was shot hand-held).

    If you are telling me that this photo it's ok, then:
    - i won't be so frustrate;
    - i will try to shoot at f.16/f.22;
    - continue to find interesting subjects;
    - continue to HOPE!

    I would just have one more wish. If someone is willing to take the original picture, post-process it to see that it can be done, and all it's missing is my experience. It could also be an example and motivation for others "wanna be" photographers.

    Anyway i would like to thank you all for your answers and to communicate to all of you that i like this forum and it makes me feel very ... GOOD .
    Ana

    On the basis of the evidence in the image you posted, there is no 'problem' with DoF.

    I'd suggest that what you need to do is find a scene to photoograph and then take a picture at every aperture setting available to you. Then compare them all. That's one way of learning about DoF.

    There is certainly no need to shoot at f16/f22 to ensure good DoF. It is about learning what happens when you use particular aperture settings relative to the subject your photographing. And, so far as I'm concerned, the best way of learning something like this is practice, practice and practice. That then replaces having to hope. That's not the best basis for trying to make good images. You want to be in a position of knowing what's going to come out of the camera once you press the shutter.

    As for re-processing your image, we'd need access to the RAW file. You would need to upload it to a file sharing site such as mediafire (www.mediafire.com). To do this you'd need to:
    • Create a new account
    • Upload the file
    • Capture the link URL reference to that file (you'll be given that once you upload it)
    • The post that reference into a message so that we can click on it and download the file.

  17. #17

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Indeed, Donald.

    Thank you for your time and support.

    That is why i'm desperatly trying to understand everything that's "behind the scene"(of the things).

    I take my camera, my tripod, go outside, find a place, set my aperture let's say 24 mm, f.11/f.13 and then stop, mirror lock-up, self-timer 2 seconds!

    Q1: Where do i have to focus?
    I do: (watch the DOF chart...), switch to MF, rotate the ring to an aprox. distance scale & press the shutter or
    AF, focus on a subject that's close to that HFD, switch to MF(for lock) & press the shutter.

    Anyway, i wish i can help you guys someday on writting articles about photography.

    Here should be the link with the Original RAW file.
    http://www.mediafire.com/?fvo5wd6liez5nc0
    Last edited by anita; 29th February 2012 at 01:26 PM.

  18. #18

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Hi, What I do is to try and get A to B in focus by spliting my viewfinder into three imaginary thirds and focus on a subject on the line between the second and bottom third, I do not remember where I saw or read this tip but the idea was to focus one third of the way into the subject then recompose, I have tried to understand Hyper Focal Distance but find that thinking about or working out that distance takes me so much time that I miss the shot. I no that what I do is maybe not 100% correct but it works for me.
    Russ

  19. #19

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    2 penny for the guess..

    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Hi Ana,

    [IMG]DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.[/IMG]

    This is a quick edit to your picture. It is far from perfect or complete. Just as a point of view.
    Please don't be frustrated , and try to find all good points from a less happy experience. If I may,
    1. Try as much as possible to "move" your histogram to the right (see expose to the right tutorial). This will give you more room in editing after.
    2. Don't be frustrated when you see your pictures directly imported from camera. I Think if 80-90% of what you want to catch in that picture is there, the rest is in PP, for more pinch/boost call it what you like.
    3. Work the shoot. I did this mistake many times, get overexcited about what I saw and feel, grab one-two shoots, and, at home, get very dissapointed about results. Give yourself more time, try different points of view, and don't be scared to bracket. Try different exposure settings.
    4. Don't give up !!
    5. Why do you believe what you see? Not a single fabulous shoot that you see come straight from camera.

    I'm not deleting any of my pictures , no matter how wrong are, I'm learning more from mistakes then good pictures. Good pictures are required to "keep the faith" for the rest, is alot of work.

    As personal opinion, please assume that I'm wrong, and try to adjust all advices to your personal taste. There is no wrong picture, only small steps to greater results.

    On the other hand, what "push" you to make this picture, who was your main subject, is my point of view the right one (right one, not the correct one, mkay?), is ballanced ?, I have a clear separation of foreground (subject) from background?

    I hope I helped and not confused you more. I struggled alot with technical issues ( still have) and I was not happy with my photography, untill I realize that I was a very good craftman but a poor "story teller" with my pictures, even from compositional point of view or subject. Now, I'm trying to work on the other side, which is more important, but this is IMO
    Good light and happy shooting !
    Leo

  20. #20

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    Re: DOF, Hyperfocal Distance, Distance Scale, Lens.

    Thanks a lot, Leo.

    I wasn't thinking at that moment, all i was trying to do was to test the DOF at different distance scale. I belive in this case the distance was infinity.

    At this moment, i am a little more calm (thanks to CiC, Donald, and all of you). I was desperate to have FULL DOF in images. Now i'm ok.

    I start reading a book about composition. Watching this months a lot of photos, i realized that a small amount of them are original regarding composition. Most of them are a same scene with different actors and colors (See lanscape/seascape). I'm beginning to accept this "limitation".

    I try to "stop and watch" the subjects and to become more pacient.

    I'am still waiting someone to make an ART of this photo, it's a wish.

    Thank you all, once again.

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