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Thread: Help with shooting at infinity

  1. #1
    New Member
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    Oct 2010
    nacton village ipswich
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    Help with shooting at infinity

    Hi , I'm new at this can anyone help?

    When they say focus at infinity if i am taking a landscape shot do i focus into the sky or what any help please

    Thanks Carole
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 9th January 2011 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    Mark Fleming

    Re: Help with shooting at efinity

    Hey Carole,

    To focus at infinity you'll need to turn the focusing ring on your lens to the mark that looks like a little "8" that's fallen over. There are differing schools of thought when considering this. Some go by the hyperfocal distance (do a quick search of these forums) method, and some just say to pull back a couple of milimeters from said "8" to get the optimal focus. Personally, and I don't really do landscapes, I'd focus about a third of the way into the scene and set the aperture to at least f16. But I could be wrong.

  3. #3

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    Jul 2009
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    Re: Help with shooting at efinity

    in my view if you focus at infinity you are basically focusing on the horizon, that maybe ok in some landscape shots but if you want your main feature to be that lighthouse in the foreground then it could pose a problem,
    depth of field (DOF) is a perceived level of focus to the human eye, it is normally 1/3rd in front and 2/3rds behind the actual focus point of a subject, to complicate matters the DOF shortens with a lower Fstop (but still retains the third in front and 2 thirds behind only now its narrower if you get what i mean), thats why mark mentioned using big apertures like F16 ,this would give you loads of DOF,
    you are always best to focus on the centre of attention then higher/lower your F stop to get more/less DOF as required,
    incidentally i used to find that if i wanted near/far acceptable focus the best way was to set my focus at 2 feet at F20 (ignoring the blurry picture in the viewfinder because i couldn't be bothered to press the dof preview button)
    i know now (with visiting this site ) that F20 might cause problems with diffraction but i didnt seem to notice any difference, cheers martyn ps as usual i try to speak in laymans terms,

  4. #4

    Re: Help with shooting at infinity

    FYI, most lenses focus "past" infinity (not sure how else to put it). This is supposedly to accommodate how a lens will behave at different temperatures. Thus, setting it at the extreme end will often yield OOF results. Do what blue boy suggest if you only plan to shoot at infinity. But the question is, how much?

    ...some just say to pull back a couple of milimeters from said "8" to get the optimal focus...
    Another tip I've learned from Colin Southern; if you wish to shoot in near darkness, you should go earlier (when the sun is still up) than the time you plan to take the photo. First acquire focus, then turn off Autofocus. Wait for the optimal lightning and start shooting. This effectively solves the problem of being unable to acquire focus at night. Taking a test shot also has an added advantage of being able to predict the final outcome of your long exposure.

    Alternatively, you can bring a torch light, but this won't work for distant objects.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    New Zealand
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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Help with shooting at infinity

    Quote Originally Posted by Blazing fire View Post
    FYI, most lenses focus "past" infinity (not sure how else to put it).
    I think Buzz Lightyear put it best: "To infinity and beyond"!

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