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  1. #1
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    Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Many of you are making valiant attempts on the Help Forum to help me understand DOF and related issues. I spent much time today reading about DOF which led to the subject of Hyperfocusing, which sparks two questions:

    (1) Who among you utilize the hyperfocus technique, either scientifically or as a guesstimate?

    (2) Do you use a DOF chart - perhaps one on your lens or otherwise?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Jimmy B's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Paula, I have used a chart in the past. It does work. I also found that when I looked through the VF and then on the scale on the lens I was right on.
    I have yet to use a DOF chart, when I shoot I pretty much have in mind my DOF so it I haven't gone after one.
    Jimmy

  3. #3
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Having learned this year that I have ADD,(explains a lot about my life), I thought you meant hyperfocus as in concentrating on one subject to the exclusion of all else.
    Silly to think so on a photo forums site but that's part of the condition too.

    I know about hyper-focus photographically speaking but don't really use it. I just figure out what I want in focus and what the best dof will be that I can get and go from there.
    Maybe I'd be better off if I did think about it. I know some of our experts do.
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  4. #4
    Be serious Franglais's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    (1) Who among you utilize the hyperfocus technique, either scientifically or as a guesstimate?

    I have never used it, even with my Rollei 35 film camera which had NO focussing system. You had to guess what was the distance and set it on the lens, which was fairly short focal length (40mm). I used this camera most of the time walking about in fairly poor light and setting a small aperture and focussing at some distance didn't suit the subject. I used to focus on 5 feet at f8 and that gave me the right depth of field

    (2) Do you use a DOF chart - perhaps one on your lens or otherwise?

    I used to use one on my film Hasslblad 6x6 when doing landscapes on a tripod. It's easy - the depth-of-field for the aperture is indicated by two indicators on the lens. That move when you change the aperture. When you're doing a landscape on a tripod with a big camera and a hand-held spotmeter you have time to look at things like that.

    Nowadays if I'm concerned about depth-of-field (usually on a tripod again) I just set the autofocus on the most important spot and use Aperture priority to ensure I'm using an aperture with the right depth of field.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Thanks, Jimmy, Frog and Charles. Very interesting. I hope others will chime in.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Dylan8i's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    i use it when im going to be focused on infinity, if you back off alittle bit then you actually get more in focus in the photo.

    but normally if im shooting wildlife or what not i focus on the eyes and let the rest of the dof fall where it does.
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  7. #7
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Ok, I'm going to be the first....

    What's hyperfocusing?

  8. #8
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    I copied this from the Internet:

    "Simply put, hyperfocal photography is when you adjust the aperture and point of focus so that everything from a desired point (usually the foreground) to infinity is in focus. It takes work and an attention to detail, but mastering it and becoming efficient at it can certainly improve certain aspects of your photography."

    I am stumbling my way through trying to understand it myself, so I the blind am trying to lead you the blind.

    If I understand what I have read on the Internet, there is a basic rule that whatever you have focused on, your DOF is basically one/third the distance in front of that point and 2/3rds behind. This involves focal length. So, hyperfocusing would be beneficial to understand so as to get foreground AND background in focus in a landscape shot for instance. By understanding the concept of hyperfocusing, you may take full advantage of your DOF it seems. Hyper=maximum, so hyperfocusing is basically maximum focusing range.

    I spent forever yesterday trying to understand the "scale" on my Canon 17-40 -- to no avail. Today I am digging out the papers on it with the hope it explains it -- and I understand it.

    Experts: How did I do? My grandfather used to say "If you can't explain it, then you don't understand it."
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  9. #9
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    It's the closest point you can focus on and still be in focus at infinity. It gives you the widest possible DoF for your current settings. - TF
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  10. #10
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Here's an interesting read. This guy says that the traditional rules re DOF are in essence, obsolete. Well, that sure helps clear up the confusion...

    http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/index.html#TOC
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  11. #11
    Junior Member dave23's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Back in my 35mm film days (I miss those), I used to walk around taking street shots with my old Pentax MX and 28mm lens, set to f8 and the focus at 8 ft to infinity. I sometimes do something similar with my K20 and a 21mm (on manual)- I suppose that's using "hyperfocus"...

  12. #12
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shebang
    Here's an interesting read
    Interesting, but I suspect the emperor is naked, and may not even be present.
    I'd have to get someone else to check the maths, but I'm not convinced about the disk idea.
    And it seems to ignore the effect of focal length on DoF by the time it discusses the disk.
    PAul

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  13. #13
    Senior Member draymorton's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Very helpful thread. Didn't even know what HF was until arriving here. I thought it was something fashion photographers did after snorting too much coke.

    Quote Originally Posted by SmartWombat
    Interesting, but I suspect the emperor is naked, and may not even be present.
    He's at George Michael's house, in other words...

  14. #14
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Hey Paula,

    When I want to check DOF I just push the DOF button on the lower left side of the lens mount. If I need to adjust the DOF I lock the preveiw button down then adjust the focus to get the effect I want, I see what the camera will see when the lens stops down for the exposure. This feature was standard on the A Series Canons, I would hope the EOS cameras have this feature. Proper use eliminates any doubt about DOF.

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  15. #15
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Newer lenses don't even have markings on them to hyperfocus with. A good technique if you are shooting landscapes is to focus one third the way into the shot. If I happen to be using an older lens with the markings on it, yes I do. I have a Voigtlander 15mm lens I use and when mounted it doesn't touch the focus mechanism on the M camera so you have to guess focus. I hyperfocal focus it and shoot away.
    http://www.naturephotographers.net/a.../rb0307-1.html
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  16. #16
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by draymorton
    Very helpful thread. Didn't even know what HF was until arriving here. I thought it was something fashion photographers did after snorting too much coke...
    LOL Hyperfocus...that's what I feel like after racking my brain on this subject........not focused............


    ..............snorting coke.


    Jes kiddin.


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  17. #17
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by w.slayman
    Hey Paula,

    When I want to check DOF I just push the DOF button on the lower left side of the lens mount. If I need to adjust the DOF I lock the preveiw button down then adjust the focus to get the effect I want, I see what the camera will see when the lens stops down for the exposure. This feature was standard on the A Series Canons, I would hope the EOS cameras have this feature. Proper use eliminates any doubt about DOF.

    NU 10 OU 3 OU 27 OSU 0

    Your eyes are way better than mine. I use the DOF button, and I can't see much, if any difference.
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  18. #18
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dylan8i
    i use it when im going to be focused on infinity, if you back off alittle bit then you actually get more in focus in the photo.

    but normally if im shooting wildlife or what not i focus on the eyes and let the rest of the dof fall where it does.

    What do you mean "back off a little...?" Are you saying you focus on a distant object and then re-compose?
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  19. #19
    Senior Member draymorton's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    I was actually going to start a thread on this subject in the sports section. Is hyperfocusing what ski or surf or bike photographers do when shooting someone who's pretty far off in the distance and moving across/through the frame? I've been wondering about that for a long time.

  20. #20
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by draymorton
    I was actually going to start a thread on this subject in the sports section. Is hyperfocusing what ski or surf or bike photographers do when shooting someone who's pretty far off in the distance and moving across/through the frame? I've been wondering about that for a long time.

    In my reading, I did come across a place that said this technique was most helpful for sports/ski shots. It basically said that by understanding hyperfocusing you can determine the available range of DOF and shoot your subject accordingly. The article said it worked particularly well when the subject was coming toward you -- if I remember the article correctly.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shebang
    In my reading, I did come across a place that said this technique was most helpful for sports/ski shots. It basically said that by understanding hyperfocusing you can determine the available range of DOF and shoot your subject accordingly. The article said it worked particularly well when the subject was coming toward you -- if I remember the article correctly.
    I think this is being over-complicated.

    For every focal length/aperture setting there is a focus distance that will give you an in-focus depth of field from 1/2 that distance to infinity.

    This is the largest DoF you can get at that focal length/aperture setting.

    If you focus closer than this point, infinity will be out of focus.

    If you focus farther than this point the front of your DoF will be farther away.

    For instance: For a cropped sensor camera set at 50mm and f/11, the hyperfocal distance is 36.2 feet. If you focus on something at 36.2 ft, the first 18.2 ft (1/2 the distance) will be out of focus. From that point to infinity will be in focus.

    TF
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  22. #22
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    ...For every focal length/aperture setting there is a focus distance that will give you an in-focus depth of field from 1/2 that distance to infinity...
    I know how to get a specific aperture. But I don't know how to determine what the focal length is

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    ...For instance: For a cropped sensor camera set at 50mm and f/11, the hyperfocal distance is 36.2 feet. If you focus on something at 36.2 ft, the first 18.2 ft (1/2 the distance) will be out of focus. From that point to infinity will be in focus.
    How did you get 36.2 feet?
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  23. #23
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shebang
    I know how to get a specific aperture. But I don't know how to determine what the focal length is



    How did you get 36.2 feet?
    I used this site.

    http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

    For in the field - some lenses have a rough indicator right on the lens, you can get little charts to carry or I have seen a calculator that is an application in a cell phone.

    TF
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  24. #24
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    But I still don't get how you determine what number the focal length is?

    Using my 17-40 lens as a real life scenario - is my focal length number either 17 or 40 or something in between?
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  25. #25
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Hyperfocus. Do you?

    What I do is this. Say I am shooting at F/8. I put the infinity mark on F/8. Now you can see that everything from .5 meters to infinity is in focus. The Voigtlander 15mm has a tremendous DOF.

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