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Thread: what are the distance scale on len for

  1. #1

    Question what are the distance scale on len for

    sorry if question is stupid. see some distance scale on my d70 kit len.
    what are they for?
    how to use them?

    thanks for reading.

  2. #2

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    That's the focusing distance to the subject you're aiming at.

  3. #3

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    thanks for the quick reply.

    does it mean that if i set it at dat distance, subject will be in focus although it is blur in the view finder?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guni_hoon
    thanks for the quick reply.

    does it mean that if i set it at dat distance, subject will be in focus although it is blur in the view finder?
    if you set the correct distance, the subject will be sharp in the viewfinder.

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    I don't think anyone is answering the real question.

    The distance scale is a guide for you to check that if you subject is focused at a distance (Centre) the scale indicates the depth of view (DOV) when the pix will be sharp at the various aperture setting. Example lets say that the subject is 5m away, you AF of the subject. you will see the that the 8 and 16 mark on the distance scale on both the left (we call it x) and right side (we call it y) correspond to a certain distance. This means that the distance between this range (x and y) will be focus in the pix if you set the aperture to f8 (coreesponding to the 8 mark) or f16 (cprreponding to the 16 mark).

    Go try it out by settling 3 objects, say about 1 meter apart and put you lens fixed at say 35mm. then focus on the centre object, take a series of shots in aperture priority mode with the entire aperture range. See the pix and you will be able to undersatnd what I mean.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommon
    I don't think anyone is answering the real question.

    The distance scale is a guide for you to check that if you subject is focused at a distance (Centre) the scale indicates the depth of view (DOV) when the pix will be sharp at the various aperture setting. Example lets say that the subject is 5m away, you AF of the subject. you will see the that the 8 and 16 mark on the distance scale on both the left (we call it x) and right side (we call it y) correspond to a certain distance. This means that the distance between this range (x and y) will be focus in the pix if you set the aperture to f8 (coreesponding to the 8 mark) or f16 (cprreponding to the 16 mark).

    Go try it out by settling 3 objects, say about 1 meter apart and put you lens fixed at say 35mm. then focus on the centre object, take a series of shots in aperture priority mode with the entire aperture range. See the pix and you will be able to undersatnd what I mean.
    Actually I don't think your answer the question, either!

    There are many ways to use a distance scale. What I am going to explain may not be all there is, but the way I use distance scale

    There are two series of scales on my camera. In this case, my completely manual camera. On the lens I have on this camera, there are two scales.

    1 One show only distance markings, and is simple to understand. When I focus on an object, there is a mark that shows me the distance of the object from my camera. But I use this simple distance marking for another reason. Because I use a manual camera, I have to turn the lens barrel in order to focus. So what I do is to make a mental estimate of the distance of the object that I am interested in, turn the lens barrel to the approximate distance, and when I lift my camera to my eye, all I have to do is to fine tune the focussing. There are other ways to focus. What I had described is one way.

    2 What Tommon was referring to is "scale focussing" or "zone focussing" or "depth of field focussing", or whatever name it is called. This is a little more complicated. But let me start by saying that there is ONLY ONE PLANE OF CORRECT FOCUS, irrespective of the focal length of the lens. What is called "in focus" using "depth of field" is actually "acceptable focussing". This is reasonable because we are limited by the visual resolution of our eyes.

    There are different ways to use the "depth of field"/"zone focussing. But I am not sure if Tommon's description is correct. Others may want to comment.

    I am not sure if Guni_hoon wants to know how to use this "depth of field" scale. If you do, please let us know, and we will try to explain.

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    Moderator nightwolf75's Avatar
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    morning, student! knew u'll make an appearance soon!

    guni_hoon - if u have the time, pop into the library and pick up either these books - "Learning to see creatively" or "Understanding Exposure". both by bryan peterson. in his books, he dedicated a page to explaining how the distance scale on a lens is being used. in particular, his example was how to take a sharp-throughout landscape pic; from foreground till infinity.

    a more layman-ish way of using it in real life - i sometimes like to take over-the-heads pics in a crowd. since my cam is AF, i dun really need to worry abt focusing. wat i need to worry abt is a sharp-throughout pic. so, i (a) use a small aperature like f8 or f11, and (b) turn the distance scale to infinity (the '8' lying on its side). raise my cam up, point in the general direction, half-press shutter to focus. once lens' focusing barrel stops moving i shoot.
    If Life worked on auto mode then manual mode for photography would have never existed. ― Deeksha Mittal

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    a more layman-ish way of using it in real life - i sometimes like to take over-the-heads pics in a crowd. since my cam is AF, i dun really need to worry abt focusing. wat i need to worry abt is a sharp-throughout pic. so, i (a) use a small aperature like f8 or f11, and (b) turn the distance scale to infinity (the '8' lying on its side). raise my cam up, point in the general direction, half-press shutter to focus. once lens' focusing barrel stops moving i shoot.

    Ah! The wonder of modern technology! Time to take out my trusty Canon 1v with 24 mm lens and go "shooting" again! Sometimes the effects of random shooting can be quite amazing!

    Sorry, OT!

  10. #10
    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Ha ha ha, Guni-hoon!! So whats your brand? Full cream, low fat or hi-cal.

    Once again, sorry for the OT
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpenza
    if you set the correct distance, the subject will be sharp in the viewfinder.
    thank mpenza.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommon
    I don't think anyone is answering the real question.

    The distance scale is a guide for you to check that if you subject is focused at a distance (Centre) the scale indicates the depth of view (DOV) when the pix will be sharp at the various aperture setting. Example lets say that the subject is 5m away, you AF of the subject. you will see the that the 8 and 16 mark on the distance scale on both the left (we call it x) and right side (we call it y) correspond to a certain distance. This means that the distance between this range (x and y) will be focus in the pix if you set the aperture to f8 (coreesponding to the 8 mark) or f16 (cprreponding to the 16 mark).

    Go try it out by settling 3 objects, say about 1 meter apart and put you lens fixed at say 35mm. then focus on the centre object, take a series of shots in aperture priority mode with the entire aperture range. See the pix and you will be able to undersatnd what I mean.
    thanks tommon.

    is the 8 and 16 marks refering to same distance scale?

    does the d70 kit len have it? I can oni find scale that reads 0.38m to "inifinity". Cannot find any other markings.

    will try ur method.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by student
    Actually I don't think your answer the question, either!

    There are many ways to use a distance scale. What I am going to explain may not be all there is, but the way I use distance scale

    There are two series of scales on my camera. In this case, my completely manual camera. On the lens I have on this camera, there are two scales.

    1 One show only distance markings, and is simple to understand. When I focus on an object, there is a mark that shows me the distance of the object from my camera. But I use this simple distance marking for another reason. Because I use a manual camera, I have to turn the lens barrel in order to focus. So what I do is to make a mental estimate of the distance of the object that I am interested in, turn the lens barrel to the approximate distance, and when I lift my camera to my eye, all I have to do is to fine tune the focussing. There are other ways to focus. What I had described is one way.

    2 What Tommon was referring to is "scale focussing" or "zone focussing" or "depth of field focussing", or whatever name it is called. This is a little more complicated. But let me start by saying that there is ONLY ONE PLANE OF CORRECT FOCUS, irrespective of the focal length of the lens. What is called "in focus" using "depth of field" is actually "acceptable focussing". This is reasonable because we are limited by the visual resolution of our eyes.

    There are different ways to use the "depth of field"/"zone focussing. But I am not sure if Tommon's description is correct. Others may want to comment.

    I am not sure if Guni_hoon wants to know how to use this "depth of field" scale. If you do, please let us know, and we will try to explain.
    Thank Student

    1. tink i know wat u mean, but nt sure. guess its the same if i set my d70 to fully manual??

    2. i read about presetting the depth of field in the book "everything u need to know abt 35mm photography". is it wat u n tommon mean? if so, can share cos i dont understand what the book says. i tried m best to understand n learn.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightwolf75
    morning, student! knew u'll make an appearance soon!

    guni_hoon - if u have the time, pop into the library and pick up either these books - "Learning to see creatively" or "Understanding Exposure". both by bryan peterson. in his books, he dedicated a page to explaining how the distance scale on a lens is being used. in particular, his example was how to take a sharp-throughout landscape pic; from foreground till infinity.

    a more layman-ish way of using it in real life - i sometimes like to take over-the-heads pics in a crowd. since my cam is AF, i dun really need to worry abt focusing. wat i need to worry abt is a sharp-throughout pic. so, i (a) use a small aperature like f8 or f11, and (b) turn the distance scale to infinity (the '8' lying on its side). raise my cam up, point in the general direction, half-press shutter to focus. once lens' focusing barrel stops moving i shoot.
    thank nightwolf75.

    will read ur hyperlink material, hopefully i can understand.

    will find that page in the book "understanding exposure" 2 read it again, hopefully i can understand.

    tried ur method. as the barrel moves, the scale oso moves, says stop at "2m". is this correct?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by denniskee
    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Ha ha ha, Guni-hoon!! So whats your brand? Full cream, low fat or hi-cal.

    Once again, sorry for the OT
    nikon dslr

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