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Thread: does stopping down always make image sharper?

  1. #21
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    alright
    so very interestingly, if i always want Max DOF for my images,
    can i actually do these steps for all my shots?

    1) set to f16 (websites mentioned that anything smaller results in image quality loss)
    2) set lens to 20mm (using a ultra wide angle)
    3) turn the focus ring to approx. 1.25m (this value was obtained from some calculations from the web - hyperfocal distance)
    4) set lens to MF so that the AF wont screw the 1.25m off ...to infinity or whatever

    5) figure out the exposure and just shoot =)

    ha wonder if this technique will work (assuming steps 1 to 3 are always fixed)

  2. #22

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    if you want to shoot right, learn the technique and the reasoning behind the technique, then apply it. if you use a fixed set of steps for every image everytime you want max DoF, you might be disappointed.

    btw, if you are running on a dslr, the hyperfocal distance for a 20mm lens at f16 would be about 1.6m.

    edit: I forgot to mention also (since it has not been brought up yet) that even with max DoF, do keep in mind that only objects half of the hyperfocal distance in front of the hyperfocal point will be in focus. so for the above case, everything from 0.8m away from the camera to infinity will be in focus. if you have foreground objects 0.8m and closer, something will have to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by haagen_dazs
    alright
    so very interestingly, if i always want Max DOF for my images,
    can i actually do these steps for all my shots?

    1) set to f16 (websites mentioned that anything smaller results in image quality loss)
    2) set lens to 20mm (using a ultra wide angle)
    3) turn the focus ring to approx. 1.25m (this value was obtained from some calculations from the web - hyperfocal distance)
    4) set lens to MF so that the AF wont screw the 1.25m off ...to infinity or whatever

    5) figure out the exposure and just shoot =)

    ha wonder if this technique will work (assuming steps 1 to 3 are always fixed)
    Last edited by Misery; 13th May 2005 at 06:28 PM.

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by haagen_dazs
    alright
    so very interestingly, if i always want Max DOF for my images,
    can i actually do these steps for all my shots?

    1) set to f16 (websites mentioned that anything smaller results in image quality loss)
    2) set lens to 20mm (using a ultra wide angle)
    3) turn the focus ring to approx. 1.25m (this value was obtained from some calculations from the web - hyperfocal distance)
    4) set lens to MF so that the AF wont screw the 1.25m off ...to infinity or whatever

    5) figure out the exposure and just shoot =)

    ha wonder if this technique will work (assuming steps 1 to 3 are always fixed)
    My preference would be

    1 Chose the lens/focal lens that best suit my purpose. If you are using a wide angle zoom, I am afraid I cannot help you there. Someone else will have toadvice. I use only primes.

    2 Chose an aperture that will give the best depth of field. There are several ways to do this. One is to use the depth of field scale. These are usually indicated on prime lenses. Not sure about zooms. Thne stop down one more stop because some lens makers are too opitimistic about the DOF. Then focus about 1/3 into the scene.

    Another way is to use the DOF preview.

    If I am not sure if I can get all into focus, I will err by focussing more on the foreground than distant objects.

    I will not worry about diffraction even if I am to use the smallest aperture. I think for the kind of images and print sizes, it won't matter much.

    3 Then find exposure and fire! And since this type of image usually need a tripod, and the nature of the process is a little slower, I usually use a handheld spot meter.

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