[ Override2Zion ] HYPERFOCAL DISTANCE Table Generator


#1
Wikipedia said:
In optics and photography, hyperfocal distance is a distance beyond which all objects can be brought into an "acceptable" focus. There are two commonly used definitions of hyperfocal distance, leading to values that differ only slightly:

Definition 1: The hyperfocal distance is the closest distance at which a lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp; that is, the focus distance with the maximum depth of field. When the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp.

Definition 2: The hyperfocal distance is the distance beyond which all objects are acceptably sharp, for a lens focused at infinity.

The distinction between the two meanings is rarely made, since they have almost identical values. The value computed according to the first definition exceeds that from the second by just one focal length.

The hyperfocal distance is entirely dependent upon what level of sharpness is considered to be acceptable. The criterion for the desired acceptable sharpness is specified through the circle of confusion (COC) diameter limit. This criterion is the largest acceptable spot size diameter that an infinitesimal point is allowed to spread out to on the imaging medium (film, digital sensor, etc.).
- Source Wikipedia

Undoubtedly, "Hyperfocal Distance" is a commonly used jargon in the field of optics and photography, especially for landscape photographers. We do not want to use the smallest aperture possible simply because of diffraction. Effects of diffraction can be so severe that it outweighs the DOF increase and resulting in poor IQ instead. This is where hyperfocal distances come in to strike a balance. It can help you decide the largest aperture you can use and establish the point of focus for the given foreground subject distance while maintaining good sharpness through to the background. However, it is tedious to perform such calculations in the field.

Calculation of the "Circle of Confusion" should take consideration of Sensor/Film Size and intended print size. With the CoC value determined, you can then proceed to calculate the hyperfocal distances based on focal length and aperture size. To speed up this process, photographers often pre-calculate these parameters and print them out in form of a pocket sized table that they can refer to in the field.

I have created a simple Hyperfocal Distance Table Generator to aid those who aren't too interested in the mathematics behind all these theory. The generator bases its calculation on the indicated
1) sensor/film size
2) intended print size
3) Focal range (To adapt to different lenses)
4) Aperture range (To adapt to different lenses)
5) Aperture Adjustment Step (1, 1/2 or 1/3 stops)
6) SI unit for display (Metre or Feet)



Note: This generator is created using Microsoft Excel with VBA codes running in background. You will need to have Microsoft Excel install on your computer and "Enable Macro" while opening the file in order for the generator to work properly.

DOWNLOAD HERE (139,264 bytes)

You may also want to buy a pocket rangefinder to help you with determining distances. Cheap second hand pocket rangefinder can be found online, or if you have the money to spare, you could also get a laser rangefinder but its kinda overkill.



EDIT:
Have updated the Excel file to calculate DOF, near and far limits based on Hyperfocal Distance.
 

Last edited:

Daoyin

Senior Member
Nov 25, 2008
2,808
6
38
West
#2
It is very admirable to have created this and sharing it with others. Thanks.
 

#4
It is very admirable to have created this and sharing it with others. Thanks.
Thanks :) Hope you guys will find it useful.

I have also updated the existing version to create a DOF limits table as well. The download link is the same one posted in the first post.
 

coolthought

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
2,310
1
0
#5
just like to know. In practice, how will you use this table in your work flow?
 

#6
just like to know. In practice, how will you use this table in your work flow?
Hi coolthought, thanks for dropping by. To describe the entire process will be rather tedious without visual examples. However, you can refer to this link http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials...imum-depth-of-field-in-landscape-photography/ to read up on the practical applications of Hyperfocal Distances in landscape photography. The DOF near/far limits table will help you determine whats within the distance range for acceptable sharpness. In practical application, you need to exercise some estimation unless you have a pocket rangefinder with you. Such pocket rangefinders can be bought online at cheap prices.
 

Last edited:

33sierra

New Member
Jun 24, 2009
25
0
0
#7
Wow! Thank You for Sharing!!:D
 

#9
Wow! Thank You for Sharing!!:D
You're welcomed. Hope its of use to you :)

Hey bro,
Very good effort there. You deserve the praise of the community! :)
Thanks bro, made this generator for personal use initially but thought it might benefit others as well and not go to waste if I were to share it here. :)
 

JonQuek

New Member
Nov 15, 2010
82
0
0
Singapore
#10
Posting and sharing is one thing, understanding and applying it is another bigger monster, at least to me!!! Thanks...but you certainly had me lost....a bit too much and too early for the new year.

Thanks for sharing...

Jon
 

#11
Posting and sharing is one thing, understanding and applying it is another bigger monster, at least to me!!! Thanks...but you certainly had me lost....a bit too much and too early for the new year.

Thanks for sharing...

Jon
Haa haa :bsmilie: No worries bro, take it slowly and learn as you shoot :) In no time you'll be proficient.
 

coolthought

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2008
2,310
1
0
#12
Hi coolthought, thanks for dropping by. To describe the entire process will be rather tedious without visual examples. However, you can refer to this link http://photo.tutsplus.com/tutorials...imum-depth-of-field-in-landscape-photography/ to read up on the practical applications of Hyperfocal Distances in landscape photography. The DOF near/far limits table will help you determine whats within the distance range for acceptable sharpness. In practical application, you need to exercise some estimation unless you have a pocket rangefinder with you. Such pocket rangefinders can be bought online at cheap prices.
this looks like kinda lots of work for me though. Thanks for sharing. I will stick with focusing at the third for the time being.
 

Jun 8, 2010
206
0
16
#14
coolthought said:
this looks like kinda lots of work for me though. Thanks for sharing. I will stick with focusing at the third for the time being.
App store! If you own an iPhone that is.
I use it for my travels. Just input the focal length and aperture you are using and it'll calculate for you automatically. Of course, a small premium for this convenience.
Just search 'dof' in Apps store and dozens will pop up.
Regards.
When's your next kopi tiam gtg?
 

Dec 27, 2010
70
0
6
#17
Override2Zion said:
You're welcomed. Hope its of use to you :)

Thanks bro, made this generator for personal use initially but thought it might benefit others as well and not go to waste if I were to share it here. :)
Hi all, I am a newbie,
May I know what is the different between "landscape" mode and this HYPERFOCUS ?
 

#18
Hi all, I am a newbie,
May I know what is the different between "landscape" mode and this HYPERFOCUS ?
Hi, landscape mode and hyperfocal distance are two entirely separate matters. Landscape mode will allow your camera to "intelligently" select the shooting parameters to recommended values for landscapes. Hyperfocal distance is the distance to focus at using a certain aperture and focal length to maximize the DOF. :)
 

Dec 27, 2010
70
0
6
#19
Hi, landscape mode and hyperfocal distance are two entirely separate matters. Landscape mode will allow your camera to "intelligently" select the shooting parameters to recommended values for landscapes. Hyperfocal distance is the distance to focus at using a certain aperture and focal length to maximize the DOF. :)
Only partially understand :(

So may I said that under the Landscape mode the camera may or may not maximize the DOF? so the photo taken by landscape mode may not be better photo then using the hyperfocal distance?

:sweat: noob question.
 

#20
Only partially understand :(

So may I said that under the Landscape mode the camera may or may not maximize the DOF? so the photo taken by landscape mode may not be better photo then using the hyperfocal distance?

:sweat: noob question.
When you select "landscape mode" on your camera, your camera would want to choose a small aperture size for maximizing DOF. If you want lots of DOF, you could always use f/32 (if you're camera/lens allows), but this is not always desirable. We know that the effects of diffraction gets more pronounced as aperture size gets smaller, and this will result in poor image quality. When you select landscape mode, your camera does not choose where you're focusing and whether if you're focusing to infinity, you have to do this yourself. The Hyperfocal distance will allow you to choose the correct point of focus for maximizing DOF while maintaining a larger aperture to reduce diffraction.

I suggest you read more material about aperture, shutter speed and ISO selection for different situations and their effects. This will better help you understand what your camera is actually doing in each scene mode. Building up your fundamental knowledge will help you better understand other photography techniques :)
 

Top Bottom