# Questions on hyperfocal distance focusing

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#### baboonish

##### Member
I've longed wished that I can shoot by just turning my aperture ring and the distance ring. I am using a Voigtlander R3A and a 40mm f/1.4 I read up on hyperfocal distance focusing but it's quite confusing.. What do it mean by hyperfocal distance focusing? Why does it always have to be multiplied by two? I read that if you adjust the "3 metre" on your distance ring to correspond to your index on the left hand side, Both the left hand side and right hand side of the index ring will show a "F8"

What does it mean?

I tried to turn the distance ring marking "3 metres" to the icon "F11" on the index logo on the left but the "F11" index logo on the right doesn't tally with the infinity sign.. Sigh, is there a more easier way to learn this?

The bottom image with the picture of a man shooting trees shows that the

Near Limit of acceptable sharpness is 2.08m
Total depth of field is 3.32m
and far limit on acceptable of sharpness is 5.4m

Can this distances be estimated on your lens?

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#### glchua

##### New Member
I think maybe just ignore the program you have at the moment. Just look at your lens barrel, everything is there!

On your lens are the distance markings and the aperture markings. For example, if you set your lens at f8, and you focus to about 5m, you would have something like this on your lens (I didn't draw out the rest of aperture markings):

distance markings:-----1--------3-----------5----10----infinity--------
focus point:------------------------------------|--------------------------
aperture markings:------------------|----------------------|-------------
----------------------------------------8----------------------8------------

(just an example, depending on focal length)

The picture would have an image that appears to be in focus from about 3+ m to infinity. It is just "appears" to be as the actual focus point is about 5 m.

Note that everything is approximate. You can think of the two aperture markings as a bracket that includes the distances in focus.

You can also do this:
distance markings:-----1--------3-----------5----10----infinity--------
focus point:------------------------|-------------------------------------
aperture markings:----|----------------------|-------------------------
-------------------------8----------------------8-------------------------

Then everything from 1m to about 5m will appear to be in focus.

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#### snits

##### Member
I think maybe just ignore the program you have at the moment. Just look at your lens barrel, everything is there!
no necessarily i read somewhere a thread on zone focus and hypofocus in CS that not lens has the markings, esp those modern AF lenses right?

#### Royale With Cheese

##### Senior Member
no necessarily i read somewhere a thread on zone focus and hypofocus in CS that not lens has the markings, esp those modern AF lenses right?
I think baboonish did say that he is using a R3A with 40mm F1.4, I assume that would be the CV Nokton.

Basically all RF lenses have markings on them except the Contax lenses for G1/G2. I believe in this case, there is no AF, CV never made one

#### osocan

##### New Member
Hi

glchua has given a splendid illustration of hyperfocus and zone focus. Like he said, just ignore the dof program for the time being because the CV 40 f/1.4 has aperture index markings on its lens barrel. When using hyperfocus, I just aligned the infinity symbol to the index that represents the aperture I am using and fire away.

The 3m and f/11 example that you mentioned is actually zone focusing, as explained by glchua's second illustration. Hyperfocus can be viewed as a form of zone focusing with the infinity being the far distance DoF limit.

Hope that helps.

#### glchua

##### New Member
I was typing away in the toilet for my first post!

Got my hands on a digital cam and my REAL cam with a 28mm lens:

Here are real examples:

Everything from slightly more than 1.5m to infinity appears to be in focus. Focus point is about 3m, f8.

Everything from slightly more than 1.2m to 5m appears to be in focus. Focus point is now slightly less than 2m.

Just by looking at your distance settings and the information on the barrel, you will learn very quickly the effects of aperture, focus point and later, focal length on the DOF.

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#### glchua

##### New Member
no necessarily i read somewhere a thread on zone focus and hypofocus in CS that not lens has the markings, esp those modern AF lenses right?
Yes, most "modern" zoom lenses don't have the markings. However, many years back when i still own "modern" Nikon AF prime lenses, they still have markings.

Well, I guess modern people should stare at small screens and big screens to learn or do something.

#### chiif

##### Senior Member
I was typing away in the toilet for my first post!

Got my hands on a digital cam and my REAL cam with a 28mm lens:

Here are real examples:

Everything from slightly more than 1.5m to infinity appears to be in focus. Focus point is about 3m, f8.

Everything from slightly more than 1.2m to 5m appears to be in focus. Focus point is now slightly less than 2m.

Just by looking at your distance settings and the information on the barrel, you will learn very quickly the effects of aperture, focus point and later, focal length on the DOF.
Great illustration...

A picture paints a thousand words...

splendid !

#### clubgrit

##### Senior Member
Nice information. But to qualify, the writer of the article should not have said "everything from 1.5m to 3m (5ft to 12 ft.) will be perfectly in focus". Only one plane will be in perfect focus, the rest will be "acceptable".

I do prefer zone focusing over hyperfocal focusing though ...

here is a simple illustration on zone focusing:

http://www.markushartel.com/tutorials/camera-related/zone-focusing.html

Most people do it all the time but didnt know its called zone focusing! :bsmilie: Happened to me! :bsmilie:

.

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#### enivre

##### New Member
Nice information. But to qualify, the writer of the article should not have said "everything from 1.5m to 3m (5ft to 12 ft.) will be perfectly in focus". Only one plane will be in perfect focus, the rest will be "acceptable".
.
Also do note that the "acceptability" is subjective and can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and photographer to photographer.

Take it more as a guide than as an absolute scale. For example, the dial reads that everything from 1.5m to 3m will fall within the "acceptable" range. That doesn't mean that you should place your subject to be in focus at the extremes of 1.5m and 3m.

#### baboonish

##### Member
Thanks for the response everyone! I understand most of the theory behind the hyperfocal distance now.

The first picture is intended to point out that everything from 1.5m to infinity would be focused, it means that even though the subject is at 3m, everything in 1.5m onwards would be sharp? Or otherwise?

So to double confirm, the second picture in Mr. GlChua refers to the subject being approximately 2m at F/8 from the camera and the objects in 1.2m to 5m is in focus as well? What if the subject is actually at 3.2m away and you focused it at "2m" as shown in the picture? The object would still be in focus right?

If I were to shoot at f/1.4 and there is no indications on the focus ring, would that mean that the DoF distance is very very short and have to guesstimate?

Thank you for your time I'm indebted to you guys.:sweat:

#### glchua

##### New Member
The first picture is intended to point out that everything from a distance of 1.5m to infinity would be focused, it means that even though the subject is at 3m, everything in 1.5m onwards would be sharp? Or otherwise?
Yes. Everything from slightly more than 1.5m to infinity would appear to be sharp.

So to double confirm, the second picture in Mr. GlChua refers to the subject being approximately 2m at F/8 from the camera and the objects in 1.2m to 5m is in focus as well? What if the subject is actually at 3.2m away and you focused it at "2m" as shown in the picture? The object would still be in focus right?
Yes. Eveything from a distance of 1.2 to 5m would appear sharp, including objects at 3.2m.

If I were to shoot at f/1.4 and there is no indications on the focus ring, would that mean that the DoF distance is very very short and have to guesstimate?
Yes. It is because the depth of field is very small. In addition, if you look at the markings for lenses longer than 75mm, you would find that it is almost useless because the DOF is small even at f8.

Just to add to what enivre and clubgrit had said, the "appears to be sharp" is really just that. Objects slightly nearer or further away may look only slightly less sharp. In other words, it is not a sudden sharp/unsharp kind of thing. Everything is just slightly less sharp from the exact point you focus. Just that when you look at the image, objects falling in the "bracket" would appear to be sharp enough for our eye. That is also the reason why DOF markings differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Just like many things in photography, "agar agar" can already!

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#### clubgrit

##### Senior Member

Zone focusing is the basic concept. This is great for really trying to get a street shot fast for example. Gary Winogrand and Bresson among others used this technique.

Now if there is time, and you want more control, then hyperfocal focusing which is an extension of zone focusing can be used. This should explain it. You can print the chart and keep in your pocket as a guide. The writer also adds in the factor of print size and distance of viewing the print.

http://jimdoty.com/Tips/Depth_of_Field/Hyperfocal_Distance/hyperfocal_distance.html

Infinity focusing is again a different way to focus, a variant of zone focusing. Just set infinity mark all the time at the right side marking of the aperture you are using. I find this method the least acceptable sharpness.

And of the lenses I have tried, not many, I find the Leicas (newer versions at least) have the most acceptable sharpness for me. They sure are being true to their pedigree of street photography .

.

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#### baboonish

##### Member
Yes. Everything from slightly more than 1.5m to infinity would appear to be sharp.

Yes. Eveything from a distance of 1.2 to 5m would appear sharp, including objects at 3.2m.

Yes. It is because the depth of field is very small. In addition, if you look at the markings for lenses longer than 75mm, you would find that it is almost useless because the DOF is small even at f8.

Just to add to what enivre and clubgrit had said, the "appears to be sharp" is really just that. Objects slightly nearer or further away may look only slightly less sharp. In other words, it is not a sudden sharp/unsharp kind of thing. Everything is just slightly less sharp from the exact point you focus. Just that when you look at the image, objects falling in the "bracket" would appear to be sharp enough for our eye. That is also the reason why DOF markings differ slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Just like many things in photography, "agar agar" can already!
Ahh, I get it now. Really complex explanation there, thanks a million man

#### baboonish

##### Member

Zone focusing is the basic concept. This is great for really trying to get a street shot fast for example. Gary Winogrand and Bresson among others used this technique.

Now if there is time, and you want more control, then hyperfocal focusing which is an extension of zone focusing can be used. This should explain it. You can print the chart and keep in your pocket as a guide. The writer also adds in the factor of print size and distance of viewing the print.

http://jimdoty.com/Tips/Depth_of_Field/Hyperfocal_Distance/hyperfocal_distance.html

Infinity focusing is again a different way to focus, a variant of zone focusing. Just set infinity mark all the time at the right side marking of the aperture you are using. I find this method the least acceptable sharpness.

And of the lenses I have tried, not many, I find the Leicas (newer versions at least) have the most acceptable sharpness for me. They sure are being true to their pedigree of street photography .

.
The website was really helpful! Thanks for the explanation there. Leica images drawn me into street photography hahaha.. Didnt know it was the Leica lenses at first. Thanks bro!

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