Questions on hyperfocal distance, Near and Far Limit of acceptable sharpness


patrick76

New Member
Nov 27, 2012
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Singapore
#1
I have been reading posting on hyperfocal distance, how to get subject and background sharp etc but I am still a bit confuse.

I am using Canon 100D. When I try to access the online DOFMaster, I am unable to locate my camera model. May I know what is the equivalent model that I can use?

I understand for hyperfocal distance, anything from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity will be sharp. If I were to shoot portrait, can I set my lens to manual focus, tune in hyperfocal distance on my lens and ensure that my subject does not stand nearer than half the hyperfocal distance from my camera. In such case, I can have my subject and background sharp?

As for Near and Far limit of acceptable sharpness, can I say that there is no linkage to hyperfocal distance?
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,657
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lil red dot
#2
I have been reading posting on hyperfocal distance, how to get subject and background sharp etc but I am still a bit confuse.

I am using Canon 100D. When I try to access the online DOFMaster, I am unable to locate my camera model. May I know what is the equivalent model that I can use?

I understand for hyperfocal distance, anything from half the hyperfocal distance to infinity will be sharp. If I were to shoot portrait, can I set my lens to manual focus, tune in hyperfocal distance on my lens and ensure that my subject does not stand nearer than half the hyperfocal distance from my camera. In such case, I can have my subject and background sharp?

As for Near and Far limit of acceptable sharpness, can I say that there is no linkage to hyperfocal distance?
For camera body selection, that only helps to determine the value of Circle of Confusion (CoC). You can either select Canon 500D, 400D or any in that series, or select 7D, or 50D, 60D, 70D. Their Circle of Confusion is all the same at 0.019.


For portraits, if your hyperfocal distance is ok, the next thing you want to understand is shutter speed. Shutter speed must be fast enough so as to ensure there is no motion blur from the subject or your handhold. If you take care of both the hyperfocal distance and the shutter speed, you will get a good sharp image of your subject as well as the background.
 

Achim Reh

New Member
Nov 1, 2011
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#3
the definition of the hyperfocal comes form the early days of photography. It only applies to a certain enlargement and viewing distance of the printed picture. If you enlarge / print larger or have a shorter viewing distance to the printed picture, your area of sharpness form the farest to the nearest point shrinks accordingly. Sorry, do not have the accurate figures on hand now, if I remember correctly is somewhere around 9 x 12 inch format ...will look it up and come back when I have the time.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,657
68
48
lil red dot
#4
the definition of the hyperfocal comes form the early days of photography. It only applies to a certain enlargement and viewing distance of the printed picture. If you enlarge / print larger or have a shorter viewing distance to the printed picture, your area of sharpness form the farest to the nearest point shrinks accordingly. Sorry, do not have the accurate figures on hand now, if I remember correctly is somewhere around 9 x 12 inch format ...will look it up and come back when I have the time.
"The Circle of Confusion (CoC) has nothing to do with other camera brand users. It is the largest on-film or on-sensor circle that you can see as a well defined point on an 8×10 print at arms length; that is, when viewed at from a "normal" viewing distance of 2 to 3 feet. Anything larger is seen as a small circle, not a point and is therefore perceived as out of focus. For 35mm film and FX format the diameter of such circle is 0.025mm. Often rounded to 0.03, the exact number used here is 0.02501. For the Nikon DX (APS-C) digital sensor format, the number used here is 0.0200."

http://www.nikonians.org/reviews?alias=dof-and-hyperfocal-distance-tables-and-calculator

The bigger you print, the more likely your viewers will stand back to view the picture. Most people view photos as a whole. If it is big, they will stand farther back. These people are more concerned about content (the entire big picture).

Only pixel peepers move in to view at close range, or zoom in at 100% on a picture. They do not care about the content as much. They care more about the technicals and how each dot turns out.

So in the end you need to understand who you are printing the picture for - ie who is your target audience?
 

Achim Reh

New Member
Nov 1, 2011
407
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#5
Thanks for the correction , so it was 8X10 not 9X12 and a viewing distance of 2 to 3 feet. You refreshed my memory. I have very bad experience with being to "relaxed" on the hyper-focal distance, meaning, the results where by far not as sharp as I expected , and the picture went to the bin, it just does not meet my demands of details and sharpness.

From Luminous landscape, one of many definitions

You can't understand Depth of Field until you understand COF (Circle of Confusion). The human eye has a finite ability to see fine detail. This is generally accepted as being 1' (minute) of arc. Translating this to the practical world, this means that at a normal reading distance the smallest object that a person with perfect eyesight, under ideal conditions can see is 1/16mm in size. If you place two dots smaller than this next to each other they will appear to be just one dot.

The photographic industry has generally found though that this is too fine a parameter, and long ago settled on 1/6th of a millimeter as the smallest point that can be clearly discerned by the average person under normal conditions. Expressed as a decimal, 1/6th of a millimeter equals 0.1667mm.

Now, the camera industry figures for the purposes of calculating depth of field (and therefore Circle of Confusion) that an image is typically enlarged 5X from the negative to a print. This would mean roughly a 5X7" print from 35mm. So since 0.1667/5 = 0.0333, this is the Circle of Confusion that many 35mm lens manufacturers use when establishing their depth of field tables and lens markings. Canon, for example, confirms in their book EF Lens Work II, that they use 0.035mm as their COF for all modern EF model lenses.


For myself , I am more the 1/16 mm type, ;)
 

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