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  #1  
Old 08-02-2010, 07:34 AM
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izso izso is offline
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Focusing techniques

Hi guys,

I keep reading everywhere that I should try focusing "one third of the way instead of focusing to infinity"

I've been struggling to understand this statement. They refer to a little setting on the lens itself which currently is set to infinity, but what does 'one third of the way' mean?

This is not related to composure, referring speficially to focusing.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:21 AM
Cottonteil Cottonteil is offline
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I suspect you are referring to the hyperfocal distance of a lens. You can find this info in various articles on the net as well as wikipedia. It is mainly used by landscape photographers to achieve the deepest depth of field while still having an acceptably sharp image of objects at infinity without resorting to the infinity setting on the lens.

The definition of acceptably sharp changes as the resolution of the camera increases. What one deems to be acceptably sharp on a 10mp camera might not seem sharp enough on a 24mp camera for example, so this hyperfocal distance is a loose concept.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:26 AM
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hanuman hanuman is offline
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This is in reference to depth of field (DOF) technique for new lens (esp lens for DSLR) that do not have DOF scales on their lens. Your use this technique to attain maximum DOF in your captured image especially true in landscape photography. If you focus to infinity even with applied DOF f-stop will result in most of your foreground object will be out of focus.

My 2 sen.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:52 AM
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Thanks hanuman and cottonteil.

Yes, referring to hyperfocal distance of lens. I understand the concept of this but I don't understand the advice to "focus 1/3 of the way" instead of focusing to infinity.
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Old 08-03-2010, 10:54 AM
Cottonteil Cottonteil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izso View Post
I don't understand the advice to "focus 1/3 of the way" instead of focusing to infinity.
It is basically to achieve a sharper foreground while preserving an acceptable sharpness for the faraway objects. Basically a compromise technique to maximize DOF. The 1/3 of the way rule of thumb is the same advice as using the hyperfocal distance. Just worded differently.

Every lens is geared differently and your subjects are at different distances with different aperture settings. I occasionally use macro lenses to shoot far away objects. Pulling the focus 1/3 of the way back would mean quite a blurry image most of the time, so its not a useful tip.

I'd suggest just understanding each of your lenses intimately and knowing where the hyperfocal is for most situations.
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2010, 11:39 AM
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Do an experiment with what you've understood with hyperfocal and snap a landscape image. Then repeat with capturing the same scene with the same setting but this time focus to infinity. Compare the two image and see what they mean by the hyperfocal concept. Some time trying to understand a concept with out experiment is rather difficult to "Wrap" you mind around it.

Rinse and repeat as they say...
Practice make perfect
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:15 PM
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ShaolinTiger ShaolinTiger is offline
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Yah most lenses have a hyperfocal marker on the focal guide. The wider the lens generally the closer the hyperfocal spot it.

Especially for prime lenses, you can focus about 2 metres away and everything will always be acceptably in focus.

Here's some additional reading:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...l-distance.htm

http://www.great-landscape-photograp...yperfocal.html

http://www.dofmaster.com/hyperfocal.html

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Old 08-04-2010, 04:22 PM
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Hanuman : You're absolutely right. So I'm gonna go back and flat out my battery with my test shots and post some up here for C&C to help me understand better.

Shaolin T : I understood probably something like 70% in that whole jimbang there. I think I'll go with Hanuman's advice and test it. The thing about this is my prime lens switch is kinda stiff. Trying to read the manual on how to switch it from infinity to something else.
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Old 08-04-2010, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by izso View Post
Shaolin T : I understood probably something like 70% in that whole jimbang there. I think I'll go with Hanuman's advice and test it. The thing about this is my prime lens switch is kinda stiff. Trying to read the manual on how to switch it from infinity to something else.
It's ok, its best to read it first, understand a bit and then go and test it out, after you've test come back and re-read - you'll understand more.

You don't need to understand the physics parts, just the practical application.

The focal ring will be stiff if the camera body focus drive is still engaged, make sure to switch your body to 'M' before using manual focus.

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Old 08-05-2010, 12:59 AM
clipper79 clipper79 is offline
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It is better to use Hyperfocal on a prime, rather on a zoom lens. Once you change the focal length it confuses on the focal distance. Basically, this technique has started since the Rangefinder days, which most of them uses prime lenses instead of zoom, and has been practiced till today. My advice, go prime if you want to learn this up. You will get the hang of this faster. Also go for older manual focus lenses too if possible. They have clearer marks on the lens barrel (not forgetting they are better built too) compared to today's AF plastic zoom crap. Cheers.

Last edited by clipper79; 08-05-2010 at 01:01 AM..
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