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mva0314

Hyperfocal Distance Confusion

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mva0314

Hi!

I've had my Fuji x100t for the past few months, and I have begun experimenting with zone focusing. I notice though that people say Hyperfocal Distancing is the way to go. I shoot street photography in NYC, so ideally my in-focus subjects would be 5' to whatever feet away. During daylight I experiment with f11/f8/f5.6 . I don't really stop down to f16 because I want to minimize that "softness" effect I get when I shoot that aperture.

Anyway, I've read a lot about the calculations, apps, formulas, tables, etc for getting the Hyperfocal distance. But my Fuji just doesn't match up. I have read that there is some discrepancy on the x100t scale. So, I've attached an image.

If I'm shooting at f8, I'm told I should hyperfocus at about 11 ft. That tells me that everything from 11' to infinity will be in focus, and that ~5 feet to 11 feet should be in focus in front of the hyperfocal.

Now, obviously, the visual scale on the x100t does not reflect this. Is this normal, or am I missing something?

 

**edit note: granted i'm probably at a HD of about 12-13 feet instead. But still. The line does not extend nearly to the infinity mark, and the line doesn't extend nearly to 5 feet.

IMG_7781.JPG

Edited by mva0314

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veejaycee

I don't trust the viewfinder for distance or DoF. The Fuji lenses which have a distance and DoF scale - 14mm, 16mm, 23mm are fine but if you are using this approach then older 3rd party lenses will have both distance and DoF scales.

In the meantime there are many calculators that you can save on your tablet or phone.

Here are a couple http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm  http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html  this one is a virtual simulator.  http://dofsimulator.net/en/

I've always managed with the 1/3rd in front and 2/3rds behind the focal point approach but I have almost 50 years experience of DoF per aperture and focal length and for more exact judgement I use the scales on the lens.

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mva0314

I don't trust the viewfinder for distance or DoF. The Fuji lenses which have a distance and DoF scale - 16mm, 23mm and 35mm are fine but if you are using this approach then older 3rd party lenses will have both distance and DoF scales.

In the meantime there are many calculators that you can save on your tablet or phone.

Here are a couple http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/dof-calculator.htm  http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html  this one is a virtual simulator.  http://dofsimulator.net/en/

I've always managed with the 1/3rd in front and 2/3rds behind the focal point approach but I have almost 50 years experience of DoF per aperture and focal length and for more exact judgement I use the scales on the lens.

Thanks for your response. Unfortunately with the x100t being a fixed lens, I don't have the option for scales on my lens. Should i just memorize the corresponding distances, and forego what my camera tells me? I suppose enough trial and error would help me, but I would like some piece of mind while I shoot that my original discovery (my f8 example, for instance), is correct.

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veejaycee

Use one of the first two calculators above to get results for f5.6, f8 which are the apertures you'll mostly use - extend to f11 if you wish. Distances for street from 6ft to 15ft. In practice you'll find your subject distance distance mostly between 8ft - 12ft and depending on light you'll be shooting f8 down to f5.6 but mostly the former. When you shoot at greater distances the DoF will increase too - simply focus on the subject. Try to learn to estimate distance up to street width - it really isn't hard and you only need to be approximate. Gauge how many men lying down head to toe (6ft) to reach to the subject. You'll be surprised how soon you pick it up. Depth of field at f 5.6/f8 and 23mm lens on APS is quite generous and you won't always want inf sharpness or even the far side of the street to be sharp.

Don't worry too much about what you've read or been told how you should focus including my advice. Get out there and shoot and check the results. Restrict yourself to to f5.6 and f8 and subject distances between 8 - 12ft to narrow it down a bit.

Edited by veejaycee
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