74 — Hyperfocal distance — How to use the hyperfocal distance

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #74 is all about the hyper­fo­cal dis­tance and how to use it in land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy. In a nut­shell, hyper­fo­cal dis­tance is the dis­tance you focus at to get greater depth of field when focus­ing on an object in the dis­tance. In this pod­cast we define what hyper­fo­cal dis­tance is and how to use it for both tra­di­tional (film) pho­tog­ra­phy and in dig­i­tal pho­tog­ra­phy with new DSLRs and lenses.‚ We also talk about when not to use the hyper­fo­cal dis­tance in land­scape photography.

Hyperfocal distance chart

Hyper­fo­cal dis­tance chart from dofmaster.com — used by per­mis­sion; thanks Don Flem­ing!‚ This beau­ti­ful appli­ca­tion from the dofmaster.com site clearly shows that by focus­ing at the hyper­fo­cal dis­tance you gain over 4 feet of sharp­ness toward the fore­ground when you use a 5omm lens at F-16 and focus at 27.1 feet instead of‚ where the object actu­ally is at 50 feet.. Try this test for your­self; shoot 1 shot the reg­u­lar way and 1 shot using the hyper­fo­cal dis­tance. This appli­ca­tion already lists the most com­mon dig­i­tal cam­eras and takes their crop fac­tors into account.

Landscape photography
Left image shot nor­mally while right image was shot at the hyper­fo­cal dis­tance. Even at this small size you can see that the right shot shows a bit more sharp­ness in the midground while the back­ground looks sim­i­lar in both shots. The effects are more notice­able when you print at larger sizes.

Links /resources men­tioned in this podcast:

Dofmaster’s awe­some depth of field cal­cu­la­tor that also cal­cu­lates hyper­fo­cal dis­tance
Dofmaster’s depth of field cal­cu­la­tor for free use with an iphone (need to con­nect to the Net — use this URL from an IPhone ONLYNOT from your com­puter)
Dofmaster’s sim­u­lated depth of field cal­cu­la­tor for free use with an Non-iphones (need to con­nect to the Net)
Dofmaster’s Itunes depth of field cal­cu­la­tor App for $1.99 (No Inter­net con­nec­tion required)
November’s ‘land­scapes in por­trait orientation’‚assignment on the Photography.ca forum
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Thanks to Kat, Glenn Euloth (Igua­nasan), Bambi and Alex Maxim who posted a blog com­ment about our last pod­cast. Thanks as always to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

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