Hyperfocal Distance

Posted by in Cool Stuff, News, Photography

Hyperfocal Distance is the distance of the nearest object you should focus on to achieve sharp focus at infinity. But isn’t the camera smarter at focusing and why can’t I just let it focus for me, that’s what I thought until my buddy Garrett showed me otherwise. What I learned is that you can achieve sharper images using hyperfocal distance, then letting the camera focus for you on landscapes. Instead of getting in to the math, there’s a app for that, photocalc or myPhotoDOF for the iPhone will tell you. If you are weird here is a link to the WikiPedia article

  • What you need is the following:
  • The app, or a calculator and this formula from WikiPedia.
  • Your camera model, the hyperfocal distance will change depending on your sensor size.
  • Lens focal length, changing focal length changes the distance.
  • The F stop you want to use.
  • Tape measure or some other type of measuring.
  • Tripod, unless you can find something else to rest the camera on.
  • A subject to take a photo of.

Here is my photo I captured of the Portland,Oregon skyline using hyperfocal distance.

This photo was taken with a Nikon D700 digital SLR camera looking though a Tamron 28-75mm F2.8. The focal length was at 28mm and the aperture was at F8. Using my handy dandy photocalc app my hyperfocal distance is 10′-9″. I was amazed that I only needed to focus at 10′-9″ to get everything in focus, I did not even believe it. I did not have a tape measure with me so I paced out the distance give or take and focused on a object that was about the 10 or 11 feet away. Then I put the camera on the ground under the fence and took the photo. Lessons learned this trip other than hyperfocal distance was, take a tripod and something to measure with.

So get out there and take some more photos.

Bill Debevc