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Infinity vs. Hyperfocal Distance

In the example above, the focus point is simply set to infinity – the photographer gives away extra Depth Of Field, since the DOF goes way past infinity at f16 with these settings. With the hyperfocal distance setting, the photographer gets the greatest depth of field out of the lens…

Here the photographer uses the hyperfocal distance to get the most possible DOF in his shot: the focus is set in a way, that the distance scale lines up at infinity and f16. Note, how the DOF increases by almost 100% to the left with this setting.

the hyperfocal setting makes a lot of sense when infinity focus and maximum foreground focus are desired, i.e. landscape

zone focusing (also called scale focusing) is much more practical for , as the photographer works at a close range and infinity focus is not as important

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Markus Hartel is a (street) photographer, graphic designer and educator living and working in New York City.
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3 Responses to “Infinity vs. Hyperfocal Distance”

  1. Hans der Hase says:

    Beware! Hyperfocal distance is usually NOT what you want for best sharpness “everywhere”. Check out what Merklinger has to say http://www.trenholm.org/hmmerk/DOFR.html

  2. Elliot says:

    You have inspired an epiphany! A few simple pics and it all makes so much sense. Thanks

  3. Wow, thanks a million for this information. I had read about hyperfocal distance a thousand times, but it was never quite clear to me. With your explanation, things are 100% clear to me.
    Again, thanks a lot.