Hyperfocal Distance: What is Lens Hyperfocal Distance and How to Apply It in Practice?

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Hyperfocal Distance

You probably already know a lot about what composition is, how to make a photo more expressive, what settings to choose in one case or another, etc. Today we’ll discuss about Hyperfocal Distance in this article.

But let me tell you a secret – there is another concept in the world of photography, on which a not insignificant parameter depends at all, namely, the clarity of your frame. How does the abbreviation FR stand for, is it necessary to draw up a special table and when can it come in handy? This will be discussed further.

Specificity and Benefits of Hyperfocal Distance

The lens hyperfocal distance is the area of physical space where the photographer must focus the camera in order to obtain a high depth of field for the entire image, even when zooming in on a camera or computer. It helps to get the sharp photographs with a maximum depth of field and clarity.

If you know how to work with this parameter, then all the frames taken will be high-definition from 1/2 this distance to the end of the picture.

The advantages of working with the FIU are obvious. You ask, is it really just that the correct settings on the camera do not achieve what you want? Alas, in this case you will get only one third of the sharpness of everything in the photo.

In other words, if you focused on an object at a certain distance from you, then 1/3 of this distance in front of the object, after 2/3 of the part (not all of the space!) it will be clearly visible. Remember, the detail of a photograph is an indicator not only of the stable position of the camera, but also of the photographer’s understanding of how to apply the focal range in practice.

Hyperfocal Distance Table

Hyperfocal Distance Table

As you can imagine, the term is directly related to depth of field. The depth of the space displayed in the photo above can be achieved through 3 available tools:

Diaphragm. In photographing a large number of objects or people, the f value must be from 6.3 to get all the objects in focus and be clearly visible. The opposite principle works if the aperture is open: then you get nice blur or special curly bokeh around the model, but in this case the whole image will not be sharp.

Hyperfocal Distance Formula

Focal Length. For the purpose of including all the elements of the photo in the frame, you should not choose a lens with a long focal length or twist the zoom to maximum.

Range of Objects. Actually, getting closer to something will automatically increase the blurring of the background, so move farther and you will increase the depth of field.

All of the above techniques and hyperfocal distance are liked by landscape photographers when they want to draw the viewer’s attention to the details of the whole picture, and not just part of it.

If the concept of FR is a dark forest for you, then I recommend using one or two of the methods described above at the same time. They are somewhat convenient and effective, and require less preparation and imaging time, but they are still not as accurate as hyperfocal distance.

Let’s Go to Practice

Let’s not get distracted, let’s return to the topic of the article. Now, knowing about the existence and importance of hyperfocal distance, the question arises: how to set the camera settings in order to take this parameter into account and so improve your images?

First, you need to know the appropriate formula. It says that you must divide the available focal length squared by the scattering spot constant times the aperture value. The final result will be in mm.

I will not burden you with unnecessary terminology, I will only say: the scattering spot has a constant value, for example, 0.02 for digital cameras, 0.03 for film cameras, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at the formula. Let’s say I have a regular digital camera; I chose a focal length of 50 mm and f = 8. Then it turns out: 50 * 50 / 0.02 * 8 = 15625 mm or about 15.6 meters.

It is very convenient to have a table with such data. You can calculate it yourself for those settings with which you most often shoot.

So, here we have calculated the hyperfocal distance indicator according to the scheme, what next? And then we take pictures. Let’s take the camera and mount it on a tripod – for accurate focusing and minimizing blur due to vibration.

We set the settings and define the composition. In our case, the focus area should be on an object located one and a half meters from the camera. This is where the main character of the photo should be. However, it does not have to be right in the center.

By selecting the single-point focusing function on the camera, you can move that point to the right or left. It can be difficult to get the focus in the right place, so experienced photographers can choose a manual, finer, focusing mode.

Everything is ready, shoot! Based on the definition of Focal Range, in the example I have analyzed, everything from 7.5 m will be in focus and will go far beyond the horizon, to infinity.

Do not stand still, develop if you want to achieve good results in photography. That’s all. Not as difficult as it seems at first glance.

You may also like to read: 7 Good Reasons to Use A 50mm Fixed Focal Lens

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