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05-22-2015, 06:39 PM   #1
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Hyperfocal distance setting

Anyone uses hyperfocal distance? Maybe Pentax can add a 'hyperfocal distance' setting for modern (read no lens marking) lenses where the cam sets the focus for any given aperture.


This can be done by firmware update, right? Could be another unique Pentax feature.


Excuse me while I go to the patent office... :P

05-22-2015, 06:52 PM   #2
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Hyper focal markings don't help much when you can't set the aperture on the lens.
05-22-2015, 07:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Hyper focal markings don't help much when you can't set the aperture on the lens.
you can set the aperture in the camera.
05-22-2015, 07:20 PM   #4
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I don't use hyperfocal very often. I've tried it with mixed success for landscapes.

I use zone focus a lot, a sibling to hyperfocal, for street photography. The Ricoh GR manual focus scale shows the depth of field on the rear LCD. I could use that hyperfocally too but I prefer the background a little out of focus to draw attention to the subject.

05-22-2015, 07:24 PM   #5
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There are some who use it, and if this can be done using firmware updates, it sort of makes up for the missing lens markings.

LIke I mentioned, it can be another unique feature .
05-22-2015, 07:40 PM   #6
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I do wish that on the rear screen that for what ever aperture you are at that they would display the hyperfocal distance.

05-22-2015, 08:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
I do wish that on the rear screen that for what ever aperture you are at that they would display the hyperfocal distance.

That would be so useful!
05-22-2015, 10:28 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GrinMode Quote
Anyone uses hyperfocal distance? Maybe Pentax can add a 'hyperfocal distance' setting for modern (read no lens marking) lenses where the cam sets the focus for any given aperture.
perfocal distance
This can be done by firmware update, right? Could be another unique Pentax feature.

Excuse me while I go to the patent office... :P
I think it would be a great option. But I doubt it can be done using the current focus implementation; the camera does not tell the lens to focus at a certain distance and lenses more than likely don't provide accurate enough feedback about distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Hyper focal markings don't help much when you can't set the aperture on the lens.
I think you're missing the point. Camera knows focal length and selected aperture, so can theoretically set the focus to the hyperfocal distance.

05-23-2015, 12:38 AM   #9
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this sounds like a great idea for some situations, lets see if Ricoh or Pentax can implement it
05-23-2015, 04:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Hyper focal markings don't help much when you can't set the aperture on the lens.
QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote

I think you're missing the point. Camera knows focal length and selected aperture, so can theoretically set the focus to the hyperfocal distance.
You're right. Totally missed this one

---------- Post added 05-23-2015 at 07:34 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I think it would be a great option. But I doubt it can be done using the current focus implementation; the camera does not tell the lens to focus at a certain distance and lenses more than likely don't provide accurate enough feedback about distance.
But for hyper focal distance the lens only needs to tell how far the focus mechanism is moved, from infinity..
05-23-2015, 04:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I think it would be a great option. But I doubt it can be done using the current focus implementation; the camera does not tell the lens to focus at a certain distance and lenses more than likely don't provide accurate enough feedback about distance.


I think you're missing the point. Camera knows focal length and selected aperture, so can theoretically set the focus to the hyperfocal distance.
I think the easiest approach is just to use the focal length and aperture, then to provide via the rear screen the hyperfocal distance, for the user to use, consider or whatever. Having the camera go set something or whatever is a bit too far and too much to expect. Could it be done - sure. But the camera does not know the intent of the photographer, and just how far or just how much the photographer intends to use the information (if at all).

05-23-2015, 07:13 AM   #12
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Try it before you buy it.
This old modified zoom for M4/3 has a fixed ap, so I made adhesive scale with Hyp distance at each fl.

When the kids use an 18mm mf lens on m43 , I use black tape to pre-focus at little less than the Hyper.
This one shows the depth of field using Pentax 110 18mm at f/6.3 and hyperfocaled approximately.
https://app.box.com/s/pyt615b78d9o2ltwuxzxt6j05dq84dgm
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PENTAX K-01  Photo 
05-23-2015, 08:19 AM   #13
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My interpretation of this extremely useful OP idea:

1- Selection to get into this feature => camera automatically switches to 'center spot AF or AE'
2- Photographer points at 'farthest object' that is desired to be in focus => then presses the AF / AE button (camera puts this in memory).
3- Photographer points a 'closest object' that is desired to be focus => then presses the AF / AE button (camera puts this in memory).
4- Camera then calculates the difference and selects the 'minimum aperture' to obtain this memory focus zone => then automatically sets the appropriate focus (1/2 to 1/3 distance between the memory settings).
5- Photographer recomposes for the desired image framing => then presses the shutter release button to take the picture.

6- Settings in memory could be automatically cleared at this point -but- consider situations where it would be desirable to snap multiple images without having to reset the settings: Therefore- would recommend that the settings in memory are cleared by briefly activating the 'depth of field preview button'.

BAM! Fast and effective!

Works for nearly all subject matter (hyper focal or a limited zone of sharpness providing softness of both the background and foreground).
05-23-2015, 08:47 AM   #14
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When I need hyperfocal distance, I use True-DoF Pro app on my iPhone. It claims to also take into account diffraction limits. You do need to have a useful distance scale on the lens.

As One3rdEV wrote, focusing 1/3 of the way into the zone is optimal. One should keep in mind that the hyperfocal distance scales on manual lenses are based on viewing an 8x10 inch print at 1 foot distance. Print a 16x20, and you need a smaller aperture to keep the zone of sharpness acceptable, or you need to look at the print from further away.
05-23-2015, 09:37 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies .

I guess the current focus mechanism isn't designed for this, where the camera only turns the focus ring until the AF module says stop.

But the 'old' lenses have distance scales, maybe something can be determined electronically for each AF lens, and the camera just needs to know how much turning it has to do for a given set of parameters.
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