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6 Days Ago   #1
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Automatic Hyperfocal

It can easily be done by digital cameras when knowing aperture and focal length, so why does no one propose this option ?

I saw on another forum that Pentax had done it.. on a PZ-1p, it would be easy to do it again !

6 Days Ago   #2
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As you correctly note, calculating the hyperfocal distance is easy.

Unfortunately, setting the lens to exactly that hyperfocal distance is hard. Most modern lenses don't have an accurate electronic distance scale or reliable infinity setting.
6 Days Ago   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by agukha Quote
It can easily be done by digital cameras when knowing aperture and focal length, so why does no one propose this option ?
All that needs to be added is an accurate way to set the focus to the hyperfocal point. Unfortunately, the camera has only a vague notion of focus distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by agukha Quote
I saw on another forum that Pentax had done it.. on a PZ-1p, it would be easy to do it again !
I am interested to see if anyone drops in to confirm. The forum has several users with PZ-1p experience. I found the link (I think), but don't recall any fond memories of the feature among members that hang out in the film SLR section of this site.

Automatic setting of hyperfocal distance? | Photo.net Photography Forums


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6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Most modern lenses don't have an accurate electronic distance scale or reliable infinity setting.
...and most modern cameras don't have a rangefinder for calculating distance.


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6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #5
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I still occasionally use the hyperfocal setting on old manual-focus lenses that have DOF scales ... just have to remember to account for the change in size in the "circle of confusion" on an APS-C sensor compared to full-frame 35mm
6 Days Ago   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by agukha Quote
I saw on another forum that Pentax had done it.. on a PZ-1p, it would be easy to do it again !
I used the forerunner of the PZ-1P, the Z-1 for many years.

I don't recall hyperfocal focussing on any Z series camera
6 Days Ago   #7
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but that certainly would be a cool feature
6 Days Ago   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
just have to remember to account for the change in size in the "circle of confusion" on an APS-C sensor compared to full-frame
I usually assume that 1.5 to 2 stops will produce good enough results. It doesn't hurt that the lenses I do that with are either a wide or fisheye so you could go 3 less on the gauge than the actual f-stop on the lens and still have the vast majority of the scene in perfect focus.

6 Days Ago   #9
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There is a line of Carl Zeiss lenses (Batis line, if I'm not wrong) that shows the exact focus distance and the DOF at the set aperture in an OLED display on the lens barrel. Maybe it also shows the hyperfocal, but not sure.
6 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MossyRocks Quote
I usually assume that 1.5 to 2 stops will produce good enough results. It doesn't hurt that the lenses I do that with are either a wide or fisheye so you could go 3 less on the gauge than the actual f-stop on the lens and still have the vast majority of the scene in perfect focus.


A reference I read quoted 1 stop as being necessary, which kind of made sense to me as the APS-C sensor is about half the size of a full-frame 35mm negative.


Which brings me to a sudden realisation !! The Industar-69 I recently acquired came from a half-frame camera, so the DOF markings should be good for an APS-C sensor and I don't need to compensate I should point out here that this lens isn't used on a Pentax but on a mirrorless body, and needed some mechanical modification to achieve infinity focus.
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
modern lenses don't have an accurate electronic distance scale or reliable infinity setting
This is probably the biggest issue with executing hyperfocal focusing with current lenses. The lack of an accurate hard stop point at infinity makes getting the hyperfocal point nearly impossible.
6 Days Ago   #12
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The lack of a reliable scale and the ease of doing a focus stack (see the other question about taking 2000 images) to my mind greatly reduce the added value of such a feature. Just slow down, compose the image and then decide on the different spots where you want the focus to be.
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QuoteOriginally posted by HoutHans Quote
the ease of doing a focus stack.. to my mind greatly reduce the added value of such a feature
Well, a single shot is a lot less work than focus stacking. And focus stacking isn't without issues, such as the subject moved between exposures (gohsting), the light changed between exposures, lens focus breathing. And focus stacking on a long exposure sunset landscape is simply impossible, while hyperfocal focusing is simply the best method, unless being able to use a tilt lens.
6 Days Ago - 1 Like   #14
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At least the distance could be displayed on the screen, letting the photographer adjust the AF.
6 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
I still occasionally use the hyperfocal setting on old manual-focus lenses that have DOF scales ... just have to remember to account for the change in size in the "circle of confusion" on an APS-C sensor compared to full-frame 35mm
Good point! And then there's the change in CoC for pixel peeping instead of printing 8x10.
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