View Full Version : Hyperfocal focusing

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12-10-2007, 07:27 PM
Another article from the crusty old world of manual focus.

Back in the day before super fast auto-focus it was difficult to get a sharp photo on a moving subject at times. Fortunately there is an alternate way to focus your lens other than just staring at the ground glass screen and playing with focus until it looks right. For the situations where you knew the location where you wanted to take a picture of your subject before they got there you could use hyperfocal focus.

Hyperfocal Focus is analogous to the half press focus lock on modern auto-focus cameras. Its very useful for certain transient moments like the finish or a race as they cross the line. Thanks to the magic of physics we are able to predict exactly where the focal plane will be in reference to the camera.

On your older lenses you'll have marking and feet and meters. Most zoom lenses will have arced lines showing the distances depending on what focal length you are at. Simply measure the distance to where your subject will be (or estimate if you dont have the time) set the focus on your lens according to distance markings on it. Now you're free to concentrate more on the exposure and composition for the decisive moment.

12-10-2007, 07:48 PM
Nice write up.
I actually use this quite a bit with my TS-E lenses since they're MF only and I tend to use them in low light. FYI most "good" newer lenses also have the scales on them. At least all my primes (28mm f1.8, 50mm f1.4, 85mm f1.8, 45mm TS-E, 80mm TS-E) have it and most my zooms do to.

12-10-2007, 10:18 PM
they called that parabolic focusing? I never knew it had such a fancy name :lol: