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Hyperfocal help

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by runnerpsu, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Top Veteran

    571
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    I’ve gotten hooked on street photography. I’ve read a number of articles and watched a ton of YouTube videos on street photography. Last Saturday, I took a beginner course on street photography. The course was an hour or so of lecture on the pro’s and con’s, what to do if confronted, and some settings followed by actually walking and shooting at the Delray Market. The conclusion was a review of our work.

    Many of the articles and videos I’ve reviewed suggest a manual lens and using hyperfocal settings. I’m open to options but funding is a consideration.

    My current equipment consists of a A7 II, a Ziess 55 1.8, and a Sony 28 f/2. Both of my lenses have AF and neither lens has markings for hyperfocal focusing.

    My question -- If I use MF on my A7II can I use a hyperfocal setting from a DOF/Hyperfocal chart to duplicate a manual focus lens? If I understand the charts correctly, using my 28 with F/5.6 the hyperfocal distance is 15’ 3”. So if I focus on an object at 15’3” then any object in the frame that is 7’7” to infinity would be in focus. Is that correct?

    Any advice or suggestion on how to approach this task is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    I use an App called TrueDof (for iPhone). Your idea is correct, but I think the numbers should be adjusted.

    For your A7II and the 28/2 set at f5.6, the true Hyperfocal distance, using this App, works out at just over 24 ft; everything from around 12 ft to infinity will be "in focus" (not really; but "acceptably sharp"). This is using a blur spot diameter of 20 microns, which I recommend. At f11, the corresponding Hyperfocal distance is 17 ft.

    Even so, if you are doing street photography, you want to focus on your main subject, and maybe throw the b/g out of focus.
     
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  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    That matches what my DOF calculator tells me.
     
  4. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    Problem is, most DoF calculators are based on 35mm film, not digital. If you use one of those, I recommend focussing on the distance it tells you to, and then stop down at least one more stop. For example, focus at 15 ft assuming f5.6, but then shoot at f8 or even f11.
     
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  5. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Hm. What difference would that make? The frame size of the A7II is the same as 35mm film, so I would assume that the DOF calculation would be the same as well. What am I missing? :hmmm:
     
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  6. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
  7. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    Gary
    Not only that, but digital is affected by sensor size and resolution too. That said it’s close enough.

    Im surprised they are not just using infinity setting. I always saw hyperfocal as a landscape thing.
     
  8. TedG954

    TedG954 TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Nov 29, 2014
    South Florida and NE Ohio
    Ted Gersdorf
    :popcorm2: Interesting, and educational.
     
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  9. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    <<Im surprised they are not just using infinity setting.>> If you can find a distance scale on the lens ;~/
    My 20 micron setting for FF is very conservative; using 30 microns does indeed show about 15 ft 6" as the Hyperfocal.
     
  10. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    OK, I looked at the app. But they must have hidden the relevant info well, because I'm still just as clueless as before. Care to give me the Cliff Notes version of the FOV calculation difference between film and digital, given the same size image frame?
     
  11. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    Maybe not the Clif Notes version, but check out this, especially the Depth of Fields and Diffractions paragraphs (the D800 has the same sense as my A7R I believe).

    Depth of Field, Diffraction and High Resolution Sensors

    35mm film cannot resolve anywhere close to 10 microns. IIRC, film is close to around a 12mp sensor.
     
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  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Just thinking out loud, so take my idea with a grain of salt. If you wish to use your native AF lenses like manual lenses using hyperfocal, can't you set to manual mode, set the aperture and shutter desired, use AUTO ISO, and back-button focus? Just pre-focus the range and set that and go shoot away.
     
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  13. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Ah. I get it now. Thanks for that link. Fortunately for me, I can't think of a time when I would care if my shots resolve every 10 micron object perfectly sharp on the sensor. I'm afraid I'm squarely in the "good enough" camp. :D 
     
  14. firemist

    firemist TalkEmount Veteran

    292
    Dec 4, 2015
    Now of course, we see questions about whether or not the new larger (i.e. smaller pixel pitch) sensors can out-resolve lenses - meaning if your lens is not stellar, why bother with 50mp or higher.

    Now, what was the initial question again, lol?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Top Veteran

    571
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Thanks! I have the PhotoPills app on my iPhone. That particular app has both DOF and Hyperfocal tables. Additionally, it allows one to enter their specific camera of which the Sony A7II is included.

    It is issues like this that confuse me but that is an easy thing to do :) 
     
  16. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Top Veteran

    571
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    I wondered the same thing. Perhaps my reliance on the "internet guru's" is not as meaningful as I thought. I'll give it a try.
     
  17. AlwaysOnAuto

    AlwaysOnAuto TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Feb 17, 2015
    The nice thing about digital is you can TRY it and see what happens for FREE.


    I must add, I have a dumb phone so this conversation is completely lost on me.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. chalkdust

    chalkdust TalkEmount Top Veteran

    531
    Sep 25, 2015
    Bert Cheney
    Though I am not a street photographer, I often try to catch candid at family events. There are some similarities in that. One nice thing about setting your focus at 15'3" at f/5.6 on your 28mm is that 15 feet is about where you will be shooting things anyway. You really do not care that much about infinity. I guess what I trying to say is just think about the distances you really want, and focus in the middle of them at a f/5.6 or f/8 and practice a bit one day on subjects that don't matter but are at your preferred distances. And when I say middle, I am not suggesting any mathematical precision.

    Oh, and have fun. That is the main thing.
     
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  19. OP...your best bet is to be a good estimator as to range and adjust accordingly. Or set it for the famous '10 foot shot' and try to keep that distance. I do a huge amount of zone focus, every shot is different. I seldom stick to one footage setting for zone work.

    Here is a candid on Staten Island Ferry. It was shot with a Zeiss 21mm on a Leica.

    https://danielteolijr.files.wordpress.com/2015/07/staten-island-ferry-2016-daniel-d-teoli-jr-mm.jpg

    The tough shots are when you have to shoot zone and wide open.

    First thing OP is to decide where most of your shots will be in distance. That will tell you what length of lens to use. Here is the formula from a post I wrote on this subject at my blog...

    Multiply the focal length of my lens by 4 then divide by 10. Then use that as a rough estimate of distance in feet to shoot for. For instance, if I am using a 35mm lens I multiply it by 4, which is 140. That tells me to try for 14 - 15 foot unfarmed shots.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  20. runnerpsu

    runnerpsu TalkEmount Top Veteran

    571
    Feb 12, 2016
    South Florida
    Thanks for your insights! Based on the formula you provided, when shooting with my 28 I focus at 11.2 or so. I'll give this a try.

    Loved the photo take on the Staten Island Ferry!
     
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