Hyperfocal Distance Chart

Issue: 31 January 2013


Hyperfocal distance - the closest distance at which a lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity sharp. In a nutshell it’s the focus distance with the maximum depth of field for a given combination of focal length and aperture. When the lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half the hyper focal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp.  

How do I know this?

I carry a tiny laminated depth of field scale in my bag. You can download one here from my website. You would think this sort of calculation could be incorporated into the camera’s firmware, wouldn’t you?  But no, an old fashioned chart and tape measure are the order of the day.  Even with my trusty depth of field scale getting the focus point right is tricky; a slightly fuzzy background will kill a picture.  Using Live View or a test exposure to zoom in and check depth of field is a handy way of double checking.  The depth of field preview button is pretty useless at minimum aperture; the viewfinder just goes too dark.

Enjoy your photography...

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