Hyperfocal Distance?

Hyperfocal distance is one of those nerdy terms that provokes tiresome forum discussions, but a basic grasp is useful if you’re going to push the limits of depth of field. A sensible working definition is that’s the distance at which you need to focus for things at infinity to be acceptably sharp – for a particular focal length and aperture. There are lots of variables here, not least what your eye considers acceptably sharp. In practice, because no one has time to fiddle with tables and calculators, the working method is to focus roughly a third of the way into the scene and stop right down. This gives you a starting point, but the devil is in the fine detail so that taking a shot and then examining it at high magnification on the camera’s screen is the only way to be sure that you have the front to back sharpness you want.

Marg Jackman