The Set Up: Toyo 4x5 Monorail, Bogen Tripod and Head, Rodenstock 150mm APO Sironar N, Velvia 4x5 and 6x7 120 roll, Horseman Back. Three objects. One at 10ft 2nd 50ft 3rd 150ft approximation
Both standards are parallel and leveled, all items are on the same plane. I'll c ut to the chase....
I focus far then near, the extension difference equal f22 + 1/2, 6 divisions on my Rodenstock calculator. I set it to f32 for good measure. The test consists of focusing:
1. 1/3 of the way in from the closest object (the object 10ft away) two divisions to be exact. 2. 1/2 the distance, 3 divisions. 3. 2/3 of the way in or 4 divisions.
The results: Were Very Repeatable, not much of a shock there....
When I focused 1/3 of the way in, the object 50 ft away was in focus but some what soft. The object approximately 150ft away was defenitely soft.
1/2 of the way in, the equivalent of splitting the depth of field in half, showed a slight softening on the item ten feet away but still acceptable, and a noticable improvement of the object at 50ft and 150ft-not much of a surprise there either since your shifting the focus towards the objects a t 50 and 150ft away.
2/3 of the way in was the real surprise for me. The foreground was still clear enough to consider sharp and the objects at 50 & 150 really dialed in.
So where's this going? I've read the DOF charts by Schneider,been on countless web sites ( Robert Wheeeler, Photo.net, Sinar, Chris Perez's site- a real good one-I might add, really gets into the numbers and off the "name brand hype") and I really expected to see the testing favor the first 1/3 method since this is what I've always been told works. Of course you get the guys who swear the answers to all of your questions is on the GG,and I'll admit there is allot to be said for that method also but in all honesty folks can any one really see a difference when stopped down to F22-32? I sure as heck can't!!! So for those of you who are traveling down the same path I was on, It's well worth your time and effort to experiment for yourself. And If I were asked today where I set my focus point I might very well say a 1/2 - 2/3's of the way in.
Any thoughts would be appreciated and considered, just don't have me go blind staring at the GG at F32.