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Thread: **Hyperfocal**

  1. #11

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    Re: **Hyperfocal**

    Don,

    As I said, it works fine at f22.

    Right now, I'm in a pub with a Mamiya 7 shooting people watching an NHL playoff game with HP5 rated at 1600 and f4. That is a two stop push, and pretty thin depth of field. And at that, this is pushing me to a shutter speed of 1/4 second, which is a bit of a trick with an 80mm lens. If I had my Leica with me, I'd be shooting at f2.

    Two weeks ago, I was shooting in the NY subway system, below ground, where one is often about 6 feet from one's subject, meaning that f22 and the kind of latitude that you are talking about is a pipe dream.

    And speaking personally, from a photographic point of view when shooting people, f22 is a long way from where I want to be, even if I can get there.

    I think that a lot depends on what you want to do as a street photographer.

    One thing that is clear, when Bruce Davidson did his NY subway series, he was nowher near f22. Not even if he did most of those photos in above-ground parts of the system. Indeed, having been down there two weeks ago taking a lot of photographs, I'm planning to take a hard look at his book, because honestly, what he did is not, in my respectful view, easy.

    If you and Cyrus find that this kind of photography is a snap, I can only express my admiration.

    If either of you could upload some examples of your 4x5 street photography, I'd really love to see them, and learn.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by r.e.; 4-Jun-2007 at 21:59.

  2. #12

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    May 2006
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    Re: **Hyperfocal**

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    Don,

    As I said, it works fine at f22.

    Right now, I'm in a pub with a Mamiya 7 shooting people watching an NHL playoff game with HP5 rated at 1600 and f4. That is a two stop push, and pretty thin depth of field. And at that, this is pushing me to a shutter speed of 1/4 second, which is a bit of a trick with an 80mm lens. If I had my Leica with me, I'd be shooting at f2.

    Two weeks ago, I was shooting in the NY subway system, below ground, where one is often about 6 feet from one's subject, meaning that f22 and the kind of latitude that you are talking about is a pipe dream.

    And speaking personally, from a photographic point of view when shooting people, f22 is a long way from where I want to be, even if I can get there.

    I think that a lot depends on what you want to do as a street photographer.

    One thing that is clear, when Bruce Davidson did his NY subway series, he was nowher near f22. Not even if he did most of those photos in above-ground parts of the system. Indeed, having been down there two weeks ago taking a lot of photographs, I'm planning to take a hard look at his book, because honestly, what he did is not, in my respectful view, easy.

    If you and Cyrus find that this kind of photography is a snap, I can only express my admiration.

    If either of you could upload some examples of your 4x5 street photography, I'd really love to see them, and learn.

    Cheers.
    I don't mean to suggest that it was a snap. I said that press photographers used hyperfocal and that once they got the setting, it became easy to take a fast shot (meaning without having to worry about focusing) The whole point and reason for using hyperfocal focusing in street photography is to avoid the need to focus. But of course it is a compromise solution that risks poor exposure and composition (those things could be dealt with later though.)

    If I understand your point, I think you're saying that f/22 is too small an aperture setting to get a decent exposure in most of your street photography situations. But I don't know why you think hyperfocal focusing is limited to f/22 settings (could it be that your personal style of street photography is of somewhat dark places like inside bars and on subway stations)

    I occasionally use hyperfocal in street photography in well-light situations where f/16 to f/22 using 400 speed film allows an acceptable shutter speed for handheld photography.

    But there is (at least theoretically) no reason why you can't use HF to, say, up to f/8 if you combine the use of hyperfocal focusing with zone focussing and a quick check of the distance scale on your camera:

    With a 127 mm lens on a 4x5 camera, and the online hyperfocal chart:

    At f/22, you focus at 16 ft and the zone of sharpness starts at 8 ft.

    At f/16, you focus at 22 ft and the sharpness starts at 11ft

    At f/8, you focus at 44 ft and the sharpness starts at 22 ft

    (after f/8, we're going from street photography to landscape photography!)

    So, using ths hyperfocal chart (taped to the back of your Speed Graphic) you can still quickly take a shot even in less well-lit situations which require larger aperture settings than f/22, by simply doing a quick adjustment of the distance scale as you lift the camera to your face. Adjusting the distance scale is an extra step but you're still saving time since you still avoid any need to focus.

    ( Of course you have to be a good judge of distance too - how far is 22 feet or 44 ft?)

    Add to that the exposure latittude of BW film and you get even more flexibility in setting exposure.

    Anyway, that;s how the press photogs did it. Perhaps they weren't as picky as we are.
    Last edited by cyrus; 5-Jun-2007 at 00:25.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Re: **Hyperfocal**

    Ok: Gentlemen: after reading Mr. Kevin Kalsbeek letter or posting Which I find the following very easy to understand:

    [Turn the focusing ring off the infinity focus setting until the infinity mark on the focusing ring lines up with the f11 mark on the DOF scale. You will see that the camera will be precisely in focus at 6 meters (6 meters IS the Hyperfocal Distance). It also means that your object at 4 meters will also now be in focus, for, if you look at the near DOF scale mark corresponding to f11, you will find that it indicates about 2.8 meters. So, everything from 2.8 meters to infinity should be in acceptable focus. ]
    That tidbit is great for Rangefinders and SLR'S AND DLSR'S but I would find it time consuming to apply it to Large format, Since there are many ,Many variables in Large Format, one the scale is not on the lens mount its on the base and should the base be off or the pointer be off it then would project that into the variable of this factor also the film plane and the focal plane could be off also???
    I will test and see if in fact that theory does work for me on my DSLR and 6x6's and 35mm cameras BUT I will learn how to make adjustments to the 4x5 camera and use that metheod for getting a foto sharp:
    Thank you all for your time and effort in answering my questions:\\Lauren
    Last edited by seawolf66; 5-Jun-2007 at 09:47. Reason: english

  4. #14
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    Re: **Hyperfocal**

    With a press camera like my Speed Graphic, you shortcut this process a little. I don't use the focus scale on my Speed, because I don't know what lens it's calibrated for (probably a 150 mm, I should check it sometime), but I know the hyperfocal distance, with the circle of confusion I'm comfortable with, for my 105 mm lens is 12 feet, so when I open up the camera, I stop for a moment, open the shutters, pop the ground glass hood, and focus on an object at that distance, then lock the rail, close the hood, and reset the shutter I'll be using; that all takes about one minute, assuming the lens was already mounted on the camera. Then it's just a matter of setting shutter speed (or occasionally changing aperture if the light changes enough to warrant it) as I walk around to have correct exposure.
    If a contact print at arm's length is too small to see, you need a bigger camera. :D

  5. #15
    StayAtHome Dad & Photog
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    Re: **Hyperfocal**

    On a Speed, it's really a blast if you have the right scales for your lens. I've got a WWII Navy Anniversary Speed Graphic with it's origional 127/4.7 Ektar & the scales are, of course, for it. As suggested above, I have a hyperfocal chart (along with a sunny 16 cheat sheet) taped to the camera. If I'm street shooting or doing something that needs following fast action, I'll set the hyperfocal distance as needed on the scale, preset the lens, use the wire frame finder & have a good time.

    William
    4x5 and a Tessar is heaven
    "I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies..." Green Day

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