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Thread: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

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  1. #1

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    Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    The other day it just dawned on me that determaning where the camera should be focused at in order to achieve hyperfocal distance is not so easy as with manual focus 35mm gear, which has distance markings on the lens. Since such markings are not present on a 4x5 lens or the camera, how do you know where to focus in order to achieve thehyperfocal distance?

  2. #2
    hacker extraordinaire
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    You can make yourself a distance scale. My speed graphic has a distance scale on the bed.
    Science is what we understand well enough to explain to a computer. Art is everything else we do.
    --A=B by Petkovšek et. al.

  3. #3
    Lachlan 717
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    Many of the lens specification pages have the Hyperfocal distance/f-stop information on them.

    It is then a simple matter of focusing (carefully) on something at this distance and recording the bellows' extension on the rail.

    How you do this marking is up to you, but keep in mind that it needs to be repeatable. So, if you have rear extension, you need to zero this somehow so that it is repeatable in the field.
    Lachlan.

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. -- Wayne Gretzky

  4. #4
    Eric Woodbury
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    Be sure to read this article and the Hansma article within.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.info/fstop.html
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  5. #5
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    I know of a visually impaired LF photographer in England who shoots architectural interiors using hyper-focal techniques. He has calculated the extension for the lens at a typical distance and f/stop.He sets up the camera with pre-cut sticks between the front and rear standard.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com


    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

  6. #6
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    The more time one spends in the field, the sharper one’s awareness of “field conditions” and their complications.

    For example, let’s say you’ve finalized movements, focus, and aperture for “official” hyperfocal distance. The variable wind, the changing light, your filters, the reciprocity of your film – well, I could go on, but let’s just say your real choices at shutter snap, especially the one about aperture, will often be different than fancier choices from charts & blackboards.

    The field is where compromise is king.

    Before the lab technicians object, I’ll add that mental exercises do have their use as a “starting point,” making the complications of practical work easier to understand, anticipate, and address. And besides, they provide splendid help for visually impaired photographers, like the clever one Drew mentions above.

  7. #7
    ki6mf's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    keep in mind that on a hot day the glass and lens barrel expand with heat and your DOF scale can be off due to heat expansion!
    Wally Brooks

    Everything is Analog!
    Any Fool Can Shoot Digital!
    Any Coward can shoot a zoom! Use primes and get closer.

  8. #8

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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    Quote Originally Posted by ki6mf View Post
    keep in mind that on a hot day the glass and lens barrel expand with heat and your DOF scale can be off due to heat expansion!
    This is confounded by the change in atmospheric density which changes the refractive index - mirages anyone?

    Seriously, calibrate your focal length scale at three temps (hot, medium and cold) and you should be fine.

    Some photographers freeze their cameras as well as the film to avoid this.

  9. #9
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Petronio View Post
    Back in the day, the practical use of Polaroid Type 55 was that you could shoot it and loupe the negative to see if your DOF and sharpness were holding up.
    Those were the days, sorely missed.

    When T55 went away, the loss of “instant feedback” in the field w/ such a fine film swept some film users I knew into digital. (Really! They were my friends.) When T55 resurrects – and all my praying means the Second Coming can’t be far away – those who were lost will return to the fold.

    Pray with me. Believe. And while we wait, one should beware the seductions of hyperfocal charts – easy promises at the start, a false religion in the end.

  10. #10
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    Re: Shooting at hyperfocal distance on a 4x5? How?

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    Pray with me. Believe. And while we wait, one should beware the seductions of hyperfocal charts – easy promises at the start, a false religion in the end.
    Preach it, brother!

    By definition, shooting at the hyperfocal distance is constraining sharpness at infinity to your minimum standard. If you decide you want to make a bigger print than the one you used to choose your circle of confusion size, you'll no longer meet your own standard of sharpness.

    Rick "Praying for the return of Type 55, but not believing" Denney

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