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Thread: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

  1. #1

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    landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    was developing a lot of film from a day trip to yosemite. 90%+ shots are at infinity focus, with not a lot in the scene that needs close focus. I guess I mean that I dont need, for a lot of MY shots, large depth of field. I try to keep my aperture's at 22 or below if I can to avoid to much diffraction.

    So based on that, is there a need to use small F stops? why not shoot at F11 to 22 and keep it simple if there is no need for huge DOF? obviously I would prefer to use the sharpest, highest resolving aperture for each shot. but again, if there is no need for huge DOF, why shoot above F22? yes, when I want a long shutter speed I do close down to give extended shutter speeds, but that is not very often. So I do understand the need for it. but again,.......

    why would you/do you, when shooting at infinity and nothing in the forground needs to be in sharp focus, use a small aperture?

    john

  2. #2

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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    Quote Originally Posted by j enea View Post
    was developing a lot of film from a day trip to Yosemite. 90%+ shots are at infinity focus, with not a lot in the scene that needs close focus. I guess I mean that I don't need, for a lot of MY shots, large depth of field. I try to keep my aperture's at 22 or below if I can to avoid too much diffraction.

    So based on that, is there a need to use small F stops? why not shoot at F11 to 22 and keep it simple if there is no need for huge DOF? obviously I would prefer to use the sharpest, highest resolving aperture for each shot. but again, if there is no need for huge DOF, why shoot above F22? yes, when I want a long shutter speed I do close down to give extended shutter speeds, but that is not very often. So I do understand the need for it. but again,.......

    why would you/do you, when shooting at infinity and nothing in the foreground needs to be in sharp focus, use a small aperture?

    john
    First, most LF lenses are optimized for f/22 or f/16, which means that using a larger aperture than that introduces aberrations. So, if you're interested in best lens performance, you'll use your lens' best aperture, even if the depth-of-field doesn't require such a small aperture.

    That said, I almost always find myself in situations where I have to find the sweet spot between depth of field and diffraction degradation. Hence, I end up choosing an aperture that is smaller than the lens' best in order to get the depth of field I need.

    Might I refer you to the article on choosing the f-stop on the LF homepage here: https://www.largeformatphotography.info/fstop.html

    I've been using the method described therein for years with good success. It is based on finding the focus spread between near and far points that you wish to be in sharp focus and then using an f-stop based on that for the optimum compromise between diffraction degradation and the desired depth of field. The amount of focus spread depends not only on the near and far objects you choose, but also lens focal length; longer lenses will have more focus spread all other things being equal.

    Personally, I find that most of my photographs are made at around f/32 (for 4x5).

    Best,

    Doremus

  3. #3

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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    If DOF isn't a consideration, I use all my lenses at what I feel is their optimum aperture; typically, a couple of stops down from wide open. For 4x5, I will generally use F/16 or F/22 when deep DOF isn't necessary. But, I won't walk away from an image if F/45 is what it takes to nail it. There might be some diffraction, but since I don't print big I've never noticed any issues.

  4. #4
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    I used to use mostly f/22-f/32, but these days I tend to use a larger aperture, mainly to limit depth of field.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  5. #5

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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    What you say is perfectly reasonable.

    However be sure that you really have nothing “near” and be mindful of longer focal distances (which we tend to use for far shots), as they reduce the depth of field.

    For example, with a 300mm at f16 you will achieve “focus” (cc of 0.1mm) between ~100 ft and infinity if you focus at hyperfocal.

    With a 450mm lens that would be between 200ft and infinity.

    If you meet these criteria you should be fine.

    The cc that you desire should of course be based on your printing size.

    Of course this is ideal and film flatness, your focusing accuracy, vibrations, etc will also decrease the ideal sharpness.

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    I typically use f16 or f22, but will go to f32 if needed.


    Kent in SD
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    miserere nobis.

  7. #7
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    This is an interesting thread. I have never given it much thought I guess, balancing the parameters of exposure among the light available and the nature of the composition. When shooting moving water, i bracket a bit, changing shutter speed to get different movement effects, which requires changes in aperture. .. .never thought to limit the shot to f/22.

    Landscapes at infinity though; what about trying to get some foreground into the composition for scale or to draw the eye into the distance . . .the near/far concept.

    In any case: This discussion will be in my mind next time out . . . .I just never thought about it before.
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




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  8. #8
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    I use this online app often

    for DOF ideas

    real interesting to change parameters in an armchair

    https://dofsimulator.net/en/
    Images preferred

    trying to


    focus

  9. #9

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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    During my 80+ years in photography my approach has changed dramatically. For most o the time I have tried to achieve sharpness over the entire image. During the most recent 15-20 years my vision has moved more toward the way the eye sees. In most of my images I now attempt to have one area of sharp focus while the remainder gradually becomes softer and softer. There are still times during which I attempt to reach overall sharpness as was the case during my recent trip to the Giant Redwoods. In this case I felt it important for the viewer to be able to focus sharply on any area of interest to them.

  10. #10
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: landscape infintity focus: what aperture do you prefer or use?

    I try to photograph more like the mind sees rather than the eye. Should keep me busy for a while.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

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