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Photography Question 
Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
 

HOw do you use the infinity mark on the lens?


 
  Coronado shrub
Coronado shrub
© Jessica  A. Eiss
Nikon D70 Digital ...
 
 
Ok guys, here's another, with an example. this photo was taken on Coronado Island, of the Del Coronado. I think I was too close to the plant to fully get a good DOF. I took my reading off of program mode, then transferred them to the manual setting, then moved to the infinity sign on the lens. Then autofocused on the plant, but again I think I was too close. Any help here? I really wanted to get the hotel in good focus, but I didn't really know what I was doing. TIA! Jess


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8/9/2006 4:54:02 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Jess, think you may have been too close to the plant as well. It's been my experience that even if I stop down a lens to the smallest aperture I still might not get a totally sharp photo if I'm too close to the foreground. Also, try doing a Google search so you can learn about apertures and shutter speeds. If I had been setting up this shot I would not have used program mode. I would have used aperture priority or manual and using a tripod I would have set the lens at f/22. Use your DOF preview button on your camera to check to see if everything is in focus or not. This is an invaluable tool. Hyperfocus is a great tool as well, but in all honesty I don't know how to use it on the Nikon lenses I have. On my old Canon FD lenses the apertures are marked on the barrel.


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8/9/2006 5:28:51 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   The camera manufacturers have, as of late, done us all a disservice by leaving the distance scale off the lens barrel. Some, thankfully, still have them - or at least I think they do. All of mine do but then my equipment is, for the most part, like me - old. To shoot a picture like the one above, (if your lens does have a distance scale), set the aperature to the smallest one available and set the infinity mark to that aperature setting on your lens. The same aperature mark on the other side of the barrel will show you what the closest distance that will be in acceptable focus. As long as the foreground falls within that range, you should be OK. It will help to use a wide angle lens as the DOF will be greater.


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8/9/2006 6:07:39 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Jessica,
I think your technique was close, you just missed one step.

You say you moved to the infinity sign on the lens, then autofocused on the plant. Instead of autofocusing on the plant, you should have switched the lens to Manual focus, so the focus would stay on infinity. This would have put the hotel in focus, and if your DOF was deep enough, the bush would have been in focus as well.

A refinement of this technique would be to use the hyperfocal distance method. For this, you need a lens with DOF marks on it. These indicate the DOF that the lens will get at f/16, f/22, f/32, etc.

Instead of lining up the infinity mark with the center line of focus, you line up the infinity mark with the f-stop that you are using. This will give you the maximum DOF for that f-stop.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com


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8/9/2006 6:13:16 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Kerry, all my Nikon lenses has a little window where you can see the ft/m, but I don't like it as well as having the apertures marked on the barrel. I'm old, guess it's just something I haven't gotten used to yet :o)!


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8/9/2006 6:30:13 AM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Heck, I still haven't gotten used to match LED metering! When I use the X-700 I inherited from my mom I begin talking to the camera. YES, I KNOW IT'S OVEREXPOSED BUT HOW MUCH? WHERE'S MY NEEDLE?!!!!!


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8/9/2006 6:51:18 AM

 
Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  Thanks everybody, I appreciate the comments. I shoot with a D70, and in another post of mine, Pete Herman recommends not trying to manually focus specifically with the D70. (Guess it doesn't do as great of a job as the AF). so on the NIkon lenses, like Sharon said, it doesn't have aperature numbers, it only has feet and meters. What good does this do then, and what good would the infinity mark have.

Also another question, if you shoot manually, do you switch both the camera and lens to manual, of just the camera. This is so confusing. Thanks, Jess


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8/9/2006 1:00:40 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  Jess, it depends on what lens you're using if you are wanting to manually focus with the D70. I shoot macro a lot and I never use automatic for that. I nearly always focus manually. The D70 can be focused manually as well as any camera, but it doesn't have the focusing aids in the viewfinder like older cameras do. That is why Pete said not to use it. It has nothing to do with the capability of the D70. The focusing screen simply lacks the aids to help you know when the camera has achieved focus. If you have really good eyesight you should be able to tell when the image is in focus and you can use manual focus if you want to. I don't find many reasons to use manual when shooting with the 18-70mm lens. There are a few circumstances when I use manual set on infinity, such as a fireworks display. When focusing manually the camera doesn't "do" anything. You are the one doing all the work so if you're off some it's your fault not the camera's fault.

When I'm shooting manual with my macro lens I just switch the lens for manual focusing. I don't change the switch on the camera. For the 18-70mm lens I switch the camera button. You don't need to switch them both.

Honestly Jess, I've been shooting for over 20 years. I'm not the best around by a long shot but I've never felt the need to concern myself with hyperfocal focusing. If you get a tripod and use aperture priority and set your camera with a small aperture such as f/22 you're going to get as good of DOF as it's possible to get. Use your DOF button on the camera. You'll be able to see what's not in focus then decide where to go from there. If you are too close to the bush in the foreground move back a little until it all comes into focus or decide which subject has to be in focus and let the other object be slightly out of focus.


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8/9/2006 1:36:44 PM

 
Jessica  A. Eiss
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/6/2006
  thanks Sharon for your time. I can't wait to get a macro lens. That's on my wish list for the future. I think you explained what Pete was trying to say a little clearer, so thanks. I have a tripod, but didn't have it with me on the beach this day. Also, I don't use the DOF button either. I know it's there, and have used it in the past, but it isn't someithing I do all of the time. Probably good point. Also, I think I miswrote on my orig question. I'm pretty sure I did use A priority with a f22 reading, I know enough about that, I think I just didn't write it correctly, and I think I was too close to that plant whenI think about it. There is so much to keep in mind...settings, ISO, exposure comp, white balance, checking the histogram if you're not sure....it's getting easier though! Jess


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8/9/2006 1:54:46 PM

 
Kerry L. Walker   Sharon, you said in a post above that you were old but I gotta disagree with you. "The D70 can be focused manually as well as any camera, but it doesn't have the focusing aids in the viewfinder like older cameras do." Focusing aids on older cameras? Heck, when I started out the only focusing aid was the ground glass! (Yachicamat TLR). LOL. The third SLR I owned (my Oly. OM-2N) was the first camera I had ever had that had a split-image rangefinder.

Hyperfocal focusing is primarily beneficial in shooting landscapes.


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8/9/2006 1:56:14 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  My first SLR was the Canon A-1. I never missed the exposure needle since it had the LED readout in the viewfinder. It is a great camera. I wish I wasn't lazy about using film because I still like that camera.

Jess, if you have questions don't hesitate to ask. This is a great place to get answers to basic questions and a great place if you're more advanced and need help as well.


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8/9/2006 2:04:20 PM

 
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