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Photography Question 
Christopher A. Shaw
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2004

Setting Cameras to Infinity

I've read a few articles on different types of photography and have seen in some photo's to set your camera's focus to infinity. What exactly is this and how do you do it? Currently I use a Minolta Maxum 3xi, and even more my Canon Rebel Ti. Thanks for any help.

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5/21/2004 10:33:37 AM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  I assume you are referring to setting the focus to the hyperfocal distance, where all objects from 1/2 that distance to infinity appear in focus. To utilize this, you need a lens with a focus distance scale. Many inexpensive zooms do not have a distance scale and so cannot be set for hyperfocal. Most Canon autofocus cameras have a DEP or ADEP (Depth of Field) function that offers a work-around for lenses without a distance scale.

For lenses that have both a distance scale and depth of field scale, one sets the hyperfocal distance by simply setting the infinity focus symbol above the depth of field line for the aperture set. The near focus can then be read from that aperture's DoF mark on the other side of the focus mark.

For lenses without a depth of field scale, you need a DoF calculator or a card printed with the hyperfocal distance for common focal lengths and apertures. There are many available - just do a Google search on depth of field calculator or hyperfocal distance. I like the program f/Calc from Determine the hyperfocal distance for the focal length and aperture you are using, then set focus to that distance.

With a Canon EOS camera and lens without a focus distance scale you can use the DEP/ADEP exposure mode. In this mode you focus on the near then far objects you want to be within the depth of field, then the camera selects the appropriate aperture to accomplish it.

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5/21/2004 11:33:13 AM

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