Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide

Lesson 16/58 - Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance


Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide


Lesson Info

Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance

Okay, next section is hyper focal distance. One of my favorite words cause it sounds like you're really smart, hyper focal distance, so hyper focal distance is the focusing distance to achieve the maximum depth of field. So we want a lot of things and focus. Where do I need to focus? Should I focus at two, feet, three feet a meter? Ten meters? Where do I need to focus in order to get as much and focus as possible? In general this isn't exact I know this but in general it's one third in front of where we focused and two thirds and back which means in many cases we're getting a little bit more behind where our plane of focus where we focused our lands than in front of it now this is also according to focal length aperture and our subject is since this is going to kind of play having this about one third two thirds is most of the case when you get focusing up really close it's more fifty fifty and so it's more in a general range it's one third two thirds and close up it's it's about a hal...

f in front happened back and so what this means is that we're going to focus at a particular spot in this case on the number ten okay and if we choose a very shallow depth of field doesn't really matter what number we're not worried about numbers but a shallow depth of field we might have one inch in front and focus and two inches behind it that's what we mean by one third in front two thirds and back we stop it down another aperture we now get two inches in front and four inches in back so there's a little bit more behind than there is in front and so we can continue this down the scale always having a little bit more behind them we are in focus in the middle so we're more behind than in front excuse me so we go all the way down to the smallest aperture f twenty 00:01:57.551 --> 00:02:01. two thirty two depends on the last and we're trying 00:02:01.2 --> 00:02:03. to get everything in focus and you see that red infinity 00:02:03.94 --> 00:02:07. symbol up there we want infinity and focus so what 00:02:07.13 --> 00:02:09. do we do well here's the mistake that a lot of people 00:02:09.8 --> 00:02:13. make is they go well I want infinity and focus so 00:02:13.89 --> 00:02:17. I better just focus on infinity and what they've just 00:02:17.32 --> 00:02:20. thrown away is all that depth of field that is on 00:02:20.52 --> 00:02:23. the other side of their focusing point what they should 00:02:23.63 --> 00:02:27. have done if they could see is to move the focus point 00:02:27.25 --> 00:02:31. back just a little bit so the back edge of that focusing 00:02:31.96 --> 00:02:34. lines up with infinity that way you get from infinity 00:02:35.02 --> 00:02:39. all the way down to the foreground in focus now this 00:02:39.0 --> 00:02:41. is not so easy to do in the camera because you don't 00:02:41.13 --> 00:02:43. get to see these lines you don't get to see where 00:02:43.24 --> 00:02:46. the front edge in the back edge is focus so let me 00:02:46.09 --> 00:02:48. do one more visual example just because 00:02:49.52 --> 00:02:51. I like to do it's a visual examples I don't know why 00:02:52.32 --> 00:02:55. all right so you got the mountains you got the flowers 00:02:55.01 --> 00:02:57. you want everything and focus if you focus on the 00:02:57.59 --> 00:03:00. mountains what happens well if you had choosen aperture 00:03:00.17 --> 00:03:02. like two point eight just the mountains aeryn focus 00:03:03.1 --> 00:03:06. the flower is not in focus, all right, you said half 00:03:06.53 --> 00:03:08. twenty two, because you want everything in focus. 00:03:09.12 --> 00:03:11. Well, maybe that f twenty two does not reach those 00:03:11.86 --> 00:03:14. flowers in the foreground. So you decide. Well, let 00:03:14.74 --> 00:03:17. me change tactics. I'll focus on the flowers well, 00:03:17.63 --> 00:03:20. as you focus closer, you get narrower depth of field 00:03:20.02 --> 00:03:23. on that f twenty two is likely not going to reach 00:03:23.55 --> 00:03:27. all the way back to the mountains, but there may be 00:03:27.07 --> 00:03:31. a secret spot right in between, where it matches up 00:03:31.22 --> 00:03:34. perfectly and stretches forward to the tulips and 00:03:34.55 --> 00:03:36. backwards to the mountains. And you get everything 00:03:36.35 --> 00:03:38. and focus, and you get exactly the shot you want. 00:03:38.84 --> 00:03:41. But you need to be able to figure out where that focus 00:03:41.44 --> 00:03:44. point is, which is always a bit of a challenge. And so photos that exhibit hyper focal distance are images with everything and focus we have a pillar in the foreground which is in focus we have columns and arches in the background which are all in focus this is ah hyper focal shot because everything is in focus another good example we have a subject in the foreground we have subjects in the background they're all in focus very common technique for travel photographers and landscapes where you want to get everything in sharp focus now in order to do this it helps if you have lenses that have good information on them one of the things that I really like and I think all my lenses have is a focusing scale a distance focusing sale so I can see where my lenses focused at him I focused at infinity or one meter the other thing that I know it's nice to have help on current lenses it's terrible it was much better back in the eighties when we had manual focus lens is is the hyper focal scale on the bottom which shows you the range of what is in focus and here on the twenty for these air two different twenty four millimeter lenses okay the scale is much more illustrative here on the twenty four one four than it is on the twenty four to eight now they're different size scales because the size of the focusing ring is different in the scales on their different both twenty fours exhibit the same amount of depth of field but the scales are different because the mechanics and the lens are different now this is a like a lance and this is a depth of field scale that I really like this is good stuff here this is the way I wish all lenses work and those cheap lenses ah photographic crime no focusing scale at all all right how does it begin are going to learn about focusing if they don't even know where their lenses focused but they do this to save money and save white and so you're going to find that on the lower lenses no focusing scale it so I'd very much like a focusing scale and so here we have our focusing scale we can focus from an infiniti down to two meters were about seven feet in this example this is what I wish our lenses look like okay this is not an example from a cannon lands I don't own this lands if I created a lens this is what it would look like ok so we're focused at two meters let's focus at three meters or ten feet and if we were to set f eleven on our camera you can clearly see exactly where those blue lines extend to I'm focused at three meters I'm set to f eleven that means I get everything from to two five meters in focus all right let's try it at another area let's go out to infinity all right here's our infinity mark we're still enough eleven what's in focus everything from about ten meters two beyond infinity what's beyond infinity well there's nothing here and so we've kind of wasted this area and so if we want infinity and focus and something as close to us as possible at f eleven we would re adjust our focus and what we did I would mainly be looking at is this f eleven line lining up with the infinity mark because I know that's where my limit iss and then I would find out how far does that stretch into the foreground now what if I want as much and focus as possible at any aperture I would line up the twenty two with the infinity mark and I would see down here on the left that it would come all the way down to two meters and so in this theoretical case I could get two meters to infinity in focus at f twenty two if I chose an f eleven here I'm only going to get from three meters to ten meters in focus and so if you have this scale on your lens it's great to have but this varies from camera or from lends the lenses to how good this scale is and typically on most modern lenses it's terrible it's absolutely terrible even on the best of lenses it's terrible you're going to you're going to find this it is going to be better on whiter angle lenses because they tend to have more depth of field it's it's non existent on telephoto lenses for the most part okay let's have a little quiz in the class all right so let's imagine you have a full frame camera that's that's the default and you have a twenty eight millimeter lands in f twenty two which is going to give you lots of depth of field where should you focused to keep infinity and focus and get us far forward and at this point this is just a guess this is just kind of your natural instinct as a photographer do you think you should focus at a one point five meters be three meters or c six meters and we'll just raise your hands up who thinks it's a letter a one point five anybody who thinks it's beef you need to focus out at three meters and see six meters and the correct answer is one point five meters at f twenty two with a twenty eight millimeter lands will get us seventy meters to infinity in focus just kind of guessing most of the stuff people don't know off the top of their head let's try it again though you've got an even wider lens now a twenty millimeter lens but it's only a half sixteen not twenty two this exhibits a lot of depth of field where should we focus? Point five! One meter or two meters. So who thinks it's a, b and see so pretty much everyone was on b and you were all correct. Nice job, folks. You guys are learning really quick. All right, so if we focus on one meter, we get everything from forty seven centimeters out to infinity in focus. Let's, do that one more of these. Now we're going to go with ultra wide fourteen millimeter lands f twenty two. That is going to be tons of depth of field. Do we focus at one meter fifty centimeters or twenty five? Who thinks it's a. Okay who thinks it's b who thinks it see the correct answer is b so focusing just at fifty centimeters which let's see fifty centimeters I'm thinking it's about that far right there you'll get everything from nineteen centimeters all the way to infinity so if you want lots of depth of field the fourteen millimeter lens is going to get you a lot of depth of field now if you're a little confused and you're just out there taking pictures and the question you're likely to have is all right I got the scene all framed up where do I focus now all right so where in this frame do you want to focus on the mountain no you know you don't want to do that do you want to focus on the very front flower? Probably not but you know it's somewhere in between and that old adage that I told you the beginning one third in front two thirds and back it doesn't work at all what's one third of the distance to that mountain it's probably like a ppe here and that doesn't work and so there's another rule of thumb that works out so let's go back and review the results from our test okay now on the twenty eight millimeter lands if we focused at one point five meters everything from seventy centimeters to infinity was in focus so let's run some math on this seventy centimeters times two is very close to this all right, so there's a relationship between where we focus and the nearest item in focus let's try this on this lens here so when we focused at a meter it was about a half meter that was in focus so our closest object and where we focus is about double the distance with this lands on falls off slightly it's not the perfect analogy we take nineteen, which was our closest thing and focus and thirty eight was where we actually focused and so the answer is where you should focus is double the near point what is the closest thing in the frame these flowers down here in the very bottom edge of the frame and we're going to focus whatever is double that distance from our cameras so we need to kind of figure out you could bring a tape measure if you want and you could go well, this is three feet away let's find something that is six feet away and that's where we're going to focus right? And so in a case like this, how close is that closest subject inches away from the camera? So we're going to figure out okay that's six inches away I'm going to measure and guesstimating out maybe a foot and that's where I'm going to focus and so double the near point so this is where you need to be very good at visually estimating distances another example. What's. The closest thing in the photograph, the rock in the foreground, at the very bottom, might be three, four feet away that I'm going to focus around six or eight feet away somewhere out there. So I wanted to think about a twenty four millimeter lens always said that's a kind of a good classic middle of wide one of my favorite focal lengths what is depth of field looked like on this hyper focal with different apertures so if you were to set two point eight you can have your hyper focal distance at six point eight meters and it means everything from three point four meters two infinities in focus now as you stop your aperture down and as we go through this hyper focal distances where we're focusing our lands that's what we want to focus on and then we have our near point what is also in focus if you stop it down to f four we can reach closer to us and still get infinity and focus and so I just thought I'd be fun too illustrate how much you're going to get in focus with different apertures and where you would focus out and you can see him pretty much all these cases the nearest point is exactly one half the distance to where we want to focus our lands and so what's the nearest item and we double that distance is where we're going to focus and so we're going to be able to stop this lens down to I believe f twenty two and so if you want a lot of things and focus with twenty four, you can focus around eighty eight centimeters in front of you and you'll get everything from forty four to infinity and focus. And I thought well oh no what hyper focal distance looks like an f twenty two on all the different lenses out there which lenses are good for landscape photography but forgetting for lots of things in focus and so within eleven millimeter lens you can get everything from nine centimeters to infinity and focus head f twenty two and as you get out to slightly longer focal links everything needs to be pushed away a little bit because you get greater white angle capability with thes wide lenses now as I bring up the rest of these numbers here the numbers that I am putting up on screen right now are not written in the bible okay these are not written in stone as absolute fact about where you should focus and what is in focus and there's a whole interesting topic that we don't have time to go into but the numbers that I have pulled from is a general consensus off what is acceptably sharp okay and let's just take an example and get the last eight hundred up here let's just take the example of the twenty four millimeter lands it is a general accepted fact that if you focused on eighty eight centimeters that forty four centimeters would be in focus but there are some pixel peepers who would say that is not acceptably in focus for me because the size of the circle of confusion I am setting is different and this has to do with people with different standards and so the standards that were set that are commonly used on the focusing scales on our lenses are based on standards from the nineteen forties in the nineteen fifties and so if you rely on those focusing scales on your lands and you're not getting sharp pictures, you might think that those scales are off a little bit it's basically because you're standards have risen above the photographic standards of the forties and fifties and there are many people who have standards that are much higher than that now and so your if you if you go to different websites they have hyper focal calculators and you could just type all this information in and get the answers but you khun set the parameters a little bit different depending on how tight your standards are this is pretty good general one to go by but I just want you may make you aware that it is different and it does vary according to what your standards are and so if you really want to get into it there's some fun areas to dive into and you can really go all out figure this out. I forgot the eight hundred there we go. So if you want to focus one kilometer away, you'll get everything from ah half a kilometer to infinity. So if you want to try to shoot everything and focus with the telephoto lens, it is darn near impossible it's where you really need to get into these twenty four sixteen millimeter lenses and whiter. And I think that completes my talk on apertures. Yeah. Well, john, that was pretty in depth, and thank you for throwing some of those quizzes in there, because I think it really allows us to kind of stop and think and really kind of think through to make sure that we're we're getting these things and they're sinking in. Do you guys have any questions in the studio? Are you like the folks at home who say, I wish I was a nerd? My brain hurts john's explanations are impressive, though. Yeah, please. Okay, john, simple, all that in a sentence. Do I just say, when I want from here, the wall and focus? I look at the closest thing and then double that, yes, and that's. Why I focused, yes, okay, yeah, so double the near forest. Yeah, and so you have fun. 00:18:04.213 --> 00:18:08. Very so, let's. I don't want to do that again. If 00:18:08.49 --> 00:18:14. I was to just do an example here, and does this look 00:18:14.07 --> 00:18:16. like a flower that's flowers in the foreground? And 00:18:16.97 --> 00:18:20. so if I had, we'll pretend this is a wide angle lens, 00:18:20.81 --> 00:18:25. and so I need the flowers and focus, but I want all 00:18:25.02 --> 00:18:29. of you and focus. How far am I, distance wise? I'd say probably three feet. And so I'm going to need to focus out about six feet in order to find that so proud, just past the edge of the carpet. And so, you know, these air this is this is a really rough estimates that you're doing in this case. And, you know, if I'm down here now, I'm a foot and a half away. And so now it's even closer in on the carpet. And if you have a depth of field preview button on your camera, you can actually see this. And I believe all current current canon cameras have depth of field. Previous where we can look through the viewfinder and see exactly what we're getting in. Focus a little bit more on that. That mean you move the little bracket in your camera, you can remove the focusing point to select something else and focus, or you could manually focus, always encourage that.

Class Description

Working with interchangeable lenses can be both exciting and daunting to all levels of photographers. Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will prepare you to select the right lens and get the most out of all of your lens investments.

John Greengo is the master of making complex photography concepts easy to understand and in this class, he’ll bring all of your Canon® EOS DSLR lens options and operations into focus. You’ll learn about: 

  • Focal length and aperture
  • Canon® zoom lenses
  • Which lens accessories to buy
  • Third-party lenses
  • Maintaining a lens system
John will cover the full range of Canon® lenses, from ultra-wide to super-telephoto, zooms to primes, fisheye to perspective control. You’ll learn how to match the right lens to your needs and get insights on the best ways to use it.

Whether you are thinking about buying a new lens or just want to get the most out of what you already have, Canon® Lenses: The Complete Guide with John Greengo will help you out.


1Class Introduction 2Canon® Lens Basics 3Focal Length: Angle of View 4Focal Length: Normal Lenses 5Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses 6Focal Length: Telephoto Lens 7Focal Length Rule of Thumb 8Field of View 9Aperture Basics 10Aperture: Maximum Aperture 11Aperture: Equivalent Focal Length 12Aperture: Depth of Field 13Aperture: Maximum Sharpness 14Aperture: Starburst Effect 15Aperture: Flare 16Aperture: Hyperfocal Distance 17Camera Mount System 18Canon® Lens Compatibility 19Canon® Lens Design 20Canon® Lens Composition 21Canon® Lens Shape 22Canon® Lens Coating 23Canon® Lens Focusing 24Lens Autofocus 25Canon® Lens Image Stabilization 26Canon® L Lenses 27Image Quality 28Canon® Zoom Lenses: Standard 29Canon® Super Zooms 30Canon® Wide Zooms 31Canon® Telephoto Zooms 32Prime Lens: Normal Lenses 33Prime Lens: Moderate Wide 34Prime Lens: Wide Angle 35Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide 36Prime Lens: Short Telephoto 37Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto 38Prime Lens: Super Telephoto 393rd Party Lenses Overview 403rd Party Prime Lenses 413rd Party Zoom Lenses 42Lens Accessories: Filters 43Lens Accessories: Lens Hoods 44Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount 45Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes 46Lens Accessories: Extenders 47Macro Lens: Reproduction Ratio 48Macro Lens: Technique and Choices 49Fisheye: Technique and Choices 50Tilt Shift: Techniques and Choices 51Make a Lens System Choice 52Choosing A Portrait Lens 53Choosing A Sports Lens 54Choosing A Landscape Lens 55Best Lenses for You 56Lens Maintenance 57Buying and Selling Lens 58What is John Greengo's Favorite Lens?