Dont know whether you have gone thru this article or not but its my all time favorite guide.Not sure if this is the appropriate thread. I have a generic question that I face every time I am shooting with a very small aperture, say f16 and need very good depth of field (something like a serene road with trees on either sides or a scenery where the foreground as well as background should be in sharp focus or anything like that which needs every nook and corner covered). So where exactly should I focus since I do not have a clear cut defined subject. I always try to take 2-3 pictures with different point of focus in anticipation of getting at least one of the shots correctly.
So the question is: Is there a rule of thumb that one could follow to get both foreground as well as the background in sharp focus. I know there is one using the hyper focal distance, but there aren't any distance markings in the cheap lenses that I use.
Okay, let me elucidate it further. There is no telephoto lens here and I am using the standard 18-55 kit lens or a 35mm prime. Suppose I am trying to photograph a marigold/sunflower field or heck, a sarson ka khetDepends at the focal length being used; if it is wide to ultra wide, then you need not worry with focusing that much (let the camera focus on its own), but in case of telephoto length depth of field would be somewhat difficult to manage.
I remember reading answer to this in Bryan's excellent book Understanding Exposure. Question is answered on Page 53. I will state what he says:Okay, let me elucidate it further. There is no telephoto lens here and I am using the standard 18-55 kit lens or a 35mm prime. Suppose I am trying to photograph a marigold/sunflower field or heck, a sarson ka khet
Now I get close to the field from the road side or even get inside and would want to capture the complete field, bending down a bit with closest flower at around 2-3 feet from me and the field extends way back to the horizon with a tree followed by the sky in the background. In this case my nearest subject is at a distance of around 2-3 feet and the farthest subject is at infinity. I need this complete range to be in sharp focus and the only way I can achieve this is by setting a small aperture to get the maximum DOF.
Now the problem is the focus. Where should I focus? The first flower as well as the last flower visible in the pic should be in sharp focus along with the tree, sky, etc.
Another analogy is the case where I would like to focus a railway track or a straight road, crouching down to the level of the road and would want to keep the complete visible road in sharp focus.
I did read that this can be achieved using the distance settings on the lens. But the cheap lenses doesn't have any distance settings on them.
Is there a certain way of determining that every time you take a photograph, everything from background to foreground would be in sharp focus? Rather than clicking multiple photographs with different focus points and hoping that at least one of them would turn out to be as per your expectations.
Bingo Prakhar!I remember reading answer to this in Bryan's excellent book Understanding Exposure. Question is answered on Page 53. I will state what he says:
When shooting story telling compositions in which you want as much front-to-back sharpness as possible. I'm often asked by students, "Where should I focus" ? So here's my foolproof "formula" that's guaranteed to work each and every time. If you're using a camera with a crop factor and a lens with a 70-degree angle of view (18mm on the digital 18- 55mm zoom), you'll want to first set the aperture to f/22 and then focus on something that's approximately five feet from the lens. And then, if you're in manual exposure mode, adjust your shutter speed until a correct exposure is indicated in the camera meter in your Viewfinder and shoot . If you' re in Aperture Priority mode, simply shoot, since the camera will set the shutter speed for you. Your resulting depth of field will be approximately from three feet to infinity If you're using 12-24mm digital wide-angle zoom and focal lengths between 12mm and 16mm. set the lens to f/22, focus on something three feet away and repeat the final step mentioned above Your resulting depth of field will be approximately two feet to infinity. (You must turn off auto focus by the way.)