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#1
04-01-12, 12:52 PM
 AndrewMaz Junior Member Join Date: Jan 2012 Location: London, UK Posts: 6
Perfect Sharpness and Depth of Field

Hi, I'm new here so, even though I have looked through the forums for guidance, and been through any number of websites and books, I am still unsure of what most outdoor photographers do to achieve perfect sharpness throughout the depth of field in their images.

So please, bear with me with this question:

What method do you use to achieve perfect sharpness throughout your photographs which have significant depth of field?

Do you shoot using the principles of calculating hyperfocal distance and focusing on that point? Or do you set your focus ring to infinity as is sometimes advocated? How do you calculate your hyperfocal distance? And how do you measure it in the real world given most of my photography will be on a hillside or whilst mountaineering?

I know this might seem a pretty basic question, but let me say why I am asking it - I have an iPhone app which calculates hyperfocal distance. I set my circle of confusion at 0.019mm which is apparently the setting for the Canon EOS 60D. I will be using a Canon 17-40mm f/4L lens when mountaineering. Some pro photographers set the CoC lower if they know they are going to print images at A3 and above - does that mean I should consider this to get better sharpness?

Once I have my CoC and focal distance set in the iPhone App, I get my hyperfocal distance - I get that, but I suspect you don't whip out a tape measure on the mountainside - do you just estimate then?

If you are shooting at f/8-f/11, which I know is around the sweet-spot for sharpness for most lenses, and you select 17mm focal length, with a CoC of 0.015mm, the hyperfocal distance is 2.43m and the area of sharpness is 1.94m to infinity. Sounds fine to me but how would you measure 2.43m (or even 2.5m) on the hill in reality? Do you focus on something manually or autofocus, lock and then recompose?

Hope you do not mind me asking and thank you in advance...!