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Choosing The Plane of Sharp Focus In An Interiors Image

June 25th, 2013

You may have noticed that our man in London (Simon Maxwell) just added  a new tutorial to the PFRE SiMAX Channel on how to go about deciding how to focus when you are shooting interiors.

You many have never even thought about this subject since when you are using a wide-angle lens it’s hard to even find a place in the image where it’s not in focus. That’s the nature of wide-angle lenses, they always appear to be in focus from a few feet to infinity.

But Simon explains the fine points of focus using the hyper-focal distance of the lens and a second, more aesthetic based process.

The best way to track what Simon’s  real estate/interiors photography tutorials is to directly subscribe directly to his YouTube Channel. Be sure to click the Like button on the left hand site near the bottom of each video you watch… if you like it.

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6 Responses to “Choosing The Plane of Sharp Focus In An Interiors Image”

  • Nicely done, Simon. This is a good way to measure up the shot and make the most effective use of your lens.

  • Thank you, Simon.
    You prove that this Dutchy is on the right track too.

  • Not hyperfocal length. Hyperfocal distance, which will depend upon the focal length, the aperture used, and the desired degree of image quality at a given image enlargement and viewing distance.

  • @David- Thank you.

  • Thanks Jerry and Ronny : as mentioned in the video, this is just one method, which, as Larry nicely summarises, is based on an aesthetic and subjective approach, rather than a scientific one, as to where to focus in an interiors image, and I am glad to hear two voices in accord! Thanks also to David re further explanation of hyperfocal distance and additional factors dictating where it lies: I used to use the hyperfocal distance of my 17mm lens to place the plane of focus and was often surprised to see how much better images looked when focused with the more subjective method, particularly when enlarged. For RE work at least, this method is quicker and easier as it does not require a measured point to be focused on. I should add that I mainly use the live view facility on my Canon and 10 X magnification of my chosen area to determine sharpness: as Larry says, it is very difficult with a wideangle lens in conjunction with small aperture (plus stop down preview) to see exactly where you are focussed, as the scene generally looks acceptably sharp from front to back. Live view really transformed the way I work with ultra wide angle lenses.

  • Thanks for the live view tip. I have a hyperfocal calculator on my iPhone, which works great and is fun to play with, used it quite a bit when I started but after the novelty wore off I stopped using it. Going through the process helped me figure out the best way to aesthetically focus a shot so I’m glad I did it but I don’t think you need the iPhone app for that, just practice and using Live View will certainly help with that.

    Thanks for all your great tutorials, I haven’t watched them all yet but planning to.

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