# How to determine infinity focus distance?

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Anonymous
December 31, 2004 11:09:31 PM

How can I determine at what distance the Canon 300D kit 18-55 lense (or any
lens for that matter) starts to focus at infinity.
I am setting up a table of hyperfocal distances and I want to ignore
distances beyond which the lens will be focusing at infinity.
Is it 63 metres or 200metres or 1 kilometre??? Is there an equation that
will calculate this?
regards
PeterH
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 2:29:55 AM

My View wrote:
> How can I determine at what distance the Canon 300D kit 18-55 lense
> (or any lens for that matter) starts to focus at infinity.
> I am setting up a table of hyperfocal distances and I want to ignore
> distances beyond which the lens will be focusing at infinity.
> Is it 63 metres or 200metres or 1 kilometre??? Is there an equation
> that will calculate this?
> regards
> PeterH

It will be different for each setting you might use between 18 and 55.
You can find tables that you can use to compute the distance for each
aperture setting and each focal length setting.

--
Joseph Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 7:59:04 AM

"My View" <reply to newsproup@NOSPAM.net> writes:
>How can I determine at what distance the Canon 300D kit 18-55 lense (or any
>lens for that matter) starts to focus at infinity.
>I am setting up a table of hyperfocal distances and I want to ignore
>distances beyond which the lens will be focusing at infinity.

First, you should understand that there's a contradiction in your
question. The lens "focuses at infinity" (meaning it gives the sharpest
image of things a long way away" only when it is actually set to the
infinity position, not somewhere nearer.

Now consider depth of field. Given a particular criterion of
acceptable sharpness, usually expressed in terms of the size of the
"circle of confusion", the depth of field is defined to be the range of
subject distances that are acceptably sharp. This doesn't mean that
the whole range of depth is equally sharp; it's not. And the near and
far limits of the depth of field are, by definition, right at the
minimum limit of acceptable sharpness.

The hyperfocal distance is the lens focus distance that makes the far
limit of depth of field equal to infinity. In other words, everything
from some near limit all the way out to infinity is acceptably sharp,
and this is the setting that maximizes the range of depth that is so.
Thus, it's useful when you absolutely need this. But it guarantees that
objects at infinity are just acceptably sharp, not good and sharp. You
*will* get sharper images of distant objects if you set the lens closer
to the infinity mark than at the hyperfocal distance.

>Is it 63 metres or 200metres or 1 kilometre??? Is there an equation that
>will calculate this?

Having said all that, there is a formula that will calculate hyperfocal
distance, which should be found in any good lens or photography
reference book. But it depends on focal length *and* aperture *and*
your chosen circle of confusion size. You'd normally pick some fixed
value for CoC, then calculate a 2D table of hyperfocal distance as a
function of focal length and aperture setting.

Dave
Related resources
January 1, 2005 2:58:03 PM

Have a look at this site

http://dfleming.ameranet.com/articles.html

regards

Don from Down Under

"My View" <reply to newsproup@NOSPAM.net> wrote in message
news:%liBd.97770\$K7.14516@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> How can I determine at what distance the Canon 300D kit 18-55 lense (or
> any lens for that matter) starts to focus at infinity.
> I am setting up a table of hyperfocal distances and I want to ignore
> distances beyond which the lens will be focusing at infinity.
> Is it 63 metres or 200metres or 1 kilometre??? Is there an equation that
> will calculate this?
> regards
> PeterH
>
>
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 8:15:11 PM

"Dave Martindale" <davem@cs.ubc.ca> wrote in message
news:cr5amo\$c17\$1@mughi.cs.ubc.ca...
SNIP
> Having said all that, there is a formula that will calculate
> hyperfocal distance, which should be found in any good
> lens or photography reference book.

Or on the web as a small Windows application at:
<http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/technical/depth_of...;,
which directly gives the "point blur diameter at infinity" as you move
the slider through the distance setting. That also allows to set the
CoC to one value and play with the other settings for the amount of
infinity defocus, while giving a warning if the aperture setting
causes the diffraction circle to exceed.

Bart
Anonymous
January 1, 2005 9:46:44 PM

"Dave Martindale" <davem@cs.ubc.ca> wrote in message
news:cr5amo\$c17\$1@mughi.cs.ubc.ca...
SNIP
> Now consider depth of field. Given a particular criterion of
> acceptable sharpness, usually expressed in terms of the size
> of the "circle of confusion", the depth of field is defined to be
> the range of subject distances that are acceptably sharp.
> This doesn't mean that the whole range of depth is equally
> sharp; it's not. And the near and far limits of the depth of field
> are, by definition, right at the minimum limit of acceptable
> sharpness.

Yes, it is good to stress that there is only an infinitesimal narrow
plane of optimal focus, and the rest is 'acceptable enough' for a
given output magnification. The standard CoC recommendation is a
somewhat arbitrary figure, usually chosen as giving an 'acceptable'
blur at a given output size (often something like 5x7 or 8x10 inch at
standard viewing distance).

However, with Digital imaging on a sensor, we do have a restriction
that was not present in film. The sensor pitch will pose a physical
limit to what can be resolved. One could adopt a very high standard
CoC of what's ultimately acceptable/achievable by choosing a CoC of
twice the sensor pitch. As long as the out-of-focus detail is smaller
than pitch x 2, it will look as good as something in perfect focus.

So by setting the CoC to 0.0148 for the OP's 300D (7.4 micron pitch),
the maximum resolution (assuming proper AA-filtering) range is
achieved, without any sort of magnification restriction other than
inherent sensor resolution (assuming the lens outresolves the sensor).
Hyperfocal calculations will then exactly give the maximum,
uncompromised, range of best attainable focus.

Bart
July 18, 2012 6:55:31 AM

Quote:

How can I determine at what distance the Canon 300D kit 18-55 lense (or any
lens for that matter) starts to focus at infinity.
I am setting up a table of hyperfocal distances and I want to ignore
distances beyond which the lens will be focusing at infinity.
Is it 63 metres or 200metres or 1 kilometre??? Is there an equation that
will calculate this?
regards
PeterH

===========================================

Hi Peter,

Bart's answer is pretty good, although I'm guessing you'd like an actual formula and numbers. So I'll try.

I think Bart is correct about Circle of Confusion size being twice the pixel pitch. If dot of light smaller than the size of one pixel hit one pixel in the center, then the sensor would see that dot as the size of one pixel, as it cannot determine that it is smaller. If that dot does not strike the sensor on exactly one pixel (it crosses the border between 2 pixels and therefore strikes 2 pixels), the sensor will see it being the size of 2 pixels. So for all practical purposes, the smallest detectible dot size reportable by the sensor is 2 pixels in diameter.

First I will give an extreme case current example.

The Nikon D800 sensor is 35.9 mm wide, with 7360 pixels across. So pixel size (pitch) of Nikon D800 sensor is
35.9mm / 7360 = 0.004878mm

So our determining circle of confusion size is .009755mm (twice the pixel pitch)

Therefore any dot of light that is smaller than .009755mm will be seen by the sensor as being 0.009755mm.
Let's round it up to 0.01

Next we have the focal length of the lens. Let's use 50mm.

Then there is the aperture of the lens. The fastest lens reasonably available is f1.2, so we'll use that.

Now we can plug it into the Hyperfocal distance formula:

H= Hyperfocal distance
F= focal length = 50mm
f= f stop = 1.2
C= circle of confusion = 0.01
i= effective "infinity"

F^2 / C*f + F
2500 / .01*1.2 + 50 = 208000mm = 208 meters

The hyperfocal principle shows that when the lens is focused at the hyperfocal distance, everything from one-half the hyperfocal distance, to infinity, is in effectively equal "perfect" focus.

So with our f1.2 50mm lens (wide open) on a Nikon D800, infinity effectively starts at 104 meters when the lens is focused perfectly at 208 meters.

Realistically, no lens, that we might consider, performs critically sharply at the center until f2 or 2.8
For our case, if we use f2, we get a realistic H of 125 meters and i starts at 63 meters.

Now let's look at your 300D with your kit lens set to 35mm and f5.6 (opened wider it would be too blurry to get realistic results).

H= Hyperfocal distance
F= focal length = 35mm
f= f stop = 5.6
C= circle of confusion for 300D = 0.015
i= effective "infinity"

F^2 / C*f + F
H= 1225 / 0.015*5.6 + 35 = 14.8 meters
So we would focus at 14.8 meters and "infinity" would start at 7.4 meters.

300D, 18-55mm lens, f5.6:
18mm H= 4 meters, i= 2 meters
20mm H= 4.8 meters, i= 2.4 meters
24mm H= 7 meters, i= 3.5 meters
28mm H= 9.5 meters, i= 4.7 meters
35mm H= 15 meters, i= 7.5 meters
40mm H= 20 meters, i= 10 meters
55mm H= 36 meters, i= 18 meters