What is hyperfocal distance in photography

Hyperfocal distance
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Nature has captivating landscapes that catch anyone’s eyes, and what is better than capturing that beauty in a photograph?

When you capture the image of a landscape, you always want it to be as clear as possible, to appreciate every incredible detail.

These details should be appreciated regardless of whether they are near or far from the camera when taking the picture.

To achieve this, the concepts of depth of field and hyperfocal distance must be clear. This last term is perhaps not as well known in some cases.

The depth of the field is described as the area that will appear acceptably sharp in your image in front of, and behind the focus point.

This depth varies depending on factors such as distance to the focused element, focal length, and aperture of the diaphragm.

In contrast, the hyperfocal distance is defined as the minimum focus distance with which the most significant depth field is achieved; to get an approach that extends from half this distance to infinity.

What this means is that if you focus on a point at a suitable distance, we will get everything that is located from the point of focus to infinity to be seen. You can calculate this distance.

In this post, we will show you the basic principles of hyperfocal distance.

What is hyperfocal distance in photography?

The hyperfocal distance is the distance between the target and the nearest point of focus that is acceptably sharp when the target is focused on infinity.

At the time this occurs for hyperfocal distance, the depth of field extends from half to infinity.

This distance will change depending on the focal length conditions and the aperture of the diaphragm you are currently using.

The diaphragm refers to the aperture that can be adjusted in the lens, and in this way, the light enters.

The focal length is the range of the lens you put on your camera, and it is expressed in millimeters.

Calculate of the hyperfocal distance

The mathematical formula to obtain the focal length is the following one:

Hyperfocal distance formula

In this equation, H represents the hyperfocal distance, F is the focal length of the target, f is called the aperture of the diaphragm, and d is the diameter of the circle of confusion.

Perhaps these mathematical calculations are confusing and not very practical when you go out to take a picture, but you should not worry; on the web, there are available equivalence tables with the most various parameters and the most used brands of the market.

Having the distance value, the next step is to focus an element at that distance. By focusing this distance, you will be able to give sharpness to what is in first, to the point that the focal point and the aperture used to allow it.

With this, you will get not only to focus the maximum of the landscape area, but you will also achieve better sharpness.

Some applications can do this calculation for you quickly and easily. You just have to enter the parameters you have at the moment, as well as the camera brand, and that way, you will get the hyperfocal distance you need.

Some of the available apps are:

  • HyerFocal Distance Calculator
  • DOF Calculator
  • HyperFocal Flo Pro
  • SetMyCamera-DOF Calculator

When do you need to use the hyperfocal distance

Not all the pictures you take are going to need you to know the hyperfocal distance.

This distance is used when the photograph will cover as much space as possible, foreground, middle plane, and background.

This should be used when the photo will show objects that are both short and long-distance, and need both to be sharp.

Types of pictures with hyperfocal distance

There are many varieties of images where you can use the hyperfocal distance, like the ones that we will show you right now:

Landscape pictures

For this type of photo, the hyperfocal distance is the crucial element for them to be of high quality. In these images, you must opt for closed diaphragm openings to achieve greater depth of field.

One of the most used resources is to place some elements in the foreground. In this way, attention is focused on this object or element.

However, when you do this, the background of the landscape loses definition, so you must take care of the hyperfocal distance.

Night images

When you want to try to focus on a dark sky with the hyperfocal distance, you will get excellent results. With this technique, you will have the sharpness of both that dark sky and the objects that are in the scene.

You have to take into account that if you do not have a goal with scales of measures, it will be a bit complicated to focus the night sky with precision.

Many objectives that have a scale of measurements are not as accurate when focusing on infinity. That is why to ensure excellent sharpness, and it is necessary to focus on a hyperfocal distance.


Perhaps the concept of hyperfocal distance is not easy for taking the technique, but knowing the basic principles and what they are for, you can get the most utility.

The hyperfocal distance depends on several factors, from the design of the device itself to the size of the sensor.

The tables found on the web are based on standards. That is why it is useful that you perform tests when taking your photographs.

For improving this technique little by little, you have to considerate:

Come on! Investigate the variables that influence the hyperfocal distance, test this technique, and you will see that the results will be stunning images that will be of excellent quality and sharpness.

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Author: condruzmf

In love with photography!

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