Tag Archives: hyperfocal
How to Set up snap shooting mode
Last week during my post on the ‘Bomb threat in Derby’ I mentioned about having my G9 set at hyperfocal distance in a “Custom Control so it is always available to me.” I have given the details on how to set it up and a whole range of options for you to choose bellow, to set the G9 up for your style of shooting using custom colours etc.
This makes the Canon PowerShot G9 very fast from power up to pressing the shutter; (about a second) reaching for my G9 and powering it on at the same time means as soon as it is at my eye, its ready to shoot as it does not need to focus, and yet the pictures appear very sharp and in focus, this is how street photography, reportage, war, documentary and landscapes were often done with manual focus, film rangefinders, like the Leica.
Note I say ‘appear’ very sharp and in focus, and that is because there is actually only one plane of actual focus! The rest is down to depth of field from the given aperture and its relation to the point in focus.
In the days of film, most interchangeable lenses had hyperfocal distance scales and Infra Red marker (IR light focuses at a different plane to daylight, so a set mark was often found on the lens to re adjust the distance, I will be doing a separate article on this for the G9) to aid in this matter and was often used a lot more than it is now, mainly because digital lenses seem to have this scale missing from their lenses.
This is even rarer in a point and shoot, but the G9 can be set up for hyperfocal shooting and IR shooting too thanks to the people behind DOF Master.com and I suggest you have a good read of their website page if you want a better understanding of what hyperfocal is and does.
The actual distance you set on the G9 varies depending on the sort of shooting you do. You might want it shorter if you do Landscapes and want more detail in the foreground for example or shoot candid’s from across the table but around 10 feet seems to be good for most people/subjects. The aperture you use also makes a difference; a higher f number will give more depth of apparent sharpness than a low f number.
Another factor to consider is the lens length, the longer the lens the shorter the hyperfocal range will be. Setting the G9 at its widest zoom gives the biggest scope for a given aperture and widest hyperfocal distance but you could zoom out the lens and set it as a custom option if that is what you need.
The distance you set and F number combination gives you the hyperfocal ability, which means you can set the G9 how you want for the style of shooting you do most and save it as a custom setting (C1 or C2) for a better understanding of how the focus and aperture affects the nearest point in apparent focus to the furthest go to DOF MASTER.com and select the G9 from the drop down menu. (The focal length for the G9 is 7.4mm at its widest setting)
As an example my set up is 9 feet and set at f4.5 which gives me 3.84 feet to infinity. In practice this works out as a simple guide that anything more than arms length (and a bit) is in apparent focus, it is also easy to estimate! At f2.8 this is under 5 feet to infinity. I can alter the Aperture to adjust exposure using the Control dial on the back with my thumb