i am so EXCITED …

35mm Summicron set to f8 and hyperfocal distance

Toronto. … as Martin Short‘s character, Ed Grimsley, used to shout on SCTV skits. To do the character justice, Short was down right hyper. And speaking of hyper, hyperfocal distance was important in 35mm film photography, especially daytime street photography.

The camera lens was set to f/8 (or f/11). On the depth of field scale, focus was set so the infinity mark aligned with the furthest f/8 mark. The scene was then in focus from infinity to the distance aligned with the nearest f/8 mark. The camera was then basically a fixed focus camera with the light adjustment made by lowering or raising the shutter speed as needed.

I used this technique for years, moving the shutter speed on my M4 to compensate for the lighting variation as recorded by my light meter. This allowed me to keep ready for any split second scene without recourse to my meter and camera settings. Modern day digital cameras with a “programmed” setting, and both digital cameras and smart phones with auto ISO, auto focus, etc make such techniques unnecessary.

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