If I focus on an object, is there a way to determine how far away the object is? I'm talking about either before or after the shot but not in post processing. Do I need to buy a separate piece of equipment? I am interested in accurately determining hyperfocal distance. My lens (18-300) has very view distance markings.
#1. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 0
It was great with the old manual focus lenses that were marked on the lens and easy to set. I still have a 24mm that this works great with. But here is a link that you should read that will make more since to you.
#2. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 1
Thanks for responding. I had actually seen that article and bookmarked it. It has a lot of good information but left me a little confused because it had so many options. After reading it I came to the conclusion that I just need to go out and experiment with some of the techniques. I actually tried a shot yesterday where I estimated the hyperfocal distance and it came out reasonably well. I'm not sure about the very far elemets. It was shot with an IR converted D7000.18-770 mm lens at 55mm, f16, 1/750s, ISO 640.
#5. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 2
OK Steve I would suggest that you buy one of the old manual focus lens at the focal length that you like. You can get them at great prices that are still in great shape. I would think the 24-35mm would work great on your camera with great depth of field at f8-22 that the old lens had. If you like that 55mm range the 35mm will put you very close to it on your camera. But the 24mm at f11 is all in focus from three feet to infinity and at f22 it’s 1.7 feet to infinity. The 24mm will be the same as the 35mm lens on your camera. I think that is the best way for you to go as you’re not going to use the long end of your lens anyway for this kind of shot.
Unless you want to mark your lens but that would be a nightmare at the different focal lengths. Check KEH.com and see what they have that doesn’t cost a lot. I trust them and you can return the lens if you don’t like it and I think they have a six month guarantee now.
#3. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 0
Hatboro, Pa, US
Hi Steve. Even if you buy an accurate external rangefinder, since your lens has very few distance marks you'll still be guessing at where to set the focus ring. It's not just your lens but most AF lenses that are deficient in this area. As already mentioned you can't beat the old manual focus lenses that had extremely good distance markings. As an example the AF 24mm f2.8 lens has only 4 markings throughout it's focus range where the manual focus 24mm f2.8 has 11. It was reduced in the newest AIS lens to 7. What forced the fewer marks is the much reduced focus ring throw in order to speed up focusing.
#4. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 3
You're right. So it seems as if you should auto focus on something that is approximately at the hyperfocal distance, then lock the focus or switch to manual focus, recompose and take the shot. That seems like it would work as long as there's a suitable contrasty object in the right place.
#6. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 4
St Petersburg, RU
That is what I do, very few of my lenses have useful distance markings so using AF-On and AF-C I find something that would be suitable hyperfocus point, and do not touch the AF-On button again when recomposing. It is so fast and intuitive that I never think about distance values, just visual ratio. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#7. "RE: Distance to subject" In response to Reply # 4
Steve, It works very well to estimate the distance to the Hyperfocal point and switch to Manual. Too many folks think this is an exact science and want to get out the tape measure. I do this all the time
Jerry Jaynes Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina