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A Guide to DOF and Hyperfocal Distance - with Tables and Calculator

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on September 11, 2012

Keywords: fundamentals, camera, basics, guides, tips, tricks, dof, depth_of_field, hyperfocal

Try not to use the smallest aperture in your lens (f/22, f/32) to avoid diffraction - a sharpness killer.


Badlands sunrise © jrp
Hyperfocal Distance focusing at work. Nikon D2X with 12-24mm f/4G AF-S Nikkor
The Near Focus Limit is at my feet in this sunrise at the Badlands, South Dakota. 5th ANPAT




Depth of Field (DOF) and Hyperfocal Distance Calculator  



 Select Film Format, Digital Camera, or 
 your own chosen Circle of Confusion 

 Select your lens focal length (mm)

 Select the chosen aperture f-stop* 

 Enter the focusing distance

Click for the program to

For that distance, Near focus limit of DOF:

For that distance, Far focus limit of DOF:

Hyperfocal Distance:

Circle of Confusion (mm):

Note: You need to enter a focusing distance (any) for the calculator program to compute the Hyperfocal Distance, which is independent of the focusing distance you enter. To obtain MAX DOF remember to focus at that Hyperfocal Distance (H). Your Near Focus limit of DOF will then be half of H and your Far Focus limit will be infinity. If you don't select a Circle of Confusion value for an specific camera model, the calculator will use the most recommended one for the format you select; either DX or FX.

Note: The true f-stop values of aperture were used in the calculations as per this table below:


f/1 f/1.4 f/2 f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6 f/8 f/11 f/16 f/22 f/32
1.0000 1.4142 2.0000 2.8284 4.0000 5.6568 8.0000 11.3137 16.0000 22.6274 32.0000
(7 Votes)
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J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 36739 posts


david stanley (idjsphoto) on February 20, 2015

like many I miss the hypofocal distance markings on modern auto focus lenses. i use an iphone app which gives me all the info i need based on make/model of camera, F-stop,distance, and focal lenght . It suplies area in focus,minimum to maximum and overall focus area along with hyperfocal focus point and even a custom sensor size option. my way of using the information is to use the nearest point of focus within the total hyperfocus envelope as the reference ie D300-28mm-F16-1.24m to infinity, simply anthing more than 4ft away is in focus. With distance infomation already used by the camera as part of exposure (indicting which focus points are in focus) and flash exposure distance. it would only require a simple software program to have the lens focus point zoomed to the distance relating to f-stop and the focal lenghts hyperfocal focus point. One extra menu item and the ability to programme a button gives a modern and more acurate solution ,the hyperfocal area could even be indicated using the focus points on the view finder display. unfortunatley i have my doughts that the manufactureres will see hyperfocal as anything other than a bygone from the film days,

Tom Egel (tegel) on February 15, 2015

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014

This is terrific info! I thought it would also be handy to have a way to print a pocket-size table for the different Nikon formats (FX, DX and CX), so I create a spreadsheet in Google docs: I made the default for FX. To change it you will need a writable version. If you have a Google account you can save to a local copy for editing. If not, you can download to Excel format. You will see a pull-down menu for CofC (cell A1) and camera format (cell B1) on the first sheet (I couldn't figure out how to combine these selections into one). I created sheets for English and Metric units combined and for each individually and formatted the text to print to a nice wallet size. The Notes sheet has some explanation about how the numbers were computed. I hope others find this useful. Feel free to post this on Nikonians as you see fit. I'll also post this in one of the Forums. --Tom

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on October 24, 2014

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Modern lenses now don't have markings for various distances, so an approximation, or estimate is enough. It doesn't need to be precise. Another useful practice is to focus with the lower AF brackets in the viewfinder because sometimes you are shooting in the dark, like at dawn (pre/sunrise). I believe it is mentioned in the article. In the Landscape forum you may find many examples of this practice.

Olga Celle (CatLady51) on October 17, 2014

Sr. Garza, Ya encontre la respuesta a mi pregunta!

Olga Celle (CatLady51) on October 17, 2014

Dear Mr. Garza, My question is in regards to the hyperfocal distance. How do you do it in the practical on the ground practice? I just used the formula for my FX 14-24, it tells me 2 meters. Sometimes, one does not have a measuring tape to go to measure 2m. Moreover, often one is at the edge of a hill...So, a friend of mine suggested to make the measurement at f/8 for 2 meters and mark the lens body with a white pen...But then comes another problem, if we are doing, say, a long exposure, we often change the f/ do you it? Thanks in advance for your response.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on March 15, 2014

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Michael, You made me smile with your question. The tables are made for a single element perfect lens, not for modern lenses; so any approximation should suffice for good results.

Michael Shake (Mike_Shake) on February 21, 2014 bad. I see now that the MM is for the focal length only. Still wondering where to measure the distance from.

Michael Shake (Mike_Shake) on February 21, 2014

The link works but I found a mistake on the DX format for the feet. Although it says feet at the top on the chart it has "Lens Focal Length (mm)" on it. I know it's approximate but where would you measure on the camera for the distance, from the front of the lens or the mark on the camera body for where the sensor is?

Roman Slusny (nikors) on February 19, 2014

Links to printable pdf tables and images have been just fixed

Harry Chen (charry3892) on January 28, 2014

Yes, just tried and didn't work at all. The result came back to this page.

Carlo Dormeletti (onekk) on January 4, 2014

Link to printable table dont' work.

Tom Disyak (tolya63) on December 30, 2013

Great info...but I'm having trouble downloading charts. Am I overlooking something that needs to be done? Tolya

Dave Kelleher (davekelleher) on September 28, 2013

the Links to the Printable table is not functioning just bring you back to this page

Tom Egel (tegel) on September 10, 2013

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014

Thanks for the article. The links to the pictures and PDF seem to be broken. Can you update the links? Thanks Tom

EH Human (Ridlin) on August 17, 2013

Thank you for the DoF calculater as it is very usefull for especially Nikon prime lenses

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