Jump to content

Question about focusing at background


iHR4k

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Good day here, I', a new one here, so really nice to meet you :)

I have a question about focusing on the background when I use a zone focus - something like f8 from 3m to inf. And the result is not sharp.

I use MP, Ultron 35m f2, trix 400, tmax 100, and PrimeFilmXAS for scans. 

I can't load photos here - so I uploaded them to Flickr - https://www.flickr.com/photos/195655870@N06/with/53286706755/

Do I miss something? maybe you can give me advice on how to focus at long distances?

Really appreciate any help, I know that's not a Leica topic issue(I just want to confirm that's not my issue with focusing)

Thank you so much

Link to post
Share on other sites

What is sharp? Lens 35mm f/8.0 and zone focussing, sharp is your picture then at 4 to 5 meter. Nearer and farther away, the sharpness decreases gradually. It depends, how critical you are. A print in DIN A4 of your picture should be sharp at the reading distance. Pixel peeping with a larger print format can be different.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

What you miss is that the lines on the M lenses were designed in the film era. They sort of worked for the low resolution films of that time. If you use modern emulsions, you want to have better focus and certainly with digital sensors of 24MP and above, sharpness has become more critical.

Leica will probably not change the lines on their lenses to not break the backwards compatibility (or tradition if you want). But on digital I use lines that are 1 stop less than my actual aperture. So I set my lens to F8 and use the F5.6 lines on the lens as a guideline for my zone focus. This works fine on the M9(18MP), but with 60MP you would rather need 2 stops 'correction'

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

After looking at your pictures.... Make sure that you use the RF to focus for static objects, and focus on your most important subject. Even with F8 there is only one point that has the critical focus, all the rest of the focus zone is in acceptable unsharpness.

Edited by dpitt
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum,  iHR. why not use your rangefinder and focus on your critical subject? Zone focusing is more useful in street photography,  not for landscapes. Dirk makes a very good  point. Even landscape photographers resort to focus stacking techniques when sharpness is desired over long distances. Universal sharpness does not exist, except when very viewing fairly small prints.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

Zone focussing uses the so called "depth of field" (DOF) calculation which is based on three facts:

* Sharpness decreases with distance from the focus point (in other words, dots will turn into circles that grow with distance from that focus point)

* Average Human Eye resolution is limited - every circle that is within that resolution margin, is interpreted as a dot

* The calculation formula for DOF assumes that negatives are never cropped and enlarged and that you view the resulting picture from a distance equal to the diagonale of the picture (and never close-up).

This results in 

a) The farther an object is away from the distance you dialed in, the less sharp it will appear, but as long you don't have eagle eyes, you might not be able to see this. To compensate, zone focus to a distance that is in the distance range of the most important part of your image.

b) If you crop and enlarge then don't rely on the DOF engraving, cropping (and enlarging accordingly) will reveal DOF circles immediately.

c) If you are used to examine results close-up or view from closer distances as anticipated by the formulas for DOF  (large prints on the wall viewed from close distance, large desktop monitors etc.), don't rely on the DOF engraving. You will most likely see unperfect sharpness

To conclude: For critical focus, always adjust focussing distance to the point of maximum interest. Take the conservative approach for critical sharpness: Close aperture one to two stops more than indicated on the lens scale.

One general remark: In theory the sensor resolution is totally irrelevant for DOF, as long as you do not zoom in or crop. But if you do (and we all do, that's why we have bought this high resolution gadgets, didn't we?), then take the DOF scale with some grain of salt. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

3m focus @f8.0 is not far enough to gain sharpness on a more distant object, e.g. 10m. Many zone-focusing photographers choose f16 even though diffraction already kicks in. 

@dpitt: I absolutely agree with your post #5. It depends on what you find acceptable. I find focus critical in any instance. That's why I don't zone-focus. Others are more liberal and prefer content over focus.

@iHR4kI have no idea how new you are to the range finder game. But I would say that most, if not all, of your images could have been shot with the proper focus using the range finder. I know there are exceptions in street photography when the timing is super-critical, but often that's not the case.

Edited by hansvons
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would definitely focus on the primary intended subject with a 35mm lens, which in these cases appear to have all been distant.

Everything would have looked sharper with a wider lens like the 18 or 21mm Super Elmars, but I still would have focused on what I wanted to be the sharpest part of the image.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Good day, to be honest I didn't expect any attention to my question :) Thank you so much for all you replies, I really appreciate,

I will go throw every tip/advice and will do a new series of shots.

@jankap sharp I meant like in focus :) so from interested point to background, so I set it hyperfocal distance, and thought that should work :)

@dpitt yes, I will try to focus on static objects, I just wanted to expand focus zone from my subject to background, so I used hyperfocal distance. But it never works :)

@Gregm61 yes, can't agree more, I would try this approach too

 

So for example, person below made this picture, and that's exactly what I'm trying to do :)

 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

In my long experience:

1 )Use your rangefinder to focus on the most important feature of your intended composition, or dial in the known distance from the film plane to subject..

2) set your aperture to f/8-f/16 if you desire a greater depth of field, like in your illustration above of people against the bridge

3. Choose a lens such as 35mm or less to capture a greater depth

I used a 35mm lens several years ago to capture something similar to what I think you are after, and used an aperture of f/8-11 to get the near people and distant architecture in reasonable focus - My actual focus was about 12 ft from where I was standing. My 3x4ft print has what I wanted in proper focus:

Welcome, dear visitor! As registered member you'd see an image here…

Simply register for free here – We are always happy to welcome new members!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

With film, using one stop difference should work. To get hyperfocus with a 35mm lens, set the lens at F11, then use the F8 marks and set the infinity mark on the F8 indicator.

Edited by dpitt
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

New series of shots? Please take a picture of a picture/calendar at the wall of your house at a distance of 4 meter with this lens at f/2. Film parallel to the wall as good as. And use the rangefinder. A distance of 3 meters is ok too.

Edited by jankap
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finished work so will try my best :)

@jankap there is no problem with close focus, like 1-3 meters, everything there usually in focus (at least that depends on my RF). I will try it too anyway

the problem I have is only when I want to shoot something on long distance. Today I installed my Ultron to XPRo3 (I don't have digital Leica yet) and there is no this issue, I'm starting to think this is the problem of scanner or my negatives.

Thank you @01af

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...