Where to focus?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Fotis7, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. Fotis7

    Fotis7 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello everyone! I am new in photography! I want to ask you about focusing with a specific example. In the photo below in Prague! You are in the top of the old bridge tower and you want to shoot this photo with the castle and the charles bridge! Where i have to focus? Handheld with AF-S! Exactly in the castle for example? I will have also the rest in focus? Thanks in advance! ;)


     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  2. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    5,471
    Location:
    NoVA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I would be comfortable shooting this wide open, ~f/2.8, and just focus somewhere on the other side of the body of water, and expect everything to be in focus.

    Your DOF would still be something like ~150ft to infinity, shooting around 50mm focal length.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Fotis7

    Fotis7 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for your answer but because i am really new in this! You suggest "focus and recompose technique"? My questions are always for handheld! Thanks!
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    46,674
    Likes Received:
    18,062
    Location:
    USA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Depth of field calculator, aperture, focal length. The old basic is to focus one third of the way into the scene. In most cases people used to consider that depth of field extends one third of the way in front of the point of focus and 2/3 of the way behind the point of exact Focus.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    536
    Likes Received:
    336
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    As Derrel mentioned, a good rule of thumb with landscapes is to focus about 1/3 of the way into the scene. If you need more depth of field than that provides, such as including both foreground and background elements in focus, you may need a smaller aperture and a tripod for a longer exposure, or to combine multiple shots moving the focus point between shots. For the sample shot you included, I would probably focus somewhere near the shoreline or slightly in front of it along the walkway, depending on what your main point of interest is. As Braineack mentioned, with everything so far away it will likely all be within the available depth of field at any aperture anyway.

    Here is a short video linked from Petapixel in 2018 that goes into a bit more detail that you may find useful.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    5,471
    Location:
    NoVA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This.

    Charles Bridge is 1700' long.

    Assuming you were shooting a FX nikon, and shooting around 50mm from that tower. You could focus anywhere across the water and the entire scene would be in focus -- even with such a wide aperature.

    upload_2020-2-24_14-28-23.png

    even if you focused only halfway down the bridge:

    upload_2020-2-24_14-29-25.png


    As a general rule-of-thumb: When shooting wide/distant landscapes like this, everything is going to be in focus so long as you focus on something in the middle of your scene.

    Stopping your lens down will do two things. Improve the sharpness overall, depending on your optics, especially in the corners [I would shoot at wherever my lens is best, typically f/8]. And bring the near-limit closer if you really need it.

    the wider focal you shoot the more in focus, but you really only need to worry about your near-limit DOF in this sorta instance if youre shooting like 85mm and longer.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. Fotis7

    Fotis7 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks all for the answers! I have read a lot about focus and 1/3 etc. I have an entry level Nikon D3500 with kit lens 18-55 and a prime nikon 35mm DX 1.8! Last question! :p
    When we say for example "You could focus anywhere across the water and the entire scene would be in focus" ... I want to understand when i am handheld! You mean, I am with the viewfinder, "I will go down" to water, i will focus and then i will go up again and take the shot? Which is the best way to focus?
     
  8. Braineack

    Braineack Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    Messages:
    12,999
    Likes Received:
    5,471
    Location:
    NoVA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    assuming that picture you posted was with a Nikon D3500 and 35mm lens.

    I would look through the viewfinder, focus on the bell tower just past the bridge, recompose if needed, and take the shot.


    upload_2020-2-24_14-43-56.png

    and as seen, focusing that far into the distance, even if you shot with the lens at f/1.8 the entire scene is more or less in focus.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Fotis7

    Fotis7 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    And also as i remember with AF-S the middle one focus point is the sharpest, correct?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
  10. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    18,220
    Likes Received:
    4,754
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I don't know which building is the castle, but I would use the building near the far end of the bridge (1,700 ft.). We could estimate the distance to the Cathedral at about one mile (5,280 ft.) so select an aperture that will include the Cathedral in the DOF.
     
  11. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2012
    Messages:
    18,220
    Likes Received:
    4,754
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Depends on what lens you are talking about. It seems most lenses are sharpest stopped down some, but to know your sharpest aperture, you should do some testing.
     
  12. Fotis7

    Fotis7 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2020
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0


    The Castle is in the area of the Cathedral. I choose this photo because i will go in May, but also to understand for another photos like this. Thank you!
     

Share This Page