Super Fast Focus with a Big Depth of Field- Accurate Focus is for Pansies


Who needs the rangefinder? Use the hyperfocal distance of your lens.

Many of you own or at least have used a rangefinder camera at some point.
But what is a rangefinder?

Wikipedia defines a rangefinder as: “a camera fitted with a rangefinder: a range-finding focusing mechanism allowing the photographer to measure the subject distance and take photographs that are in sharp focus. Most varieties of rangefinder show two images of the same subject, one of which moves when a calibrated wheel is turned; when the two images coincide and fuse into one, the distance can be read off the wheel.”

We all know how difficult it can be to focus on a rangefinder sometimes, (especially when the subject is moving) but there is an answer.

On the lens, you might see something like this:

See the little hash marks with the aperture numbers on the bottom ring? That’s the Depth-of-Field scale. It shows how much of the scene will be in focus. If you set an aperture on the lens, (say, f/8) then that means the distance between the two corresponding hash marks on the bottom ring representing that aperture will be in focus.

To illustrate:

Remember: A larger aperture (like f/2.8) will result in a shallower depth of field, (less stuff in focus. BOKEHHHHH) and a smaller aperture (like f/22) will result in greater depth of field. (broader range of things in focus)

Try using a fast film so you can use a smaller aperture for street photography or sports.

Use a slow film if your subjects will be relatively static so you can get dat BOKEHHHHH

P.S. Yes, the first image was lifted from All hail Ken, the master of /p/. Your camera does not matter. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

written by robotmonkey1996 on 2013-05-22 in #gear #tipster #select-type-of-tipster #camera-zone-focusing-fast-street-photography-leica-rangefinder-hyperfocal #tutorial #camera #select-what-this-tipster-is-about


  1. rrohe
    rrohe ·

    This is exactly how I shoot! f/16 for me, thanks.

  2. weihsuan
    weihsuan ·

    I think its call scale focusing.. and it doesnt work that well for 50mm lens. perhaps something wider

  3. bikeygeek
    bikeygeek ·

    I would say if you've got time always focus, I've taken thousands of street shots and the ones taken this way are nearly always disapointing. It is paticularly bad with a 50mm lens as shown, you get away with this somewhat with 35mm and wider lenses, like on most Lomo products. Placing the focus point in a shot as a point of interest is one of the main things you should be thinking about when composing a shot. If you shoot street in a big city with tall buildings most places you shoot will be in shadow most of the time, even on a sunny day in areas between buildings I find myself having to go down to f4 sometimes so this kind of prefocussing just doesn't work.

  4. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    Still getting the hang of it heres some more info about it.…

  5. xbalboax
    xbalboax ·

    Still getting the hang of it heres some more info about it.…

  6. robotmonkey1996
    robotmonkey1996 ·

    @bikeygeek My normal setup is a Canon 7 RF with the fabulous Industar-61 LD. It's worked out okay for me, but I suppose a wider focal length would yield a greater depth of field.

    @xbalboax Screw Eric Kim. If I wanted random and poorly composed portraits taken with a flash a foot from someone's face I'd go get a passport picture taken.

    @weihsuan Yes, you are very correct. This technique is called scale focusing.

More Interesting Articles

  • Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    written by pripri2000 on 2015-04-22 in #gear #news
    Shooting Squares with the LC-A 120

    Capture the world and all its contours in vibrant, wide-angled photographs any time, any where! The LC-A 120 is an adventure of its own with lots of exciting functions to experiment with, like seamless long exposures or full ISO control. It's also super-fast and ultra-compact - perfect for your everyday. If you're worried about the Medium Format film, don't be! You are free to use any 120 Film you want and there are plenty to choose from. In fact, that's what makes this camera so versatile! Scroll through this gallery for a little taste of the glorious shots this nifty invention is capable of.

  • Fun Close-Up Portraits Courtesy of the Lomo'Instant!

    written by chooolss on 2014-06-24 in #news
    Fun Close-Up Portraits Courtesy of the Lomo'Instant!

    Lomography's on a mission to conquer the world of instant photography, and we need your help to reach this goal. Find out how you can contribute (and be rewarded with a super cool close-up lens, too!) after the cut!

  • Petzval Artist:Wedding Photographer Johnny Cheng

    written by e_ercolini on 2014-06-30 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist:Wedding Photographer Johnny Cheng

    Summer is in full swing and wedding season is moving in. And in keeping up with the season, Wedding Photographer Johnny Cheng invited his girlfriend to a spur-of-the-moment shoot using the his new Petzval Lens. With the Petzval, he managed a confluence of grassy meadows and the lens' swirly bokeh effect, resulting in soft-focused images to fall in love with. Read on to hear what this Georgia-based wedding photographer has to say about his Petzval experience.

  • Shop News

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    LomoKino & LomoKinoscope Package

    Enjoy a truly analogue moviemaking experience with Lomography's 35mm movie camera and an accompanying accessory to watch your films with. View your masterpieces in the most analogue way possible with the LomoKinoscope. Get it now 20% off the regular price!

  • A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-02 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Barkers (A Tribute to Jack Delano)

    This is tribute to the Farm Security Administration photographer, Jack Delano, and his photographic series dedicated to barkers. For this article, I chose a series of photos I took this year at the traditional Easter Fair in my city, Como, using a classic rangefinder camera loaded with a roll of black and white film.

  • Petzval Artist: James Nader

    written by hannah_brown on 2014-07-16 in #people #lomoamigos

    James Nader is a UK-based Fashion and Editorial photographer. He started his career in photography shooting with film, processing and developing his work by hand. He now works on high end fashion shoots and has photographed the likes of Dita Von Teese and Richard Branson. James still has a passion for film photography and uses it regularly. We lent him a Petzval lens to shoot with and he has kindly given us a full, in depth review of this beautiful portrait lens. Say hello to James Nader.

  • Nature & Culinary Delights With The New Petzval Lens and Feldküche

    written by tomas_bates on 2014-10-21 in #people #lomoamigos
    Nature & Culinary Delights With The New Petzval Lens and Feldküche

    Feldküche is a group that organizes dinner parties with a difference by cooking wonderful meals for groups throughout the Austrian countryside. This summer, we gave them a New Petzval lens to use in capturing their wonderful gatherings of people, food, drink and nature. We then got the opportunity to chat with Martin Fetz who runs the organization about what they do and their experiences shooting with the Petzval.

  • Shop News

    110 Experiment Kit

    110 Experiment Kit

    With this bundle, you can choose a camera, film and accessories to spice up your 110 shooting experience!

  • The Phoblographer Gives a Stellar Review of the Lomography Petzval Lens

    written by shhquiet on 2014-06-16 in #news
    The Phoblographer Gives a Stellar Review of the Lomography Petzval Lens

    We're ecstatic to read an in-depth review of the Lomography Petzval Lens, from the cool folks over at The Phoblographer. It's exciting to find out that, like us, they are in-love with the Petzval Lens too, so much that they gave it an impressive 4/5 rating! If you're thinking of getting a Petzval Lens, you'll find this featured review very useful. Check out an excerpt and the link to the full article after the jump!

  • Dann Nørgaard: The Danish way of shooting with a Petzval

    written by andie_sollmer on 2014-09-24 in #lifestyle
    Dann Nørgaard: The Danish way of shooting with a Petzval

    This time we went up North and discovered that our Petzval lens has made it all the way to Scandinavia, Denmark. Enter with us the world of Swirly Danish Portraitism and meet Dann Nørgaard, a photographer from Copenhagen who captures the depth of every glance.

  • Carena Smartie: A Plastic Wonder

    written by ntulini on 2014-11-15 in #reviews
    Carena Smartie: A Plastic Wonder

    Compact, always in focus, equipped with flash and wide angle lens, and inexpensive - the Carena Smartie is all you need in one little package.

  • Shop News

    Diana Mini Flash Bundle

    Diana Mini Flash Bundle

    Ready to dive into the world of Lomography? This Bundle will provide you with all that you need: a Diana Mini, a Diana flash, a flash adaptor and you're ready good to go!

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    Dale McCready is a cinematographer working in the film/ TV industry and has worked on programmes such as Doctor Who and Merlin. He was one of our supporters for the Petzval Kickstarter campaign and recently used the lens to film for a new BBC drama, which is due out in March. Dale kindly shared some of his Petzval photographs with us and talked about his love for this lens. Read on for the full interview.

  • A Hodgepodge of Snaps Made With Pinhole Cameras

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-04-13 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Hodgepodge of Snaps Made With Pinhole Cameras

    Have you tried shooting pinhole before? This early method of photography requires longer exposure times and is perfect for creative experiments.Who needs a lens?! Forget the viewfinder and standard techniques — you'll get amazing and unpredictably soft-focused snapshots. Go old-school and check out this showcase of pinhole photos our fellow Lomographers have taken!

  • Photo of the Day by bloomchen

    written by cheeo on 2014-08-13 in #news
    Photo of the Day by bloomchen

    Let your city's light shine brighter with your clever use of focus, framing, and double exposure! Congratulations bloomchen for having our Photo of the Day!