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.

  • 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.

  • Shop News

    Fisheye No. 2 Gold

    Fisheye No. 2 Gold

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    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!

  • 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!

  • Textured Portraits with The Lomography New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    written by Kwyn Kenaz Aquino on 2015-06-09 in #gear #news
    Textured Portraits with The Lomography New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    Professor Joseph Petzval's 1840 lens changed the world of portraiture. Lomography is bringing back this time-honored piece in the form of The New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens. Partnered with your analog cameras, this refined model produces an orb of bokeh around a face in sharp focus.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Mini Neo & 10x Fuji Instax Mini Film

    Fuji Instax Mini Neo & 10x Fuji Instax Mini Film

    Save 20% on Fuji Instax Mini Film with this bundle and get 100 sheets for pure Instant fun! Plus, get to choose which Fuji Instax Mini Camera fits your personality!

  • 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!

  • LomoAmigo: Super Kawaii Asami Nobuoka Shoots with the Lomo'Instant

    written by ciscoswank on 2014-12-17 in #people #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo: Super Kawaii Asami Nobuoka Shoots with the Lomo'Instant

    Asami is a "Super Kawaii" a.k.a super cute, Instagramer who has 16,000 followers. She loves analogue cameras and she is totally in love with the Diana Mini. Check out her creative piece of instant shots taken with the Lomo'Instant.

  • The Pleasure of Shooting Live Music Shows with the Petzval Lens

    written by antoniocastello on 2014-10-26 in #lifestyle
    The Pleasure of Shooting Live Music Shows with the Petzval Lens

    There are small pleasures and big pleasures. A small one, like eating a chocolate after lunch, the first day of summer after a cold spring or finally meeting that girl you see every day on your morning commute can be more satisfying than anything else. As for me, shooting live music shows with the Petzval Lens is one of those small pleasures.