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Thread: Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

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    Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

    I am doing a shoot this weekend with my newly acquired
    Hasselblad 553ELX and Phase One P30 back.

    It is going to be people. In some of the shots, there will be someone in the foreground, middle and background. Where
    should I be putting the sharp focus? (I have a 4x4 DPS magnifyer). I want all 3 subjects to be in sharp focus. I will be shooting with a 60mm CF lens.

    I understand the depth-of-field scale but there is a 1.3 lens multiplier with the sensor.

    I half remember hearing that using depth of field doesn't really work that well with mfd.

    Can someone give me some pointers?

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

    Sounds like a job for a view camera. Otherwise all you can do is stop the lens right down and try to get maximum depth of field. It's not possible to predict how successful this could be without knowing the various distances to camera and the lens.

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    Re: Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

    Graham is right, barring a view camera or a tilt shift lens, your best bet is to find the best midpoint of focus and stop down a lot. My suggestion would be to experiment with your lens to see when diffraction starts robbing you of most of your sharpness. I have shot at f/22 on film with a 80mm Hasselblad lens and the results were fantastic even enlarged to 1m square. BUT. Film is more forgiving with diffraction than digital, particular with small pixel wells like the ones you have in the P30. I would try stopping down as much as you can before it becomes mushy. You can try that ahead of time.
    Also, apparent depth of field is smaller closer to the camera than the point of focus, so rather than just focusing on the middle person (if they are all evenly spaced), you would want to focus somewhere between the closest person and the middle person. That's a little hard to explain, but easy to see in practice. Let me know if you don't get what I am trying to say.
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    Re: Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

    Rule of thumb on DOF was from the point of focus, 1/3 forward, 2/3 back. How much will you need or get? It is true that MFDB seem to give less - you could probably run some test cases at home before you go out - at ISO 400 or more, lowest usable shutter speed (tripod?) and see what you end up with. You may find it is shallower than you expected.

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    Re: Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff View Post
    Rule of thumb on DOF was from the point of focus, 1/3 forward, 2/3 back. How much will you need or get? It is true that MFDB seem to give less - you could probably run some test cases at home before you go out - at ISO 400 or more, lowest usable shutter speed (tripod?) and see what you end up with. You may find it is shallower than you expected.
    You could also try Helicon Focus if your shots allow the time for four exposures

    Woody

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    Re: Need an education in manual focus w/ mfd

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    You could also try Helicon Focus if your shots allow the time for four exposures
    Woody
    hah! with people? no way.

    make 3 pictures and stitch together in PS.

    remember Digital has much less Depth of Field than Film did.

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