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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    126

    How to focus for landscapes

    I'm starting to get into landscape photography and I was wondering what the best way to focus is? usually I crank it to f22 and zoom to infinity but now i'm think i should zoom about midway to capture the foreground and bg better.

    On a bit of a side note: I know people often shoot two pictures for one landscape photo (under exposed sky) and then the land. Do photographers ever shoot multiple focus points then merge them?
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  2. #2
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    You don't necessarily need f/22 depending on the focal length you're using. I think if you're using a wide angle then it's better to use something like f/11 as the lens will produce better results there. I focus on whatever my main subject is.

    Rooz had a thread about focus stacking applied to macro shots a little while back. I don't think it'd be as important in most landscape shots though. In macro photography it's much more difficult to maintain a large DOF due to the telephoto lens and the close focusing.
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  3. #3
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    f/22 is more than plenty for landscape shots. I routinely shoot landscapes at f/8. I usually focus about 1/3 of the way up into the frame.
    A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    I have been exploring this.

    I experimented in Colorado last weekend with "Hyperfocal Distance" and found it didn't do anything for me and I couldn't get any improvement over Infinite focus and F11-F16. I tried close focus (3-4ft) to capture the near-ground area better but it didn't really seem any different to me and just slightly compromised sharpness of distance objects. 1/3 of the way into the frame for me is already infinte focus.

    I do bracket for HDR though, which is a more advanced way to capture all of the dynamic range in a scene rather than just combining a properly exposed sky with the foreground.

    What you are wondering about is something macro shooters do called focus stacking. I haven't tried this but in theory it would work for landscapes. I'd like to know if anyone here does this. A simple search for "focus stacking landscape" gives some reading material.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Landscape photography is too complicated! :P

    I've often wonder what the best way to focus a landscape is too.
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  6. #6
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    I find landscape photography to be very challenging. The subject doesn't move, yet it's extremely difficult to capture in an appealing way.
    A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
    Ansel Adams

    Rule books are paper, they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal.
    Ernest K. Gann-Fate is the Hunter.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenD View Post
    I find landscape photography to be very challenging. The subject doesn't move, yet it's extremely difficult to capture in an appealing way.
    Oh I agree! I've got a lot of respect for a good landscape photog. Landscape photos are not something that I feel overly passionate about creating though.
    5D MK III, 50D, ELAN 7E, 17-40mm 4, Sigma 10mm 2.8 fisheye, 18-55mm 3.5-5.6 IS, 30mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 580 EX, 430 EX speedlight, Pocket wizard flex and mini.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Taipei, Taiwan/from Canada
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    I think f/22 is too much. when your focusing distance is far away, keep it in the f/8 and f/11 range. I find I get better results that way.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by zmikers; 06-19-2008 at 04:49 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zmikers View Post
    I think f/22 is too much. when your focusing distance is far away, keep it in the f/8 and f/11 range. I find I get better results that way.
    This is one heck of a gorgeous image.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeddTucker View Post
    Do photographers ever shoot multiple focus points then merge them?
    as VR already pointed out, macro shooters use focus stacking due to extremely limited dof of a macro shot at close distance. i havent heard of landscape people trying it but i dont see why you couldnt i suppose.
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