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Hyperfocal Distance Calculator

Dear All,
This blog entry is not related to chemical engineering but it certainly is related to the science of optics and should provide interesting reading for those chemical engineers who happen to be photography enthusiasts and want to know some intricacies related to the science of photography
I have always loved photography right from the days when I bought my first Konica Minolta film camera in 1987. However, for reasons unknown I was not able to pursue this hobby of mine in a serious manner. Recently, I rediscovered my lost passion for photography and have now started seriously pursuing it. To regain my lost touch I started reading quite a lot of material on photography and found some really interesting and enlightening reading material as a photography enthusiast.
It is quite possible that a lot many of the chemical engineers who are members and readers of "Cheresources" may be serious enthusiasts of photography and spend some of their spare time pursuing photography.
Let me also explain the difference between a casual photographer and an enthusiast photographer. A casual photographer uses the "Automatic" mode on his digital camera to click pictures and leaves it at that. An enthusiast photographer uses or tries to use the "semi-automatic" and "manual" modes on his camera to click pictures where his understanding and judgement of how he is clicking a particular scene or person comes into play. In a nutshell, an enthusiast photographer is concerned about the quality and the ability to draw serious attention to the picture he has clicked.
I love landscape photography and try to do it whenever I can go on a holiday to a tourist destination.
Optics in itself is a vast subject of physics. Modern digital cameras have evolved so much that today you can take pictures of stunning beauty and clarity with just a click of the shutter button. However, till date no amount of advancement in the science of optics has been able to mimic the functions of the human eye and its coordination with the brain. 
I don't have the luxury to indulge myself in a detailed discourse on photography and optics. Suffice to say that those who have some knowledge of photography and specifically landscape photography will be able to grasp what I am trying to explain.
When you do any kind of photography you have to focus on an object in your camera viewfinder or LCD screen. The area in front of the object of focus is called as 'foreground' and the area behind the object of focus is called 'background'. Most of the times when an object is focused on the camera and a picture is taken either the foreground or background do not come out sharp in the picture. The objective of producing a good landscape photograph is to have everything in the frame to be sharp and not blurred, the exception being portrait photography.
Then hyperfocal distance determines how sharp your landscape photograph will be, if you focus your camera at a pre-designated distance from the camera lens.
In technical terms hyperfocal distance is defined as follows:
The hyperfocal distance is the closest distance at which a camera lens can be focused while keeping objects at infinity acceptably sharp. When the camera lens is focused at this distance, all objects at distances from half of the hyperfocal distance out to infinity will be acceptably sharp.
How to calculate the hyperfocal distance? If you know or set the focal length of the lens of your camera  and the aperture setting in say aperture priority or manual mode when you want to click the picture you can calculate the distance at which you should focus to get a very sharp landscape picture with both the foreground and the background being sharp.
The attachment with this blog entry calculates the hyperfocal distance for various digital camera brands based on a camera specific attribute called 'Circle of Confusion'.
Hoping to get comments from chemical engineers who are also photography enthusiasts.

Attached Files

Jan 20 2014 02:20 AM

Respected Sir,


I am Shailesh Mandale working in pigment industry as a process engineer.

We are using Methanol as solvent in various processes in plant, we distilled out the generated spent methanol-water in packed distillation column. Recovery of our column is about 96% of feed. Now a days we are suffering from high COD con taint in drain of column. Please suggest the solution of that problem.   

A few years later but... I am Chemical Engineer and I love photography. Thank you for sharing your calculator and the excellent information in your post.


PS I don't want you solve my work's problems and fix my life. :) your blog and the information you share is the main reason to say you Thanks.

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