What is a “hyperfocal distance”?
In essence, the hyperfocal distance for any given camera, lens and aperture combination is:
“The focus distance you set your lens to for that camera, lens and aperture combination that gives you a focus distance that goes exactly to infinity, no farther”.
You see, if I set my lens to infinity, for instance, I am focusing well beyond infinity, and “wasting” some of my sharp range. By focusing before infinity, I can set the lens just so that the far edge of my “acceptably sharp”area goes exactly to infinity, not more. And now I am not wasting any sharp area.
In the past, on prime lenses we had a focus indication dial, with aperture numbers indicated on the focus ring to help us set the hyperfocal distance. On today’s zooms, this is absent; plus, since a lens can be used on cameras of various sensor sizes, it would not work anyway.
So today you go to DOFMASTER, via this link here, to calculate the distances for your lens/camera/aperture combination.
Nice to know, so you can set your lens to the right distance for manual focusing, for instance. And nice to know just so you get a feeling for what you can achieve in a shot.