Scale/Zone focusing

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 Post subject: Scale/Zone focusing
Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:28 pm 
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Scale (or zone) focusing is a technique used to particularly good effect in "street" shooting. Since manual focus lenses require some interaction to achieve focus, no matter how good you are - it's still an extra step when at times every second counts.

The answer is scale focusing. Essentially you set the lens' focus to around 3m (10') or whatever distance you expect your subject(s) to be at most often. To ensure a good buffer zone, the lens is ideally stopped down moderately (increasing the ISO or film speed as needed). Basically, turning your rig into a point-n-shoot, allowing you to "focus" on framing instead - and getting your shot.

For example. Let's assume film or full frame (e.g. M9) sensor and a 50mm lens. Set for 3m, you can use an aperture of f/5.6 to ensure everything from roughly 2.50-3.75m (8.3-12.6') will be in focus.

Note however, shorter focal lengths are often preferred for two reasons. First, you have a wider angle of view which makes framing quicker as it's looser and less critical (you can even shoot from the hip with practice) and secondly, the increased depth of field.

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