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Hyperfocal Distance

Definition: the smallest focusing distance of an imaging instruments for which objects at infinity appear with reasonably sharp focus

German: hyperfokale Entfernung

Categories: general optics, vision, displays and imaging

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Most imaging instruments can provide sharp images only in a limited range of observation distances, as explained in the article on depth of field. The minimum and maximum distance for reasonably sharp imaging both depend on the chosen focusing distance. If the focusing distance is gradually increased, it eventually reaches the hyperfocal distance, where the maximum distance becomes infinity. At this point, the depth of field reaches its maximum possible value for a given size of the aperture stop.

When focusing to infinity, distant objects will be imaged with somewhat better resolution. However, the minimum distance will then be substantially larger.

Depth of Field Calculation

Focal length:
Aperture diameter:
Max. confusion diameter:
Focused distance:
Hyperfocal distance: calc
Min. distance: calc
Max. distance: calc
Depth of field: calc

Enter input values with units, where appropriate. After you have modified some values, click a "calc" button to recalculate the field left of it.

Some authors use a different definition for the hyperfocal distance: the distance beyond which all objects are reasonably sharp, when the objective is focused at infinity. In practice, this leads to about the same values as with the other definition.

See also: imaging, depth of field
and other articles in the categories general optics, vision, displays and imaging


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