Focusing the View Camera: A Scientific Way to Focus the View Camera and Estimate Depth of Field. by Harold M. Merklinger. Merklinger’s method is less widely used, but is much easier to apply in the field. . Harold Merklinger describes his method for optimizing depth of field here. Harold Merklinger on Depth of Field. If you arrived at this page by a direct link, it will be helpful for background information if you read my article, More on Depth.

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That range of distances is called the depth of field. As this was a test print anyway, and the top of the print merklimger nothing but blue sky, I re-submitted the same sheet of paper for the next print of the same image.

It must be admitted that the larger the distance from the camera, the more details are captured by a circle of confusion of a constant diameter. It is trickier than one might imagine merklinver especially printing at high quality.

First of all, I would like to demonstrate you that the divergence of the blue dash lines in Fig. Individual photographers, professional or amateur, are free to make personal use of this information in their work.

Note this email gets spammed a lot so if you want to get your message through please prefix “Holding Tank” in the title. Then the parameters will be within the green zone, and DOF will stop reacting to changes in focal length. Not quite sure what the system requirements are, but I believe it requires the Adobe Flash Player 9 plug-in.


So the question is, which method works best? But it is absolutely natural. This graph is for a 27mm lens and, although the gradient of the line is different for other lenses, it is always a straight line.

Hyperfocal distances and Merklinger’s method in landscape photography

Now let us return to the results of my experiments. Applying this theory the way virtually all photography books suggest, Harold found he often obtained substandard images. The classic depth-of-field problem in landscape photography: For more explanation of depth of field as applied to the photograph of Lisa, try this link.

The Hinge Rule and the Scheimpflug Rule merklinyer determine how the view camera focuses. That white line cannot exist, of course, as the the sky everywhere should be at least as dark as a single pass print alone! It is entirely possible to combine the two methods. With this aperture, and the lens focused at infinity, then features 2mm or so or larger will be distinguishable.

Both rules must be obeyed.

But it may fail when it deals with sharpness. Applying that approach to the general situation, we can obtain the universal mathematical expression: The second plane is again one through the center of the lens, but this time parallel to the film. Scheimpflug’s methods have been used extensively in the field of photogrammetry making maps from photographs ever since he originated them. In mathematical terms, it’s a “necessary but not sufficient” condition. The traditional recommendation to focus the lens at the hyperfocal distance assumes that infinitely distant points will be rendered sharp enough, because fuzziness of remote objects cannot exceed c’ Merklingsr.


In this article I’ve assumed a basic familiarity with photographic concepts such as aperture, exposure, and focus. Howard Bond, in an article entitled “Setting Up the View Camera” Photo TechniquesMay-Junepagesdescribes a way to focus a view cameras through systematic trial and error.

It now includes a version of VuCamText. Enlarged fragment of Fig. As we can see from this graph, if any important objects are closer to the camera than two hyperfocal distances 2h mdrklinger, we should focus our lens at merklijger hyperfocal distance.

Merklinger claims this fact is critical for the pictures of distant objects. However, the 18mm lens should be sharp from about 5m to infinity for any aperture setting. But this effect can be considered negligibly small for the purposes of this article. merklingger

Kevin Boone’s Web site

The theory is dry, experience is vivid. When a painter creates a picture, he may not show a lot of details.

Merklinger of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.