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The Zone of Sharp Focus

It is convenient to envision a geometric plane of focus: a fixed distance at which everything is in focus e.g., three meters distant.

In short, field curvature can cause focus blur on subject matter that is at the same distance as the point of focus. This is not only common, it’s the norm.

Point of focus, plane of focus, zone of focus

The term “point of focus” is suggestive: focus is at some localized area within the frame. However, the assumption that the point of focus defines a geometric plane of focus is simply wrong for many lenses.

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Depiction of zone of focus

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