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  • Writer's pictureIan Miller

Plain of FOCUS

If you are interested in photography, you may have heard of the term "plane of focus". But what does it mean and why is it important? In this blog post, I will explain what the plane of focus is and how it affects the sharpness of your photos.


The plane of focus is the region in space with the potential to be as sharp as possible in a photo. It is a flat surface that is perpendicular to the optical axis of the lens and passes through the point where the lens is focused. Anything that lies on this plane will be in perfect focus, while anything that is closer or farther away from this plane will be more or less blurry, depending on the depth of field.

The depth of field is the range of distances from the camera that are acceptably sharp in a photo. It depends on several factors, such as the aperture, the focal length, the distance to the subject and the sensor size. A larger aperture, a longer focal length, a closer distance to the subject and a larger sensor size will result in a shallower depth of field, meaning that only a small portion of the scene will be in focus. A smaller aperture, a shorter focal length, a farther distance to the subject and a smaller sensor size will result in a deeper depth of field, meaning that more of the scene will be in focus.


The plane of focus is important because it determines what part of your photo will be sharp and what part will be blurry. You can use it creatively to draw attention to your subject or to create a sense of depth and dimension in your photo. For example, if you want to isolate your subject from the background, you can use a large aperture and a long focal length to create a shallow depth of field and place your subject on the plane of focus. This will make your subject stand out and blur the background. On the other hand, if you want to show more details of the scene, you can use a small aperture and a short focal length to create a deep depth of field and place your subject near or far from the plane of focus. This will make your subject and the background both sharp and clear.

To control the plane of focus, you need to adjust the focus ring on your lens or use autofocus. You can also use different focusing modes on your camera, such as single-shot autofocus (AF-S), continuous autofocus (AF-C) or manual focus (MF). AF-S is useful for stationary subjects, as it locks the focus once you half-press the shutter button. AF-C is useful for moving subjects, as it tracks the focus continuously as long as you half-press the shutter button. MF is useful for precise control over the focus, as it allows you to manually adjust the focus ring until you get the desired result.


I hope this blog post has helped you understand what the plane of focus is and how it affects your photos. Remember that there is no right or wrong way to use it, as long as you are happy with your photos. Experiment with different settings and see what works best for you. Happy shooting!

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