Selecting the depth of field and setting Hyperfocal Distance – Being able to determine the amount of depth of field required through f stop selection is a vital consideration in landscape photography. There are many depth of field calculators available that can help with this task and a little time with one of them will give an insight into how changes in focal length, distance to subject and the desired effect will all affect the f stop choice.
For the image and composition I have in mind I decide to use a 24mm lens and aim to achieve maximum depth of field. Whilst fixed focal length lenses do have adequate hyperfocal scales on them this is never the case with zoom lenses so referring to a prepared Hyperfocal & Depth of Field Tables (that I have for all of my lenses) is the best option. I select an aperture of f22 which will ensure sharpness from 0.6m to infinity when set to focus at 1.1m. The minimum focus is always half of the Hyperfocal Distance, see diagram below.
Having set the point of focus and looking through the viewfinder the image looks out of focus, to actually see what will appear in our image we need to use the Depth of Field preview. This takes a little getting used to as the preview with the lens stopped down to f16 will look very dark indeed. Here we need to be patient and allow our eye to adjust to the reduced light in the viewfinder. After time it will appear brighter and we can visually inspect and confirm that the f stop selected does actually provide the depth of field that we require.
 Hyperfocal Distance is the point of focus needed to ensure sharpness from half that distance to infinity. It is determined by both aperture selection and lens focal length.
 Depth of Field is the distance from the nearest to furthest part of an image that appears to be sharply focused. It will change with lens selection and point of focus.