Zone focusing

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Glossary Terms

The term zone focusing is used in two (related) ways:

  • It may refer to the technique of focusing so as consciously to exploit depth of field; for example, when photographing a fast-changing situation (perhaps for street photography or a social occasion), the photographer might set the focus scale at a moderate distance and then leave it without adjustment for a series of photographs so as to work fast, relying on depth of field to bring most subjects into the zone of good focus.
  • It may refer to use of the focusing scales offered on many popular cameras, where rather than (or sometimes as well as) actual distances in metres or feet, focus distances for classes of subjects are shown, either as words ('portrait', 'group', 'scene') or symbols representing such subjects, as on many popular cameras of the 1950s onwards.