Ricoh Zone focus vs Snap vs Hyperfocal vs infinity?


New Member
Oct 11, 2013
I'm getting a GRD IV soon and am wondering what the diff between snap vs zone vs infinity vs hyperfocal. I've tried to read up on it via googling but I still can't wrap my head around it. It know it has something to do with pre-focusing so it takes a pic instantly when object comes into the frame and when you click the shutter. Are these the same thing but different naming? Can all cameras do this? Does AF need to be turned off?


May 6, 2011
snap - where the movement of the focus mechanism allows a lens to be quickly brought to a particular focus distance. You could set snap to bring you to a 2 meter focus distance quickly, for example.

zone - a manual focusing method that allows you to set a focus distance and aperture which gives you a known range where things will be acceptably in focus. Then you just shoot stuff in that range, without having to refocus for each shot.

- hyperfocal distance - the focusing distance, at a given aperture, where DOF will stretch from behind the focus point to infinity. You use this to maximise DOF at a particular aperture.

- infinity focus - where you actually set the focus on the lens to infinity. Easier to find than hyperfocal but you won't get the same DOF advantages as half of it will be beyond infinity.

They're all different but it's possible to utilise them together or as individuals. i.e; you could set snap focus on your lens to bring you to the hyper focal distance at f8 and then use that as a zone to shoot in. Or they can be individually utilised.


Ray Sachs

Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
What Gordon said, with the clarification that Snap is really a shortcut that Ricoh provides to Zone focus. It's just a different and quicker way to set your zone focus distance, but to use it effectively you still need to understand DOF and set your aperture accordingly. And some Ricoh models have an infinity setting among their snap focus distances, so it's kind of a shortcut for that too. And you can get pretty close to hyperfocal shooting with snap too, but you can't fine tune the distance, so you can approximate it or slightly overshoot it, but rarely hit it exactly - but a slight overshoot isn't gonna hurt you if you're trying for hyperfocal.

One warning - don't trust the DOF scale on the GRD4. The one on the GR and GXR28 are really good, but the ones on the smaller sensor GRD models are waaaaay off, so spend a little time with a DOF calculator to fully get to know how to best use snap focus on the GRD4. The distance scale is fine, but not the DOF information.



New Member
Oct 11, 2013
Thanks for the explanations. Okay, I get it now, snap is just a preset/shortcut to specified distances like 1m/2m/etc. Whereas zone you'd have to do that manually. Cool, can't wait to get my grd4!

Latest threads

Top Bottom