This information is taken from Cambridge in Colour and I have quoted and abbreviated for my own studies. Focusing your camera at the hyperfocal distance ensures maximum sharpness from half this distance all the way to infinity. The hyperfocal distance is particularly useful in landscape photography, and will help you make the most of your the depth of field — thereby producing a more detailed final print. However, knowing the hyperfocal distance for a given focal length and aperture can be tricky; this tutorial explains how it is calculated, clears up common misconceptions, and provides a hyperfocal chart calculator. Perhaps the best way to optimize your focusing distance is visually. Try first focusing on the most distant object within your scene, then manually adjust the focusing distance as close as possible while still retaining an acceptably sharp background. If your scene has distant objects near the horizon, then this focusing distance will closely approximate the hyperfocal distance. Alternatively, use the tool below to calculate its location precisely: Focus on infinity then pull back the manual focus as far as you can so that the distant subjects are still in focus. This should be your hyperfocal distance. Calculations for my camera This is an eye opener for me. I have been using my 50mm lens for most of my still life images and the Hyperfocal distance is so fare away it would be impossible to benefit while doing still life. I note that it is much more useful when using wide angle and for Landscapes. Currently I could see for portrait using the 50mm on my zoom if I were to use the correct distance than that would help a lot. I need to print this out and keep it in my camera bag I will use it and experiment to see the difference.
Cambridge in Colour tutorials regarding sharpness. http://wp.me/p2dUJz-vK
Photo stacking for a sharper image.
Juxta position a person and their work. http://wp.me/p2dUJz-uv