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Zone focusing is a method of focusing by judging the distance from the camera to the subject and setting the focus using a distance scale printed on the camera lens. Most commonly used with cameras that have adjustable focus but don’t have a precise method of adjusting focus in the viewfinder (such as a coupled rangefinder), or in candid photography where there is no time to set the focus through the viewfinder, or when shooting from the hip.
On smaller cameras, focus guides are often broken down into three of four distances and labelled with symbols for ease of use:
Portrait / Close (1m, 3ft)
Group / Medium (3m, 10ft)
Scenery / Distant (∞)