Most of the mobile phones I've owned have a primary, wide angle camera lens somewhere around 28mm. If I wanted to capture the most details/sharpness (the most pixels) and ignored perspective and distortion, how would I calculate the ideal distance to position a static object to make the most of the sensor?

I'm interested in flat objects like photographs of paper where the additional depth of field calculations can be ignored.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The closer you get to a sheet of paper, the less you can ignore depth of field. tbh, most people would do this by pointing the phone at the sheet & seeing what happens. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 16:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ On my phone to frame an A4 sheet of paper the phone has to be 30cm away, which puts the corners 35cm from the lens, just inside the far DOF limit (1/1.8" sensor@f/1.8). One can be so lucky :) \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented Feb 14, 2023 at 21:16

1 Answer 1


The ideal distance to record the most resolution/details of the subject at the focal plane will be the minimum focus distance... because the details are presented as large as possible to the lens.

At longer distances the details are presented smaller, but that does not necessarily mean the camera records less resolution. However, the smallest details can become too small for the lens to resolve; and at some point total recorded resolution does decrease.

The magnifying power/focal length of the lens doesn't change this... all lenses get the same light/details at the same distance.


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