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Dec14-12, 11:15 AM
P: 595
Depth of field is both closer and beyond the focus setting, where the main focus is sorta-kinda-handwaving about 1/3 of the distance into the "good" DOF range.

If you focus at infinity you basically throw away the depth beyond infinity and just get the 1/3 distance closer to you "in focus", meaning within your selected circle of confusion. To maximize your depth of field in long shots, the Hyperfocal Distance is what you want. Of course that distance changes with the f-stop as well. He's a website with a bunch of charts and information that may (or not) help:

I don't understand what you mean by "what happens to the aperture stop..." so I can't help there...