Problems understanding Mist effect

I am having some problems understanding the Mist effect. I am trying to use this effect to blur out the edges of some planes as they fade off into the horizon. Unfortunately, the mist blurs out my objects near the camera.

To check, I enabled my camera for showing mist and set the mist ‘Sta’ variable so that the mist should not begin until past the green sphere. I confirmed this with the camera’s “show me mist” setting.

This pic is what I get…

As a comparison, this here is the scene de-mystified (pardon the pun).

Can anyone help me “clear up” (the puns!!!) the prob? Thnks.

(You are now free to point out my bone-headed mistake).

Well select the camera and in the object properties enable the “show dist”, I think that’s what it’s called, have’nt used the mist in forever in Blender, but I would try that, your setting may be off.