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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II The second Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 13th September 2019
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MJ224 MJ224 is offline
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Focus Stacking

You know what its like, you think you have got a app cracked, then suddenly they change the rules a bit, and you can no longer do the biz..

Focus bracketing comes in that category for me...……..

1. How does one decide on the number of photos to bracket?

2. How does one decide on the focus differential?

3. Where does one start the focus position?

When I was able to use it successfully, I just used the default settings, and focused on the nearest point of the object, be it a dragonfly of flower...…

Does not seem to work for me anymore. I have to confess that I rarely use a tripod. Generally I am using the 300mm Pro + 1.4 TC. If stacking does not get done in the camera (because I am wobbling a bit too much), I can usually get Photoshop to do the stacking later...……….

TIA...………….

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Old 13th September 2019
Growltiger Growltiger is offline
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Re: Focus Stacking

It is very different for Stacking and Bracketing.

With Stacking you focus on the main point, not the closest.
When there was a limit of 8 with Stacking, the sequence made was:
1. Focus is on the original position.
2. Next two shots are closer.
3. Last 5 are further and further away from the original point..
I'm sure with 15 shots it will be similar.

With Bracketing you always start at the closest point.

Using stacking I always set it to 15. You can easily experiment with different differentials. Start by trying 3.
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Re: Focus Stacking

Thanks very much for that. I almost always use stacking, as I hope the camera will do the job, rather than the Photoshop method. I guess it depends on the size of the object to be stacked, but unsure how the camera will determine the front and back of that....

Using smaller lenses is more successful rather than the 300mm Pro.
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Old 13th September 2019
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Re: Focus Stacking

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Originally Posted by MJ224 View Post
Thanks very much for that. I almost always use stacking, as I hope the camera will do the job, rather than the Photoshop method. I guess it depends on the size of the object to be stacked, but unsure how the camera will determine the front and back of that....

Using smaller lenses is more successful rather than the 300mm Pro.
A lens such as the 60mm or the 12-40 Pro is perfect.
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Old 13th September 2019
MikeOxon MikeOxon is offline
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Re: Focus Stacking

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Originally Posted by MJ224 View Post
.............I guess it depends on the size of the object to be stacked, but unsure how the camera will determine the front and back of that...….
The 'focus differential' in the stacking menu relates to the depth of field for the lens setting in use. The individual focus steps are 1X, 2X, 3X etc of the depth of field calculated by the camera. When you use the 300mm + 1.4x converter at short range, the subject magnification is high, so the depth of field is very small.

Even with 15 steps, you are not going to cover more than a few millimetres and, if there's camera shake, the camera will have difficulty registering the images. If you want a smooth continuity of focus through the depth of the subject, I find 3X is usually the optimum differential setting. If you take larger steps, you begin to notice loss of image quality between the steps, whereas smaller steps don't add much IQ under normal viewing conditions.

If you can calculate the depth of field for your own lens settings, then you can work out what range the focus steps should cover, from the step size and number of steps.

If you use other software to do the actual stacking, then you can use up to 999 steps in the camera but it won't stack more than 15 images itself. When the camera could only stack 8 steps, with the earlier firmware, I found I needed to stack images in the computer quite often. I use 'CombineZP', which is free, but be careful where you download it, in case it carries some nasty companion software.
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Last edited by MikeOxon; 14th September 2019 at 10:11 AM. Reason: num steps corrected after comment below
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Re: Focus Stacking

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Originally Posted by MikeOxon View Post
If you use other software to do the actual stacking, then you can use up to 99 steps in the camera but it won't stack more than 15 images itself.
Bracketing allows you to have 999 steps, not 99.
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Dennis Russ Dennis Russ is offline
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Re: Focus Stacking

I tried some stacking two days ago and it kept going wrong. I realized after, that my 12-50mm was on camera not my 60mm macro..Silly me. I shall try again later.
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