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Focus bracketing step sizes

Discussion in 'General X Camera Forum' started by Richard_M, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Richard_M

    Richard_M Premium Member

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    I realise this has been discussed in other threads, although I must admit I’ve not read them all. Has anyone worked out a rough guide for setting the step size?


    On one of the posts on DPReview I was reading about the Olympus settings, one owner did some testing.
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    And another member posted in the same thread their guidelines when using bracketing.
    I’ve not done a lot of stacks with the Fuji, but what I have done have all been at step 10.
     
  2. Jackpinoh

    Jackpinoh Member

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    Are you writing about focus bracketing (to improve image dynamic range) or focus stacking (to improve depth of field)? They are different.

    I use the histogram to determine if I need to do focus bracketing to encompass the dynamic range of the scene. If necessary, I take two or three exposures, the first at normal exposure, the second with the exposure reduced to avoid clipping the highlights, and if necessary, the third to avoid clipping the shadows.

    Focus stacking depends on the focal length of the lens as well as on aperture. Computation of the number of images required to get a subject entirely in focus can be relatively complex and depends on the lens focal length, lens aperture, and distance to the subject. The number of images needed to ensure depth of field decreases as focal length decreases and as aperture increases. Rather than try to calculate the number of images required, I use the depth of field indicator in the camera to determine how many images are required. I use the depth of field indicator (pixel setting) in the EVF and take as many photos as necessary while adjusting focus to ensure that I have in-focus images of all relevant parts of the scene for focus stacking.
     
  3. Richard_M

    Richard_M Premium Member

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    Thank you for your response.

    As we're on a Fuji forum, and Fuji (along with Olympus) name the process of creating images suitable for focus stacking "Focus Bracketing" Here is the info from the recent firmware updates.

    Hence my use of the terminology.

    I've now invested in an Olympus setup, as I'm not 100% fan of Fuji's implementation, and with the testing I've done, I cannot fathom out the relationship with the step value, focal length, and f/stop used. At least now I can be reasonably confident with the results using the Olympus system.
     
  4. SausalitoDog

    SausalitoDog Premium Member

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    I've been using a fuji xp2 and xt1 for some focus stacking. I'm using Helicon and even went so far as to buy the Helicon tube for Nikon. I just mention that because it was a waste of money. It works fine but its a lot more work than just using a fuji in manual focus and use the peak focus which makes it pretty simple to know that your step will slightly overlap with the last one.

    You sound like you may be talking about an xt2 with the bracket feature, but I bet you will be amazed at how good the method I just described works and how easy it is.
     
  5. Richard_M

    Richard_M Premium Member

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    Yes, X-T2 and X-H1.

    The issue for me is I can take anywhere from 30 to 50 focus stacks on a walk. Using the DSLR's for the past 5+ years with an automated system has been working a treat. Now I want to move to electronic shutter and shorter time frame for taking the stacks. I was hoping the Fuji's were going to tick all of the boxes, like the Nikon D850, and couple of Olympus bodies do, but alas they don't. Not to worry, I now have an Olympus setup and will put it through its paces in the field this weekend.
     
  6. Richard_M

    Richard_M Premium Member

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    Quick test 12 image stack with the Olympus using step size 3 and f/5.6.

    [​IMG]


    EDIT: one of my Fuji test shots here
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    .
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018

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