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Re: [OM] WTFocus Stacking`

Subject: Re: [OM] WTFocus Stacking`
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2022 16:22:17 -0700
On 7/18/2022 2:08 PM, DZDub wrote:
On Sun, Jul 17, 2022 at 11:18 PM Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On 7/17/2022 6:03 PM, Wayne Harridge wrote:
Thanks Joel, it looks like a fair bit of experimentation will be
required to
work out the best combination of aperture/focus differential/number of
for a few lenses & focal lengths.
How are you going to remember all that, standing at the edge of a swamp,
aiming at a dragonfly? Perhaps a difference is
that I see FS/FB as hand held, dynamic, and some folks may see them as
tripod stuff, to be done with thoughtful care?

There isn't that much to remember, really.

If you say so . . . "the best combination of aperture/focus differential/number of shots for a few lenses & focal lengths. " sounded to me like a grid with too many squares for this brain. 😁

All my recently posted 22 were hand held, often in the moment. The cute
little flutterby, looking down at me? Caught my
peripheral vision. Mike and Marnie's car had already left the restaurant,
ours about to leave, brought camera up, FB on,
pressed the button twice, two good stacks, walked on without holding
anyone up.

My FB settings are 31 shots, Focus Differential 1. If the subject is
really deep, I may up the number of shots. Any
lens, any FL.

My FS/FB shots have all been handheld.  You have a proven methodology,
which works and doesn't include FS.  It involves HF, which is an excellent
tool.  No reason for you to go back to school.

True. OTOH, I like to have as many tools in my kit as possible.

With the E-M5 II, if I recall, I had two settings, 21 slices and 31. The
E-M1 II is faster, and the OM-1 much faster, so
I skip the 21 setting now. Dumping files in the bit bucket later is free;
coming up short isn't.

This isn't MPG, mortgage interest rate, etc. folks. It's just ephemeral
files that may be erased at no cost. What's the
point of finding the edge that minimizes zero?

I mean to retry FS; I've set it up on a button . . . but I'm learning my
12-200, and it isn't eligible. I've set it to
15 slices, @ Focus Differential 2. Some day, I may find out how it works.
I enjoy the instant feedback from FS, so I have been building on that.

Interesting. I very seldom do anything more to check on shots than a quick glance at the screen, to make sure something major didn't go wrong. The only thing I can imagine checking on a bracket is whether I got the closest focus right. But I don't recall doing that in ages. If I'm not sure, I just shoot another bracket, making more effort at that aspect.

Then again, I have many years and hundreds of "stacks" under my belt so I pretty much know what will work. Doesn't stop me from trying ones I'm pretty sure won't work. 😁

And I've not had the newer Oly FS available for almost two years - and made the invalid assumption that it hadn't got better. And, as you say, I had a technique that works.

far some of my more satisfying stacks have come as a result of culling a
smaller number of frames from the 15 I've got the camera set to shoot and
these are then stacked using HF or Picolay.

Big Yes! I always flip through the stack to choose the set to merge. After that's worked, the rest then go in the bit bucket.

  With HF I can "short stack" the ORFs, whereas my camera has (I think) aligned 
the jpgs to create its own jpg output.  I don't seem to get a better result working with 
ORFs over
and above the jpgs.  So I'm just going to work with jpgs for  FS/FB
processes going forward.

ORF files are 12 bit, with lossless compression. JPEGs are 8 bit, with lossy compression. I think the rule of thumb is one stop of DR per bit (?). So yes, it's going to work most of the time, so belt an suspenders Moose thinks about the times a red or yellow flower, bright sky, deep shadows occasionally will push 8 bits past their limits, and opts for working from the ORFs. I really hate it when I do a stack esp. one that requires some hand work, get into PS and Oops, it's not ready for prime time in some way.

In answer to your "standing on a wet log, one foot in the air" scenario --
my plan would be just to shoot focus brackets when known to be going into
the Unknown.


When I do this, by the way, shooting wide open and 30 frames
at interval 1,

I assume you are talking the 100-400 here, not f2.8 on the 12-40?

I've not yet used more than 2/3 of the photos in a stack.

I almost never use them all, the key being "almost". Remember those pink 
flowers you thought were a shallow stack?

But I think this is a good number.

I agree.

I'll stick with it.  I feel like I can
generally improve particularly the OOF portion of in-camera stacks by using
fewer than the 15 photos the camera works with.

Yup, yup.

Another benefit to doing a
"short stack" from the photos the camera has used in FS is there is no
automatic crop of the resulting image.  I've saved a couple images I liked
that I had failed to frame with sufficient margins so that the camera
cropped off something I really wanted in the final image.

There is a thin frame in the VF, but it looks easy to miss.

Still Learning Moose

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