Focus Shift Shooting - can we end the guesswork?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
jlafferty Senior Member • Posts: 1,091
Re: Focus Shift Shooting - can we end the guesswork?

Seconding all of this. How big's your subject? What focal length are you shooting on? What's the exact depth you're after - 1 inch, 5, 7? It's all user and subject motivated problems that require in-the-moment evaluation and solutions.

FWIW I *think* there's a way to take the guesswork out of this with Capture One, but I haven't used it to try yet:

http://www.paulbourke.net/miscellaneous/focusstacking/

Ideally the way this works is to choose a starting point for front focus, and a final point for rear focus, and the camera & software will figure out the intermediate steps for you. This is how it works on Hasse in their Phocus software and, to my knowledge, it's the only strike in their favor   The link above implies Capture One works similarly.

Leonard Shepherd wrote:

jimhughes wrote:

I know Jim Kasson has a page about this, but it was too technical for me; I couldn't cook it down to some easily understandable guidelines.

As far as I know there are no readily understandable guidelines - and probably never will be.

For high magnification subjects small (close) steps work best as depth of field is small.

For large prints or viewing at 100% or more on a monitor small steps work best because of the large magnification. For a 10x8 inch print fewer steps are likely to be OK.

If the detail is continuous (as in an insect photo) small steps work best, whereas with a landscape with near and far detail with nothing in the middle as little as 2 steps done manually might be enough.

These guidelines should help you narrow your initial options.

Once you have gained some experience, as with much photography, you should gain some understanding of what settings work best for the subjects you shoot and then view.

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http://jimlafferty.com
General scoundrel. Evocative beats academic.

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