Focus Shift Shooting - can we end the guesswork?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
jlafferty Senior Member • Posts: 1,109
Re: Focus Shift Shooting - can we end the guesswork?

Well, if you don't understand or don't use tethering, then for sure you'll fail to see how Capture One helps. It's a raw capture and processing app. It has a sophisticated Live View module which, among other things, now has a focus stack component which was developed to help tackle exactly the problem described here. From my limited understanding of it - even in the article I linked - the implications are the opposite of what you imply.

I suggest you look into it more, or not, it's up to you.

Digital Shutterbug wrote:

jlafferty wrote:

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.

I'm sorry. I fail to see how Capture One helps in any way when using a Z camera. The decisions you mention, starting and ending points, and the number of images to take between those points, have to be made prior to ever getting the images into Capture One. How does the software assist in making those decisions? I'm missing something.

The Z cameras essentially give you one bit of help. They allow you to determine the starting point. It's then up to the photographer to guess at the increments and the number of steps to take. It's cumbersome, at best. In most cases you will have to try to cover all bases by taking more images than necessary. Then, toss the ones that are not needed.

I'm glad Nikon has given us an automated way of shooting focus stacks. But, its implementation is rather poor in my estimation.

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

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