Focus Stacking Acquisition with B8Stack App on top of Imaging Edge

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MicahSYL Senior Member • Posts: 2,308
Focus Stacking Acquisition with B8Stack App on top of Imaging Edge

This is purely for indoor setup for Focus Stacking Acquisition. It needs a connected Windows PC or laptop with a USB cable (can be up to 3 meters) to connect to the Sony camera.

Here is 2 quick stacks I have taken 2 days ago (14 may 2021) in my mini light box.

Both Focus Stack (Focus Merge) in Affinity and PP in Affinity.

About the setup.

Setup the subject for Focus Stacking. In my case various LED lights were used and wind effect cut down partially due to the 60x60x60cm lightbox.

Setup the Sony camera as - I use M mode. And switches between AF and MF - which I will explained later, why so. Connect it to the laptop with my 3m USD cable.

Setup the laptop - run Imaging Edge (from now on as IE) and connect to the Sony camera using Remote. Set the folder to store the 1st stack - I use difference folders for each stack, so that it is easier to PP them.

Run B8Stack App, there are a few parameters to set and use.
Step size - small, normal and large. Small steps are in mm increment but gets larger as the focus point is shifted beyond +2m from the start point. Normally I will shoot between 50 to 80 or even 100 steps.
Normal steps are likely in cm, and also increases as the focus is shifted beyond +2 to 3m from start - it reaches infinity fairly quickly once the step size increases. This I will shoot between 15 to 50 steps, normally 30 normal steps are sufficient for a DOF of 1 meter.

Large step is as the other two, but starts off with smaller steps (depends on the start point, the step size varies) and then increases rapidly to infinity.

I forgot to mention this, the step size is dependent upon your macro setup on the Sony camera.  I use 16mm, 26mm extension tubes and NiSi 5x front Macro filter and the step sizes differs.  So what I am giving here can be different from you setup.

Then you may ask, how to judge, and this is the fun part.

The default parameters are set to go through simulating the focus stack acquisition, but without saving the images.

So I will try and run without saving, and the camera will stop focus point at the last shot.

You can then see if the stack steps are too few or too many. You then set the focus point again to the nearest point, change the B8Stack number of steps and try again.
Also on the Sony camera monitor, you can see the focus distant roughly in meters.

B8Stack allows you to start from near to far (default) or Far to near (selectable, but I always go for near to far).

You then finally unclick the not to save checkbox in B8Stack App to capture the focus stack.

Note - Your lenses must have a AF/MF switch, fully manual of course would not work, but lenses without the AF/MF switch will also not work. The lens must be set to AF and the Sony Camera set to MF for B8Stack to use the IE to carry out the focus stack acquisition. That is why I use AF to get to the nearest start point, change to MF and fine tune, then I can simulate or actaully take the shots through B8Stack.

Hope this will encourage some to try out the studio like approach for indoor focus stacking.

Questions will only be answered as best as I know or tried. Comments are welcome.

Just my 2 cents worth of help to fellow Sony Focus Stackers. Cheers.

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The wonders in the tapestry of this Universe, demand a Greater Wonder.

 MicahSYL's gear list:MicahSYL's gear list
Nikon D5300 Sony a6000 Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +16 more
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