Question fro Macro shooters on the R5.

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
JayLT4 Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: Question fro Macro shooters on the R5.
3

PhotoKhan wrote:

Do you use the camera's focus stacking function?

If so, what are your typical values for "Number of shots" and "Focus Increment"?

Do you use "Exposure Smoothing"?

Thanks.

PK

I use the feature a lot, anything from insects to reptiles usually. As long as I can get the subject to sit still for a few seconds.

For the settings it's kind of like asking what exposure settings you should use, it all depends on what you're shooting. It can take a bit of trial and error as well to dial it in.

The main thing you need to try to keep in mind is the overall depth of field you're working with in a single exposure. Let's say, for ease of discussion, that the settings for your shot make for a DoF of 10mm and you want to take 25 shots.

Number of Shots - pretty straight forward, number of shots to tell the camera to take. The camera will stop if it hits the number of shots, or the lens focus hits infinity, whichever comes first.

Focus Increment - this can be set from 1 to 10. The smaller the value the smaller the adjustment while the camera focus through the range of shots. So, back to the 10mm DoF. If you choose "1" for this the camera will move roughly 1mm through the DOF range per shot. Choosing "5" would move roughly 5mm through the DoF per shot.

So an increment of 1 (10% total DoF) and 25 shots should provide an overall DoF of ~25mm after stacking the shots together

An increment of 5 (50% total DoF)  and 25 shots should provide an overall DoF of ~125mm after stacking the shots together

So why not just go to 10, or some really high number? Well, again if you're on a tripod that's an option, but hand holding the higher you put this number the less room for error there is in the overlap between shots. And if the images don't overlap well enough then you'll get bands of out of focus areas that look odd, or require a lot of work fixing later.

Smaller increments can produce better overall results in most cases, but obviously require a lot more shots to extend the overall DoF. If you have a static subject and are locked on a tripod then feel free to lower this. If your subject can move, and/or you're shooting hand-held you'll want to increase this a bit to help reduce the overall number of shots needed, which will reduce the amount of time you, and the subject, need to remain still.

EDIT:  the camera can calculate the rough DoF based on the lens, settings and distance to the subject, it's not perfect, or at least I wouldn't expect it to be so keep that in mind as well

Exposure Smoothing - as the name states, this helps keep the exposures of the bracketing shots close and allows the camera to make some adjustments if needed to do so. Personally I don't use this as it can slow down the process slightly, and if there are any changes I can adjust the images as needed prior to bringing them into something like Helicon Focus, or Photoshop to stack them.

For me, most of the time I'll look at the first and last shots and make sure the start and end point of the bracket is roughly what I want it to be, or preferably a bit more just in case. I almost never use a tripod, but will brace myself against something if I can to help keep steady, if you move too much you can get some IBIS wobble as the camera tries to correct for the movement and in most cases at that point the stack is ruined, or needs a lot of touchups afterwards which I don't enjoy doing.

I always use One-Shot AF, lock focus on what I want to be the main focal point and compose, then with the focus locked I'll pull back slightly to bring whatever foreground object I want to start the focus (legs, antenna, leaves, branches, etc...) then hit the shutter button and hold as still as possible. Overall I find that it works pretty well, but there are a lot of extra factors now that can cause the image to not come together so just be well aware of that.

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Canon EOS R5 Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.5 1-5x Macro Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +4 more
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