Focus Breathing :(

Started Dec 29, 2019 | User reviews
mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Focus Breathing :(
5

This lens has focus breathing. This means that if you intend to run the focus stacking app on an A7RII, you're out of luck: as the app changes focus, the zoom level also changes.

Focus breathing makes a macro lens near-useless, for me, at least. I wish I knew about this before buying this. Now I end up doing my stacked macro shots on a non-macro lens that doesn't have focus breathing.

Do not buy if you intend to do focus stacking.

 mezastel's gear list:mezastel's gear list
Canon EOS 1100D Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +5 more
Sony FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS
Telephoto macro prime lens • Sony FE • SEL90M28G
Announced: Mar 4, 2015
mezastel's score
3.0
Average community score
4.6
dbm61 Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: Focus Breathing :(

mezastel wrote:

This lens has focus breathing. This means that if you intend to run the focus stacking app on an A7RII, you're out of luck: as the app changes focus, the zoom level also changes.

Focus breathing makes a macro lens near-useless, for me, at least. I wish I knew about this before buying this. Now I end up doing my stacked macro shots on a non-macro lens that doesn't have focus breathing.

Do not buy if you intend to do focus stacking.

Would it work if you used a focus rail?

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Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 2,543
Re: Focus Breathing :(

In general, a focus rail is recommended for focus stacking. Which I find strange, I would expect that one wants the entrance pupil to stay in the same location so the perspective is the same. Magnification differences should be handled by the stacking program.

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moficera Contributing Member • Posts: 584
Re: Focus Breathing :(
7

mezastel wrote:

This lens has focus breathing. This means that if you intend to run the focus stacking app on an A7RII, you're out of luck: as the app changes focus, the zoom level also changes.

Did you ever notice that magnification is set by the focus point and you have to move the lens/camera in order to "focus"?

It would be interesting if there is a macro lens that does not work this way.

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Sympa Senior Member • Posts: 2,543
Re: Focus Breathing :(

They would make the focal distance shorter with the lens staying in the same spot. That would work. And people would complain (rightly so) that their "90 mm" lens suddenly is only 45 mm at 1:1 magnification, and they have no working distance left.

Perhaps those ancient zooms that said "macro" on them worked this way: move the focusing group to the tele position, and the zoom group in wide angle. Not the best macro though.

 Sympa's gear list:Sympa's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony E 30mm F3.5 Macro Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sony Vario-Tessar T* E 16-70mm F4 ZA OSS +4 more
JALComputing
JALComputing Contributing Member • Posts: 658
Re: Focus Breathing :(

Good to know. Did not know that.

My Olympus OMD had built in focus stacking with the Olympus Zoom. Kinda spoiled me.

I am gearing up to try focus stacking using Lightroom with GF 120/4. Not sure how fast focus stacking 208 Mbyte RAW files is going to take :(.

Jeff

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burning1rr Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Focus Breathing :(

mezastel wrote:

This lens has focus breathing. This means that if you intend to run the focus stacking app on an A7RII, you're out of luck: as the app changes focus, the zoom level also changes.

Focus breathing makes a macro lens near-useless, for me, at least. I wish I knew about this before buying this. Now I end up doing my stacked macro shots on a non-macro lens that doesn't have focus breathing.

Do not buy if you intend to do focus stacking.

Almost all macro lenses breath. Most of the time, the lens roughly doubles in focal length from infinity to 1x magnification. The only one I'm aware of that doesn't is the Zeiss 100mm f/2 Makro-Planar.

If the app you're using can't handle breathing, it's probably not designed for macro-photography.

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CaliforniaDave Senior Member • Posts: 1,833
Re: Focus Breathing :(
6

mezastel wrote:

This lens has focus breathing. This means that if you intend to run the focus stacking app on an A7RII, you're out of luck: as the app changes focus, the zoom level also changes.

Focus breathing makes a macro lens near-useless, for me, at least. I wish I knew about this before buying this. Now I end up doing my stacked macro shots on a non-macro lens that doesn't have focus breathing.

Do not buy if you intend to do focus stacking.

Do you mean do not buy the lens, or do you mean do not buy the app, if you intend to do focus stacking? Is the app a Sony official app, or a third party hacked app? What macro lens do you recommend in this case, that doesn’t breathe? It seems that the problem is the app, and not the lens, which is highly regarded. It seems silly to downgrade the lens simply because the app doesn’t handle focus breathing.

JALComputing
JALComputing Contributing Member • Posts: 658
Sliding Rail
1

So it looks like a sliding rail should allow you to move the focus point without doing any adjustment to the lens, eliminating any concerns about focus breathing.

I was able to combine 18 208 meg RAW files using auto focus bracketing, the Fuji 120/4, Lightroom and Photoshop (No Rail). Not sure if the Fuji 120/4 has much focus breathing. If it does, LR and PS was able to compensate.

Jeff

AutoBlendedStackUsingLRandPS, Image Downsized

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Reto B
Reto B Senior Member • Posts: 1,957
Re: Focus Breathing :(
4

You obviously don't understand how this lens (and many other macro lenses) works. If you do it right this lens works perfectly and it really is a very good lens in every respect indeed! And of course it works perfectly well for focus stacking if you handle it right and use good software like Helicon Focus for the stacking. See here: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/63474683

This lens works as advertised and deliveres very good results!

Cheers,
Reto

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OP mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Focus Breathing :(

Zeiss 100mm macro does not work this way.

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Canon EOS 1100D Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +5 more
OP mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Focus Breathing :(

The app is a camera automation script that adjust focus between two planes A and B that you specify and takes pictures at regular intervals. That's it.

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OP mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Sliding Rail

This is true, but I prefer high-tech solutions that do not require manual manipulation.

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OP mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Focus Breathing :(
3

Starting your conversation with "you obviously don't understand" is condescending. You should really observe the basic rules, "be polite" is at the very top.

I DO understand how lenses work and, furthermore, I know there are lenses which exhibit NO focus breathing whatsoever. Hence my lament that this one does.

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Canon EOS 1100D Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +5 more
OP mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Focus Breathing :(

I'm using a third-party app that is super-useful. It works on Sony A7RII but not on later models. It simply takes a set of pictures at regular intervals between two focal planes. Very useful. As for what to buy -- if you need focus stacking, then the 100mm Zeiss Makro-Planar has no focus breathing. That's probably the lens to go for. It's not as feature-rich as the Sony but then you don't need autofocus (and it doesn't work well anyway), you just need no focus breathing. So that would be my choice.

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Canon EOS 1100D Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +5 more
burning1rr Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Focus Breathing :(

mezastel wrote:

The app is a camera automation script that adjust focus between two planes A and B that you specify and takes pictures at regular intervals. That's it.

Then why does the app not work with your particular lens?

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burning1rr Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Sliding Rail

mezastel wrote:

This is true, but I prefer high-tech solutions that do not require manual manipulation.

Then you might consider a high-tech automated macro stacking rail.

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burning1rr Contributing Member • Posts: 661
Re: Focus Breathing :(

mezastel wrote:

I'm using a third-party app that is super-useful. It works on Sony A7RII but not on later models. It simply takes a set of pictures at regular intervals between two focal planes. Very useful. As for what to buy -- if you need focus stacking, then the 100mm Zeiss Makro-Planar has no focus breathing. That's probably the lens to go for. It's not as feature-rich as the Sony but then you don't need autofocus (and it doesn't work well anyway), you just need no focus breathing. So that would be my choice.

I'm pretty sure the Zeiss Makro-Planar is a manual focus lens. So, I'm not sure it's going to meet your specific requirements.

The vast vast majority of macro lenses focus breath. If the app just steps through a range of focus distances, it's perfectly well suited to stacking with the Sony 90 Macro. A tool like Helicon focus can then merge the stack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZOdZKWb1Fk

Breathing is not as much of an issue as people make it out to be.

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Reto B
Reto B Senior Member • Posts: 1,957
Edited and added examples taken with the Sony 90
2

mezastel wrote:

Starting your conversation with "you obviously don't understand" is condescending. You should really observe the basic rules, "be polite" is at the very top.

I certainly did not want to offend you and am sorry, but I don't understand why "you obviously don't understand" should be condescending.

I DO understand how lenses work and, furthermore, I know there are lenses which exhibit NO focus breathing whatsoever. Hence my lament that this one does.

Well, I worked with three macro lenses so far (Sigma 105, Canon 100 L and now the Sony 90) and we talk about macro lenses in this case, don't we? The Sigma was manual focus only, the other two behaved very much the same in AF mode and very good results were possible with all three of them. No stacking issues with any of them, with or without automation app. That's why I concluded that you don't understand this kind of lenses. And your other replies in this thread point in the same direction.

Edit: Therefore if you say "Do not buy if you intend to do focus stacking." this is simply bad advice because the lens works perfectly for that. And the magnification changes when focus stacking even if you use a manual lens. So "focus breathing" is not a problem at all and good stacking software like Helicon Focus can handle it without any problem.

Some examples made with the Sony 90:

Best wishes,
Reto

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OP mezastel Junior Member • Posts: 32
Re: Focus Breathing :(
1

For crying out loud! The app works. It works just fine. There's no problem with the app! The problem is that if your lens breathes, then as focus changes, the zoom level also changes!

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Canon EOS 1100D Sony a7R II Sony a7R IV Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II Canon EF 17-40mm f/4.0L USM +5 more
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