Question fro Macro shooters on the R5.

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PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,880
Question fro Macro shooters on the R5.

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

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Canon EOS R5
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JustUs7 Senior Member • Posts: 3,826
Re: Question fro Macro shooters on the R5.
2

I use it on the RP, but it’s the same function.

The focus increment is effectively the amount of overlap of the focal plane based on the depth of field as determined by the aperture, focal length, and subject distance. I tend to think of it as percentage of overlap, but reversed. With 1 being 90% overlap (the smallest increment) and requiring the highest number of images to fully cover your subject. 10 being almost no overlap and requiring the fewest number of images to cover your subject. The default is 4, which seems to be very workable for most semi macro (flowers and such) that I’ve done. I’m guessing 60% overlap.

As far as number of shots, you can put in 999 (I think) and it will stop once focus reaches infinity. Or guess based in depth of field and depth of your subject. I find 25-50 shots is workable for most subjects I’ve done. I use the shots that fully cover my subject and delete any extras. If my last image isn’t as deep as I want, I’ll hit the shutter again and it will pick up where I left off continuing the sequence for 25 or 50 more shots. And I again, delete extras.

I haven’t found a good explanation for exposure smoothing, but I check it. I assume it makes an effort to account for any exposure changes in the frames caused by light changes or whatever.

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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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Emile15 Senior Member • Posts: 1,682
R5 and Laowa 100

For a recent example using the R5 and the Laowa 100 2x see https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66296682, which uses focus increment 10, Exposure smoothing for 30 images, and only gets a few mm of depth. Next time I’ll try 200 shots.

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JayLT4 Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: R5 and Laowa 100

Emile15 wrote:

For a recent example using the R5 and the Laowa 100 2x see https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66296682, which uses focus increment 10, Exposure smoothing for 30 images, and only gets a few mm of depth. Next time I’ll try 200 shots.

Howe did you use the focus bracketing with that lens?  I thought the Laowa 100mm was a manual focus lens only?

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JustUs7 Senior Member • Posts: 3,826
Re: R5 and Laowa 100

JayLT4 wrote:

Emile15 wrote:

For a recent example using the R5 and the Laowa 100 2x see https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66296682, which uses focus increment 10, Exposure smoothing for 30 images, and only gets a few mm of depth. Next time I’ll try 200 shots.

Howe did you use the focus bracketing with that lens? I thought the Laowa 100mm was a manual focus lens only?

That would be why it didn’t work. Although I’m surprised it went through the motions.  I’ve never used an incompatible lens.  Kind of assumed the menu option would be greyed out if it wasn’t compatible with the feature.

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JayLT4 Regular Member • Posts: 265
Re: R5 and Laowa 100

JustUs7 wrote:

JayLT4 wrote:

Emile15 wrote:

For a recent example using the R5 and the Laowa 100 2x see https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/66296682, which uses focus increment 10, Exposure smoothing for 30 images, and only gets a few mm of depth. Next time I’ll try 200 shots.

Howe did you use the focus bracketing with that lens? I thought the Laowa 100mm was a manual focus lens only?

That would be why it didn’t work. Although I’m surprised it went through the motions. I’ve never used an incompatible lens. Kind of assumed the menu option would be greyed out if it wasn’t compatible with the feature.

Yep, I just tried it with one of my manual focus lenses, it just takes a bunch of the same shot.  Agreed though, kind of odd that Canon would even let the option be available when a lens that does not support AF is mounted.

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Emile15 Senior Member • Posts: 1,682
Re: R5 and Laowa 100

Bummer. It did go through the motions but once you think about it it is indeed quite impossible. Ah well, a good reason to start saving for the Canon macro.

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OP PhotoKhan Forum Pro • Posts: 11,880
Thank you all for your replies. (nt)

PK

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