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  • Michael says:

    Hi Dan, As a macro shooter I was happily surprised when Fuji added focus stacking on my X-T2. I had great fun with my XF80mm F/2.8 Macro lens and experimenting with focus stacking, like as you nicely described it, until my lens stopped working and now I have been two weeks out waiting on Fuji repair department.

  • Dan says:

    Ugh… I hope you get your lens back soon, Michael! I do know this, modern lenses are really complicated and extremely precise inside, which means that even a simple lens repair can end up taking the better part of a day, because it has to be completely recalibrated. Given that time frame on a single lens, even a handful of lens repairs can really slow turnaround time. Rest assured, the Fuji repair guys know what they’re doing and I know they’re working as fast as they can. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

  • Walter Frei says:

    Hi Dan
    Many thanks for this article (and of course the exellent X-ebooks) a One question left for me: do you recommend jpeg- frames because of the big number of frames and the big amount of Megapixels?
    Walter

  • Hi Dan, great post, easy to understand. Two ‘comments’ I think that “starters” who begins with stacking has to know:
    first set the aut. stabilizer off by using a tripod, and the aut. sharpness off. In the past I used a slider by photo stacking for “close-up” and gives me great result. By using the stacking technics of Fuji we don’t need it.

    I am a serious amateur photographer, age 71 start using Fuji from the moment the X-Pro 1 (and XT-1/XT-2) came out. Have various lenses but not the beautiful macro 80mm (a wish). More or less a year ago I start blogging “Fred’s Foto”(www.fredgeschiere.nl). Presenting nature and som actual pictures with a short story (sorry, only in Dutch).

  • Dan says:

    Walter- Yes. Unless you have a very powerful computer, it’s probably best to shoot JPEGs when using this technique. Loading 30-40 RAW files into PS will no doubt put a huge load on your system.

  • Lew Hann says:

    Thanks for the info Dan. This is a wonderful new feature and one I am anxious to try out. A question: For those of us who are not shooting macro subjects, ie, landscape and similar situations, what are the number of steps recommended. With the relatively large DOF of f5.6 to f11 at these distances, I would think that 5 to 10 steps would easily suffice. Your thoughts?

  • Dan says:

    Lew, since we don’t have any official charts or specific distance information from Fuji, there’s no hard way to determine this. While using a larger number f/stop would probably mean you could get away by using smaller steps, especially with non-macro subjects, I think the best way to figure this out is to experiment on your own and see what works.

    You can always do a quick and dirty test by setting the camera up, and doing a quick burst while looking through the viewfinder. You should be able to see the focus distances change as you shoot the series, and you can inspect for your distances between the first and last photos. Just remember to delete your test images so they don’t clutter your card or computer.

  • Tone says:

    Hi Dan,
    great to read on the subject with a certain time distance from the appearance of FW 4.0 (4.1). You emphasized some points that I already forgot and some others that so far I haven’t paid much (enough) attention.

    I have some comments and a question.

    Regarding the number of frames taken you do not mention that the camera stops taking shots once the infinity is reached. So the number of frames taken is a game of the preset parameter FRAMES or of the minimum number of shots needed to reach infinity at the given lens DOF and of the parameter STEP, whichever comes first. At the moment I am not sure what an infinity would be in the macro but for landscape I think is quite obvious.

    Consequently in FOCUS BRACKETING we have the special situation regarding the number of shots taken. While the bracketing method gives a predefined number of shots per shutter click, at FOCUS BRACKETING the number od shots varies depending on the steps it takes the camera to reach infinity. Anything from 1 to 999 is possible. I find is very hard to structure the groups of focus bracketing shots that belong to a particular shutter click. If the motive, setting, etc, do not change drastically between consecutive shutter clicks and make sufficient visual difference – than it is very hard to determine which shots to take in batch for post processing.

    In this respect, could you please recommend some “best practice” to make life easier in post processing of focus bracketing images?

    Kind regards,

  • Dan says:

    Tone, thanks for your comment. You’re right, “infinity” in a landscape photo is a clearly defined concept, whereas in a macro photo, depending on how you compose, infinity may not even come into play. With this in mind, you may not need to shoot such a large series when focus bracketing on a landscape scene. Again, this depends on how you compose.

    Regarding how to make life easier when shooting a large series of images, I have a very simple technique to separate my batches. After I shoot a particular group, I put my hand in front of the lens, switch the Drive Dial to S and shoot one photo of my blurry palm. This lets me easily identify where each series begins and ends when I’m browsing through a few hundred photos on my computer.

    Hope that helps. -Dan

  • […] You also have the new FOCUS BRACKETING feature, which was introduced earlier this year. (I explain how to use this feature in detail here.) […]

  • Sverre Kolrud says:

    Excellent tutorial. I just got a X-T2, which I upgraded to 4.20 firmware, including the focus bracketing feature, so now I am ready to experiment with focus stacking, thanks to your clarification of this feature.

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