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X-T5, 10mm macro & Focus Stacking.


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After trying out the pixel-shift function for making high-res copies of my B&W large format film and paper negatives (which turned out to be every bit as good as I'd hoped), I thought I'd have a crack at the new camera's focus stacking function with the new linear-motor 30/2.8 macro lens. I expected that this short focal length lens would not be able to throw the background totally out of focus with an object as large as a rose, and I was indeed proved correct, so some layered selection and retouching was required to achieve the effect I was after.

 

That aside, the speed at which the camera progressed through the 125 shots taken using  electronic shutter before I stopped the progression when it appeared to have gone far enough on the LCD previews to render just the subject sharp was truly amazing. I didn't time it, but it couldn't have been more than ten seconds from start to finish, the lens shifting focus accurately and silently and the preview progressing almost like a slow motion focus zoom rather than a progression of still images. The result after stacking with Zerene Stacker, I think, is pretty good.

 

Ee6CNeI.jpg

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That’s a great result. Does the camera also do the stacking of frames internally or do you have to use external software for that all the time? 

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No, you have to stack separately (most editing programs can do this do this) which makes sense as often as not you won't want to stack the entire sequence, choosing the best start and finish point to get the result you're after. For instance I knocked off the last 15 or so in this stack as all that was happening was the unwanted background was getting sharper with each shot.

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I do like the focus stacking feature of Fujifilm (GFX in my case) and use it quite often! With flowers in the wild it is a gamble every time because the slightest breeze of wind can hurt. EShutter gives deformed objects when they move while reading out the pixels.

 

But when wind is cooperating it is easy to do. The work follows at home in front of the PC ;-/

 

And I had to invest in a very fast SD-card. With a 90MB/s card after some shots the in camera buffer was full and it picture taking slowed down considerably - mayby to one shot a second. With a 300MB/s card that is a lot faster.

 

If I have a pronounced (near) foreground in wide-angle shots, I do some focus stacking, too.

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Focus stacking is one feature that I would like to give a try - unfortunately the X-E3 was the only model in that generation that doesn't have the ability to do it automatically.   Perhaps Fuji will come up with a new camera that tempts me in the coming year.

 

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On 10/01/2023 at 18:05, crowecg said:

Focus stacking is one feature that I would like to give a try - unfortunately the X-E3 was the only model in that generation that doesn't have the ability to do it automatically.   Perhaps Fuji will come up with a new camera that tempts me in the coming year.

 


You still have to use a 3rd party image editor to combine the stack, so it's fine to shoot the stack whilst manually shifting the focus, judging the overlap as you go on the LCD (and relying on memory) - I did a huge number of complex multi-row macro panos in exactly that way in the mid '00's to mid 10's until Fuji offered the auto stack shooting update via firmware for the X-T2. I had no problems doing them manually on the X-Pro1, though, thanks to the instant response of the LCD without having to laboriously go through the mirror-up-live-view/focus/shoot/mirror up-live view/focus/shoot sequence that using the D3s used to put me through for every shot to achieve the same thing, which wasn't so bad for individual shots, but a (human) memory-taxing, fiddly nightmare when doing stacked multi-row panorama shots. As your Laowa is a manual focus macro you're going to have to manually shift the focus anyway, so why not give it a go next time you have a motionless subject?

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