Focus stack at Panorama Point

AlanLichty

Moderator
Very nice result. My only nit is the footprints right down at the bottom just to the right of center.

I don't have a built in focus stacking routine in my Canon 5D MkIV but since tap to focus on LiveView works so well I use it to set up focus stacks on almost every scene I find it applicable. I do not share the point of view that stopping down is a better solution when you are using a tripod. Stopping down and hyperfocal targets will give a better result than nothing but can't match the range of depth a focus stack can achieve.
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
Rats, I got the focus too close now the footprint is visible:mad: You must have sharper eyes than me when you can see an improvement from focus stack. I should keep trying it to improve my game.
 

Jim Dockery

Well-Known Member
I too am a believer in focus stacking when you are trying to include a very close foreground detail. It allows you to shoot at an optimum aperture for sharpness (f 8 on many of my lenses) and not have problems with diffraction from larger f stops. In some ways though it is only for pixel peepers (I'm one) or those who like to stand close to large prints and look at the details over the whole thing. I think it can impart a hyper-realistic feel to a shot, mimicking the effect you can get with a view camera.
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
I too am a believer in focus stacking when you are trying to include a very close foreground detail. It allows you to shoot at an optimum aperture for sharpness (f 8 on many of my lenses) and not have problems with diffraction from larger f stops. In some ways though it is only for pixel peepers (I'm one) or those who like to stand close to large prints and look at the details over the whole thing. I think it can impart a hyper-realistic feel to a shot, mimicking the effect you can get with a view camera.
I also looks at large prints the same way. However, the largest print that is practical for me is 24x36. Most of my landscapes lack anything really close. But now that focus stacking is somewhat automated, I will give it a try.

Imagine my friend Rick Knepper doing this with a 100MP Fuji and some of the sharpest lenses on the planet.
 

Kyle Jones

Moderator
Really nice result - focus stacking or not! Pretty light on the scene. Did the camera combine the images into a new RAW or did you have to combine them yourself?

If it were mine I might try lightening the shadows on the left a little more and darkening the highlights on the right to balance things out a little bit.
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Very nice work Ben. I agree that with or without a focus stack this is a really great scene. Panorama Point is easy to get to? It looks like a place I would like to visit. It has a little Skyline Overlook feel to it?

As for focus stacking, like Jim Dockery said it's very helpful when trying to include something that is really close to you, like foot prints in the sand. :)

But I will say, my personal taste is I don't like the idea that every scene should be focus stacked as I have seen some people do. It has it's time and place in my mind. But for 99% of my images, I prefer Hyperfocal distancing and using just 1 shot to get everything in focus. For one, it's easier to process later. But for two, I truly believe an image shot with Hyperfocal distance has more depth to it and feels more real then an image that is focus stacked and tack sharp from front to back. I prefer the "appearance" of sharpness that Hyperfocal distance gives a photo since it mimics my own eye sight and how I am really seeing things myself. Objects closer to me are always sharper and with more detailed then objects further away.

So that's my preference and reasoning. But for those that like to focus stack all of their images, if it makes them happy, then have at it. :)

And with all that said, it's good of you to practice it Ben, I probably should too. My biggest problem is I will once in a while practice Focus Stacking while out shooting, but when I get back home and download the photos to process, I can never remember exactly which ones it was that I had used for the Focus Stacking, so rather then having to scroll through my images at 100% to find them, I just process the Hyperfocal Distanced one. I know I should use markers when I am shooting to remember which ones are which, but I usually forget to do that... :rolleyes:
 

Kyle Jones

Moderator
And with all that said, it's good of you to practice it Ben, I probably should too. My biggest problem is I will once in a while practice Focus Stacking while out shooting, but when I get back home and download the photos to process, I can never remember exactly which ones it was that I had used for the Focus Stacking, so rather then having to scroll through my images at 100% to find them, I just process the Hyperfocal Distanced one. I know I should use markers when I am shooting to remember which ones are which, but I usually forget to do that... :rolleyes:
Usually I can tell, and I have a pretty good memory. If I want to be sure, though, I take a photo with my hand in front of the lens as a marker and then shoot my sequence from near to far. In the end, if you can't tell the difference between images then it doesn't really matter :)
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
Kyle said it. In this case it was the only FS I took and I could tell from the scene which set to use. I had to go through a few to find the pair to use, I had different compositions. I think the camera stops taking images once it reaches infinity focus. I focused on the near foliage and set the increments to fine and 5. The camera only took two images
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Kyle said it. In this case it was the only FS I took and I could tell from the scene which set to use. I had to go through a few to find the pair to use, I had different compositions. I think the camera stops taking images once it reaches infinity focus. I focused on the near foliage and set the increments to fine and 5. The camera only took two images
Ha ha, you and Kyle are better then me. I seriously either forget that I had done it, or it ends up being a pain to try and figure out which ones it is. Because even if I focus stack I will still take photos with Hyperfocal distance, so it's a pain to sort through and see which is which.

And to Kyles point, I do usually put my hand in front and take a photo to signify a change, but I did that for too many types of different shootings, so sometimes I just couldn't remember what it was I had meant to do.... Sad I know... but that's just the way it is. :(
 

JimFox

Moderator
Staff member
Usually I can tell, and I have a pretty good memory. If I want to be sure, though, I take a photo with my hand in front of the lens as a marker and then shoot my sequence from near to far. In the end, if you can't tell the difference between images then it doesn't really matter :)
My real main point wasn't my bad memory in that whole section but that it was I think shooting Hyperfocal distance with a photo is more realistic to what the eye actually sees, and actually create more depth.

Having the background only have the appearance of sharpness instead of tack sharpness allows the eye to know there is distance there. When a whole image is tack sharp from front to back, you don't have focus to help create depth, it has to all be done with light and shadow. And that's okay, it's just I like the realism that my image isn't tack sharp front to back just like when I am actually there and viewing the scene with my own eyeballs.

I totally agree that there are cases where focus stacking is great and needed, like when an object is super close to the camera, or it's getting dark and you needed to open up your lens. For my style of photography though, probably 99% of the time, that's not the case. For me, Hyperfocal distance shooting is so engrained in my muscle memory it's just a seamless part of how I shoot.
 

Ben Egbert

Forum Helper
Staff member
I agree Jim, I will use stacking when I have a very near object or perhaps when using a fairly long focal length with more limited DOF. I am mostly a wide angle shooter and I generally avoid very close subjects. I can even get those two tree at Dead Horse point sharp with hyperfocal at sub 24mm.
 

rfkiii

Well-Known Member
Hi Ben, that's a good result. I usually use f5.6 in my focus stacking. I was averaging 6-10 frames per shot. I had a couple of stacks of 31 images. Yikes. Medium format tends to be shallower so it may take more frames. For my single shots, f11 worked well. Fairly sharp to the bottom of the frame.

As for the footprints, better bring a broom or get close to the edge. Those and tires tracks are everywhere.

18276_100S1139-ACR.jpg
 
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