Focus breathing

Quadna71

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What is the best way to compensate for focus breathing when trying to merge a stack? I took a bunch of shots of my wife’s new rosemary plant. Her aunt is Rosemary and her middle name is Rose so she wanted to take a picture and send to her aunt. She snapped a shot with her phone, but I figured, hey, I would easily improve on it. It turned out more challenging that I had expect. I tossed the camera on the tripod and snapped a few with the focus on the plant and a few with the focus on the plastic tag. But every time I merged them in Affinity for Ipad, I ended up with halos around the plastic tag which I assume are from the focus breathing back and forth as I selected the new point. I tried it with my 12-45 lens and tried varying the f-stop as well as moving the camera back further to keep the distance inside the lens from changing much - still got halos. I finally went with the 75-300 and brought the camera very far back and then got the least amount of halo around plastic tag...but it still there. So any tips?

Here is the better versions with the 75-300 from further back.
4BAD0CD5-2E2F-44D0-9608-C1DE2405DC38.jpeg
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Here is one of the very bad versions with the 12-45/4. Notice the sever halo around the tag and how even the edge of the pot behind it doesn’t correctly line up.
4EFEEC5D-6531-41F6-8FD1-4C759B15B994.jpeg
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Quadna71

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I know the example I attached doesn’t reflect it, but I did try f/11 on the 12-45 too. I just didn’t choose that one when I was grabbing one that looked bad. It was the last attempt before switching to the longer lens and backing up a little. I left the ISO locked on 200 because I had the camera on a tripod and it was bright enough outside to not be worried about a stray breeze moving the rosemary.
 

Bushboy

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I can’t help with the question, but I do think in camera focus stacking is what you should have run with. Your pro lens supports this function. I find it always gets a great result. I can’t recall haloing ever , with in camera stacking.
 

John King

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I can’t help with the question, but I do think in camera focus stacking is what you should have run with. Your pro lens supports this function. I find it always gets a great result. I can’t recall haloing ever , with in camera stacking.
I understand that the 12-45 does not yet support in-camera focus stacking.
 

Bushboy

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I can tell you, if I was a bit more computer savvy, I would do that camera hack,to focus stack with all auto focus lenses in a heartbeat. But I’m bloody hopeless at computers... grrrr.
 

RichardC

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What is the best way to compensate for focus breathing when trying to merge a stack? I took a bunch of shots of my wife’s new rosemary plant. Her aunt is Rosemary and her middle name is Rose so she wanted to take a picture and send to her aunt. She snapped a shot with her phone, but I figured, hey, I would easily improve on it. It turned out more challenging that I had expect. I tossed the camera on the tripod and snapped a few with the focus on the plant and a few with the focus on the plastic tag. But every time I merged them in Affinity for Ipad, I ended up with halos around the plastic tag which I assume are from the focus breathing back and forth as I selected the new point. I tried it with my 12-45 lens and tried varying the f-stop as well as moving the camera back further to keep the distance inside the lens from changing much - still got halos. I finally went with the 75-300 and brought the camera very far back and then got the least amount of halo around plastic tag...but it still there. So any tips?

Here is the better versions with the 75-300 from further back.
View attachment 887495


Here is one of the very bad versions with the 12-45/4. Notice the sever halo around the tag and how even the edge of the pot behind it doesn’t correctly line up.
View attachment 887494

If you can make the files available through dropbox or similar, I can run them through photoshop and see if there is anything that can be done with the stack. I like a challenge.
 

archaeopteryx

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What is the best way to compensate for focus breathing when trying to merge a stack?
I think you have three issues. One is Affinity's comparatively poor highlight management and propensity to halo. Two, no stacker can render detail the lens never sees so any composition like this will exhibit some halo because blur disks are always larger than the in focus object. Three, autofocus bracketing exhibits endocentric perspective due to focus breathing in practically all single lens cases. A change of stacker will probably give modest improvement on one and the change of lenses you've already made is probably about as much as makes sense for two and three.

In principle, hypercentric breathing is desirable when stacking as it helps the lens see around the blur disks. It's only rarely implementable as it requires a front element larger than the subject and some unusual optical arrangements past that. Object space telecentric lenses are more common and need only a front element the size of subject but figure to spend around US$ 10,000 for a low magnification one suitable for this composition. It won't be native mount and won't autofocus bracket. But it'll probably be bi-telecentric, so if you put it on a bellows and use a focus rail to move only the body perspective artifacts can be reduced.

A more realistic option is to spend time in GIMP or Affinity or whatever reconstructing detail around edges which wasn't captured in the stack. When possible, I try to compose to minimize the amount of such work that's needed. A stacker with a more fluid retouching interface than Affinity's can also be helpful with other kinds of artifacts.
 

Quadna71

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I can’t help with the question, but I do think in camera focus stacking is what you should have run with. Your pro lens supports this function. I find it always gets a great result. I can’t recall haloing ever , with in camera stacking.
You know for some reason that didn't cross my mind. I've used it before on other lenses...and even with my TG-5, but forgot about it this time. But evidently, from @Bushboy's post it wasn't feasible with either of the lenses I had brought out to the patio.


If you can make the files available through dropbox or similar, I can run them through photoshop and see if there is anything that can be done with the stack. I like a challenge.
I appreciate the offer but the final result wasn't that significant in the grand scheme of life. More so I was just trying to learn about focus breathing and possibly techniques I could employ in the future to help prevent the same results.


I think you have three issues. One is Affinity's comparatively poor highlight management and propensity to halo. Two, no stacker can render detail the lens never sees so any composition like this will exhibit some halo because blur disks are always larger than the in focus object. Three, autofocus bracketing exhibits endocentric perspective due to focus breathing in practically all single lens cases. A change of stacker will probably give modest improvement on one and the change of lenses you've already made is probably about as much as makes sense for two and three.

In principle, hypercentric breathing is desirable when stacking as it helps the lens see around the blur disks. It's only rarely implementable as it requires a front element larger than the subject and some unusual optical arrangements past that. Object space telecentric lenses are more common and need only a front element the size of subject but figure to spend around US$ 10,000 for a low magnification one suitable for this composition. It won't be native mount and won't autofocus bracket. But it'll probably be bi-telecentric, so if you put it on a bellows and use a focus rail to move only the body perspective artifacts can be reduced.

A more realistic option is to spend time in GIMP or Affinity or whatever reconstructing detail around edges which wasn't captured in the stack. When possible, I try to compose to minimize the amount of such work that's needed. A stacker with a more fluid retouching interface than Affinity's can also be helpful with other kinds of artifacts.
Dude, you are way smarter with this stuff than I am! For your first point - agreed. Affinity Photo for iPad isn't exactly cornering the market on the things it can do, but it is all I had available so I was running it. On your second point, it makes sense that a cheap stacking app can't be expected to just create filler in the parts that the lens isn't seeing. But if they know the deficiencies that will repeatedly get produced, it would be cool if they would compensate for it. Perhaps allow you to choose the most important features and then ever-so-slightly increase their footprint in order to fill the slight ghosted edges. That would crisp things up without significantly changing the overall look of the photo. Well unless there were very distinct lines and rows that had to line up and then all bets are off. For your third point, yes I was aware that focus breathing was a thing. But I was only hoping someone might have a practiced technique I could employ to hopefully result in a workaround that results in a passable image. As it stands I was already 75% satisfied with the one from the 75-300 because her 80 year old aunt will only be viewing it on an iPhone, but hey learning is learning, right?



I wonder if I could find a way to drop the camera ever so slightly for the deeper shot and see if it would then place that plastic piece at a different perspective that stamps out the blur? Or possibly use a macro rail to back up the shot with the closer focal point ever so slightly to eliminate the chance of it seeing behind the plastic placard? Hmm...stuff to mull over a little and maybe mess with sometime when I have a free evening with good lighting.

Anyways, thanks to all for your input. I admit I really enjoy talking with people smarter than myself. When I was younger I shot pool (or billiards as some say) and quickly realized my best showings were when pitted against a player better than myself. So much like that, I tend to try harder and experiment more when I have others inputting on the topic. Helps fire the synapses I guess. With just my wife and I in the house - and her utter lack of interest in photography - sometimes my creativity wanes. But then threads like this help kickstart it again!!!
 

RichardC

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With just my wife and I in the house - and her utter lack of interest in photography - sometimes my creativity wanes.
Living a parallel life here :)

I'm not very familiar with Affinity but understand that it facilitates layers and masks.

You could try stacking manually by re-shooting and using maybe just 3 or 4 pictures.

Apologies in advance if I've misunderstood the cause of the halos.
 

archaeopteryx

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But if they know the deficiencies that will repeatedly get produced, it would be cool if they would compensate for it.
Yeah, resynthesis is an obvious mitigation but no stacker automates it (Photoshop's content aware fill is copied from the resynthesizer plugin for GIMP, Affinity inpainting probably is too). Contrast masks and brushes offer some help with partially hidden detail, though all halos progress to full obstruction at their inner edge.

I would not anticipate this changing anytime soon as there's no sign any stacker manufacturer cares and code velocities are low across all five major software stackers. Firmware support also seems unlikely within the current event horizon given ILC manufacturer's general lack of interest in computational imaging and lack of first party stacking support among phones.

From an algorithm or AI standpoint I don't think this is a particularly difficult task, particularly if depth mapping has been applied.

Some stackers have given some thought to halo management by filtering. Zerene has a manual slider for that works well for certain subjects but is basically useless for much of what I stack. Picolay and Helicon use adaptive filtering and often outperform Zerene. I'm not sure if Affinity does anything but, based on changing options in Picolay and Zerene, I suspect it probably doesn't.
 

Jrsforums

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What is the best way to compensate for focus breathing when trying to merge a stack? I took a bunch of shots of my wife’s new rosemary plant. Her aunt is Rosemary and her middle name is Rose so she wanted to take a picture and send to her aunt. She snapped a shot with her phone, but I figured, hey, I would easily improve on it. It turned out more challenging that I had expect. I tossed the camera on the tripod and snapped a few with the focus on the plant and a few with the focus on the plastic tag. But every time I merged them in Affinity for Ipad, I ended up with halos around the plastic tag which I assume are from the focus breathing back and forth as I selected the new point. I tried it with my 12-45 lens and tried varying the f-stop as well as moving the camera back further to keep the distance inside the lens from changing much - still got halos. I finally went with the 75-300 and brought the camera very far back and then got the least amount of halo around plastic tag...but it still there. So any tips?

Here is the better versions with the 75-300 from further back.
View attachment 887495


Here is one of the very bad versions with the 12-45/4. Notice the sever halo around the tag and how even the edge of the pot behind it doesn’t correctly line up.
View attachment 887494
Have you tried Helicon Focus?
 

Bushboy

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This is the only pro designated lens I have ever considered. I was all over it, until I got to the part where it will, only stack with the 20mpx cameras.
Why they dumb their gear down like this, doesn’t make sense.I would have bought this lens, new.
I never use f2.8 but f4, I’m always at. Maybe one day I’ll get the m5iii, but I’m not holding my breath.
 

archaeopteryx

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Why they dumb their gear down like this, doesn’t make sense.
It's just a guess, but I wonder if the business analysis concludes companies make more money from people moving up in model levels to spend their way around arbitrarily turning off software features (or similar) than they lose in altered purchasing decisions. Often in this sort of modeling there's an asymmetry where financial gains are captured more carefully than the opportunity costs of lost sales.

I think this is uncommonly relevant in this particular niche of m43. In general, Panasonic has been pretty good about not arbitrarily crippling their lower end while Olympus imposes restrictions which artificially inflate price separation between the E-M10, E-M5, and E-M1 levels. For focus bracketing and stacking there's probably more difference between Olympus and Panasonic in this regard than in any other area, since Panasonic's approach is minimally restricted where Olympus tries to link bodies and lenses together, presumably for upsell. I'm more invested in focus bracketing than most but Olympus's approach here has been entirely effective in ensuring I'm essentially a Panasonic only customer.

It's also the case neither company's elected to pursue focus stacking as a computational photography feature. Given the disposition of ILCs with respect computational methods and the amount of compute power stacking can consume, this is probably a reasonable business decision. Putting some emphasis on bracketing as a differentiator from phones and DLSRs seems like a bit of a lost opportunity, though.
 

Ross the fiddler

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I understand that the 12-45 does not yet support in-camera focus stacking.
It's not the lens, but the body firmware that allows it. For example the E-M1 II has it included in FW
Ver.3.2
(Feb. 12 2020
  • Possible to use focus stacking photography with "M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO".
That FW update was not included for E-M5 II though but is for E-M5 III (& all later models).
 

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