Focus Stacking with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

wthomson

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When you do focus stacking with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II:

1. are you restricted to only certain lenses? If so, which ones?

2. do you end up with a RAW file or a JPEG? Is there a choice?

3. can focus stacking be combined with HI-RES to produce a single RAW/JPEG file?

Thanks.
 

ArizonaMike

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1) There are really two types of focus stacking. One does everything in the camera. That is, you take the photos and the camera combines them into a single photo. I believe that requires Olympus Pro lenses. Focus stacking to be done in post can be done using any lens. I do my focus stacking in post, and I get all of my images, raw and jpg, for each exposure set and combine them. For Pro lenses the combined photo would be jpg since the raws are just sensor data.

2) See above.

3) If you are doing your focus stacking in post then you can use Hi Res photos for that. I do not see how you could do Hi Res photos in a photo stack.
 

Clint

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Focus Stacking is done in camera, 8 photos then merged them into one jpeg file at full resolution. All eight photos are recorded plus the final stacked image.

Focus Bracketing is with the camera bracketing the photos, up to 999, and then post processing into a single image. all focus bracketing can be doe with any Olympus m4/3s lens.

In both cases results take experimenting as many variables are at play - subject size, distance from subject, lens choice, aperture setting, and focus differential.

I think the two often gets confused as many people flip flop the names from the function and Olympus includes both under the Focus Bracketing menu.
 

wthomson

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Thanks for the information. I do understand the subtleties described above, but I was particularly interested in what could be done In-Camera. I've done focus stacking in post, but the taking and stacking of multiple photos was a bit cumbersome, so I was primarily interested in what could be done In-Camera to simplify and shorten the process.
 
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The in-camera focus stacking feature can be used with the 30mm and 60mm macro lenses and most of the Pro lenses- I'm not sure about the 17mm, 25mm, and 45mm.
This article has some good information:
Focus Stacking and Bracketing
Stacking gives your a jpeg. I hear you about the convenience of just letting the camera do the work. That said- having tried in-camera stacking and blending in post, I would say the results were better doing it in post. If you have CC, blending RAWs in post is pretty painless and gives you the ability to use more shots if you want (or less- you can delete shots that focused beyond what was needed). I followed the directions here:
How to Use Lightroom + Photoshop Auto-Blend Focus Stacking
 

wthomson

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The in-camera focus stacking feature can be used with the 30mm and 60mm macro lenses and most of the Pro lenses- I'm not sure about the 17mm, 25mm, and 45mm.
This article has some good information:
Focus Stacking and Bracketing
Stacking gives your a jpeg. I hear you about the convenience of just letting the camera do the work. That said- having tried in-camera stacking and blending in post, I would say the results were better doing it in post. If you have CC, blending RAWs in post is pretty painless and gives you the ability to use more shots if you want (or less- you can delete shots that focused beyond what was needed). I followed the directions here:
How to Use Lightroom + Photoshop Auto-Blend Focus Stacking
Thanks very much--useful information.
 

Growltiger

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2. Stacking never results in a raw file, whether in-camera or in computer. How could it, a raw file is the output directly from the sensor, it isn't yet an image.

3. No. But you could do it manually, taking many hires images using manual focus.
 

Bashwell39

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l learned something today..for a while I wanted to know which one of my images was the stacked one...if you press INFO button..there is a stacked file icon indicating this is the stacked image...I never knew this before.
 

Bushboy

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l learned something today..for a while I wanted to know which one of my images was the stacked one...if you press INFO button..there is a stacked file icon indicating this is the stacked image...I never knew this before.
Thanks man, I did not know this either. Looking for the stacked image, did my head in.
 

4Paul

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Do I understand then, that Focus Stacking works with Olympus PRO-lenses exclusivly?
I am a microscopist and work without a camera lens, i.e. only with the microscope objective in the Manual Focus mode. My images could often do with more depth of focus. Is there a way of feeding a number of images to the camera-internal stacking program for processing?
 

Bushboy

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Got a pic of your setup?
In camera stacking works with only a few lenses.
The macros and some pro lenses. You’ll have to check which ones.
 

Bushboy

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Without a lens, I can’t see it working. An auto focusing lens attached to the camera, will be needed. I think...
 

Richard_M

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Do I understand then, that Focus Stacking works with Olympus PRO-lenses exclusivly?
I am a microscopist and work without a camera lens, i.e. only with the microscope objective in the Manual Focus mode. My images could often do with more depth of focus. Is there a way of feeding a number of images to the camera-internal stacking program for processing?
For the camera to create a focus stack it requires an auto focus lens. What you need is a focus rail, which moves the camera. Depending on the magnification you use, you might get away with using an Olympus TG-6 for the odd focus stack.
 

Growltiger

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Do I understand then, that Focus Stacking works with Olympus PRO-lenses exclusivly?
I am a microscopist and work without a camera lens, i.e. only with the microscope objective in the Manual Focus mode. My images could often do with more depth of focus. Is there a way of feeding a number of images to the camera-internal stacking program for processing?
The in-camera stacking requires one of the lenses on the list - in general Olympus Pro and macro lenses.
Bracketing requires an autofocus lens.
You can't feed data to the in-camera stacking.

But I have done what you want, using a microscope objective. The method I used was to set the camera to low speed sequential operation and electronic shutter. Focus on the closest part. Then hold down the shutter release while manually turning the focus wheel on the microscope. With a bit of practice you will get say 50 photos, which you then stack using your computer. This can work even with a live subject like a spider, provided it doesn't move. You can do it again and again until you get a good set.
 

4Paul

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Growltiger said what I had hoped I would not hear! Pity.
Sorry, the wording of my question was rather 'spongey'. I am familiar with what Olympus calls focus bracketing and have obtained quite acceptable results: This recent 15-stack of dried Dogfish skin, was taken with the 60mm macro lens set to 1:1, 26mm of extention tubes and the in-camera 2x digital teleconverter. Images with two sets - 52mm - of automatic extention tubes were unsatisfactory: A hot spot and clearly inferior sharpness that I suspect are due to an incompatibility with the optical design of this excellent lens.
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