how many frames would a Panasonic body bracket if it would focus bracket a bracket?

archaeopteryx

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As probably quite a few mu-43 regulars are aware, I make extensive use of post focus on a G7 for focus stacking (the moss and review threads, for example). It's been apparent for some time I'm pushing post focus to its limits in terms of the number of frames it produces and the reliability with which those frames overlap. I've been aware for just as long this may motivate an update to a newer body supporting focus bracketing in addition to post focus. In testing a new, optically upgraded photomacrography rig I'm assembling it's become apparent the limiting factor is almost certainly needing to stop down and take diffraction to get adequate depth of field overlap between post focus frames. So I'm taking a closer look at a body update.

A key parameter I cannot find is the maximum number of frames Panasonic will actually put in a focus bracket.

So I was wondering if there's anyone around who'd mind setting their G80/85, G90/95, G100, G9, or GH5 to 0/+ sequence, step size 1, image count 999, firing off a focus bracket from minimum focus distance to infinity, and posting how many frames are in the bracket? Electronic shutter (to save the mechanical shutter) and medium jpeg (to avoid what could be a couple minutes of bracketing taking even longer because writing to the card is throttling fps) is just fine. From what I can tell a telephoto lens wide open—the 45-200 at 200 mm f/5.6, 50-200 at 200 mm f/4, the 45 f/2.8 macro, and similar—is probably the best choice for this test but it's most valuable just to know which lens and aperture were used since the number of frames is inversely proportional to depth of field, aperture width, focal length, and closer minimum focus distance. My experience with 240 fps lenses like the 45-200 II also suggests they may produce somewhat more frames due to the more capable autofocus.

I'll fill in and maintain a table in this post if there's enough interest. Ironically for an ostensibly Panasonic thread all the data so far has been contributed for Olympus bracketing by @Bushboy. Hopefully some folks with Panasonic bodies will also post frame counts.
lensframes, min→∞bodycounted by
Panasonic 14 f/2.571E-M5 II@Bushboy
Olympus 30 f/3.5 macro825E-M5 II@Bushboy
Olympus 60 f/2.8 macro1176 @ f/3.5E-M5 II@Bushboy
Olympus 40–150 f/4-5.6 R481 @ 150 mmE-M5 II@Bushboy
Olympus 75–300 f/4.8-6.7884 @ 300 mmE-M5 II@Bushboy

As a reference, post focus will produce 250-300 frames (after trimming the starting and ending focus pulls) from tele lenses with a 900 mm minimum focus distance like the 45-175 and 45-200 when presented with a subject it can walk along in small steps. I can sometimes get post focus to go over 400 frames with the 45 macro. But it's not at all clear if post focus gets close to an average step of 1 or if it's using some larger step parameter as its minimum increment. If it's possible to get to 999 frames it'd also be useful to know how close to infinity the bracket got. (I'm also aware of the GBracket app for focus bracketing with the G7. But that's a different process involving, in my case, joining the camera to a phone wifi hotspot and not what I'm asking about here.)
 
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To the best of my understanding, the number of steps (per step size) from minimum focus to racked at infinity is dependent on each lens model, not camera model.
 

Bushboy

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I would agree with that. Macro lenses can have many frames, whereas wide angles only seem to have few.
With Olympus 9-18 I remember rightly, from minimum to past infinity in only 10 frames or so. I have not tried a telephoto yet, but am curious to see the reply’s to this interesting post. If no suitable replies, I will test the lenses I have in focus bracket, and report back.
 

Bushboy

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OMG!
Don’t try this at home.
Olympus OM-D EM Mark 5 II
Olympus 30mm f3.5
Focus bracketing, On. Number of frames 999.
Differential 1.
Manual focus selected.
Minimum focus start.
Wait for it....
825 shots before infinity reached!
 

Bushboy

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Panasonic 14/2.5
71 frames.
I just realised I shot the 60/2.8 @ f3.5
I know your attention to detail is exemplary, so I’ve edited this post.
The14/2.5 I did indeed shoot at 2.5
By then I had it all sorted. Olympus make testing like this easy. Sing out if you want the 40-150 and 75-300 kit zooms tested.
 
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Bushboy

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Now I know why I don’t use differential 1 for anything.... :)
I was really surprised by the results.
 
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Differential 1.
Manual focus selected.
Minimum focus start.
Wait for it....
825 shots before infinity reached!
That's interesting you use Manual Focus setting.
Now I have not tried bracketing only in camera stacking, but I use auto focus and have the focus box on the closest part.
I would not have thought manual focus would have worked, but I have never read the manual about these settings.

What focus setting do you use for in camera stacking ?
 

Bushboy

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For any kind of focus bracketing/stacking I use manual focus. I use manual focus so often, even with everyday photos, that I’ve reassigned the depth of field preview button, as a quick way to switch between auto and manual focus. It must be very frustrating for you, using autofocus while stacking. Try manual. It is much easier.
I was shocked at how many frames were taken at differential 1. Over a 1000 with the 60! All the lenses crept along at snails pace while they were close to minimum focus distance. I was also shocked how close the 75-300 could focus. Very surprised. Almost like wow!
 

Bushboy

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Also I only use differential 5 in real world shooting.
I should run the test at differential 5 and 10 to see how many frames. And try to take a photo while doing it! 😁
 

archaeopteryx

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My apologies for encouraging this stuff. It's a serious thread.
Thread rule: so long as you post at least as many frame counts as encouragements it's all good. @RichardC, @Macroramphosis, @John King, you're all behind on the counting part. And, since you're mostly also Olympus based or on downversion Panasonic like me, that probably means talking your friends with upversion Panasonics into helping. ;)

There will be a bonus for additional twisters involving bracketing. But only if the frame counting is also sufficient. :laugh:

To the best of my understanding, the number of steps (per step size) from minimum focus to racked at infinity is dependent on each lens model, not camera model.
As a zero order approximation, yes. However, autofocus bracketing steps by depth of field with an amount of frame to frame overlap controlled by the step size parameter. The number of frames in a bracket therefore depends on the circle of confusion, translation between step size and overlap, and accuracy of the lens position sensing and autofocus stepping control loop through the lens and body. All of these potentially vary between manufacturers, among bodies, and from version to version.

To my knowledge no one's ever tried to characterize any of this and the ILC manufacturers all seem too paternalistic to believe we might want some specifics of what they're going to give us in return for the money they'd like us to spend. This thread may or may not generate data to answer some of these questions. But it has the potential at least.
 
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