Rob Trek - Olympus OM-D Focus Bracketing and Stacking with Flash Tutorial

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I found this one interesting

Edit,
Upon watching this again I notice Rob trying to check the whole image for focus but he was only bracketing not in camera staking, unless I missed something, maybe he turned that on off screen.

 
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PakkyT

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Great video. One tip is while I love his videos, he goes a bit slow, so I always change the playback speed from Normal to x1.5 which is just about perfect for his delivery.

To clear up your confusion, he was checking the 10th shot specifically so see where the focus was on the last bracketed shot, not if the whole image was in focus, to determine if the combination of 10 shots with the small focus step he set was enough so that the last shot had the back edge of the watch band in focus. Since it wasn't, that meant the focus bracketing stopped too early. So he added another five shots to keep it moving backwards to get everything in focus (alternatively he could have also tried changing the focus steps to a larger number but with only 10 shots initially adding 5 more instead was the better idea). Then after shooting the new bracket of 15 shots he looked at the 15th shot to make sure the focus bracketing made it to the back of the wrist band this time.

I will add that even if no one is interested in bracketing, the first part where he is setting up the flash is a great tutorial on its own on how to use a flash in manual mode to isolate your subject from the background.
 
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Great video. One tip is while I love his videos, he goes a bit slow, so I always change the playback speed from Normal to x1.5 which is just about perfect for his delivery.

To clear up your confusion, he was checking the 10th shot specifically so see where the focus was on the last bracketed shot, not if the whole image was in focus, to determine if the combination of 10 shots with the small focus step he set was enough so that the last shot had the back edge of the watch band in focus. Since it wasn't, that meant the focus bracketing stopped too early. So he added another five shots to keep it moving backwards to get everything in focus (alternatively he could have also tried changing the focus steps to a larger number but with only 10 shots initially adding 5 more instead was the better idea). Then after shooting the new bracket of 15 shots he looked at the 15th shot to make sure the focus bracketing made it to the back of the wrist band this time.

I will add that even if no one is interested in bracketing, the first part where he is setting up the flash is a great tutorial on its own on how to use a flash in manual mode to isolate your subject from the background.
That makes sense. I was watching while do some work so probably missed something. Will watch again tonight.

I like the speed he goes at, plenty of time to adjust your own settings if you are following along.
But instead of speeding thing up like you do I jump ahead and probably miss things.

I will try the speeding it up a bit tonight, good tip :thumbup:
 

PakkyT

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I like the speed he goes at, plenty of time to adjust your own settings if you are following along.
Typically the first time I watch one of his videos I just want to get the general overview and not try to mess around with my camera and pay attention. AFTER I watch it, if I want to play around with trying it then I typically switch to normal speed and jump around to find the specific parts I need to follow step by step.
 

Bushboy

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Good. I’ll watch this when I get to town. I’ve done this with my of shoe cord and the flm3.
I couldn’t get the diffusion right thou and gave it up.Those torches I’ve got are doing the business for me though. Up close that is.
Flash photography is cool, love it. Manual mode. All day every day.
 
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Flash photography is cool, love it. Manual mode. All day every day.
I agree.
When I purchased my EM10.2 for macro I put it in manual mode f11, SS 160 for flash sync and hardly ever gets out of that mode as all my close up stuff is at night when I can find some bugs, and they [some] stay reasonably still.
 

RAH

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Upon watching this again I notice Rob trying to check the whole image for focus but he was only bracketing not in camera staking, unless I missed something, maybe he turned that on off screen.
I think you are correct - he only demonstrates focus BRACKETING, not focus STACKING (stacking is where the camera does the processing and delivers a finished single image to you; I don't think he talks about this). A good video for bracketing, however. He has another video from 2017 that also talks about focus bracketing, but without the flash stuff. I am going to watch it now...
 

Hendrik

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Focus stacking is not available on the 14-42. It was greyed out on the menu. List of lenses compatible with focus stacking on the E-M5 III here.

His trick of temporarily assigning BKT to a button in order to easily take clacker shots is brilliant.
 
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PakkyT

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Focus stacking is not available on the 14-42.
Right but focus bracketing in available as Rob demonstrates in... Oh wait, I just realized what you were pointing out. That he was using the 14-42 so clearly he couldn't have turned on stacking in camera at any point. I may be slow but I get there eventually.

I do agree that the function button temporary reprogramming to bracketing was a nice touch since outside this demonstration video, in actual practice people will likely be taking a number of bracketing series to try stuff out so being able to turn it off/on easily between series is a :doh: "why didn't I think of that?"
 

RAH

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I tried some "auto" focus bracketing (i.e. have the camera - E-M1.3 - do it) with that dollhouse I spoke about in another thread. Well, I did not have much luck. It would stop long before it did all the images I set it for, and the final image would NOT be in focus in the back. Sometimes it would stop after only say 4 images, and only the first would be in focus (where I started in the foreground).

Which brings me to my question about the confusion I am having - if the camera is shooting practically any scene that has depth and you want to start in the foreground and work your way to the back, it seems to me that the camera has to not just change focus, but also change where your focus pointer is aimed. Does focus bracketing do that?

Or perhaps it doesn't aim at all and just changes the focus some without ever trying to achieve focus at that point at all and just takes a shot?

I mean, for example, with this dollhouse, in a bedroom, in the foreground way down the bottom of the image is the leading edge of a rug. So to take a bunch of images with increasing depth, you would have to move the focus pointer UP on the 2nd shot to focus on the edge on the bed and take a shot. Next up again to focus on the pillow (which might require moving the focus point sideways as well us up), etc, etc. Will focus bracketing do this? I'm not so sure it does, but if it doesn't, I don't see how it can work with most scenes.

Does it hunt around the entire view looking for additional focus points? just go up and try? or what? I think my failures were because I don't know where to position the initial shot and then it cannot find focus in later shots. I think. It seemed that way.

(I wound up doing it manually, which turns out to be pretty easy, I think - I mean, just position the pointer using the touch screen at different points of focus going back, take a shot, etc. About 5 shots for the whole thing.)

I watched several of Rob Trek's videos but I'm not quite sure how it actually works. I'm sure some of you folks know very well, so a few words of explanation (like perhaps, "Up yours!") is all I would need, I think.
 

PakkyT

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I think you are overthinking the focus bracketing method and are confusing our 3D world with the 2D world a focusing system uses. You set the first focus point on whatever it is you want to start the focus. But once set, to the camera this is nothing more than focusing at a certain distance away from it. Then each subsequent focus adjustment is nothing more than adding a tiny bit more distance to the focus length, shoot, a tiny more, shoot, etc.

Focusing is nothing more that setting the plane at which the focus occurs even if you are picking it using one tiny point in that plane. Anything on that plane will be in focus, up or down or side to side. When picking your first focus point you are simply telling the camera where to put the focus plane.
 

Bushboy

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Bracketing focus. Some lenses have such a coarse focus adjustment that setting more than half a dozen pics is impossible. Wide angle lenses especially. Macro lenses, on the other hand, have a very fine focus adjustment. And you can set up the bracket to take maybe a hundred or more pics.
 

Bushboy

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When you set the camera to do a focus bracket.
Your only setting the focus for the first shot. That’s it. Ask it to take 50 pics with a wide angle is not going to happen. Be lucky to get 10. Even with a differential of 1.
 

RAH

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As I said, I watched his videos and I understand that you just set the starting point. So I was mainly asking if the starting point matters as far as achieving focus in subsequent shots that it takes.

I was using a PL 12-60 at f8, set at about 16mm. I set the differential at 15 and then 25 and once I got maybe 10 shots, later only about 4, and the final shot was not in focus in either scenario.

If focusing is it just picking a tiny point in a plane, then why wouldn't I get all 15 or 25 shots? @PakkyT and @Bushboy seem to be in direct contradiction (although I could be misunderstanding). One says that it won't take all the shots I request with a wide lens, whereas @PakkyT implies that it will take a lot even if there is not much of anything to focus on between one increment and another.

I am not trying to be argumentative - this is a purely practical matter of figuring out whether it matters where I set my starting point (e.g. what's BEHIND it). It seemed as though it was stopping early because it wasn't finding anything to focus on at the differential I set, so it stopped too early. But I am not at all sure about this. If so, then selecting a starting point would seem to be critical and not at all easy.
 
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I would say selecting the correct starting point would be very critical.

Hope the below helps.

My understanding is you select the starting point, the first shot is taken there. The next one [or 2] shots are taken in front of this point and the rest behind it. I recently watched an Oly tutorial and i forgot if they said one or two shots in front of your focus point.

They also mentioned that if your lens reached infinity focus it will stop the bracket or stack.

They also mentioned the differential of 3 was a good starting point. [with olympus lenses] I guess when yours was set at 15 and then 25 the steps may have been too large for the lens you were using, but differential of "4" I would have thought to be ok.

But as @Bushboy mentioned your lens probably determins the outcome to a certain degree.

and if I understand what you refer to from @PakkyT that would be correct. you could set a starting point with nothing behind it and it would still step through the incriments till it reached infinity. The lens is not actually focusing on anything, just taking frames at certain programmed spots/steps if that makes sense.

So from my very limited understanding I think they are both correct from a certain point of view [depending if I understand what has been said correctly]

I am still experimenting with this feature with only limited success so far :doh:
 

RAH

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I would say selecting the correct starting point would be very critical.

Hope the below helps.

My understanding is you select the starting point, the first shot is taken there. The next one [or 2] shots are taken in front of this point and the rest behind it. I recently watched an Oly tutorial and i forgot if they said one or two shots in front of your focus point.

They also mentioned that if your lens reached infinity focus it will stop the bracket or stack.

They also mentioned the differential of 3 was a good starting point. [with olympus lenses] I guess when yours was set at 15 and then 25 the steps may have been too large for the lens you were using, but differential of "4" I would have thought to be ok.

But as @Bushboy mentioned your lens probably determins the outcome to a certain degree.

and if I understand what you refer to from @PakkyT that would be correct. you could set a starting point with nothing behind it and it would still step through the incriments till it reached infinity. The lens is not actually focusing on anything, just taking frames at certain programmed spots/steps if that makes sense.

So from my very limited understanding I think they are both correct from a certain point of view [depending if I understand what has been said correctly]

I am still experimenting with this feature with only limited success so far :doh:
OK, thanks. I think that focus stacking is the thing that takes shots in front of and then behind. According to Rob Trek's videos, focus bracketing always goes back. I am definitely going to have to do some more experimenting, as you say. :)
 
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OK, thanks. I think that focus stacking is the thing that takes shots in front of and then behind. According to Rob Trek's videos, focus bracketing always goes back. I am definitely going to have to do some more experimenting, as you say. :)
Opps,
You are correct. I am sort of describing both at the same time
 

Bushboy

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Read the camera manual will help.
Stacking and bracketing. Different things.
Differential 1-10 only.
No. Of shots up to 999 in bracketing. Stacking later using software.
 

Bushboy

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Differential is important. Always check this. I like 5. But it depends on what lens, the distance to subject, the aperture, and something else I can’t think of at the moment. Nothing worse than out of focus banding in your stacked image. Complete ruin your pic man.
 

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