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12-11-2017, 10:27 AM   #1
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In Camera Focus Stacking in the K-1?

The latest issue of Digital Photo Pro magazine has an article on using Focus Stacking (or Focus Merge) and lists cameras that have the capability to do this in camera. They list the K-1 as one of these but I've been unable to identify anything on this in the menus, the operators manual, or Yvon's K-1 e-book. Does anyone have any info on using the K-1 for this feature which holds promise of being very useful for landscape photography. Thanks.

12-11-2017, 10:30 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
The latest issue of Digital Photo Pro magazine has an article on using Focus Stacking (or Focus Merge) and lists cameras that have the capability to do this in camera. They list the K-1 as one of these but I've been unable to identify anything on this in the menus, the operators manual, or Yvon's K-1 e-book. Does anyone have any info on using the K-1 for this feature which holds promise of being very useful for landscape photography. Thanks.
I think you might be drawing a blank on this one. Pixels shift is image stacking, but not focus stacking.
12-11-2017, 11:59 AM   #3
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The Nikon D850 has a feature that allows you to automatically take a number of shots at different focal distances which only works with AF-s and AF-p lenses.. You still have to use external software to stack those images. With the K-1 you have to manually move the focus to achieve the same.
12-11-2017, 12:10 PM   #4
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AFAIK, no Pentax DSLR has either focus bracketing or in-camera focus stacking.

12-11-2017, 01:38 PM   #5
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Having to resort to stacking after moving to a larger sensor for doing macro is the wrong direction. What happens with macro on tripod (what stacking requires anyway) leaves room to use the lowest ISO which is no problem at all even with small sensors, more straightforward to shoot. Using a smaller sensor does not deliver the ultimate quality, but between shooting macro on tripod and having to resort to focus stacking, not sure what method is preferred. I shot macros with K3 and without being a pro I was very happy with the results. Now, I can't achieve the same results with the K1 I would need to do stacking which I did not need to do with a K3.
12-11-2017, 02:00 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Having to resort to stacking after moving to a larger sensor for doing macro is the wrong direction. What happens with macro on tripod (what stacking requires anyway) leaves room to use the lowest ISO which is no problem at all even with small sensors, more straightforward to shoot. Using a smaller sensor does not deliver the ultimate quality, but between shooting macro on tripod and having to resort to focus stacking, not sure what method is preferred. I shot macros with K3 and without being a pro I was very happy with the results. Now, I can't achieve the same results with the K1 I would need to do stacking which I did not need to do with a K3.
If you shoot the same equivalent focal length with the same f-stop, you should have the same DOF, regardless of the sensor size (including 4x5 sheet film). Is it possible that you used a different lens & aperture with the K-1 which would change the DOF equation? I don't believe the larger sensor size is responsible for any changes in DOF, and if the same lens & aperture were used, and the image enlarged to the same scale, there should be no change in DOF (you would have a larger field around the subject if the lens coverage allowed it). If a longer focal length lens (same aperture) was used to fill the K-1 sensor field, then it's the lens that's resulting in less DOF and creating the need for FS.

And, no, the K-1 has no automated focus-shift feature (at least not with the current firmware).

Last edited by Bob 256; 12-11-2017 at 02:11 PM.
12-11-2017, 02:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
If you shoot the same equivalent focal length with the same f-stop, you should have the same DOF, regardless of the sensor size (including 4x5 sheet film). Is it possible that you used a different lens with the K-1 which would change the DOF equation? I don't believe the larger sensor size is responsible for any changes in DOF, and if the same lens & aperture were used, and the image enlarged to the same scale, there should be no change in DOF (you would have a larger field around the subject if the lens coverage allowed it). If a longer focal length lens (same aperture) was used to fill the K-1 sensor field, then it's the lens that's resulting in less DOF.
No sure if that works for macro. For example, if i'd use a 60mm macro on a K3, I'd use a 100mm on a K1, the DoF would be thinner on the K1. If I'd use the 60mm on a K1 I'd need to get the lens closer to the subject and again the DoF would be thinner?
12-11-2017, 02:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
... What happens with macro on tripod (what stacking requires anyway) ...
I'll leave DoF equivalence arguments to others, but just FYI, though it's not exactly easy, it's quite possible to focus stack handheld (macro) shots. You "simply" move the camera very slowly in a reasonably linear fashion while shooting bursts of shots (with fixed focus on the lens, obviously). FWIW, I use Zerene to stack my K-3 shots. For me, the biggest problem I'd have in using a K-1 to shoot a focus stack is slow burst shooting (4.5fps vrs my K-3's 8.3fps) - slow bursts make it more difficult to move slowly enough to not leave gaps in focus coverage between the shots. I'd like my next camera body to shoot at least 9fps.

Here's a nine-frame handheld stack from last spring (K-3, D-FA 100mm WR, HD DA 1.4x & Raynox DCR-250):




EDIT: Just realized the OP is more interested in landscape focus stacking. No real experience there, but it seems pretty easy to do that manually:




Last edited by Doundounba; 12-11-2017 at 02:37 PM.
12-11-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
No sure if that works for macro. For example, if i'd use a 60mm macro on a K3, I'd use a 100mm on a K1, the DoF would be thinner on the K1. If I'd use the 60mm on a K1 I'd need to get the lens closer to the subject and again the DoF would be thinner?
I think that's what I was trying to say. If you use a longer focal length, then the DOF will decrease (at the same f-stop). If you use the 60mm on the K-1 and don't move closer to try to fill the K-1 field, the DOF will remain the same. The only solutions are to live with the extra coverage (crop if desired), go to the 100mm lens, or move closer with the 60mm (reducing aperture in the last two cases to restore DOF).

---------- Post added 12-11-2017 at 02:33 PM ----------

Really great shot Doundunba. Great technique too which the K-1 should work for though with the limitation you mentioned. An automated focus rail should work great with your technique.
12-11-2017, 03:04 PM   #10
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I know higher tier Olympus bodies can do that, starting from EM1 (although only with their 60mm macro). I think Panasonic can do that too, but I believe it only exports in form of a jpeg (Olympus can produce a raw afaik). d850 suppose to do that.

I've also seen those new type wireless triggers (Pluto and Arsenal) that can do focus stacking that give you a single raw file after, but I don't think they support Pentax cameras yet.
12-11-2017, 03:05 PM   #11
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Thanks for the responses. The magazine listed 3 cameras that they said have in-camera focus stacking, those being the D850, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and the K1. Apparently they are incorrect about the K-1. They show a lcd screen shot of the "Focus shift shooting" menu in the D850 so it must actually have it. So I guess I didn't miss it when I looked for focus stacking. Too bad, I think I would use it fairly often.
12-11-2017, 03:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by wanderer2 Quote
Thanks for the responses. The magazine listed 3 cameras that they said have in-camera focus stacking, those being the D850, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and the K1. Apparently they are incorrect about the K-1. They show a lcd screen shot of the "Focus shift shooting" menu in the D850 so it must actually have it. So I guess I didn't miss it when I looked for focus stacking. Too bad, I think I would use it fairly often.
I always hoped we'd get it via firmware update, like it happened with my older EM1 when I was shooting m43. EM1 didn't have the feature, but then they've added that and a ton more via update, free features, happy days. So technically the magazine missed the EM1 m1 too, seems research wasn't too deep.
12-11-2017, 03:26 PM   #13
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Be careful with the terminology, BTW. If multiple images are shot and you combine them in post, what the camera is doing is "focus bracketing". If the images are combined in camera, that's "focus stacking". I believe the D850 has focus bracketing (which they call "focus shift"). AFAIK, many Panasonic and Olympus m4/3 bodies have both functions. Some even have interesting modes where they'll shoot 4k/30fps bursts while varying focus and then let you pick which images to combine using the camera's touch screen to pick which zones of the image you want in focus. It's pretty neat, even if the resolution is limited. And I think the GH5 and G9 have the same feature, but shooting 6K instead of 4K. It seems very nice...
12-11-2017, 03:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
Be careful with the terminology, BTW. If multiple images are shot and you combine them in post, what the camera is doing is "focus bracketing". If the images are combined in camera, that's "focus stacking". I believe the D850 has focus bracketing (which they call "focus shift"). AFAIK, many Panasonic and Olympus m4/3 bodies have both functions. Some even have interesting modes where they'll shoot 4k/30fps bursts while varying focus and then let you pick which images to combine using the camera's touch screen to pick which zones of the image you want in focus. It's pretty neat, even if the resolution is limited. And I think the GH5 and G9 have the same feature, but shooting 6K instead of 4K. It seems very nice...
Olympus is doing full res files, pretty sure of it (i sold the camera so I can't check right now). Panasonic was doing the 4k thing, and now 6k
12-11-2017, 04:07 PM   #15
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Maybe it is or it looks like to me that "Interval Composite" can be used, though I do not have K-1 but was looking into as I plan to get one.
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