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08-31-2011, 03:38 AM   #16
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Reading all this chat about focus stacking made me want to have a go. Needs a bit of fine tuning to perfect it, but much to my surprise it actually works.

Yet another bit of Photoshop I didn't know was there.







08-31-2011, 03:42 AM   #17
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Let's not confuse between DOF bracketing and Focus bracketing

QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
DOF bracketing, who'd thunk it? In the film days, you just had to look at the lens hash marks, remember the aperture you shot at and there it was, your depth of field. Not enough, too much, just change your aperture and re-shoot. Holy crap, it works with DSLR too!? C'mon people, learn to use the tool that's at hand, instead of wishing for some totally redundant, novelty features found on a (no user input necessary) P&S camera. DOF bracketing... :ugh:
To be perfectly fair to the OP, he was talking about Focus Bracketing. It was me and Hornet that brought up DOF Bracketing. It is the Focus Bracketing that is found in his old P&S Camera, not DOF Bracketing. I'm guessing you're disputing the usefulness of DOF Bracketing and not the Focus Bracketing? IMHO, The Focus Bracketing is indeed useful especially when it's hard to nail focus perfectly. Which means, if you always nail the focus, you don't need Focus Bracketing. Similarly, If you never make mistake with exposure, you don't need Exposure Compensation (and consequently RAW file to some extend)

Now the DOF Bracketing, because you get more DOF it can also be used to cover focus mistake, but other than that, there is another reason why would someone (me) want to use DOF bracketing, let me quote myself:
QuoteOriginally posted by sajah Quote
Now the DOF bracketing purpose, for me at least, is so I can get 3 pictures with different DOF and choose which one I like. Most of the time I like to use my fast lenses wide open, but sometimes I want more sharpness and or more DOF.
It's not that I'm not clever enough to check the DOF marking on my lens to determine the "exact" DOF, but it's that I'm often not wise enough (and imaginative enough) to select the best aperture setting (and thus the DOF) that create the most interesting OOF and perhaps even create the famous 3D look.

I'm always tempted to use my lens wide open (because it's cool) but sometimes adding more DOF makes better object separation and create the 3D look. But then the bokeh won't be as smooth as a wide open one, so a perfect balance is needed. I'm not wise enough to always know the best setting, hence using a DOF bracketing I would get three options to select, better than one.

Another thing that I want to emphasize, is about the OOF rendering. Most of the times I prefer to have smooth fuzzy buttery bokeh but sometimes, sometimes I want the OOF area, while blurred, still recognizable, because it can add elements to the composition itself.

I can always try to check DOF marking to decide the best DOF (but hey it's not available on my DA 200), but even so it's not that easy to imagine the resulting OOF rendering of a particular aperture setting of a particular lens, until I see the resulting image. I can't tell whether that guy in red would look like a red blob or still recognizable as a man if I use F4, until I see the resulting image. YMMV though.

And oh I mostly shoot semi-candid portraits so while re-shoot is a perfectly feasible alternative, I wouldn't get the same pose, the same expression, the same mood etc.

Of course in an ideal world I would always be able to determine things before hand and would never make mistakes. But in reality, I'm using RAW not only for better post processing potential, but also to cover my mistakes. Similar thing can be said about the DOF and the potential use of DOF bracketing, if it ever exists.

And by the way, if we talk about using tools that at hands, I've managed to simulate DOF Bracketing by using Exposure Bracketing plus Exposure Compensation, as explained in my previous post. Albeit requiring extra post processing in (preferably) a Raw Converter.
08-31-2011, 11:33 AM   #18
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sajah,

You cover many points, for me to reply to each paragraph would leave me reeling... I am disputing both, none of these two features are necessary because if you really want to do such things you can do so with any Pentax DSLR ever made. Focus and depth of field go hand in hand, I don't see where you can separate one from the other. I brought up the lens hash marks on legacy lenses to illustrate my point but a DSLR has an even better tool for this; your 3" LCD. You take a shot and chimp; easiest way to tell if the subject is in focus or not, whether there is enough depth of field or not. If you are satisfied you move on to the next shot, if not re-shoot.

I don't know how many shots you've taken with your camera, but after shooting several thousand shots you should have some idea of what the depth of field is like for each aperture range for your most used lenses. You can also do some exercise like shooting at poles or pylons spaced xx distance apart at all aperture range with your most used lenses so that you can see by how much each aperture setting affects the DOF. Key to a successful image making session is preparation, and getting to know how your camera and lens is a prerequisite.

For most people getting into a DSLR is a progression. You may start with an auto everything P&S camera to pictorially chronicle family gatherings, kids' birthdays, trip to the Disneyland and so on. If you are happy with the images you get from this camera, or don't go beyond thinking 'why is this shot so bad - effing camera', and for most people, that's good enough. But for the few, you start looking for answers to why a particular shot failed and for the most part, it's caused by a lack of control by the shooter. You start looking for a camera that you can take control of, and ultimately it leads to a DSLR. Here we are, you have in your hand a camera that you can control almost every aspect of image making and you are looking over the fence wishing for features found on a P&S camera. Seem somewhat silly, don't you think?

Thanks,
08-31-2011, 01:59 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by exwintech Quote
Laurentiu Cristofor - In the context in which you quote me - "....Adam - Thanks for making it clear that these cameras don't focus-bracket. It does seem odd - particularly for MF..." - yes, I was indeed referring to Manual Focus.
I think you are confusing terms. Your P&S lens is not a MF lens, but an AF lens. That is why your camera can do focus bracketing with it.

MF lenses are lenses that can *only* be focused manually. Thus, you cannot have a camera do focus bracketing with a lens whose focus it cannot control.

08-31-2011, 02:00 PM   #20
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Shooting macro I roll focus with manual focus all the time. Not only is macro DOF thin, it's damned hard to figure out exactly where you're slicing that insect or flower sometimes. Shooting rapidly as I roll the focus - usually in - I can be assured of something usable. And using f8 or higher with the 100mm macro helps with DOF. Most often I'm shooting TAv in macro mode, though occasionally I will shot Tv if I'm going super-fast.

I can see a potential use for an automatic focus bracketing but knowing where that focus is and what the camera thinks is a good adjustment increment would be a big question. Quick-shift seems more useful.
08-31-2011, 02:06 PM   #21
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Excanonfd - Thanks for the intriguing insights into advanced DOF management - but as Sajah correctly clarified - it was indeed the Focus-Bracketing I was interested in. I do realise that DOF is related to Focus - as if you're outside the DOF depth - you don't have Focus... And that Pentax DSLRs (rather cleverly) - do have that DOF-Preview function on the On-Off switch.

So, obviously, any available Focus-Bracketing function would first have to be going "Centre-Forward-Back" - within an existing DOF range made by the individual lens and the then-set Aperture.

My interest in Focus-Bracketing for DSLRs is because, due to financial restraints, my "better" lenses are going to be film-era manual primes. As I do realise that these aren't the easiest way to "do things properly" in the modern and fully automated way - other than a Quick-Shift to MF when the automatics aren't co-operating, and I'm no 20-years-DSLR-experience expert - I was thinking that Focus-Bracketing would help...

As for Focus-Bracketing being only in "old" P&S cameras such as my SX10 - actually Canon has continued it in the SX20, and in the still current SX30. So apparently folk are using it and do want it.

On the 'other side' of focusing - I've noticed that on my Takumar f/1.8 55mm lens - and others - there is an actual "Infinity" setting on the focus ring, while some "modern" lenses seem not to have this. With the latter, how is an infinity focus setting made?

Do the electronics in such lenses provide a menu or button setting to preset an infinity focus? Just wondering, as some P&S cameras (Canon A1200, etc) - do have a button-select infinity-focus mode.

Regards, Dave.
08-31-2011, 02:11 PM   #22
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I've often thought this would be useful, but I guess it's too much like actual innovation to appear in a DSLR. We should have focus bracketing and aperture bracketing by now.
08-31-2011, 04:07 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
I've often thought this would be useful, but I guess it's too much like actual innovation to appear in a DSLR. We should have focus bracketing and aperture bracketing by now.
It's firmware-hacking time! The factors for RAW files are aperture, focus, shutter, and ISO. Let's bracket all those! (Focus-bracketing for AF lenses only, of course; aperture-bracketing for A-type MF's; ISO|shutter bracketing for non-A MF's.) While we're at it, how about effects-bracketing for JPGs: sharpness, WB, contrast, B&W filtering, all that stuff. These don't even need the MindRead.Exe module. Hack away!

08-31-2011, 04:48 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
Reading all this chat about focus stacking made me want to have a go. Needs a bit of fine tuning to perfect it, but much to my surprise it actually works.

Yet another bit of Photoshop I didn't know was there.
Do you have details on the process in Photoshop?

Edit... nevermind, I see you have the article linked in your Flickr.
08-31-2011, 06:43 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by excanonfd Quote
sajah,

You cover many points, for me to reply to each paragraph would leave me reeling... I am disputing both, none of these two features are necessary because if you really want to do such things you can do so with any Pentax DSLR ever made. Focus and depth of field go hand in hand, I don't see where you can separate one from the other. I brought up the lens hash marks on legacy lenses to illustrate my point but a DSLR has an even better tool for this; your 3" LCD. You take a shot and chimp; easiest way to tell if the subject is in focus or not, whether there is enough depth of field or not. If you are satisfied you move on to the next shot, if not re-shoot.

I don't know how many shots you've taken with your camera, but after shooting several thousand shots you should have some idea of what the depth of field is like for each aperture range for your most used lenses. You can also do some exercise like shooting at poles or pylons spaced xx distance apart at all aperture range with your most used lenses so that you can see by how much each aperture setting affects the DOF. Key to a successful image making session is preparation, and getting to know how your camera and lens is a prerequisite.

For most people getting into a DSLR is a progression. You may start with an auto everything P&S camera to pictorially chronicle family gatherings, kids' birthdays, trip to the Disneyland and so on. If you are happy with the images you get from this camera, or don't go beyond thinking 'why is this shot so bad - effing camera', and for most people, that's good enough. But for the few, you start looking for answers to why a particular shot failed and for the most part, it's caused by a lack of control by the shooter. You start looking for a camera that you can take control of, and ultimately it leads to a DSLR. Here we are, you have in your hand a camera that you can control almost every aspect of image making and you are looking over the fence wishing for features found on a P&S camera. Seem somewhat silly, don't you think?

Thanks,
First of all, DOF Bracketing IS NOT a feature of P&S camera, Focus Bracketing IS/WAS. I'm wondering if you read all my post at all?

Well, believe it or not, I do have some experiences. And according to my experience, there is no "exact" DOF and DOF transition is smooth and is not always apparent. Even if theoretically F2.8 should cover the DOF, sometimes it doesn't create good enough object separation. Plus there is a possibility of slight misfocus, which I don't know with you, happened a lot with me. It's also contributes to the softness and no object separation, and more DOF will help to lessen this. But not too much DOF or else the background will be in focus also. Plus, by closing aperture to gain DOF, the sharpness also increased and helps create more object separation.

I may not have a lot of shutter clicks, but I do can tell the difference of F8 and F2.8 mind you, but I'm not talking about that much difference of DOF, I'm talking about slight differences, and I'm talking about balance of DOF and object separation and smooth background.

And I also do have experience where things look perfect (sharp) on my 230k LCD but not so when viewed on computer screen.

Clearly you're a superior photographer and don't ever need this function, but let's not assume everyone is same like you. I DO could use the DOF bracketing, while only occasionally, and I AM NOT wishing over the fence to get this function because I'm doing fine and can simulate the DOF bracketing using the controls available at my camera. I came here to discuss my method of doing it. It was the OP that wants Focus Bracketing (and not DOF bracketing) to be available, and while the feasibility is debatable, to be honest I don't think it's a silly request.
09-01-2011, 12:06 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by exwintech Quote
Excanonfd - Thanks for the intriguing insights into advanced DOF management - but as Sajah correctly clarified - it was indeed the Focus-Bracketing I was interested in. I do realise that DOF is related to Focus - as if you're outside the DOF depth - you don't have Focus... And that Pentax DSLRs (rather cleverly) - do have that DOF-Preview function on the On-Off switch.

So, obviously, any available Focus-Bracketing function would first have to be going "Centre-Forward-Back" - within an existing DOF range made by the individual lens and the then-set Aperture.

My interest in Focus-Bracketing for DSLRs is because, due to financial restraints, my "better" lenses are going to be film-era manual primes. As I do realise that these aren't the easiest way to "do things properly" in the modern and fully automated way - other than a Quick-Shift to MF when the automatics aren't co-operating, and I'm no 20-years-DSLR-experience expert - I was thinking that Focus-Bracketing would help...

As for Focus-Bracketing being only in "old" P&S cameras such as my SX10 - actually Canon has continued it in the SX20, and in the still current SX30. So apparently folk are using it and do want it.

On the 'other side' of focusing - I've noticed that on my Takumar f/1.8 55mm lens - and others - there is an actual "Infinity" setting on the focus ring, while some "modern" lenses seem not to have this. With the latter, how is an infinity focus setting made?

Do the electronics in such lenses provide a menu or button setting to preset an infinity focus? Just wondering, as some P&S cameras (Canon A1200, etc) - do have a button-select infinity-focus mode.

Regards, Dave.
In the modern and full automated way, don't look at me since all I my lenses are MF lenses of varying age, except for my Sigma 10-20/4-5.6 UWA. I've been trying to read up on focus bracketing but more often than not the search leads to focus stacking. As an aid to focus stacking for non macro shoots, I see focus bracketing as a plus for a quick three shot to be stacked later in PP. And if focus bracketing is intended for focus stacking, why bracket only three and no more? I look at the word bracketing to mean in the sense of exposure bracketing; choose one out of three. If so, I still don't see the need. Reading your previous post on how to focus bracket, you have to have seen the subject, correctly focus, set near and far focal distance variations and finally press the shutter. All this just to 'nail' the focus dead on, why not just take a shot, chimp and re-shoot if necessary. I miss plenty of shots even with a split prism focus screen and an O-ME53 viewfinder magnifier, almost all of which I attribute to human error and no amount of automation in the camera is going to correct that except to keep on shooting.

Button select infinity focus mode, boy, I would have loved to have that feature on my Panasonic DMC-FZ1, P&S camera! Trying to shoot a full moon at maximum focal length, the damn camera would hunt looking for a hard edge to lock focus on. P&S cameras have come a very long way since then.

Thanks,
09-01-2011, 01:10 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by sajah Quote
First of all, DOF Bracketing IS NOT a feature of P&S camera, Focus Bracketing IS/WAS. I'm wondering if you read all my post at all?
Yes, I did read all your post and I have said that you cannot separate one from the other.

QuoteQuote:
Well, believe it or not, I do have some experiences. And according to my experience, there is no "exact" DOF and DOF transition is smooth and is not always apparent. Even if theoretically F2.8 should cover the DOF, sometimes it doesn't create good enough object separation. Plus there is a possibility of slight misfocus, which I don't know with you, happened a lot with me. It's also contributes to the softness and no object separation, and more DOF will help to lessen this. But not too much DOF or else the background will be in focus also. Plus, by closing aperture to gain DOF, the sharpness also increased and helps create more object separation.

I may not have a lot of shutter clicks, but I do can tell the difference of F8 and F2.8 mind you, but I'm not talking about that much difference of DOF, I'm talking about slight differences, and I'm talking about balance of DOF and object separation and smooth background.

And I also do have experience where things look perfect (sharp) on my 230k LCD but not so when viewed on computer screen.
I agree with you 100% (been there, done that), but you are the one fretting about your inability to capture that fleeting moment of a particular pose, ambiance or mood. If that 'magic' moment is so ephemeral, what makes you think that you are going to have the luxury of nailing it in 3 shots, let alone in one? And if it is that fleeting, then you'd better be prepared to capture it in one shot - that's the gist of what I was trying to convey in my reference to the experience factor but should you choose to view it as a personal attack on my part, so be it.

QuoteQuote:
Clearly you're a superior photographer and don't ever need this function, but let's not assume everyone is same like you. I DO could use the DOF bracketing, while only occasionally, and I AM NOT wishing over the fence to get this function because I'm doing fine and can simulate the DOF bracketing using the controls available at my camera. I came here to discuss my method of doing it. It was the OP that wants Focus Bracketing (and not DOF bracketing) to be available, and while the feasibility is debatable, to be honest I don't think it's a silly request.
No man, I am a hack! I happened to have taken a few classes eons ago to make me look dangerous, but a hack is a hack. And there you go, you've just answered why such a feature is redundant in a Pentax DSLR. You are entitled to participate in any discussions in this public forum as am I. If you are going to voice your opinions in this public forum, then you should expect counter opinion to them - this IS a dialog, after all.

Thanks,
09-01-2011, 01:32 AM   #28
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Come on guys, calm it.

In practice unless marketing sees a need for it, it will never happen. Just think of the amount of code that must go into the useless face recognition in live view. Just so that the clueless punter can point the camera at auntie Lilly standing next to a camel's arse and it will magically focus on the right thing ...
09-01-2011, 04:06 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by kh1234567890 Quote
Just so that the clueless punter can point the camera at auntie Lilly standing next to a camel's arse and it will magically focus on the right thing ...
Which, if the camel's butt is the more interesting feature, is a tragedy, eh?
09-01-2011, 05:19 AM   #30
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sajah makes some good points, but there are also some confusing things.

EV compensation is not all about compensating for mistakes. you may elect to do deliberate high key or low key shots, and although the metering is perfectly accurately you deliberately want an exposure offset, so you set the EV comp to do this, as opposed to having to make the correction every time you meter. You also use EV comp if your lens has a tendancy to always meter incorrectly, Like when you use a TC on the K10D or K20D and it does not corerect for the change in aperture, but these digress from the main topic.

focus bracketing has been discussed in the past, with several options / implementations theorized,
- either using all the focus sensors to evaluate the scene, and move from closest to furthest subject,
- or an incremental offset from nominal focus point.

the latter may be relitively simple and fast (relitive to shutter lag) using the same type of action as the focus adjust feature for lenses, the former would require the camera to search for something like 9-11 different focus distances on each shot. Not too practical in my opinion.

DOF bracketing we have after a fashion, already, but it is manual, just take 3 shots in a row in AV mode and use the thumbwheel to change the aperture. Pretty simple in my opinion,

Focus stacking, as demonstrated by kh1234567890 would be easy to implement either in camera or using PP like HDR, again using the same type of compensation as the AF adjust for lenses. The only issue would be, for focus stacking, how to define the range of distance to cover for the shots.
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