Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Focus Stacking on Sony, Olympus, and Fujifilm cameras

Left image - f/32.  Right image: Focus Stacking.

Also in this issue:

  • Focus Stacking
  • The ethical question of photographing Amazon tribes
  • In the Pipeline

Focus stacking for Olympus, Fujifilm, and Sony cameras

If you're shooting macro images for catalogs (jewelry photography, for example), you can't just use a small f/stop and hope to get everything in focus.  Most of the time the depth-of-field won't be great enough, plus at the smallest f/stops something called diffraction kicks in, where the image actually gets a little bit fuzzier.  (That's why so many lens experts recommend shooting at the lens' "sweet spot" which is usually in the middle of it's f/stop range for sharpest results (but not the greatest depth-of-field).

Have a look at the close-up images of the top jewelry shot below: both were shot with a Minolta 100mm macro lens with the same lighting setup.  The left image was shot at f/32 (the smallest that lens can go), and the right image used a common technique called Focus Stacking.  Notice how the left image isn't all that sharp even in the area toward the front (the lens was focused 1/3rd of the way between the closest part and the furthest part, which is considered best practice for depth-of-field), whereas the right image  is sharp from the front to the back.  (Click on the image to see it larger; better yet download the original to compare them for yourself.)  

Left image - f/32.  Right image: Focus Stacking.