Olympus OMD E-M1 with 4.0 firmware update.

First off, the update opened up a bunch of new things, like focus bracketing, and focus stacking (*a few addendums with focus stacking, but that will be later). Both are designed to allow you to use your macro lens, camera and tripod, taking multiple exposures at different parts of a subject, and then with software (Photoshop, Helicon) stack the images (hence the word focus stack) to make one clear sharp image from front to back.

I set my EM1 up to take some shots. I noticed that the Focus Stacking option was greyed out. A bit of research, and I discovered you can only use focus stacking in camera if you use the *Pro lenses, or the 60mm macro (I have the 50mm macro), and that you’re limited to 8 shots.  To me, that leaves too much of your subject not in focus.

Moving on:

Focus Bracketing:  Allows you to take as many photos as you want (don’t go nuts, or you will fill your card), but you will have to stack them in your software of choice. You can pick how far back you want the camera to focus (for this, I picked 20 images, 4mm).

What I found out, though, it doesn’t work very well with a subject that is vertical/standing upright in regards to the camera/lens, that the subject has to be laying flat(ish) so the focus starts at the front of the object, and goes to the back, unlike manual focus stacking where you can pick different parts of the subject regardless if it’s laying flat down, or standing up in front of your lens.

Keeping that in mind, leaving your subject flat(ish), the results are pretty damned impressive!




About Sandra

Passenger on a blue marble, circling yellow star. Dancer, astronomer, technogeek, coffee lover, pagan, photographer.. not necessarily in this order.
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