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Focus stacking on Panasonic cameras

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Among the many options open to modern photographers is focus stacking, a processing technique which combines several different images, usually macro images, taken at slightly different focal distances in order to create one picture with a greater depth of field. It’s not a process I have tried for myself but the technology is fascinating. Back in February I published some remarkable shots taken by Andy Sands of Chiswick Camera Centre using a Nikon D810, 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro and a Manfrotto focus rail. It needs patience. 

 An expert shot, this time using traditional focus stacking techniques using Nikon equipment. Some cameras, including the Panasonic GX8 and GX80, now incorporate an automatic focus stacking facility to make life easier (this photo by Andy Sands of Chiswick Camera Centre)
An expert shot, this time using traditional focus stacking techniques using Nikon equipment. Some cameras, including the Panasonic GX8 and GX80, now incorporate an automatic focus stacking facility to make life easier (this photo by Andy Sands of Chiswick Camera Centre)

Some cameras, including the Panasonic GX8 and GX80 now incorporate a focus stacking feature which enables multiple images to be taken automatically and then combine them in one single image. I was fascinated to read an in-depth review of focus stacking on the GX8 written by Kurt Buzard (link below). It includes an impressive bibliography of further reading on the subject and some fine examples of resulting images. As a starter guide to a new technique this is worth a read. It’s something I plan to get to grips with in the dead of winter. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. So "focus stacking" is a form of computing that enables your camera’s lens to crudely mimic the movements of the ciliary muscles in the eye.

    The result is spectacular, since it is effectively the same as seeing clearly, all parts of the subject are in focus, the eye needs to direct to different areas, stabilise and behold. One would find this very difficult to achieve without a digital camera.

    I must confess that when Mike demonstrated this the first time in February, I thought.. very nice, and then moved on without much further reaction, I hadn’t noticed the massive depth of field, simply because one would not look for it. On looking again today, one realises that this is an impossible picture, a paradox even. It cleverly mimics human vision, which the camera cannot do…

    … but is it the real thing, is it painting with light?

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