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Using video for botanical close-up stacks
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 734
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nick!

I do have a Panisonic DC-ZS70 that has post focus, but my attempts at using the post focus mode have not been very satisfactory.

Many thanks for your efforts to create a video.

Keith
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 109
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
Thanks Nick!

I do have a Panisonic DC-ZS70 that has post focus, but my attempts at using the post focus mode have not been very satisfactory.

Many thanks for your efforts to create a video.

Keith


Ah, OK, change of plan. A ZS70 is going to be limited compared to the setups I have been using. I have a ZS70 so I've started doing some experiments with it and I may write about that rather than making a video at this stage. I'm going to try it on several subjects that I've stacked recently and are still available.

You mention not having good results from post focus. Is that using post focus as post focus (i.e. choosing a single frame to use), or have you been trying to stack frames from post focus MP4 videos (which is what I have been doing)? If stacking, what have you been using to do the stacking?

Also, what has been unsatisfactory about what you have tried? (Without knowing this I may end up trying to answer the wrong questions.)
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 734
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nick,

You asked about post focus and stacking on my Panasonic DC-ZS70.

I have occasionally used the camera’s “Auto Merge” function to combine post focus 4K images...
Every time I do this I have to review the manual to figure out how to do the gathering and the data reduction. A 15 minute wander.


So, this was stacked in the camera...



And this was snapped (with flash) single exposure.



Not a fair comparison as the flash image has better color than the post focus image. You can see the improved focus on the dead blossom in the stacked image. Aside from that, a poor result. The single exposure is much less hassle.

So what I don’t like with the post focus mode (in the DC-ZS70) is the difficulty of use. Generally I am happier with single exposures on this camera.

If I need a crisp stack image of a floral still life, I haul out my DSLR and gather the images manually.

Keith
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 109
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
Nick,

You asked about post focus and stacking on my Panasonic DC-ZS70.

I have occasionally used the camera’s “Auto Merge” function to combine post focus 4K images...


I tried in-camera stacking with my G80, with mixed results. I wrote about it here.

BugEZ wrote:
Every time I do this I have to review the manual to figure out how to do the gathering and the data reduction. A 15 minute wander.


It is quite fiddly.

BugEZ wrote:
So, this was stacked in the camera...


And this was snapped (with flash) single exposure.


Not a fair comparison as the flash image has better color than the post focus image. You can see the improved focus on the dead blossom in the stacked image. Aside from that, a poor result. The single exposure is much less hassle.


The ZS70 isn't a great camera for stacking. I played with it today, using the camera alone and using it with a Canon 500D close-up lens. The light level was quite low and it was breezy, and I didn't have much success. It is possible, especially in brighter conditions, but with the small sensor producing a fairly large depth of field it is less often possible to isolate subjects nicely compared to when using a camera with a larger sensor.


BugEZ wrote:
So what I don’t like with the post focus mode (in the DC-ZS70) is the difficulty of use. Generally I am happier with single exposures on this camera.


I shoot single exposures with the ZS70. The only time I used it for stacking was as an experiment when I first got it. These were from those brief experiments, in much better light than today. All used a Canon 500D close-up lens on the ZS70.


1351 3 2018_08_05 P1010007 TZ90+500D PF9f ISO 80 F4.4 1-400 -0.3DEV B3,2+i LR7 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1351 7 2018_08_05 P1010063 TZ90+500D PF 16f ISO 80 F5.3 1-1000 -2EV B27,2+i LR7 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1351 9 2018_08_05 P1010004 TZ90+500D PF 21f ISO 80 F4.1 1-640 -1EV B3,2 LR7 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1354 02 2018_08_04 TZ90+500D P1000462 PF 12f ISO 80 F5.6 1-250 EV-0.3 B26,2 LR7 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr


1354 01 2018_08_04 TZ90+500D P1000484 PF 14f ISO 80 F4.2 1-250 EV-1.3 B5,2 LR7 1400h by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

BugEZ wrote:
If I need a crisp stack image of a floral still life, I haul out my DSLR and gather the images manually.

Keith


You should get much better image quality and better separation that way.
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Nick

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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 3176
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last picture is very beautiful.
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Lou Jost
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BugEZ



Joined: 26 Mar 2011
Posts: 734
Location: Loves Park Illinois

PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2019 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Nick. I’ll check your link!

K
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 109
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lou Jost wrote:
The last picture is very beautiful.


Thank you. Smile
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Nick

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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
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Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2019 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
Thanks Nick. I’ll check your link!

K


One thing I forgot to mention is that none of those TZ90 stacks I posted were in-camera stacks. They were all done in Helicon Focus.
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 549
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BugEZ wrote:
So what I don’t like with the post focus mode (in the DC-ZS70) is the difficulty of use. Generally I am happier with single exposures on this camera.Keith


Don't want to butt in with an unwelcome "red herring" but reading this interesting post with threads reminded me that there might be a simpler approach. I say might because I have never tried it and the idea may not be viable.

Before the Panasonic Post Focus was launched into production I did see, I think, one or two posts "somewhere" in a browse about using 4K video streams for stacking.

The photographer would have recorded a stream with a non AF Lens (or set to MF?) and ran the camera forward on a rail rack or focus block capturing a continuous focus/OOF in the stream range.

Then extracted the frames off camera and stacked in the usual software choices.

Or in Helicon it will now extract the frames and stack in one go.

Would this avoid the fiddling with settings and aid just getting the sought capture in a field setting?

I await being shot down with what I have missed............or is this what you guys are doing in the alternatives you have already posted?

BR


John
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Beatsy



Joined: 05 Jul 2013
Posts: 1478
Location: Malvern, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolmadis wrote:

Don't want to butt in with an unwelcome "red herring" but reading this interesting post with threads reminded me that there might be a simpler approach. I say might because I have never tried it and the idea may not be viable.

Before the Panasonic Post Focus was launched into production I did see, I think, one or two posts "somewhere" in a browse about using 4K video streams for stacking.

The photographer would have recorded a stream with a non AF Lens (or set to MF?) and ran the camera forward on a rail rack or focus block capturing a continuous focus/OOF in the stream range.

Then extracted the frames off camera and stacked in the usual software choices.

Or in Helicon it will now extract the frames and stack in one go.

Would this avoid the fiddling with settings and aid just getting the sought capture in a field setting?

I await being shot down with what I have missed............or is this what you guys are doing in the alternatives you have already posted?

BR


John

I'm pretty sure others have done it, but I posted a few examples of this technique in the past. Perhaps it was those you saw? In fact, on searching for them, I found I created a short series that evolves toward better results over time - entirely due to hardware improvements of course Smile

All using the technique you describe, first was using HD video...
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=27622

Second was using 4k video...
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=34443

and the most recent was using 20fps RAW captures (24 megapixel)
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=34810

Cheers
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 549
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve

Thanks for digging your work on this out. Whilst I could not recall who, what where clearly the posts made an appropriate impression on me to remember the technique.

Could this approach be used in the field without having to resort specifically to Panasonic Post Focus kit?

Yes, I think so but I will let those who have already contributed to this post about field stacking cast their eye over it and comment as to the practicalities in that environment.

BR


John
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Jim Haseloff



Joined: 19 Jan 2019
Posts: 2
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just posted a note about the use of Panasonic extended focus for botanical specimens in the thread "Panasonic Lumix cameras & Post Focus" in the Equipment Discussions Forum - but looks like it might have been better placed here. So I thought that I'd mention it, but avoid cross-posting.

https://www.hackster.io/jim-haseloff/video-rate-macroscope-6b4f76
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 549
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim, Thank you for the input.

Perhaps the Admins can advise if any other cross linking between posts is required.

This post had progressed to thinking about 4K stacking of insects where perhaps running through camera settings might miss the opportunity when the closest to point and shoot 4K would be a benefit.

And a longer working distance to the insect subject to avoid the disturbance that botanists can tolerate with shorter WD.

My own thoughts had strayed to using something like a PANASONIC LUMIX 45-175 mm f/4-5.6 with a 3 diopter Marumi Close up "Filter" giving a 30cm WD.

BR


John
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gardenersassistant



Joined: 31 May 2009
Posts: 109
Location: North Somerset, England

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dolmadis wrote:
Jim, Thank you for the input.

Perhaps the Admins can advise if any other cross linking between posts is required.

This post had progressed to thinking about 4K stacking of insects where perhaps running through camera settings might miss the opportunity when the closest to point and shoot 4K would be a benefit.


There is no running through camera settings with post-focus. Well, you set the ISO, aperture and shutter speed (or in my case the aperture and ISO because I use Av mode), but there are no stacking parameters to deal with (unlike with focus bracketing).

One of the advantages I find with post-focus is that it is essentially point and shoot. You don't even have to organise the starting position for focusing.

dolmadis wrote:
And a longer working distance to the insect subject to avoid the disturbance that botanists can tolerate with shorter WD.


You can use post focus independent of the optics setup, so you can have a longer working distance.

dolmadis wrote:
My own thoughts had strayed to using something like a PANASONIC LUMIX 45-175 mm f/4-5.6 with a 3 diopter Marumi Close up "Filter" giving a 30cm WD.


I have used the 45-175 a lot (on G3, G5, G80) with Canon 500D (+2 diopters), Raynox 150 (+4.8 diopters), Raynox 250 (+8 diopters), Raynox 150+250 or 250+250 stacked, Raynox MSN-202 (+25 diopters) and (testing only) Raynox MSN-505 (+32 diopters). All for invertebrates in the field. Mainly hand-held.

The 45-175 is an excellent lens to use with close-up lenses, especially the more powerful ones because the fact that the 45-175 does not extend/contract when you change focal length makes it far easier to use at higher magnifications. And you get autofocus too. And you can change magnification with a slight touch on the side lever on the lens, which is very conveniently positioned for the left index finger, or with a small angle of turn on the zoom ring, which can also be done with one finger (left or right hand).
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Rework and reposts of my images posted in this forum are always welcome, especially if they come with an explanation of what you did and how you did it.
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dolmadis



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the information and advice on Panasonic Post Focus.

But if you have a camera that can do 4K but not Panasonic with Post Focus?

Is the alternative of running a 4K stream on a focus rail manually a do-able option?

Thoughts welcome.

John
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