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Author Topic: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?  (Read 1048 times)

henrikfoto

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Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« on: May 16, 2017, 08:11:37 AM »

I am thinking of upgrading from a Phase one df to an XF, mostly because of the focus-stacking function
of the XF. Can anyone tell me how good this function is in the XF+ ? Is it good enough for small macro-work or is it more for medium-size products etc?

Henrik
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 08:35:30 AM »

I think it's one of the most useful features that they have added with firmware updates ever.  you simply put the camera in stacking mode, and enter the farthest and closest point and number of frames in the stack and hit a button.  It does an exceptional shot and I use it constantly.  It could be improved somewhat in how easy it is to enter the closest and farthest point and I have given them feedback on that but as for how well it works once you have established those points, it works exceptionally well.

As for an upgrade from the DF to the XF, the difference is light night and day in every single respect.  From stability (no lockups) to useful functions, it's just in a completely different world.  Basically you are stepping from a 1990's design body for film to a purpose built modern circa 2015 body.  I haven't touched a DF since I got an XF.
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Paul2660

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 10:20:22 AM »

Works great if you are working a static subject matter, like a product shot, however movement which is pretty much always present in landscape shots, will not work.  Helicon or the other stacking software that begins with a Z, sorry can't remember full name, can't handle motions.  So if you have any movement and I mean any, just a slight breeze, you will get strange and non recoverable aliasing in the part of the image that is moving.  So for leaves for example you need a perfectly still scene (outdoors).   Works great of course on rocks so I tend to work it when I can. 

I agree the implementation by Phase is great, nothing wrong, it's just the fact that the focus stacking software currently can't account for movement. 

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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henrikfoto

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 03:16:44 PM »

Thanks a lot to all of you!

Henrik
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BobShaw

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 07:24:45 PM »

I really question the need for focus stacking in the first place. If you are doing products shots with good lighting and using a good medium format macro lens at f18-20 then there should be ample depth of field. If doing a landscape then you use a tilt shift lens.
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Paul2660

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 07:42:27 PM »

Tilt shift st least for P1 means tech camera and that has its own warts.

There is a 120mm TS lens for P1 but I tend to need much wider focal size.

Paul Caldwell
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2017, 08:38:11 PM »

I really question the need for focus stacking in the first place. If you are doing products shots with good lighting and using a good medium format macro lens at f18-20 then there should be ample depth of field. If doing a landscape then you use a tilt shift lens.


There are limitations to what can be accomplished by stopping down, or even using tilt.

Even at f/18 or f/20, a macro lens may not be able to capture front to back on some subjects depending on the size of the subject, and the required output size. Think POS small jewelry output at 6 feet, for example. And at f/18 or f/20, critical sharpness is lost (relatively). The advantage of focus stacking is that you can shoot at the optimal aperture for a lens (say f/8 or even f/5.6) rather than smaller, less optimal apertures. And your resultant depth of field fro multiple stacked captures has far greater potential than with perceptual depth of field with stopping down (or even with tilt) from a single capture.

To be sure, there are some limitations, things can't move, and you do have some additional post capture process to take care of, but the results are stunning.


Steve Hendrix/CI
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2017, 02:42:44 AM »

Hi,

Just an example of stacking, a very dead and quite dusty fly I picked up at office:


Full size:
http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Articles/TMP/full_2015-01-14-22.24.18_ZS_PMax.jpg

Shot with Stackshot using around 40 exposures.

Leitz Photar 25 on bellows, I think.

Best regards
Erik



There are limitations to what can be accomplished by stopping down, or even using tilt.

Even at f/18 or f/20, a macro lens may not be able to capture front to back on some subjects depending on the size of the subject, and the required output size. Think POS small jewelry output at 6 feet, for example. And at f/18 or f/20, critical sharpness is lost (relatively). The advantage of focus stacking is that you can shoot at the optimal aperture for a lens (say f/8 or even f/5.6) rather than smaller, less optimal apertures. And your resultant depth of field fro multiple stacked captures has far greater potential than with perceptual depth of field with stopping down (or even with tilt) from a single capture.

To be sure, there are some limitations, things can't move, and you do have some additional post capture process to take care of, but the results are stunning.


Steve Hendrix/CI
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 02:54:32 AM by ErikKaffehr »
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Manoli

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2017, 03:06:50 AM »

Just an example of stacking, a very dead and quite dusty fly I picked up at office ...

Me thinks you need a new 'climate-controlled' office ... :)
 
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narikin

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2017, 06:32:57 PM »

Focus stacking works very well indeed, though of course it is time consuming, makes a lot of files (20/40/80 x 100gb files per image) and can only be used for static subjects. You can of course do it with any camera. this just automates it nicely. I suspect other manufacturers will add it in a firmware update in time.

Disagree about the XF being a 2015 'modern' camera. It's a very old fashioned design, with heavy pentaprism, single point AF, giant clunky mirror, and very heavy weight. Anyone who used an MF camera in the 80s (Hassy, Mamiya, Bronica, etc) would be quickly familiar with it. The new bit is the digital icing added on top, but that makes it more like an old style pickup with some fancy microprocessor trick gizmos, than an amazing new era camera. That would require mirrorless MK with EVF and on chip AF.  it's coming, but not maybe not from Phase...

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gerald.d

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Re: Phase one XF - How good is the focus-stacking?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 01:53:56 PM »

I really question the need for focus stacking in the first place. If you are doing products shots with good lighting and using a good medium format macro lens at f18-20 then there should be ample depth of field. If doing a landscape then you use a tilt shift lens.

I shoot watches at close to 1:1 magnification (typically in the 1:1.2-1:1.4 region). Lens is 120mm, full frame MFDB.

Depth of field is typically of the order of 0.2 to 0.5mm. Even having aligned the focal plane with the face of the watch, and even on a watch that has little to no depth on the dial, you won't necessarily get the dial and hands in critical focus in a single shot.

Kind regards,


Gerald.
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