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Author Topic: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?  (Read 3536 times)

Lust4Life

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GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« on: August 13, 2022, 11:11:24 am »

Finally have time health has improved to allow getting back to my GFX 100s and landscapes.

1.)  Curious, others shooting GFX for landscapes - played with different shutter settings?
If so, what did you conclude?  I've always used Mechanical but this old dog can learn a new trick
if there is merit to it.

2.)  Focus Bracket - I have been toying with it just shooting my home and surrounds.
Seems like defining the proper Frames, Step and Interval is a wild guess rather than science.
Also seems like a somewhat foolish work flow and a bit of a senseless waste of clicks on the sensor.
Tell me I am wrong and share the "secret sauce recipe" please.  I love to be wrong and learn!

3.)  If you have found Focus Bracket of value, what did you find to be the best stitching software?

Thanks,
Jack

Chris_Brown

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2022, 01:02:47 pm »

1.)  Curious, others shooting GFX for landscapes - played with different shutter settings?
If so, what did you conclude?  I've always used Mechanical but this old dog can learn a new trick
if there is merit to it.
I’ve tried all the various shutter modes and use mechanical in the field. No issues so far (I’ve owned a 100s for about three months).

Quote
2.)  Focus Bracket - I have been toying with it just shooting my home and surrounds.
Seems like defining the proper Frames, Step and Interval is a wild guess rather than science.
Also seems like a somewhat foolish work flow and a bit of a senseless waste of clicks on the sensor.
Tell me I am wrong and share the "secret sauce recipe" please.  I love to be wrong and learn!
Avoid lenses that focus breathe such as the 80mm f1.7. The periphery of each image does not match well to each other.

Use the camera's auto mode to focus stack. Use the focus magnifier to set near & far focus points.

With my 50mm f3.5 I get decent results, minimal breathing, clean images.

Quote
3.)  If you have found Focus Bracket of value, what did you find to be the best stitching software?
I've used Zerene Stacker with good success. It takes a while to learn, but Rik Littlefield, the owner, is very responsive to questions and queries about his software and its functions.

Below: 50mm, f11. Near focus: lower right corner (bricks). Far focus: upper right (white barn). Motion in the branches is visible.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2024, 04:16:40 pm by Chris_Brown »
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Chris Kern

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2022, 01:27:43 pm »

Use the camera’s auto mode to focus stack. Use the focus magnifier to set near & far focus points.

That's also how I set the bracketing parameters with my Fuji XT[34] cameras.  Fuji's automatic focus-stacking controls work well enough that I haven't had to resort to setting the values manually since they were introduced.  I've used them exclusively for macros, however; haven't tried landscapes.

Quote
I’ve used Zerene Stacker with good success.

I've been quite satisfied with Helicon Focus.  It has a simple user interface and seems to be quite good at avoiding stacking artifacts.


Azelea Flower (diameter ~3cm)

Lust4Life

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2022, 05:43:21 pm »

Two votes for "Auto" and both images look good.

So I did, set A and then B with 1Interval value.
Shot about 20' across my living room = 46 Images.
Lens was set to f/16 which should have given me decent DOF = few frames is what I expected. 

Does that sound right?  46 frames to just go across a room?

I think if I did it as I used to by my visual manual focusing at say8 points/shots I think I would have had enough data for Helicon to do it's magic.

Hmmm, takes a heck of a long time for C1 to import 46 RAW files, then have to adjust and apply to output frames.

Hmmmmmmm.

Jonathan Cross

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2022, 06:38:14 pm »

Helicon Focus for stacking. Re number of steps, I would have thought divide the near to far distance by the mean dof and then add say 50% to allow for overlap. I am very happy with focus bracketing on my X-T3/4 cameras. I import the Raws into Helicon, process and export the finished file. I then import that into LR.

Jonathan
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Lust4Life

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2022, 06:43:25 pm »

Helicon Focus for stacking. Re number of steps, I would have thought divide the near to far distance by the mean dof and then add say 50% to allow for overlap. I am very happy with focus bracketing on my X-T3/4 cameras. I import the Raws into Helicon, process and export the finished file. I then import that into LR.

Jonathan

I think Fuji needs to do a little polishing of this tool.
For users of their own lenses, Fuji knows the DOF/f-stop for each lens at each f-stop - take the A to B distance user defined than tie that in with DOF and f-stop being shot at and calculate the "I" for the image plus a pad for safety.

Makes sense to me, so that probably means it won't work.  LOL

Remko

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2022, 04:33:36 pm »

Two votes for "Auto" and both images look good.

So I did, set A and then B with 1Interval value.
Shot about 20' across my living room = 46 Images.
Lens was set to f/16 which should have given me decent DOF = few frames is what I expected. 

Does that sound right?  46 frames to just go across a room?

I think if I did it as I used to by my visual manual focusing at say8 points/shots I think I would have had enough data for Helicon to do it's magic.

Hmmm, takes a heck of a long time for C1 to import 46 RAW files, then have to adjust and apply to output frames.

Hmmmmmmm.

Hi Jack,

Why are you using f16? That is way into diffraction territory - and besides that, the point of using focus stacking is to be sharp from foreground to background (if you so wish of course). So there is really no need to stop down that far. Best is to use the f-number that gives optimal image quality for your lens. As a generalization: stop down 2 stops from wide open.

I shoot mainly landscapes and experimented a lot with Fuji's implementation of focus stacking. For landscapes the optimal step size is 5. If you choose a higher number, there will be gaps in your final image with areas that are out of focus. If you choose a smaller number, you end up with an unnecessary amount of images.

I assume you use a tripod, so the only shake comes from you touching the camera when pressing the shutter button. I have the Interval set to zero and use the build in timer instead. The advantage is that the whole shooting goes quicker as there is no waiting in between shots. Especially for landscapes this is important to avoid movement blur. (caused by a slight breeze). As you can only use focus stacking when there is hardly any movement, you can safely use the electronic shutter. That way there is minimal shake from the shutter itself - only from you pressing the shutter - hence the timer I use. For a low shutter speed I set it to 10 seconds, otherwise it is on 2 seconds.

I use both the manual and the auto implementation of focus stacking. Both work remarkably well!

Hope this helps.

cheers,
Remko
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Lust4Life

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2022, 06:37:55 pm »

"Why are you using f16?  Best is to use the f-number that gives optimal image quality for your lens. "

f11 and f13 are by far the sweet spot on my lens-super crisp.
f16 to get a little more DOF hoping it would take fewer frames for the shot.

" As a generalization: stop down 2 stops from wide open."
Not even close.

"I shoot mainly landscapes and experimented a lot with Fuji's implementation of focus stacking. For landscapes the optimal step size is 5. If you choose a higher number, there will be gaps in your final image with areas that are out of focus. If you choose a smaller number, you end up with an unnecessary amount of images."
The setting of 5 is where I started - took 74 exposures to cover crossing my living room, about 15 feet.
I can do a take sharp manual with just 7 frames myself that is sharp at f/11.

Of course, I never shoot landscape hand held thus tripod and 2" delay on the timer is my default.

Rand47

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2022, 11:01:12 am »

Another vote for the auto focus bracket.  I use back button AF set to “switch” mode to lock the A and B points.

As for shutter.  Mechanical is a sub-optimal choice for landscape work.  Why have the potential shock from the first curtain?  I use either electronic first curtain (no down side at all) or full on ES if there’s nothing moving in the scene.

Rand
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2022, 03:25:04 pm »

All my landscape work on tripo on the GFX100s is done in electronic shutter. I use the camera since availability and it replaced a GFX100. So I have been using the system for 3.5 years or so.

This is especially important with multiple exposure techniques such as focus stacking or stitching.

I do most of my focus stacking in the field manually to reduce number of images and control the timing of captures.

If I do nacro stacking in studio then I go auto.

I use Helicon focus as well.

Cheers,
Bernard

Dan Wells

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2022, 08:42:19 pm »

I use electronic first curtain - full mechanical is vulnerable to shutter shock, fully electronic has rolling shutter and loses a bit of dynamic range (not much, but one reason to shoot the GFX 100s is the extraordinary DR). Electronic first curtain takes care of both...
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SrMi

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2022, 10:53:32 am »

If you use the electronic shutter, you may want to shoot in 14-bit mode as the readout is much faster than in 16-bit mode. The faster readout prevents distortion of slight movements (e.g., leaves, branches). The benefits of 16-bits are marginal, so you likely do not lose IQ.
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BobShaw

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2022, 04:20:12 pm »

I think this shows that if you want 4 photography opinions then  ask three photographers. I wonder what the Group f/64 would say?
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maddogmurph

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2023, 04:39:55 pm »

I use electronic first curtain - full mechanical is vulnerable to shutter shock, fully electronic has rolling shutter and loses a bit of dynamic range (not much, but one reason to shoot the GFX 100s is the extraordinary DR). Electronic first curtain takes care of both...

Following this thread closely. Seems like I really should actually read my manual when I get new toys, but the problem is, the manual doesn't explain things like this typically. Although after research I'm not sure this is correct (https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4456368) but, I've changed my settings to EFC regardless just to be safe.

So, practically speaking, I simply cannot tripod up and focus stack in the field, much of the time. Angles don't permit, wind is too strong, and time doesn't permit when you need to cover miles every day back country. So for me, I'm getting at most (3-4) focus stacks and dealing with some "issues" in post where 100% of the shot isn't perfect focus. The reality of true landscape photography is that 64 shots is impossible, and inconceivable for about 20 reasons, but the primary being that if shot each scene that way I'd need a 12TB drive after each trip, I'd need a year to process all the images, and I'd need all the leaves to stand perfectly still on the trees...

For me, the best compromise is to shoot just a few shots for focus stacking around f11 if possible (not taking into account night landscape photography here) and try to shoot foreground, mid and infinity in 2-3 shots. I do this manually because the in camera function is too slow (unlike the cannon r5 which has best in class hand held focus stacking software currently). The r5 I always use the auto feature. However, I probably should have used the auto feature on my fuji because when I'm hand holding shots, I lose exact location as I pick different parts of the scene to focus on depending on how near far my subjects are. Also I found that the in camera wasn't reaching infinity for me, which is absolutely CRITICAL, so the software is simply unusable for me. If I set the setting to (3) shots, I want midway through nearground, midway through middle ground, and infinity for my focus stack, and I can really only do that manually. The camera just tries to go near to far based on the settings, and if you don't set them large enough it never reaches infinity. Unless I'm doing something wrong. This is completely different in the r5, which nails it almost every time.

<Example attached of 3 shot stack, and a 4th for blown highlights at infinity - shot in JPG on accident... so shadows are crushed>
« Last Edit: April 08, 2023, 08:49:12 pm by maddogmurph »
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Smoothjazz

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2024, 12:44:56 am »

To your point; the GFX 100s online manual that Fuji provides seems very sparse and incomplete. Most of the info I obtain is drawn from online forums. Does anyone know if there is a published book or manual on the operation of the Fuji GFX camera?
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Lust4Life

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Re: GFX 100s, Landscape, what shutter and focus bracket settings?
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2024, 08:08:31 am »

On line manual that I have found in PDF.  That is all I have ever found.

Fortunately, generally the "wisdom" found on any camera I have used if here on this forum!
Hats off to those who contribute without any agenda but to share.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2024, 08:11:39 am by Lust4Life »
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