Automatic focus bracketing

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dsjtecserv
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Automatic focus bracketing

Post by dsjtecserv » Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:19 pm

I ran across an interesting piece of software that may be of interest to folks who use TuFuse for focus blending, especially for macros. "dslr Bracketeer" controls the camera through a USB connection and will automatically step the focus in small increments while taking an essentially unlimited number of shots. If you have done macro focus blending you can relate to how difficult it can be to manually adjust the lens focus between shots with a consistent step and without jarring the camera. This seems to very successfully eliminate that risk.

Here's the link: http://www.milosparipovic.com/dslr-bracketeer.html
The instructions are a bit sketchy, but it isn't hard to figure out. You probably will need the VS2008 C++ runtime package that he suggests, unless you already have C++ installed. The link is to the x86 runtime, but I accidentally downloaded it and it seems to work on my Win 7 64-bit system. By email Milos provided me a link to the 64-bit runtime, if you need it: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/deta ... laylang=en

The camera presumably needs to have live view and be controllable by tethering with a computer through USB. He has only tested it on a Canon 450D, but I saw a report that it works on a 1000D and it worked on my T1i. He says it could even work on non-Canon cameras, but hasn't tested it.

Here the first test I did using Bracketeer. This was with a Canon T1i and 60 mm lens at about a 45 degree angle to the plane of the subject; the center point was about 14 inches form the lens. The distance from near to far is about 70 mm, or 2.7 inches. At f/8 the depth of field of each image along the plane was only about 3-4 mm. This took 18 images using the larger of the two available step increments, and was focus-fused in TuFuse. In the larger version you can see very clearly how dusty this old hard drive was!

Image

Clearly this isn't much use in the field or anywhere you can't take a computer. Until someone comes up with an iPhone/Android version, anyhow. Hint!?

Dave

JSC
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Post by JSC » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:13 pm

For those who have a Canon PowerShot P&S, you can load CHDK (Canon Hack Development Kit) on you SD card, which allows (among other things): RAW, exposure bracketing in continuous shooting mode, execution of scripts, etc. Someone has already written scripts to take care of focus bracketing also. You can even combine focus and exposure bracketing.

I've tried the focus bracketing a couple times and it worked as advertised. PTAssembler/Tufuse stacked them without incident. I use the exposure bracketing all the time. Very handy. One press of the shutter and the camera will pause for a user-defined number of seconds and then fire off as many exposures as I want. Makes creating Tufused mosaics/panos much easier since the stacks are very well aligned (if on a tripod of course).

Here's the link: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK

Unfortunately for Max, the G10 isn't one of the ported cameras yet (the G9 and G11 are). I use an A650is. It'll never be a DSLR, but it is pocket-able and I always have it with me. For my needs, it is good enough. However, I have considered acquiring one of the range-finder style EVIL cameras and an appropriate adapter for all my old Canon F-mount lenses.

Hmmm....now that I've created my first post after being a silent anonymous member for years, I should probably post an image or two. :-)

Jim

maxlyons
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Post by maxlyons » Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:38 pm

Dave,

Thanks for posting...I'll take a look at this program. I suspect that it could be quite useful for indoor photography (where it isn't a big deal to tether the camera to the computer), but less practical for outdoor photography.

I'm not any kind of expert on this, but I think that one of the hurdles to implementing something like this on a "smartphone" is that the phone would need to be able to act as a USB host...something that few (if any?) phones support (officially, at least).

JSC,

I'm aware of the CHDK project, but haven't really investigated. Too bad it doesn't work on the G10! The G10 does have a basic focus-bracketing mode, although I haven't really used it. It takes three pictures in a row using three different focus distances, so that is at least a start. Yes...please post some pictures!

Max

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:29 am

Max:

I don't know about tethered USB control from a smartphone to a camera, but there is at least one app for iPhones that does this by infrared: http://www.ononesoftware.com/detail.php?prodLine_id=38. I don't think there is an equivalent for Android, which is a shame, because that's what I have; but I would assume it is possible. Smartphones do, of course, have USB connections, but I don't know if that allows them to be a host.

[Edit: Spoke too soon. The onOne software requires connecton to a WiFi-enable computer, so it is really just using the computer as a conduit. Not sure what advantage that has over just using the computer, other than the cool factor of waving your iPhone around to take pictures.]

At any rate it was just a thought; hardly a priority.

Dave

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:41 am

[Duplicate post deleted. Don't know how I did that.]

Dave
Last edited by dsjtecserv on Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

dsp
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Post by dsp » Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:10 pm

Hey Dave, not the most elegant, but you can definitely run the droid as a usb host...
http://www.tombom.co.uk/blog/?p=124

Darcy

Punkie
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Post by Punkie » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:46 am

I've not that often used focus bracketing, but my good old Olympus E 500 has it. Unfortunately the newer models not. A reason for me to keep the camera.

Kind regards,
Henk Tijdink

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Sat Jul 17, 2010 2:31 pm

Hey Dave, not the most elegant, but you can definitely run the droid as a usb host...
http://www.tombom.co.uk/blog/?p=124
Yikes! That's way more fiddly than I want to get into. Micro-dongle? I resent that.

I think a PC-based approach would be workable with something like a netbook for excursions into the garden or not too far from the trailhead. But as Henk and Max noted, this is something that could easily be integrated into the camera itself without new technology. It seems that it would be just an extension of what is already found in some cameras, with the addition of options for number of shots and step interval.

Dave

maxlyons
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Post by maxlyons » Sun Jul 18, 2010 4:31 pm

I tried DSLR Bracketeer with my T2i, but I couldn't seem to get it to work...when I tried to get it to trigger the camera to take a sequence of shots, it just sent the camera into an endless attempt to autofocus. It is quite likely that I'm doing something wrong, but I couldn't get past this hurdle.

Max

dsjtecserv
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Post by dsjtecserv » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:36 pm

Try contacting the developer at milos.paripovic@gmail.com. Although his page suggests he isn't likely to respond, in my experience he responded quickly and helpfully.

Dave

JSC
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Post by JSC » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:54 pm

This was the first focus-fused image I captured. I had just recently installed CHDK on my then-new Canon A650is and decided to try the focus script while in my hotel room to see how it "stacked up" :-). Boring subject, but after setting the near focus, far focus and overlap, I just pressed the shutter one time to start the script to capture the images, loaded all 32 images into PTAssembler, shift-Autocreate and posted below is the resulting image. I am also posting the near and far focus images for comparison. f/3.5 @ 22mm (~110mm in 35mm film FOV terms). 1 sec exposure iso80.

I'm more of a landscape and architecture guy, but for those with a Canon P&S who like macro photography, CHDK and PTAssembler/Tufuse proved to be a good package.

Image

Image

Image
Canon AE-1, A1, A95, A650is. See "A" pattern?

ranjan
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Post by ranjan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 12:28 am

Magic lantern released a firmware for 5dmk2 which automates focus stack shooting where you can choose the number of frames, I tested that in a field last year.

The firmware does not need to be installed on the camera instead you boot from it using it on the CF card. No need of computer or iphone, but as of now only limited to 5dmk2

http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Focus
http://vimeo.com/5879032

http://www.cinema5d.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=2494

http://magiclantern.wikia.com/wiki/Magi ... mware_Wiki

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