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EOS 90D Focus bracketing help for macro and landscape shots

manfred9
Contributor

I am trying to do some focus bracketing with my 90D. What I came up with so far is that it works in principal. But ...

Here is my understanding so far:
For focus bracketing to work you need Live View. In Live View the maximum focus points is with Zone AF - which is roughly a third of the view. As the number of pictures the camera take depends on the focus points activated while shooting this limits the result drastically. The object needs to be in the center of the frame which is manageable but not perfect for macro shots. But doesn't work for landscape photography.

I would be happy to wrong about this and I only need to change a setting, but I haven't found one yet.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

That's great, Manfred!

I did find those *.bin files. I remembered seeing them once I checked one of my stacking directories. They are in a folder named DPP_DC_1 in the Root of the folder that I have my Raw files. If you run the stack again, another folder will be created named DPP_DC_2. In each of those folders there is a .DATA.bin followed by DC_001, DC_002, and so on to the end of the number of shots in the stack. Those are bin files that contain editing info for post touchup, not converted Raw files.

I found this on an older web site - The Digital Picture:

"the DPP compositing tool comes highly recommended, especially for some of its processing features including the ability to adjust the amount of background blur in a final stacked result. DPP creates a folder in the same folder the stacked result (JPG or TIF format) is being written to. Binary files are stored in this folder including a large file for each image used in the stack along with a data file. These files are required for the adjustment functionality and can be deleted after the image is finished."

Newton

View solution in original post

23 REPLIES 23

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

If the area that you wish to focus on in a landscape shot is outside your AF zone, then create then you must do it manually. 

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

p4pictures
Whiz
Whiz

Hi Manfred, welcome to the forums.

The following is correct

  • Focus bracketing requires the camera to be set to Live View
  • When in live view you can choose any of the four possible AF Methods, Face + Tracking, Spot AF, 1-point AF and Zone AF. Simply select the AF method that suits your needs.
  • You can choose the position in the frame of the spot AF, 1-point AF and zone AF methods.

Focus bracketing works by taking a series of pictures starting at the closest point where the AF is achieved. The camera then moves the focus a little further in to the scene and takes the next frame and so on until the selected number of frames has been captured, or the lens reaches infinity focus.

So for a landscape image, you can use a single AF point and position it on a flower that is 5 feet away from the camera even if that is in the lower left corner of the frame. The camera then takes the series of pictures with different subject distances and saves them to the card. Then you need to combine the individual frames to achieve an image with extended depth of field. This can be done using Canon DPP or other stacking capable software.

Please note that only a few lenses are compatible with focus bracketing. The EOS 90D manual has a list of the compatible lenses, and they are:-

  • EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
  • EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
  • EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
  • EF 180mm f/3.5 Macro USM
  • EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM
  • EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM

 


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

Thanks Brian. I will have to do more test shots. At the moment the maximum I get for my landscape shots is 5 or 6 shots. My settings are to the minimum of 1 at Focus increment and number of shots at 19. 

With close subjects I get way more shots which is fine. 

My Tamron macro lens and my Canon 1.4/50mm work for the focus bracketing.

Hello manfred9,

Brian does provide some really good information on this process. I would add that you can set the AF Area to [Automatic selection AF] which will use the entire AF area to focus, not like the [Large Zone AF] option which gives you the three which quadrants for focusing.

Sorry John_Q but that Automatic Selection AF option is not available when using the required Live View mode for focus bracketing with the EOS 90D.  


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

For landscapes it is possible that your lens reaches infinity before the selected number of pictures is captured. This is due to the fact that at longer distances there is a greater increment between focus steps in all lenses. Focus increments will also depend on the aperture, even the finest increment is greater with the lens at f/16 than at f/5.6. 


Brian
EOS specialist trainer, photographer and author
-- Note: my spell checker is set for EN-GB, not EN-US --

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

This is most likely a far better thing to do in Photoshop and not the camera. This is called focus stacking in Photoshop. You can use the Auto-Align Layers and Auto-Blend Layers to do it.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Thanks for the feedback. I am trialling Zerene Stacker at the moment and I like it. It seems more capable then the PS solution.


@manfred9 wrote:

I am trialling Zerene Stacker at the moment and I like it. It seems more capable then the PS solution.


Don't overlook Canon's free Digital Photo Professional 4 (DPP 4). Although it is slow, image quality and post "touchup" tools are hard to beat, and I've compared them all. I've used Zerene but don't care for the hoops you have to jump through, plus no direct way to work with Raw files, (which I prefer to work with) although you can get a LR plugin, still more hoops if you prefer Raw. I also use Helicon Focus and it's capture program Helicon Remote which work together to shoot the stacks then process them. This program will use your Raw (CR2 - CR3) files and is compatible with most Canon and Nikon cameras. Helicon Focus is much faster than Zerene, Raw, Tiff, or JPeG stacks.

I currently use Helicon Remote to capture my stacks, it is truly a thing of beauty and as simple or complicated as you want it to be. It does a few things that you won't find in other dedicated focus stacking tools, like it will bracket focus and exposure at the same time, so you can stack exposure bracketed shots. It will also allow you to set a time increment between the shots used for stacking so you can use a flash, and it will do exposure bracketed time lapse.

I do also use the stacking feature in my MILC's for capture if I am to lazy to tether to my laptop, but I always use DPP 4 to compile and touchup the stacks because I can edit my Raw files and compile (stack) them in the same program. I've posted a couple of threads on this in the "Share Your Photos" section of this forum.

Newton

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