Friday (06-July-2018) — New Jersey

Backyard Summertime in New Jersey.

Focus Stacked Macro images of a Bumble Bee on a Pink Zinnia Flower.  Fuji recently released a firmware update for the Fuji X-T2 and X-H1 mirrorless cameras that allow the camera to take a series of focus bracketed images. The camera starts with a user selected near focus point, then for each subsequent image changes the focus point an increment further away (toward infinity). The bracketing settings are number of frames (2-999), step (1-10), and interval (seconds). Each of images below are focus stacked composites of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec) with a step of 10, and interval of 0 seconds. I used the Helicon Focus program to process the focus bracketed images to create the focus stacked composite. The result is an image with a depth of field much greater than could be obtained with a single image even with narrow aperture.  Note the tiny mites on the back of the bee.

Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee with Mites on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)
Bumble Bee with Mites on a Zinnia Bloom. Focus stacked composite of 25 images taken with a Fuji X-H1 camera and 80 mm f/2.8 macro lens (ISO 200, 80 mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec). Images processed with Helicon Focus. (DAVID J MATHRE)

As noted above, I used a setting of 25 images, step size 10, and interval 0 seconds. I chose 25 images because that is about the number of images that can be taken (raw + jpg fine) in a burst before the buffer fills and the interval between images becomes longer. This allowed me to take the images hand-held (without using a tripod). I am not sure what the interval represents, and if it is different with each lens. The setting of 25 images and step size of 10 gives me a about half an inch of “in focus” range at a close focusing distance. Saving only jpg images would permit more images to be taken (deeper depth of field) and/or a smaller step size (greater resolution). I still have a lot to learn about using the focus stacking capability with this camera. Lots of trial and error. I am glade that digital memory is cheap, although processing lots of images takes time.

Author: David Mathre

I am a scientist by training (Eckerd College, BSc; Caltech, Ph.D.). I worked for 27 years as a Chemist in the Pharmaceutical Industry developing processes to manufacture medicines for human and animal health. I now spend my time as a photographer and world traveler. My interests in photography include the natural world, wildlife, landscapes, skyscapes, and seascapes. I have traveled to over 50 countries over the last 10 years, often on Semester at Sea voyages. While at home in New Jersey, I spend time on a home renovation project and expanding my wildflower garden/meadow.

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