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Author Topic: Focusing landscapes with the nikon D800E question  (Read 4225 times)
Alan Klein
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2014, 10:06:10 AM »
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My point Bernard about stopping down one stop for good measure and not worrying about diffraction is that if your DOF aperture setting or focus point is off a little, it's worse to have parts out of focus with no diffraction rather than having everything you want in focus but with some diffraction. 


Which do you think is worse and under what conditions?  Are there differences between medium format film that I shoot and D800 digital?
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2014, 11:40:01 AM »
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My point Bernard about stopping down one stop for good measure and not worrying about diffraction is that if your DOF aperture setting or focus point is off a little, it's worse to have parts out of focus with no diffraction rather than having everything you want in focus but with some diffraction. 


Which do you think is worse and under what conditions?  Are there differences between medium format film that I shoot and D800 digital?

This recommendation is good when you don't have live view. If you have live view on the camera then it is not really needed. However I will often just take a couple of extra shots at different fstops and then choose the best looking in Lightroom. This is quick to do and cost nothing.
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2014, 01:21:10 PM »
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Well with film, I can use the aperture stop down view.  But I find that it usually gets so dark you can't really tell much anyway. 
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2014, 04:29:09 PM »
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Well with film, I can use the aperture stop down view.  But I find that it usually gets so dark you can't really tell much anyway. 

There is no difference to film in this respect. The view finder is not food for judging DOF in my view. Live view is excellent.
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mjrichardson
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2014, 07:11:58 AM »
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I agree with using correct hyperfocal distances and then it's just practice. I don't use scales or measurements anymore and find that requiring an image to be sharp front to back has nothing to do with the subject or composition, I know with each lens how far to back off from infinity focus based on camera height. Some things only a t/s will do or focus stacking but with landscapes it's normally pretty easy to get right. My advice is to practice and learn your equipment and most importantly, point it at something nice!

Mat
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Jack Hogan
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2014, 07:13:07 AM »
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That's nice processing there Hans.  OT, but may I ask what is your typical workflow?
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Hans Kruse
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2014, 07:21:45 AM »
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That's nice processing there Hans.  OT, but may I ask what is your typical workflow?

On a high level my shooting practice is what I described earlier in the thread. The post processing also was briefly described in how to select the best exposure in Lightroom. In the workflow is, of course, also the whole rating and selection process which I only do partly when on a shoot (or during a workshop I'm running). I usually wait weeks and sometimes months before I really do the rating and delete the photos that does not make it and that includes th brackets I no longer need. For the individual picture I edit almost always entirely in Lightroom. Included in my workshop is also my backup strategy. And in addition the keywording and publishing to my websites where I use Lightroom plugins for Flickr, Smugmug and Zenfolio. I also use Lightroom plugins for publishing to my iPad and iPhone.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2014, 08:16:40 AM »
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Good advice from Hans and very nice samples!

Best regards
Erik

It is always a good idea to use a DOF calculator to get familiar with the actual DOF given the lens, focal length and aperture and also how much you want the picture to be enlarged. The default CoC is not always adequate.

So when you have calculated the DOF and the hyperfocal distance and made sure that you use an aperture that will give you the needed DOF then it is simple: You focus at the hyperfocal distance and take the shot.

A couple of comments on this:

1) Focus at hyperfocal distance means that you will have infinity included in the DOF for the given CoC, Aperture and focal length. But, if you focus just a bit shorter then you will no longer have infinity included. Try and do some calculations with a DOF calculator and you will.

2) Having a D800E it is really simple to check if you will get the DOF needed. Simply shoot in live view (which btw. is a good idea anyway to avoid mirror slap) and on the D800E live view shows you the picture with the stopped down aperture. So you simply first move the the focus square to where you think the hyperfocal distance is and zoom in and hold the AF-ON button until the square becomes green. The zoomed in you move the square to the foreground and see if it is within DOF and then to the background and see if it is within DOF. If not stop down. Don't go any further than f/16 unless you really have to since f/22 will loose a lot resolution and f/16 too. For f/16 I use the sharpening parameters in Lightroom fo the D800E amount=50, radius=1, detail=100 and masking=30 (for all other fstops below f/16 (f/11, f/8 etc)) I use the same except radius=0.8 and detail=70. You can iterate the focus checking to make sure you have all needed within DOF and not stopping down too much. And shoot in live view! With a focal length <100mm I have found that even continuous shooting in live view does not create any blur on a sturdy tripod with a strong ball head and an L-bracket.

3) Make sure you do not focus with the shutter button and setting this is done in a4 which you set to AF-ON only.

If you need to go beyond what is possible by stopping down then use focus stacking or tilt/shift lenses.

Some examples:

Canon 5D III and Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II at 28mm, f/16, 1/20s, ISO 100
http://www.hanskrusephotography.com/Workshops/Abruzzo-Umbria-June-2015/n-c5QGR/i-DfVVZ7m/A


Nikon D800E and Sigma 24-150 f/4 OS at 24mm, f/16, 1/320s, ISO 100
http://www.hanskrusephotography.com/Workshops/Abruzzo-Umbria-June-2015/n-c5QGR/i-X4F4ZSg/A


Nikon D800E and Nikon 14-24 f/2.8 at 14mm, f/16, 1/8s, ISO 100
http://www.hanskrusephotography.com/Workshops/Abruzzo-Umbria-June-2015/n-c5QGR/i-c9tXqcV/A

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Alan Klein
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2014, 11:36:50 AM »
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Hans:  Are very nice.  content color and DOF
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2014, 05:28:35 PM »
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My point Bernard about stopping down one stop for good measure and not worrying about diffraction is that if your DOF aperture setting or focus point is off a little, it's worse to have parts out of focus with no diffraction rather than having everything you want in focus but with some diffraction.  

Which do you think is worse and under what conditions?  Are there differences between medium format film that I shoot and D800 digital?

When T/S lenses and DoF stacking are not applicable then yes, you are of course correct that stopping down is a good solution. My tongue in cheek point was just that it hurts to spend a lot on top lenses and not really tap into their resolution potential. But artistic result is of course more important.

Nowadays, my preferred approach is a combination of 2 rows stitching and moderately stopped down image for the foreground that is focused closer than would have been with a single image. Live view is indeed the easiest way to find the optimal focus point both in the foreground and near infinity for the upper image row. The technique can of course be generalized to multiple rows.

I am in the process of writing an article to describe this technique that, as far as I know, I have invented. The image belw was shot with a D800 and the Otus. 2 rows pano, 8 images total.



The key difference btwn film and digital is how easy it is with digital to see that the resolution potential of the lens/sensor was not tapped into.

In the end it depends on the print size you are targeting for a given series of images. If you print at A3, then stopping down with good sharpening is all you'll ever need.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 07:17:03 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Alan Klein
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2014, 09:46:31 PM »
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Very nice picture Bernard.  Sharp throughout.  I would think that DR and range of stops for the right exposure may have been a problem as well.  Was it?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #31 on: July 23, 2014, 10:47:31 PM »
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Very nice picture Bernard.  Sharp throughout.  I would think that DR and range of stops for the right exposure may have been a problem as well.  Was it?

Thanks Alan,

In fact DR was not a problem with the D800. I simply used the C1 Pro shadow lifting capability. There is hardly any visible noise for this level of correction.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #32 on: July 23, 2014, 11:09:40 PM »
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Is that mainly due to the D800?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #33 on: July 23, 2014, 11:16:26 PM »
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Is that mainly due to the D800?

I would think that, at least, any recent Sony/Toshiba sensor based DSLR should be able to deal with this. Besides, as often in snowy landscape, you have a degree of natural fill that prevents contrast from becoming ad high as it can be otherwise. It is hard to know how much it helps though.

Cheers,
Bernard
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #34 on: July 23, 2014, 11:43:34 PM »
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Hi Alan,

This article I have written long ago may give some insight: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/49-dof-in-digital-pictures?start=1

Best regards
Erik

My point Bernard about stopping down one stop for good measure and not worrying about diffraction is that if your DOF aperture setting or focus point is off a little, it's worse to have parts out of focus with no diffraction rather than having everything you want in focus but with some diffraction. 


Which do you think is worse and under what conditions?  Are there differences between medium format film that I shoot and D800 digital?
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CptZar
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« Reply #35 on: July 25, 2014, 09:38:51 AM »
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Bernard,

when you go in the mountains, the only lens you take with you is the Otus? That is of course a light walking package. But what, if you need longer lenses?  I still wonder why going for stitching if you have a 36MP D810, which will be enough for most prints. Even if you do very large prints, the distance of the viewer will make it possible to print with lesser resolution and still get the same impact.

What kind of equipment are you using for your multi row panos? And what about the light? How do you manage to get a 6 Shoot pano done if the light changes rapidly? Especially when you have to refocus for the upper row, too.

I would be very interested in the article you mentioned.  


Cheers

Jan

Image 40 mm TS and 1.5 Tilt
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 10:27:45 AM by CptZar » Logged

BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #36 on: July 25, 2014, 11:25:54 AM »
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I still wonder why going for stitching if you have a 36MP D810, which will be enough for most prints.

Hi Jan,

Printing a D800 image at 720 PPI will give you an image of 10.22 x 6.82 inches, so for larger images one can stitch.

Quote
Even if you do very large prints, the distance of the viewer will make it possible to print with lesser resolution and still get the same impact.


One can always reduce image quality when people are not supposed to look too close, but what if they do? I don't think one purchases an Otus to then blur the image detail by upsampling to more than what the human visual system can resolve ... Larger viewing distance will then allow to enlarge further.

Quote
And what about the light? How do you manage to get a 6 Shoot pano done if the light changes rapidly? Especially when you have to refocus for the upper row, too.

Practice/experience and a good pano stitching program that can blend well, go a long way.

Cheers,
Bart
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Alan Klein
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« Reply #37 on: July 25, 2014, 09:09:33 PM »
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Hi Alan,

This article I have written long ago may give some insight: http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/49-dof-in-digital-pictures?start=1

Best regards
Erik


Erik  Please explain what this shows and the results.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2014, 02:38:06 AM »
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when you go in the mountains, the only lens you take with you is the Otus? That is of course a light walking package. But what, if you need longer lenses?

Hi Jan,

I typically pack the Otus and the Leica R 180mm f2.8 APO. It is IMHO the best 35mm long(ish) lens ever for distant landscape. It is also light, compact and easy to focus with live view.

The upcoming article will answer the other questions. Wink

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 26, 2014, 02:39:42 AM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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CptZar
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« Reply #39 on: July 26, 2014, 02:42:15 AM »
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Hi Bernard,

thank you, very interesting. What Tripod head do you use? Do you manually expose new for the sky, or do you use the same exposure as for the landscape.

Thank you for sharing

Jan
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