The Easy Way To Do It The Hard Way Is Hard To Do The Easy Way…


Sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine, doesn’t it? Hu is still on Second.

A weekend’s experimentation with a new Olympus camera left me impressed with the operation of the pro-quality lenses out in the field – see the image of the red airplane at our local airport  – and in the studio as I tried out the integral focus bracketing and focus stacking programs.

The long tele lens and the camera body have between them 5 or six planes of image stabilisation. They work together to decide how to counteract movement of the rig in the user’s hands. I found it a dream of stability once an aircraft came into the landing pattern – as soon as I pushed the shutter button the viewfinder image slowed down like molasses and the plane was easy to track. All hail technology.

The in-studio stacking programs operated on two different levels – either preparing nine slices of a close-up for use in Photoshop or actually processing 8 shots in the camera’s computer for melding into a finished product. I cannot say how the performance would have been in RAW mode as I kept to JPEG – my editing programs are not advanced enough for the new camera.


The focus bracketing was a bit daunting as I am using only Photoshop Elements and it doesn’t have an automatic stacking program. You can do it in the panorama section of the program, but you have to manually erase portions of masks to allow the focused sections of the layers to shine through. It worked, however, and the Soviet Auto-bus is the result. The Pontiac photo was a tougher assignment for the system, however, as that model is much longer. It did cope with giving a sharp focus to the front and back chrome, though I am curious about the highlight blobs on the bright spots.


Enough to turn my head from the Fujifilm system? No, you’d have to turn my wallet as well and that is a sluggish sort of organ. I have hopes that eventually Fujifilm will participate in the stacking stakes and I can use the lenses I have now.


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