This article discusses the focus stacking compatibility of various Olympus/OM System cameras and lenses and provides a current gear listing. A selection of new in-camera focus stacked images recently captured handheld at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory are featured.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Currently there are 6 Olympus/OM System cameras that have the in-camera focus stacking technology. These include the following:
- E-M1 Mark III
- E-M1 Mark II
- E-M-1 (firmware 4.0)
- E-M5 Mark III
- E-M5 Mark II (firmware 2.0)
It is always important to keep the firmware on your camera current to ensure that you will have access to all of your camera’s functionality, as this can increase over time.
Not all lenses are compatible with the in-camera focus stacking feature. There are currently 12 M.Zuiko lenses that are compatible with focus stacking. These include 4 prime lenses:
- M.Zuiko 30 mm f/3.5 macro
- M.Zuiko 60 mm f/2.8 macro
- M.Zuiko 8 mm f/1.8 fisheye PRO
- M.Zuiko 300 mm f/4 PRO IS
There are 8 M.Zuiko zoom lenses that are compatible with focus stacking. These include the following:
- M.Zuiko 7-14 mm f/2.8 PRO
- M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO
- M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 PRO
- M.Zuiko 8-25 mm f/4 PRO
- M.Zuiko 12-45 mm f/4 PRO
- M.Zuiko 12-100 mm f/4 IS PRO
- M.Zuiko 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS
- M.Zuiko 150-400 mm f/4.5 TC1.25 X IS PRO
Both M.Zuiko teleconverters (MC-14 and MC-20) are also compatible with focus stacking. These teleconverters can currently be used with 4 M.Zuiko zoom lenses (40-150 mm f/2.8 PRO, 300 mm IS PRO, 100-400 mm f/5-6.3 IS, and 150-400 mm f/4.5 TC1.25X IS PRO).
Regardless of the camera brand that you use, it is advisable to always check for lens compatibility with hardware like teleconverters, and various firmware capabilities. Never assume that the lens you are considering will be fully compatible with all available hardware and software options.
As computational photography features increase with various brands of cameras, I think it is realistic to expect that manufacturers will put limits on feature compatibility. This will be one way that they will establish differentiation between their various lens offerings. This will serve as ‘encouragement’ for photographers to invest in more expensive lenses if they want to take full advantage of their camera’s capabilities.
All of the photographs in this article were captured handheld using an E-M1X and an M.Zuiko 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom lens. I also used my M.Zuiko MC-14 teleconverter for some of the images in this posting.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced using in-camera focus stacking technology. Focus stacking was set for 10 frames with a focus differential of 3. All photographs are displayed as full frame captures that have been resized for web use. In-camera focus stacked jpegs were adjusted slightly in post using my standard process. This is the 1,090th article published on this website since its original inception.
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4 thoughts on “Focus Stacking Compatibility”
Hi, I’m keen to have the 12-100 f4. But I’ve seen conflicting claims that this lens is not compatible for focus stacking. Could you kindly confirm its ok to use this feature with the EM1X? Thanks
It is always best to ask technical questions directly with OMDS with their online technical chat staff. Here is a list of lenses that are compatible with focus stacking: https://learnandsupport.getolympus.com/support/e-m1-mark-ii/which-lenses-are-compatible-with-the-focus-stacking-mode
I took a couple of focus stacked images using my E-M1X and the PRO 12-100 mm f/4 IS today and had no issues. Some folks may not be properly setting up focus stacking on their cameras which could result in it appearing that the PRO 12-100 f/4 IS is not compatible. Or, they may not have up-to-date firmware on their camera.
What focus stacking settings do you use for insects? (Number of shots and focus differential)
I forgot to include the settings in the article, which I’ve now corrected. 10 frames with a focus differential of 3.