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How to Change Focus and Take Extra Shots when Shooting Panoramic Photos by Using MECHA

In this video we are going to show you how to change focus and take extra shots when shooting panoramic photos by using MECHA.

Access the MECHA's user interface as usual, using a smartphone or computer, then go to the Row page.
Now load your favorite preset, or create a new preset with us.
Let's create a preset for a 35mm focal length.

The first step is to load a preset, for example "TEST 1313 Level", so you have fewer settings to make.
1TRG means one camera trigger signal per position.
If your camera is set to manual focus, the AF (or focus) setting will be ignored. However, keep in mind that triggering some Sony cameras is not possible if the AF is zero.
The pause for camera wake-up is 1 second. This pause is right at the beginning of the preset, so you can set a higher value if you need to move out of the camera's field of view.
There will be no pause before trigger sequences.
The modifier of the shutter button signal is 1, so it will have no effect.
The duration of the shutter button signal is 0.25 seconds.
There is 1 second delay after each trigger sequence.
The exposure set on your camera should be no greater than E + A.

The second step is to provide the focal length via the "Custom" option in the Shots list.
MECHA has already created the script that describes the movements needed for a full spherical panorama.


Notice that the start position is "level" (L).
Then we have the first row with 13 positions at a tilt of zero degrees (or no tilt), then the second row with 12 positions at a tilt of -37 degrees, followed by the third row with 8 positions at a tilt of -75 degrees, and so on. The script ends with two positions for zenith and two for nadir.
When making a panoramic photo, the photographer usually sets the focus to hyperfocal distance, which will allow for most features to be in acceptable focus, and leaves it unchanged for the entire shooting session.
However, when you know that there are objects closer to the camera in a certain area, you can set one or more positions where you want to change the focus, either automatically or manually, to get a better result when using MECHA.
Set a focus position by adding F in the MECHA's script, followed by pitch (or tilt) and yaw separated by a caret symbol.

For example, in this script:


F-15^90 means a Focus position at -15° pitch and 90° yaw, after the first row is completed.

MECHA will go to the focus position and wait for you to press the right arrow button on the controller to continue. When you press the button, MECHA sends the focus signal to your camera, then continues shooting.

Please note that if you are using a Single Axis MECHA, you will have to manually tilt the upper rail of the panohead.

Now let's see how to tell MECHA you want it to take extra shots when executing a preset. Add V in the MECHA's script followed by pitch (or tilt) and yaw, separated by a caret symbol, where V stands for "Via" and suggests going through this position when the preset is executed.


In this script, V-30^90 means an extra shot position at -30° pitch and 90° yaw after the second row.
And V30^-90 means an extra shot position at 30° pitch and -90° yaw after the third row.

MECHA will go to the V position and send one or more trigger signals, depending on the value set for TRG, just like for any other position in preset. This means one or more shots in the V position, then continuing shooting.
Everything is automatic in case of extra shots and does not require any action on your part, unless you set a pause before extra shots.
If you set a pause before extra shots, by adding P in the MECHA's script, before V,


MECHA will go to the V position and wait for you to press the right arrow button on the controller to continue. MECHA sends the trigger signal to your camera to take the extra shot, then continues shooting.

We will launch the preset by pressing the RIGHT button.

When MECHA is paused, the C2 controller displays "PAUSE", and the C1 controller flashes two LEDs.
If your camera is set to autofocus, you only need to press one of the two buttons mentioned earlier to continue.
If your camera is set to manual focus, you need to manually focus, then continue by pressing the right arrow button. MECHA will send the focus signal anyway, but it will be ignored by your camera, as it is set to manual focus.
No default pause is set to extra shot positions, so MECHA will send the camera trigger signal automatically.
After row 3 follows the second position for extra shots, and here we have a pause set in the script.
You can use this pause creatively and continue at the right time.

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