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Thread: Focus stacking

  1. #1
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    Default Focus stacking

    I'm finding that I'm not getting as much front-to-back sharpness on my jewellery photos as I'd like. Does anyone use focus stacking, and what package do you prefer?

  2. #2
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    Never tried that Peter, but I do get good depth of field results in close ups,when using my Nikon DSLR fitted with a Nikkor 60mm Micro set at f32.

    James

  3. #3
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    I'm using a Nikkor 105mm micro - at f40, the sharpness is fantastic, but the depth of field is minimal. One of the dof calculators reckons it's no more than 1-2mm... My older 55mm micro Nikkor has no electronics, so metering is a bit more of a nuisance (take the shot, study the histogram, adjust accordingly).

    I've been trying Helicon Focus; so far I think it is giving me better results than Zerene stacker. It seems a faff having a laptop tethered to the camera, but it does make capturing the focus stack relatively painless.
    It's also cheaper than buying another lens!
    Last edited by ps_bond; 06-01-2013 at 12:26 PM.

  4. #4
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    hello there, i never managed to get hands on, but i did some research as is something would like to learn. Zerene Stacker seem a good package used from professional photographer. zerenesystems.com/cms/home
    Tony

  5. #5
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    When I said Helicon Focus is giving me better results than Zerene Stacker, I mean that a) I've been experimenting with both and b) I've been analysing the resulting output.
    Helicon Focus gives a result I find preferable on specular highlights; it also results in better definition on highly reflective surfaces than Zerene. Results may differ for different subject material.

    I'll try and find time to resize & post results from the 2, along with the f40 shot. They're just messing, so the lighting is ambient rather than studio.

  6. #6
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    I have a basic Canon EOS1100D, and the lens is 18-55mm. When set on 'Av' (aperture priority) and the f. number very high (up to f22) there is no problem with depth of focus.

    There is also a macro setting which is totally automatic, so I never use it for jewellery. Am I misunderstanding the question?
    Last edited by Dennis; 06-01-2013 at 01:42 PM.

  7. #7
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    The problem's partly of my own making: The kit lens that came with my Nikon won't focus as close as I want/need. The longer zoom I have primarily for sports use focusses even further away... So I bought a Nikkor 105mm to supplement the 55mm I have. The combination of the longer lens (and the fact that with a partial-frame sensor there's a pretend 1.5x magnification factor) results in fantastic sharpness at high levels of magnification, but a very small dof even with the aperture stopped down.

  8. #8
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    I was about to upload the stacked files, only to notice that the one created by Zerene Stacker isn't all that big - it's not quite 270kB, while the one generated by Helicon is around 1.5MB. So a loss of detail is to be expected... I'll have to go back in to see if I can persuade it to generate a larger file.

    f40 shot:



    Using Helicon Focus:



    There's been no other manipulation, so the resulting effective exposures differ. Also interesting to note how much Helicon has resized things - although this lens "breathes" and the image size changes with changes in focus. Oh, the stack shot for Helicon was all done at f5.6.

    Another thought - manual focus confirmation isn't great on this camera (I miss the prism screens of the old SLRs); the only way to get decent focus confirmation is to switch it to live mode, then zoom in on an area of interest.
    Last edited by ps_bond; 07-01-2013 at 09:50 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default

    Have you tried taking the photo using less zoom then cropping the image?

  10. #10
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