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My very first focus stacking...Wow

kentak

US
934 posts

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kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010
Mon 20-May-13 04:21 AM | edited Mon 20-May-13 04:25 AM by kentak

It works! And it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.

I understand exactly how the process works, but never felt the inspiration to give it a try.

Then I started to enter a few pics into the May flower contest and felt a little frustrated at having to use such small apertures to get more reasonable DOF. Not only did that present the obvious lighting challenges, but I knew some diffraction might be affecting the IQ.

I also admired the examples of stacked images I've seen throughout this forum.

So, I recently downloaded Helicon Focus with the 30 day trial. I set up a flower, put my D7000 with 60mm Micro on a tripod, and tethered via my CamRanger. Why? One of the features is the ability to do focus stacking. You put the camera in live view, tell the app how many exposures you want and the size of the increments (small, medium, or large) and let it go.

I chose 5 exposures at "small" increments. When I examined the last exposure, I decided to do one more increment, so six in the stack. I did a very quick edit in Aperture to one of the images and batched the adjustments to the rest.

I left Helicon on all the default settings because I literally know nothing about how to use it other than what the brief tutorial showed.

So, I'm pleased for a first--and only--attempt so far. I can see a few areas where the focus might be a little soft, but not bad in overall effect.

Wish I had tried this earlier.

f/5.6 @ 1/60. Two small photo fluorescents in "bowl" reflectors
First image

Click on image to view larger version


Last image
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Stacked image
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Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)
Attachment #3, (jpg file)

Kent

JimKing

Salisbury, US
31 posts

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#1. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 0

JimKing Registered since 10th May 2013
Mon 20-May-13 04:34 AM

I'm with you on "Wow", Photoshop CS6 has this feature and I have a 105mm macro. I've thought I should try it but haven't yet. You've inspired me. I have everything I need and I'm retired. Great job, thanks for the post.

kentak

US
934 posts

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#2. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 1

kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010
Mon 20-May-13 04:52 AM

Go for it. Just keep everything stable and figure out a way to do the steps. I used the CamRanger feature, but I have yet to try it out on really critical subjects, like extreme closeups of objects much smaller than this flower.

We shall see.

Have fun!

Kent

jtmcg

Simsbury, US
4218 posts

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#3. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 0

jtmcg Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 22nd Mar 2007
Mon 20-May-13 08:43 AM

Nice job Kent. Great first effort.

John

PhotoSpydie

Buckeye, US
204 posts

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#4. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 0

PhotoSpydie Silver Member Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 17th Jul 2011
Tue 21-May-13 03:24 AM

This is very good for a starter. Have tried stack focusing in the past and just acquired the CamRanger. Thanks for the inspiration to use that program for this feature.

Carol
photospydie.com

four eighty sparky

US
1653 posts

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#5. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 0

four eighty sparky Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2011
Tue 21-May-13 04:05 AM

Excellent first attempt!

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kentak

US
934 posts

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#6. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 3

kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010
Tue 21-May-13 05:04 PM

Thanks, John. I can see the potential of the technique.

Kent

kentak

US
934 posts

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#7. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 4

kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010
Tue 21-May-13 05:04 PM

Thanks! I bet you're going to love your CamRanger.

Kent

kentak

US
934 posts

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#8. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 5

kentak Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2010
Tue 21-May-13 05:05 PM

Thanks so much. I'll keep practicing.

Kent

pasknucklehead

US
1457 posts

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#9. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 8

pasknucklehead Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Feb 2008
Tue 21-May-13 06:56 PM

Wow Kent, that IS cool...I tried it on some drops from front to back and got a really nice photo....I'm going to try it on a quarter....You did a neat job,,,,,....

Darlene

glxman

South Australia, AU
3891 posts

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#10. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 0

glxman Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Wed 22-May-13 01:27 AM

Great achievement Kent,
before my laptop died I tried a few but did not have success
Outstanding image!
You have given me the motivation to have another go when I get my new computer,
Still iPad bound at the moment
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

buddyro48

Santa Maria, US
239 posts

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#11. "RE: My very first focus stacking...Wow" | In response to Reply # 0

buddyro48 Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Feb 2009
Sat 25-May-13 02:13 AM

Very nice Kent, Great image...well done

Regards,
Michael

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

G