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Subject: "My First Stacked Spider..." Previous topic | Next topic
EnEs63 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Nov 2012Sat 24-Nov-12 07:21 PM
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"My First Stacked Spider..."
Sat 24-Nov-12 07:34 PM by EnEs63

Braintree, GB
          

Hello Nikonians,

This is the result of my first stacked image of a Spider.

Whilst I am not too worried about exposure/lighting etc. at this stage I think there is quite a bit of room for improvement with focus?
The stacking worked reasonably well, (my very first attempt at the camera and in CS6), but can anyone tell me why the focus failed part way through the stack most noticeable around the eyes?

The image was made up of 11 shots from a D300s & 105mm f2.8 Micro mounted on StackShot focusing rail...




Regards
EnEs63

Regards EnEs63

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
TEITZY Silver Member
24th Nov 2012
1
Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
EnEs63 Silver Member
25th Nov 2012
2
     Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
EnEs63 Silver Member
25th Nov 2012
3
          Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
TEITZY Silver Member
25th Nov 2012
5
Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
jtmcg Gold Member
25th Nov 2012
4
Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
VR8 Silver Member
26th Nov 2012
6
Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Apalach Silver Member
26th Nov 2012
7
Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
EnEs63 Silver Member
26th Nov 2012
8
     Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Andrewcee
27th Nov 2012
9
     Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
EnEs63 Silver Member
27th Nov 2012
10
     Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Apalach Silver Member
27th Nov 2012
11
          Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Andrewcee
27th Nov 2012
12
               Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
EnEs63 Silver Member
28th Nov 2012
13
                    Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Apalach Silver Member
29th Nov 2012
14
                         Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Tinkers Realm Silver Member
30th Nov 2012
15
                              Reply message RE: My First Stacked Spider...
Apalach Silver Member
30th Nov 2012
16

TEITZY Silver Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments, most notably in the macro and sports forums. Nikonian since 14th Mar 2007Sat 24-Nov-12 08:11 PM
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#1. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 0
Sat 24-Nov-12 08:11 PM by TEITZY

WUNGHNU, AU
          

Looks good apart from the eyes. I assume there is a frame in the stack sequence that has the eyes in focus? If so you need to try a different stacking method in CS6 (sorry I am not familiar with this program).

Cheers
Leigh

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EnEs63 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Nov 2012Sun 25-Nov-12 10:35 AM
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#2. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 1


Braintree, GB
          

Hello Teitzy,

Thank you for your comment.

I have re-checked the individual frames and it appears I have bands of un-sharp images? The eyes dont look sharp enough...
Perhaps I dont have enough focus overlap between shots?

Apart from the camera/DOF side of things I am also learning to use StackShot. Perhaps I need to check the setting programmed into that as well.

I will try again...
What an exciting learning curve!

R's EnEs63

Regards EnEs63

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EnEs63 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Nov 2012Sun 25-Nov-12 12:26 PM
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#3. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 2


Braintree, GB
          

Ok,

Here is my second attempt containing 20 stacked images...
It looks better regarding focus but I think the exposure qualities could be improved now?

Will I pass this stage of the course...?! lol



Regards EnEs63

Regards EnEs63

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TEITZY Silver Member Awarded for the continuous and generous sharing of his high level expertise and his always encouraging comments, most notably in the macro and sports forums. Nikonian since 14th Mar 2007Sun 25-Nov-12 08:03 PM
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#5. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 3


WUNGHNU, AU
          

Yes the lighting looks a bit harsh so dial back your exposure maybe a stop.

Cheers
Leigh

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jtmcg Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd Mar 2007Sun 25-Nov-12 02:01 PM
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#4. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 0


Simsbury, US
          

Agree with Leigh to look through your stacking photos to see if one of the frames has the eyes in focus. If not I'm afraid there's nothing you can do, they'll always be soft. I speak from experience. I've had stacks with insufficient overlap and there's nothing you can do but shrug your shoulders and move on. I try to be sure that the eyes are sharp in one frame because if the eyes aren't sharp it's much more noticeable than other parts of the subject.

John

  

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VR8 Silver Member Nikonian since 04th May 2008Mon 26-Nov-12 12:48 AM
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#6. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 0


Ottawa, CA
          

This is very educational for those. Like me tempted to try try this. Thank you and i hope we see more!


Victor

My website: www.rakmilphotography.com

  

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Apalach Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd May 2009Mon 26-Nov-12 04:41 PM
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#7. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 26-Nov-12 04:47 PM by Apalach

Tallahassee, US
          

Hey EnEs63,
Sorry, but it does not look like your stacking program is working very well. Everything (and I do mean everything!) should be in sharp focus for the entire length of the spider, even with a head-on view. You might want to try a dedicated stacking program, or review the stacking procedures that you are using. Something is not working in CS6. Eleven images should be more than sufficient to capture the critter in sharp detail, based on my experience. I have found that a focusing rail that permits very small changes (such as a relatively inexpensive one from Adorama) was a huge help to me in covering an over one inch long insect in very sharp detail from the front of the head to the tip of the abdomen, or the opisthosoma, in your case. Here is what I'm talking about.

This is a Giant Leopard Moth (Hypercompe or Ecpantheria scribonia) from North Florida. It was exactly 1.5 inches long. I wanted to capture it in a single, in-focus, head-first, stacked image using the Helicon Focus software. The result is this 11-stack image at 1/60 sec., f/22, ISO 640, with the Nikon D90, Nikon SB-400 Speedlight, and Tokina AT-X Pro D 100 mm f/2.8 macro lens, aperture priority, on a Spiratone Versatile tripod with the Adorama large focus rail.




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EnEs63 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Nov 2012Mon 26-Nov-12 05:51 PM
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#8. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 7
Mon 26-Nov-12 05:53 PM by EnEs63

Braintree, GB
          

Hello Apalach,

Dont be sorry. I thrive on constructive critisism..!

>Sorry, but it does not look like your stacking program is
>working very well.

Oh, I have been using Photoshop CS6... Is it not a good software to use for blending stacks?

Everything (and I do mean everything!)
>should be in sharp focus for the entire length of the spider,
>even with a head-on view.

This will be my fault on the range of focus then because I didn't run the stack for the whole depth of the spider's body.
At the time I was just interested in the head as a means to practicing the process. This is my very first time...
Correct exposures and composition will follow...

>Eleven images should be more than sufficient to capture the critter >in sharp detail, based on my experience.

Again, maybe my fault?
I used f5.6 to start with to keep the ISO at 200. That would have reduced my DOF per capture?

>I have found that a focusing
>rail that permits very small changes (such as a relatively
>inexpensive one from Adorama) was a huge help to me in
>covering an over one inch long insect in very sharp detail
>from the front of the head to the tip of the abdomen, or the
>opisthosoma, in your case.

I am using the Cognysis StackShot macro rail from the US mounted on a Manfrotto tripod.
Again it is new to me and I am only using it so far on the first, basic auto setting.
I set it's start and finish positions in the computer and tell it how many shots I want over that distance and it calculates the track between shots. I have also dialled in some rest points to allow for movement to settle and for the cameras mirror to raise before the actual shot is captured.

Next time I will look to cover the whole body in focus then....

Your image is truly excellent.
I notice you used f22 so I guess you have improved you depth of field for each capture?

Again...this is where I need to learn and practice...

Thank you so much for your valued input...

R's EnEs63

Regards EnEs63

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Andrewcee Registered since 21st Jun 2011Tue 27-Nov-12 09:35 AM
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#9. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 8


Swindon, GB
          

Wow - some amazing shots!

This is something I've been wanting to try and recently had my chance. The following has its faults as I'm sure you'll see if you look closely. However, as an exercise in using bellows and stitching multiple exposures... I'm pleased with it. There are 20 images behind this picture.

The one thing I learnt was to watch out for the affects of 'zooming in' and the size of the subject changing as I moved focus across the coin - hence the joins are visable in the picture. I found the ruler a great way to learn the technique, and it gives a good idea how depth of field is working after stitching.

Good fun....

Andrew


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EnEs63 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Nov 2012Tue 27-Nov-12 11:18 AM
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#10. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 9


Braintree, GB
          

Hello Andrewcee


>The following has its faults as I'm sure you'll see if
>you look closely. However, as an exercise in using bellows and
>stitching multiple exposures... I'm pleased with it. There are
>20 images behind this picture.

Yes, it looks great.

>The one thing I learnt was to watch out for the affects of
>'zooming in' and the size of the subject changing as I moved
>focus across the coin - hence the joins are visable in the
>picture. I found the ruler a great way to learn the technique,
>and it gives a good idea how depth of field is working after
>stitching.

Are you referring to the signs of the blending on the outside edges of the coin?
So are you measuring your DOF and then working out your track from there?

>Good fun....

It certainly is.... now.... here little insect....here boy!

R's EnEs63

Regards EnEs63

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Apalach Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd May 2009Tue 27-Nov-12 02:24 PM
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#11. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 8


Tallahassee, US
          

Hey EnEs63,
Your reply explains what might have happened to your images.
1. The most important of which is that each image needs to be stacked. Then when finished, let your software do its thing and combine all 11 (or however many you stacked) into a single composite final image.

2. One of the things you will hear is that stacking allows you to use an f/stop near the optimal resolving power of the lens (say f/5.6-11), as opposed to a stop that gives you optimal depth of field (say f/22- 32). This is probably correct for most lenses or situations, but in many tests that I have run, it does not seem to make all that much difference in the final image. I just happened to use f/22 in my moth sequence, it seemed to work satisfactorily, so I didn't bother to re-do it at say, f/5.6.

3. That being said, I would suggest that one should always be open to experimenting with one's gear in different lighting and exposure situations, since in the digital age, the cost of wasted film is no longer a concern. It used to be in my macro work, out of a 36 exposure roll of Kodachrome, I might get only 3-5 somewhat decent pics. Now one can get instant feedback, without having to wait 2 weeks to get one's 35 mm slides back from the processor-- a huge advantage for me. Kodachrome, and Ektachrome, were great 35 mm films, and even today some 60 years later, my 35 mm Kodachrome slides show no evidence of fading or deterioration. Kodak used to say their colors should last for 50 years, and they were absolutely correct!
Hope this helps,
Best,
Dick

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Andrewcee Registered since 21st Jun 2011Tue 27-Nov-12 10:54 PM
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#12. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 11
Tue 27-Nov-12 10:56 PM by Andrewcee

Swindon, GB
          

Yes, the 'feathering' around the outside edge spoils the image a little... Re optimum aperture, I found my D800E looses definition at f16 on the Nikon f4 Bellows lens, hence I shot the coin at f11.

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EnEs63 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Nov 2012Wed 28-Nov-12 07:00 AM
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#13. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 12


Braintree, GB
          

As Aapalach says, we have the ability, (to a degree), to choose our aperture for macro work when stacking. More so when shot indoors with more controlled light?

I guess a smaller aperture = more DOF = less stacked shots over the subject's distance & vice versa?

Again, Apalach is right in saying we can afford to experiment more these days as digital gives us a "don't like that shot - throw it away" attitude where as with film there was always cost...

Thanks guys for all your input.
I just need to find another nice subject to start my next shoot. The problem is winter is well set in here in UK and nice little critters are proving hard to find !

R's
EnEs63

Regards EnEs63

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Apalach Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd May 2009Thu 29-Nov-12 05:00 AM
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#14. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 13
Fri 30-Nov-12 01:48 PM by Apalach

Tallahassee, US
          

As EnEs63 says, you macro mavens in the frigid northlands may have to pull in your bellows or extension tubes a tad and suck it up (as I often have to do, even here in North Floriduh) until spring arrives. But, there is always something worth practicing your macro magic on, whether it be the vein arrangement in a fallen leaf, the grain on a piece of weathered wood, or the mineral pattern in a rock from a local streambed. These days, we are only limited by our imaginations and not by our film or equipment cost, so go for it! Just for grins, here is one of my macro setups that can be used in the dead of winter when it is about 30 degrees F outside (acknowledgements to my wife for temporarily taking over our kitchen, as need be...)
Cheers and best of luck,
Dick



D90 with Tokina AT-X Pro D 100mm f/2.8 Macro and Nikon SB-400 Speedlight on Adorama focus rail. Passion vine leaf and tiny flea beetle (in the plastic containers at upper left) were the subjects of this operation (see my next post below).

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Tinkers Realm Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Feb 2011Fri 30-Nov-12 06:33 AM
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#15. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 14


Pacific Wonderland!, US
          

I am intrigued by this entire process- thanks for posting!


Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.



www.TinkersRealm.com

  

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Apalach Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd May 2009Fri 30-Nov-12 01:35 PM
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#16. "RE: My First Stacked Spider..."
In response to Reply # 15
Fri 30-Nov-12 01:53 PM by Apalach

Tallahassee, US
          

TR,
Thanks for your comments. What I was attempting to shoot was this 7-8 mm long aposematically colored red and black flea beetle, so named because of its muscularly over-developed rear pair of legs that cause it to unexpectedly launch itself backwards into space when disturbed. It was happily feeding on this passion vine leaf in my front yard when I discovered it. This is not a stacked image but a direct, single image at a small stop of f/27 to ensure an excellent depth of field. The brilliant, contrasting red/black classic warning coloration suggests to me that there is something bad tasting about this critter, although I didn't test this hypothesis myself!



D90 with Tokina AT-X Pro D 100mm f/2.8 macro lens and Nikon SB-400 Speedlight on Adorama focus rail, 1/60 sec, ISO 200, f/27.0 Aperture Priority.

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