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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR VISION - BY SPECIALTY Micro, Macro & Close-up (Public) topic #50540
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Subject: "My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. P..." Previous topic | Next topic
PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Tue 19-Feb-13 09:55 PM
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"My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"


Lincoln, US
          

OK, so I feel pretty sure that the answer to my quandry should be very clear to me, but it just isn't!

The topic is focus stacking for macro photography and the question is: Is it technically better to maintain the camera body-to-subject position and rotate the focussing ring for multiple shots, or to maintain the focus ring position and move the camera(+lens) along a focussing rail to obtain multiple shots.

I haven't tried either technique and I do understand that a pretty high quality focussing rail would be necessary/desirable for the second approach.

My mind is trying to come to grips with stacking images which differ slightly in size.

Will someone please put me out of my misery and educate me?

With thanks in advance,

Pete

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas
20th Feb 2013
1
Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
PeterBeckett Gold Member
20th Feb 2013
2
     Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas
20th Feb 2013
3
Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
lastdaylight Gold Member Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest
20th Feb 2013
4
Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
PeterBeckett Gold Member
20th Feb 2013
5
Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
jtmcg Gold Member
20th Feb 2013
6
Reply message RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should...
PeterBeckett Gold Member
20th Feb 2013
7

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 20-Feb-13 12:59 AM
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#1. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I've used both, moderately extensively. Both techniques work, and both have mild problematic things about them. You have problems to solve either way, and one of them - ensuring that you have a properly focused step at every necessary intermediate distance - is common to both.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Wed 20-Feb-13 01:14 AM
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#2. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 1


Lincoln, US
          


Thanks Brian.
I feel that the second approach OUGHT to work better, as the image size at the plane of optimal focus would be unchanging. However, the counter argument would seem that the image size at optimal focus SHOULD be larger as that plane recedes from the camera.

Maybe I should just think of focus stacking as one of the many compromises that we have to make...

Pete

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 20-Feb-13 03:03 AM
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#3. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 2


Richmond, US
          

I think there is a "technically more correct answer," but frankly having done them both, I don't worry about either of them. I usually use an automated focus stack with changing focal distance, since getting a copy of ControlMyNikon ($9 when I bought, I think it's up to $19 now) was quite a lot less money than a two-axis set of focusing rails ($270).

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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lastdaylight Gold Member Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 09th Dec 2007Wed 20-Feb-13 03:45 AM
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#4. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 0


Dallas, US
          

Pete,

I had to work through this too. Actually, when you try it, you'll see that either technique produces images of different sizes as the focus is changed. The software has to account for this, and does it admirably. I use both, and CombineZP has no problems.

Best,

Mark Smith
Just like I previsualized it, more or less...

My Nikonians Gallery

My Website, www.lastdaylight.com

  

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Wed 20-Feb-13 05:27 AM
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#5. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 4


Lincoln, US
          


Brian, Mark,
Thank you both very much for your words of wisdom. As I said previously, I haven't tried using focus stacking at all yet, but I always like to visualise "things" before I try them. It must be the engineer in me!

Thanks again, Gentlemen,

Pete

  

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jtmcg Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd Mar 2007Wed 20-Feb-13 10:05 AM
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#6. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 0


Simsbury, US
          

Pete,

Good advice from Brian and Mark above. Brian's point about making sure you have a properly focused step at every intermediate distance is important. It is very frustrating to get back to your computer and run the stacking program and find that you have a soft area in the middle. It draws your attention and can't be fixed.

Another aspect of that is to look around the viewfinder at your start and finish points and even in the intermediate points to be sure you are covering the full range that you want sharp. It isn't always obvious in a 2D viewfinder what the nearest and farthest points are. I speak from experience. It's frustrating to be sitting at the computer after a morning in the field staring at a near miss and saying Dang (or something stronger).

Since you are a Windows user I'd recommend CombineZP. It does a great job and it's a free download. Have fun.

John

  

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Wed 20-Feb-13 02:30 PM
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#7. "RE: My grey cells aren't working as well as they should. Pls help!"
In response to Reply # 6


Lincoln, US
          

John,
Thank you kind Sir!

I'll heed your sage advice. Dang (oops) you guys have made me want to try this for myself!

FYI, I am one who LOVED the abilities of a 5x4in monorail with respect to creating close-ups having large depth-of-field AND who (yesterday) sold my 24mm PC-E lens that was bought mostly for this type of shot...

Pete

  

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