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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 03 Oct 2010 (Sunday) 10:47
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Stacking - Change focus with position or focus ring?

 
Dustin ­ Mustangs
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Oct 03, 2010 10:47 |  #1

Just getting into this and can't seem to get good results. I've done some searches and read Lord V's tutorial but am still a little foggy about the best way to capture images for a stack.

Should I be using camera position or my focus ring when adjusting focus on a stack series?

Is there a limit on how many images you can realistically stack??

Any other tips for the capture side of this process??

I'm using a xsi, the canon 100mm macro, a focusing rail and CombineZ.

Thanks in advance!

:D


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Lester ­ Wareham
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Oct 03, 2010 13:33 |  #2

I would change the position of the camera, specially if you are working with a focus slide.

As far as I can make out changing the camera position or tweaking the magnification (focus) seem to have an equivalent effect, although I haven't subjected this thought to any analytical rigour. For example with the MP-E and 100mm I move the camera, with the 180mm I may use the focus ring or move the camera (unless on a tripod), but the focus ring control is much finer on the 180mm.

If you are working with a static subject under studio conditions I would presume you can take as many slices as you want, probably not a lot of point in the slices being smaller then your DOF by definition. (see http://www.zen20934.ze​n.co.uk …oF_with_Macro_P​hotography (external link) for the maths for calculating macro DOF).

Your main limit of the number of stacks may be software memory usage and so dependent on your PC/OS setup.


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LordV
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Oct 04, 2010 00:30 |  #3

As Lester says you can use either method successfully - I tend to use fixed focus move camera.
I don't tend to go in for massive focus stacks - think the biggest was about 20 shots but the high magnificaton maniacs regularly shoot around 100 shots.

Stacks nearly always require some manual cleaning up of halos or putting back in missing detail. You can sometimes do this just editing the stacked picture in PS but sometimes it is faster to recopy parts from the original photo slices onto the stack - I use the healing brush in PS to do this but you do sometimes need to resize or re-orient the donor pic sometimes before doing this.

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Dustin ­ Mustangs
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Oct 04, 2010 08:57 |  #4

Thanks for the pointers. I was using camera position and thought that may of been why I was getting some weird results with combinez. The images I am playing with were shot at f4 so I imagine that is some, if not all, of my problem. I'll give it another go...


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Lester ­ Wareham
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Oct 04, 2010 12:28 |  #5

As Brian says artifacts can be an issue.

BTW I gave up using software for stacks sometime ago and instead just do it manually with photoshop masked layers, I found this quicker, cleaner and more versatile than CombineZ.

However all my subjects are photographed live and moving normally infields conditions, with a static subject in a studio situation using software might be easier.


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John_N
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Oct 05, 2010 18:05 |  #6

I was just about to ask that very question - thanks



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Stacking - Change focus with position or focus ring?
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