Focus stacking

Thread: Focus stacking

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  1. #1
    Member celter's Avatar
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    Focus stacking

    Have any of you experimented with focus stacking when shooting macro. I tried it for the first time this weekend. The idea is to use multiple shots with different focus and a relatively large aperture, let's say f/8 where the lens is sharp. At smaller apertures diffraction limits the sharpness. Then these shots, it may be as many as you need, I often ended up with 15+ shots, are combined to 1 image. There are several software solutions for this. I used Helicon focus. This is one example. As you can see everything I wanted is in focus. I used my Canon 7D and the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens.

  2. #2
    Editor Dimer's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    Nice!! I've read a few things about focus stacking, I will try this with watches. I don't quite understand how it can work with animals. I'm happy if I can at least get one shot of a bug :D
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  3. #3
    Member celter's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    I think the bug must be dead to get all these pictures :)

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  5. #4
    Member DragonDan's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    That's a nice looking Rolex, well done shot. I have not experimented with focus stacking, but have heard about the Helicon program - it gets good reviews over at photography-on-the.net. Wouldn't another option to be increase the distance from the lens to the subject? That would give you increased depth of field. I'm just trying to find an easier way to get the same effect without spending much time in front of the computer.
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  6. #5
    Member celter's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonDan View Post
    That's a nice looking Rolex, well done shot. I have not experimented with focus stacking, but have heard about the Helicon program - it gets good reviews over at photography-on-the.net. Wouldn't another option to be increase the distance from the lens to the subject? That would give you increased depth of field. I'm just trying to find an easier way to get the same effect without spending much time in front of the computer.
    ~D
    Of course you could increas the distance, but you would loose detail. My picture is not the best example, but if you get in real close there is no other option than focus stacking to get everything in focus. You dont spent much time in front of the computer. Everything is automated. Try it, Helicon has a trial version free for 30 days. This shot would be impossible without focus stacking:

    Last edited by celter; February 16th, 2011 at 19:46.

  7. #6
    Member Seele's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    Focus stacking method is far from new, it was described in detail in Arthur Cox's "Optics", first edition, 1943. Digital photography just makes it a little bit easier!

  8. #7
    Dre
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    Re: Focus stacking

    I've played around a little bit with it, this picture below was macro stacked:


    I should have shot a few more frames, if you look at the very top of the watch strap you'll notice a bit of weirdness. Still, the rest of the pic is nicely sharp.

    Software I used was the free Combine ZP:
    CombineZP News

    Takes a bit of fiddling to get it to work, but hey the price is right!

  9. #8
    Member celter's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    Nice one "dre". Here's another one of mine:


  10. #9
    Member GuySie's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    Quote Originally Posted by celter View Post
    Of course you could increas the distance, but you would loose detail. My picture is not the best example, but if you get in real close there is no other option than focus stacking to get everything in focus.
    Nice! I've had a lot of trouble with macro's of the same watch, might need to give this a try.

  11. #10
    Member ctzn's Avatar
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    Re: Focus stacking

    One thing I've noticed is that it helps to have a remote trigger, as it prevents small movement in the camera that may un-align your shots. I will say however, when the angle is appropriate, I find a selected focus to be more dramatic, such as this:



    Do you all have a method of properly aligning all your shots in post processing to make the shot look 100% natural?



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