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   Old Thread  #2372 14 Apr 2020 at 8.00am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2371
I'm glad you said that before I tried it

Got some work this week but got a couple of ideas for some shots later in the week. One will need cross polarising but I can't find the filter or my stepping rings

When you do the focus stacks are you doing any editing before stacking?
I'm looking forward to trying it out but the comments on focus breathing may explain why it's been hit and miss in the past, I know my 60mm is quite bad for that, the in camera function only works with certain lenses so I suppose it uses a correction profile
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   Old Thread  #2371 14 Apr 2020 at 7.35am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
Worth bearing in mind is how much disc space Helicon Focus uses.
I did a big back-up to clear what I thought was plenty of space - about 42GB free.

While manipulating a stack of about 20 I got a disc warning - 2Gb left
I did have PS open at the same time with layers as well but it turned out Helicon was using something like 25Gb +

Possibly when you have multiple renders to compare, it makes lots of copies of the TIFF layers too.
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   Old Thread  #2370 13 Apr 2020 at 5.08pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2369
I had to dust off the cobwebs a while ago on the macro stuff. Wife wanted some iris shots of the family for some reason, probably a biometric scam or a picture for the loo maybe. Anyway, I used to do a lot of macro stuff in college and as a medical photographer. I really missed having a 200mm or a 120mm medical but got some reasonable pics with a Sigma 105mm on the D500 with a Metz ring flash. I had a Z 6 and a Nikon 60mm Micro on hand as well but the specular highlights were contained in the pupil and easy to edit out when using the D500 and the 105.

On lockdown Iíve been doing some poor-mans Slo-mo Guys stuff with the RX100 iv, some moon shots with a Nikon P1000 and turning one of the bedrooms into a camera obscura, it has kept the kids occupied anyway. Pinhole camera next.
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   Old Thread  #2369 13 Apr 2020 at 4.14pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2368
Same here - you may remember donkeys years ago I think it was the Daily Mirror used to do a "what is it" competition. An oblique, usually close up photo of some everyday object that you had to guess.

Always fascinated me.
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   Old Thread  #2368 13 Apr 2020 at 3.35pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2367
I've always been interested in macro, just the way everyday objects become surreal or insects becoming the stuff of nightmares. When I started getting into using flash, macro was one of the most demanding and critical uses I could think of. If you can get the light you want for macro, portrait lighting is a piece of cake. Shiny insects throw another spanner in the works with all those reflections throwing specular highlights where you don't want them. Cross polarisation is my macro equivalent of slapping inch thick makeup on a model to get a nice specular highlight in the eyes but not on the skin

Cinema 3d glasses work well as Flash filters, and my family go mad for pringles, so I had the diy materials to hand as soon as I'd been given the idea
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   Old Thread  #2367 13 Apr 2020 at 2.45pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2365
Loading in files is the same as PS and appears as a stack of layers on the right.
No masks though.

Split screen view with highlighted layer and rendered composite either side by side or top/bottom.

There is a choice of 3 Methods A, B & C all have a smoothing slider, and 2 have radius as well.

So you load in your files, choose a Method and hit render.

An output file is created in the split screen and a thumbnail for it at the bottom.
You can create a bunch of different renders to compare via the thumbnails, taking layers in and out of the mix as you like.
Easy to to add and remove images to the stack and also just to temporarily remove (untick) them from the render.
In PS this was a nightmare as you had to reload the images and start again every change!

Thereís editing (retouching) for each layer in another tab that I havenít explored yet, it seems brush based.
So far just messing with the 3 preset methods with their adjustments already produces much nicer results than PS.

Pretty powerful stuff.


Cross polarisation! bugger that for a game of soldier ants, I'm already experimenting way beyond my normal shooting.
I'll always be a field shooter so things like tripods and flashes and junk just weighs me down too much.

I just want to wander - see - get the best I can on the spot.
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   Old Thread  #2366 13 Apr 2020 at 12.21pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2365
Sure - I can only compare it to PS at the moment though. I think I'll probably pay for it.
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   Old Thread  #2365 13 Apr 2020 at 12.06pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2364
Would you mind doing a quick write up on helicon focus when you get used to it , I'm interested in that program and deep sky stacker but I think I'll need a more powerful computer, I need one with a better screen anyway

Your getting towards the cross polarised light stage now
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   Old Thread  #2364 13 Apr 2020 at 11.53am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2363
Hiya Nine

Well my accidental and unscientific method for live insects in the field was basically that, the slight(!) movements as I try to hold still causes variations in focus. Framing can be an issue and after aligning all the frames I have to step through and remove any obvious stragglers before blending..

For tripod static, and the seemingly "correct" way of doing it which is what I've been playing with this morning, the focus breathing is a more obvious issue.
I am using quite a large subject (dead bee fly) and getting it as close to the lens as possible, using 20-30 shots depending on f-stop.
Probably the worst case scenario but it's good to test the boundaries of what I have.
Basically it tells me when not to bother if I have to go past any particular setting in the field.

I'm unlikely to use a tripod with any regularity so a rail would be even less likely.

Just downloaded Helicon for trial as well and straight away the results far exceed Photoshop.
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   Old Thread  #2363 13 Apr 2020 at 11.13am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2362
Have you tried moving the camera for focussing? Either hand held or using a rail if you move the camera to acquire focus it avoids any issues with focus breathing which I would imagine would screw with focus stacking.
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   Old Thread  #2362 13 Apr 2020 at 9.32am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2361
What I normally do is manually rack the focus either to mfd for really small stuff, or as framed for things like butterflies and damsels etc, then as I'm taking the shot(s) use my thumb on back-button-focus to fine tune via AF.
In that scenario it's quite fast and very usable, but from scratch it hunts like hell.
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   Old Thread  #2361 13 Apr 2020 at 8.54am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2359
I'm not sure there's such a thing as a fast focusing macro, I use mine in manual usually but I have the tricks that come with mirrorless cameras like focus peaking and magnified view either on the screen or through the viewfinder.

I've never used a tc but I'd think it might work better with that lens. When I've tried tubes on telephoto lenses they don't seem to have much affect, I don't know whether you'd use the actual or equivalent focal lengths to compare or how to calculate these things but on my zoom at 100mm(200mm equiv) the difference is negligible with 25mm tubes. If I put them on my wide zoom at infinity focus it won't quite focus on something sitting on the front element

I'd wanted the laowa 7.5mm f2 for ages, when I finally got round to ordering it it took a lot of will power not to add the 25
The probe lens looks interesting too but above my price ceiling for a toy
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   Old Thread  #2360 13 Apr 2020 at 8.51am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2359
Just tried a 1.4 - no AF at all, not even trying
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   Old Thread  #2359 13 Apr 2020 at 8.38am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2358
Shheeeeeet what have you done!
That 25mm looks tasty!

Shame I need all my (non-existent) money for food.

One thing I didn't consider with my existing rig, and I don't know why, is a TC.
It's free experiment anyway, but I expect AF will suffer terribly.
The only real downside of that 180 is the AF speed.
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   Old Thread  #2358 13 Apr 2020 at 8.06am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #2357
I don't know how lens dependant it is, but after putting tubes on I have to move the tripod back by around the same distance as the tubes, the raynox does cut the working distance at full magnification. Using both I have a working distance of about 25mm but my lens is wider than yours at 120mm 35mm equivalent.
The bigger problem is the loss of light coupled with the shallower dof, by the time you adjust the aperture you've probably lost 4 stops so flash or stacking become critical.

If I had this time on my hands without the financial uncertainty I'd take a punt on a laowa 25mm macro lens, they look very interesting! 5-1macro on a 2x crop sensor
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