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Quick Tips for beginners?

 
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Vilijam



Joined: 26 Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Location: Smederevo - Serbia

PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2017 4:36 pm    Post subject: Quick Tips for beginners? Reply with quote

Hello!

nice to meet you guys ... nice and competent community out here Smile.

As I have just started to dig into Macro photography, I was looking for an advise where to start with my researches. Some kind of "Quick guide for dummies" - post?

Maybe someone would be so nice and guide me into the right direction?

I am shooting on a Canon 5DSR + MP65 lens. Recently I bought an automated micro-rail with controller. For stacking I use Helicon Focus and Lightroom / Photoshop for cleaning and adjustments.

but ...
... how can I prevent this "blur" around objects which are in significantly different layers? I have heard that Helicon has more problems than other programs ... is this evtl. the reason?
Looking at the image of my hornet, there is significant blur around the "antenna" ... any idea?

... I was shooting at f8 ... does anyone have experience with the sweet spot of this lens?

... how much overlapping should I consider when calculating step size and DoF ... is "the smaller steps the better" a good approach for reaching top quality - or is there a "too much"?

I appreciate your help, TIA.
Vilijam


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Vilijam



Joined: 26 Mar 2017
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Location: Smederevo - Serbia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Quick Tips for beginners? Reply with quote

I have found Zerene Stacker Info, which is already a good starting point I guess ... thx!
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 7258
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi And welcome!
Yes, there's no single guide, though the one you found gets you going.
The blurred out-of-focus stuff is a problem. Lighting make it worse or better, but there aren't really any golden rules. Member Beatsy found he had a good result but doesn't know why, recently!
It sounds like you're on your way.

Yes f/8 is good for the MPE, going wider at more than 2x. I use 5.6 or 4 mostly.
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5762
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
but ...
... how can I prevent this "blur" around objects which are in significantly different layers? I have heard that Helicon has more problems than other programs ... is this evtl. the reason?
Looking at the image of my hornet, there is significant blur around the "antenna" ... any idea?
When you have solid objects at significantly different planes this will always be a problem. The sensor never clearly "sees" the background area adjacent to the foreground (antenna, leg, etc). This is because as the stacking moves toward the background layer, the foreground object goes out of focus and "enlarges" blocking the camera view. In stacking software the contrast methods (PMax in Zerene and "Method C" in Helicon) are far better at minimizing this effect than the other stacking methods. But is is unavoidable to as certain extent. A smaller shooting aperture can help somewhat... but make it too small and you start to lose resolution due to diffraction. This is one key reason that most stacks of this type will need some "Photoshop" work to really clean up some inevitable "artifacts" of the image stacking.
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Vilijam



Joined: 26 Mar 2017
Posts: 4
Location: Smederevo - Serbia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:

Yes f/8 is good for the MPE, going wider at more than 2x. I use 5.6 or 4 mostly.


Thanks for your input, I will consider that throughout my trials!
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Vilijam



Joined: 26 Mar 2017
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Location: Smederevo - Serbia

PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
Quote:
but ...
... how can I prevent this "blur" around objects which are in significantly different layers? I have heard that Helicon has more problems than other programs ... is this evtl. the reason?
Looking at the image of my hornet, there is significant blur around the "antenna" ... any idea?
When you have solid objects at significantly different planes this will always be a problem. The sensor never clearly "sees" the background area adjacent to the foreground (antenna, leg, etc). This is because as the stacking moves toward the background layer, the foreground object goes out of focus and "enlarges" blocking the camera view. In stacking software the contrast methods (PMax in Zerene and "Method C" in Helicon) are far better at minimizing this effect than the other stacking methods. But is is unavoidable to as certain extent. A smaller shooting aperture can help somewhat... but make it too small and you start to lose resolution due to diffraction. This is one key reason that most stacks of this type will need some "Photoshop" work to really clean up some inevitable "artifacts" of the image stacking.


Thank you for the explanation - that makes sense.
I´ll try to play with the parameters in Helicon, but I understand that this phenomenon can not be resolved simply by SW due to overlapping of large "Circles of Confusion" with the "sharp" points in focus at that moment.

So, ok - I have to shoot just flat insects without legs and tentacles or so.

Although Photoshop really seems to be the most rational approach, in parallel I am also trying Zerene in all kind of modes to get a feeling for the differences and possibilities. If I stumble over something interesting, I will let you guys know.

Thanks again for your inputs!
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GrayPlayer



Joined: 14 Nov 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would shooting from "back to front" help?
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18250
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GrayPlayer wrote:
Would shooting from "back to front" help?

No. Stacking software ends up doing the same thing regardless of which way you shoot the stack. Forcing the order can affect framing, for example whether the edges get cropped, but it won't have any effect on halos.

--Rik
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