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Robber Fly

 
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Keifer



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:53 pm    Post subject: Robber Fly Reply with quote

Thank you for your help guys Very Happy

I've been itching for weeks to try out the advice i have been given and finally had some time at the weekend to take a few images. I know its not perfect and there is plenty of room for improvement but for me this is by far the best Macro i have ever taken. Any more advice and critique is more than welcome and very much appreciated.

34 images stacked in Helicon Focus. Canon 7D, Canon FD Bellows, iso 160. 1 sec exp. Flash set to manual 1/8. Carl Zeiss Jena Planar 3.5cm. Homemade diffuser constructed from an empty butter tub with tin foil inside and white nylon for the front.

Best Regards

Keith

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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19240
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a good start.

There seems to be an odd color cast, like the eyes are purple and the cuticle is orange. Is this an oddly colored fly, or is something going on with the lighting?

Seems to be the usual collection of halos and mushy spots that Helicon gives with this type of subject. For comparison you might run a trial of Zerene Stacker using its PMax method.

At this scale the image looks pretty sharp, might benefit from sharpening in post-processing. Is it still sharp at larger scale? What aperture setting did you shoot at?

--Rik
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lauriek
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 2404
Location: South East UK

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's a dung fly not a robber fly. Many dung flies are a bit orangey but I still think there is a colour cast, I don't think the eye should be that colour..

Not at all bad though!
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Keifer



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik

I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage there.....i'm colourblind.....so i can't really see what you are saying. How do you get a coloured background behind the specimen? Do you put a peice of matt coloured card behind the subject? I used an A4 piece of coloured plastic so i presume this could have caused the colour cast that you talk about. The aperture setting was f 8 i believe.

Laurie

I checked out your website...(you have some fantastic images).....you have an image of exactly the same fly....Dung Fly it is...thanks for the correct id.

Best regards

Keith
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19240
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keifer wrote:
I'm at somewhat of a disadvantage there.....i'm colourblind.....so i can't really see what you are saying. How do you get a coloured background behind the specimen? Do you put a peice of matt coloured card behind the subject? I used an A4 piece of coloured plastic so i presume this could have caused the colour cast that you talk about.

Coloured card behind the subject is a good approach, but then you have to make sure the camera knows what colour the light is. The camera has a "white balance" setting that has to be properly set.

White balance is discussed in the 7D user manual starting on page 70.

The safest approach is that when you're shooting with flash, be sure the camera's white balance is set to "flash use" -- the jagged arrow icon. This will be pretty close to perfect. Using a "custom" white balance can be a little more accurate, but it's easy to push the wrong buttons, mess up the balance, and then being colourblind you might overlook the error.

I suspect that the image shown here was shot with auto white balance (AWB) and the camera got misled by the colored background.

About the aperture, a setting of f/8 may be a little narrow at this magnification. I'm guessing the magnification here was 2-3X on sensor. If that's right, then your "effective f-number" would have been around f/24-f/32 and diffraction would be starting to show. To get the very best that your lens can offer, there's no substitute for shooting a test series to see what setting is sharpest. See HERE for some discussion.

--Rik
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Keifer



Joined: 21 Mar 2011
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well started the evening tonight by purchasing the license for Zerene.........uploaded my newly re identified Dung Fly (thank you Laurie) And stacked them in PMax......holly smoke what a difference. 100% better (in my amateur eyes). Removed some dust from the fly in CS3.......abit of unsharp mask too............even the colour looks some how different and i'm colourblind.

Thank you for the solid sound advice


Best Regards

Keith
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19240
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, definitely better. This version retains much more detail in troublesome areas where hairs overlap textured cuticle or other hairs. That's typical of ZS PMax versus Helicon's methods. Also typical is that PMax alters colors and contrasts, and it increases noise in featureless areas such as OOF background. Noise can be kept down by shooting at the lowest possible ISO setting (on the 7D, that's 100), but still you may want to retouch the background from a single frame so as to cut noise back to just what the camera saw. The other method, DMap, will do a better job preserving the original colors and contrasts, but it doesn't work so well with hairy bugs like this one. Still, it may be useful in conjunction with PMax to get good aspects of both. This is described in the video tutorials for touching, linked from the Zerene Stacker documentation page.

Good job touching away the dust. I can't tell where it was except by comparing the two results.

--Rik
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