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12-12-2009, 01:56 AM   #1
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Question regarding "Stacking"

Hi folk, i've been reading that some of you stack photos for greater DOF. My question is, do you need to keep the camera on one spot? [unmoved] while just changing the AF points? If you do, how important is it for the camera to stay still? It seems there will be a slight movement as you change the AF points on the camera.

Or, can you change the location of the camera and still be able to stack the photos?

Thank you!

12-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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I use a macro rail . There is a knob where you turn it and the camera goes front/backwards .
12-12-2009, 03:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mer Quote
I use a macro rail . There is a knob where you turn it and the camera goes front/backwards .
This actually is the ideal.
12-12-2009, 09:21 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mer Quote
I use a macro rail . There is a knob where you turn it and the camera goes front/backwards .
Don't forget focus stacking is not just for macro subjects - it can also be used for larger subjects. For example, see Helicon Focus Animation

12-12-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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hey very interesting link there. So from reply #2, I am to understand that the camera itself can indeed move. Hmm, I thought the frame of view always had to stay the same, with just the focus points moving.
12-13-2009, 03:19 AM   #6
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When shooting Macro, even at f/16 the DOF is very narrow that is why it is necessary to move the camera.
12-13-2009, 06:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
hey very interesting link there. So from reply #2, I am to understand that the camera itself can indeed move. Hmm, I thought the frame of view always had to stay the same, with just the focus points moving.
That's my understanding too, that the camera stays still and the focus point moves. Otherwise, if the camera moves, the point of view moves as well. I have a hacked Canon, and one of the features is that it can be programmed to take a series of photos with a programmed shift in focus for each one, e.g. 10 photos, each one having a shift in focus of 1 mm from a specific starting point.

I haven't seen any articles on focus shifting that suggest the camera be moved.
Regards...Chris
12-13-2009, 11:21 AM   #8
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hmm, so we have 2 conflicting views here. Not sure who's corrrect or maybe both methods are possible. I am guessing we use a program like Lightroom or Photoshop for the stacking process. I will have to do more research online for these. Thanks for the replies!

12-13-2009, 12:23 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
hmm, so we have 2 conflicting views here. Not sure who's corrrect or maybe both methods are possible. I am guessing we use a program like Lightroom or Photoshop for the stacking process. I will have to do more research online for these. Thanks for the replies!
if you are shooting with an eye toward focus stacking remember the idea is to capture "slices" of your subject. You cannot make that happen adjusting aperture alone. You could "focus" on a different part of the subject but on a macro lens that changes the magnification ratio so that method could be problematic. Every macro shooter I know has their own technique but most use the move very lightly forward/backward technique when planning on stacking.

While you can, in theory manually focus stack on PS, I tried it and it's very involved and tedious. One of the more popular freeware apps is CombineZM (or CombineZP I forget which is the current version but Google is your friend).

One thing is for sure, focus stacking takes a lot of practice to get correct both in taking the shots as well as processing the images.
12-13-2009, 12:52 PM   #10
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hey thanks for that. Yeah I guess the best thing for me to do is to try them myself. Well you folks have a good weekend!
12-14-2009, 07:27 AM   #11
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I've been using the method described in the Dec. 2008 issue of Practical Photography. Don't move the camera. Manually focus, moving the focus point further in with each shot. They used f4. I usually use f5.6
With the shallow DOF, it will take many shots to make a complete picture. And it takes practice to get it dead on.
12-14-2009, 11:05 AM   #12
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i guess the next question would naturally be which program would you guys prefer to stack the photos on?
12-14-2009, 12:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
i guess the next question would naturally be which program would you guys prefer to stack the photos on?
CombineZP is free (donation ware) and very well supported. I haven't used in a while though. I would start there and see how you like it. Others have also already been mentioned in the tread.
12-15-2009, 03:07 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
Hi folk, i've been reading that some of you stack photos for greater DOF. My question is, do you need to keep the camera on one spot? [unmoved] while just changing the AF points? If you do, how important is it for the camera to stay still? It seems there will be a slight movement as you change the AF points on the camera.

Or, can you change the location of the camera and still be able to stack the photos?

Thank you!
I don't have a slider I change the focus point. that works fine using combine ZP.
I am NOT using a macro lens however. I am using a 50mm manual with a Raynox 150 or 250 on the front. I think shifting the focus on a true macro lens might cause a problem. here is a not brillant example but just to show you , this with k10d on tripod, using a remote, manual 50mm lens on f2; 10 shots combined of a doritinopsis orchid.
Alistair

Last edited by adwb; 03-31-2012 at 07:01 AM.
12-16-2009, 10:58 AM   #15
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thanks for all the helpful information. I'll have a lot of time this coming week to take some shots. I'll keep youguys posted
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