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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:25 pm 
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Watching this colorful beasty (at least for northern Europe) sitting at my garage I got out my macrolenses and had a go at it.

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Caterpillar 31118 by Thomas, on Flickr

It was quite a hassle to setup the tripod to let me shoot at 20cm above ground and have the camera at approx 30cm distance at the right angle at the subject. But fortunately it didn't move :D
For this image I mounted 8 shots taken at f/16 (and 1/4 sec, ISO 200) with small manual focus variations to create a stack which I finally merged in Photoshop CS4. RAW/NEF-conversion was also done in CS4 unfortunately as the CS4 converter or CaptureNX2 are clearly better at that. But I just took a shortcut there.

If you look closely at the image at full-resolution you can see some artifacts in the hairs which cross each other at different levels. But overall I'm quite content with the result.

So one thing I learned from this experience is that you can do focus stacking quite well with manual focussing, contrary to what I claimed here.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:51 pm 
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Schoene Raupe. Nice job.I have never done any stacking, must try that one day. There is a lot of detail there.
You have made it look like it was taken with a normal lens, I couldn`t tell it was done with a macro lens.

Did you try taking just one shot of the whole caterpillar? so that you can compare that to the stacked picture?

If I was critical, its only the surface the caterpillar is sitting on, it isn`t very flattering, it doesn`t do much for the colours. Pick it up and move it onto a green leave :D

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:32 am 
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Here's a single shot captured at f/22:

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Caterpillar 31102 by Thomas, on Flickr

Sharpness doesn't seem to be much different but the thing is that the stacked photo has a larger magnification. And as dof shrinks with the square of the magnification you end up pretty fast with too little of it. And stopping down any further than f/22 would have lead to heavy diffraction.

And I wouldn't bother with relocation the little guy, because I was so happy he didn't move. Having him crawling along some green leaf would have made it almost impossible to catch him in a single sharp and well-focused shot let alone collect a focus stack with 8 shots :roll:
So I stuck with what I had.

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