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 Post subject: 1st go at focus-stacking
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:15 pm 
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While playing around with the 70-200 VRII + Canon 500D I had a first go at focus-stacking.
I used 7 shots at f/16 with equal displacements via Camera Control pro and auto-merged them in PS CS4. No other post-processing.
Unfortunately the merge blew out the left side and left some unwanted "residue" around the shell. You can see it in the large original prominently on the left border of the shell.
Does someone know whether I have to manually work on each individual mask or is there a faster way to eliminate the residues?
(link through the image to the large original)

Image

P.S.: this is already the second version. I made it from jpgs developed from RAW in CaptureNX2. The 1st version was stacked directly from the NEFs in PS CS 4 and showed some nasty green coloring in the residues. Obviously some CA that Adobe's Camera RAW could not eliminate.

----------------EDIT---------
Ernie (see post below) suggested how to eliminate the problem. So here you already see the updated version. Thanks, Ernie!

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Last edited by Thomas on Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:27 pm 
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That residue is one interesting thingy. Did you use the 70-200? That would explain why ..
Did you auto-align the layers? If so, some manual editing will definitely be required.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 5:39 pm 
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I had the camera on a tripod with remote control so did not even touch the setup. Therefore I did no extra steps for alignment - just pressed "auto".
The "residue" is some oof area that PS CS 4 did chose not to eliminate from that specific level. They come from the slightly larger magnification when changing focus. In an ideal world Photoshop would have identified them and thus eliminated those pixels from the stack. But I think the specific areas were almost without structure and therefor perhaps hard to identify as "not sharp enough" for the Photoshop.
You think I have to correct manually? :cry:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:05 pm 
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Well before blending the layers I always go to Edit > Auto-align Layers (Bearbeiten > Ebenen automatisch ausrichten). Photoshop CS4 should correct for varying magnifications due to the internal focusing in that step. To make sure the alignment worked simple check every layer by changing its opacity. If not, resize the layer (Ctrl + T (Win) or Cmd + T (Mac) by pressing Alt + Shift during the transformation. After that there should not be any residue left from blending.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:45 pm 
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A big "Thank You", Ernie!
That was the right tip: auto-align layers. I could see how the layers got successively smaller and smaller and when I merged the stack eveything was fine&dandy.
I've replaced the image above with the latest&greatest version.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:52 pm 
That's an awesome way of taking pictures , I didn't know that process , thanks for sharing it with us :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:09 pm 
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Just one hint:
You either need a software to focus your camera remotely like Camera Control pro for Nikons
OR
You need a sliding carriage to carefully move the lens incrementally closer to your subject.

As the dof with macro photos is only a few millimeters you cannot manually adjust the focus-ring to achieve these fine adjustments!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:29 pm 
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I was wrong with my last assertion. Have a look over here.
It even worked manually focusing on my Sigma 150/2.8 which has quite a nervous gearing on the focus-ring: small movements shift focus quite rapidly.

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