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Super Macro And A Question


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#1 TrailEx

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 07:55 PM

So I have acquired the Laowa 60mm 2x macro lens. It's pretty awesome how close I can get to subjects with it, but not surprisingly the focal plane is REALLY thin, even when at f/11. Does anyone have any suggestions for methods to move the camera for focus stacking? My fallback is to buy a slider, but was wondering if there was a simpler method that I'm not thinking of (besides moving the camera by hand of course, which is difficult to do when the focal plane is so thin).

 

1/30 sec, ISO 3200, I think aperture was F/8 (full manual lens so theres no aperture metadata), flash bounced off the ceiling.

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#2 Vinny

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 08:53 PM

I have used just focusing on different parts of the subject with the lens itself. As long as nothing else changes there shouldn't be any problems. I believe focus stacking software takes the sharpest parts and puts them together.



#3 grimlock361

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 09:53 PM

Use a tripod.  Take multiple image moving the focus point and not the camera.  Some cameras have a focus bracketing mode but it usually sucks and is usually only found on lower end cameras.  Import the files into photoshop using the script "load files into stack" and use the auto align command and then auto blend.  Here is a video but he starts in LR and hands off to PS instead of using the "load files into stack" script.  https://www.youtube....h?v=7vTj0MWwqCk


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#4 TrailEx

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 03:02 PM

So I've done some tinkering with this lens and I've determined you cannot focus stack by simply adjusting the focus ring. It works down to 1:1 magnification, but to get a higher magnification, the lens is not adjusting a focus element, its actually moving the entire glass optic forward. So, the lens actually cheats to get 2:1 magnification by having a built-in extension tube mechanism. So, when you go from 1.5:1 magnification to 2:1 magnification, the focus plane is actually moving away from the lens, instead of towards it as is normal. But the big reason you can't adjust focus for stacking at 2:1 magnification is that if you try to do that, the image itself changes size. I'll upload some images shortly.


Some sample shots of a box with text on it. The top of the box is closer to the camera than the bottom. The first shot is at 2:1 magnification and the second is at 1.5:1 mag. As you can see, when you reduce the magnification, the plane of focus gets closer to the camera instead of away from it. You can also see that these two shots can't be focus stacked because the text is significantly different in size between the two shots.

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#5 MarkM

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 12:01 AM

TrailEx
I am taking an online macro photography course and just read something interesting: the closer you get to your subject, the smaller your depth of field gets (regardless of aperture setting). A confirmed with a DOF calculator.
Closer focusing distance = smaller DOF
Further focusing distance = larger DOF

You probably already are aware of this. But if not, maybe pull back from this subject?

#6 TrailEx

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Posted 16 August 2017 - 12:35 PM

Mark, you are mostly correct. In general, the closer you are to a subject the thinner the DOF will be. But more fundamentally, what determines your depth of field is the magnification of your image (and the aperture of course, but we'll ignore that for now). For a given focal length, the closer you are to your subject the more magnified it will be, hence the thinner DOF. But the focal length is important for determining magnification. If you take a 400mm lens and focus on something 3 feet away, you are magnifiying the subject significantly and will therefore have a DOF similar to a short focal length that is only inches away from the subject.

 

All that said, the magnification is the whole point of macro photography. You want to get as close as possible so that you have maximum magnification; the thin DOF is merely an obstacle that has to be overcome through focus stacking.






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