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Thread: The unknown soldier.

  1. #1
    jiro's Avatar
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    The unknown soldier.

    My first attempt in focus stacking. I combined 12 images using Photoshop CS5. Thank you very much for viewing.

    The unknown soldier.

    Nikon D70, 50mm lens on PK-13 extension ring, ISO 200, f/16 at 1/250 second.

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    This is my macro setup for this shot.

    The unknown soldier.

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Great stuff Jiro, I knew you would get hooked I prefer to use Zerene software but hey, its the end result that counts. I mainly do outdoor, hand-held flash stuff, if you are interested I'll post a couple of shots and a link to a shot of my macro rig.

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    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    That is also the thing that fascinates me about macro focus stacking. If you have a live subject of which you have no control whatsoever as to what it would do in the next 10 - 20 seconds, how do you manage to get at least 5 - 10 shots for the focus stacking process? It'd be nice to know how others handle this kind of situation about macro shots.
    Last edited by jiro; 1st August 2011 at 12:34 PM.

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    That is also the thing that fascinates me about macro focus stacking. If you have a live subject of which you have to control whatsoever as to what it would do in the next 10 - 20 seconds, how do you manage to get at least 5 - 10 shots for the focus stacking process? It'd be nice to know how others handle this kind of situation about macro shots.
    Practice, practice and yet more practice Jiro If I am shooting natural light I crank up the ISO, crank up the shutter speed and shoot in burst mode whilst continuously changing the focus - either using the focusing ring or moving the camera. Its the same technique for flash although my Canon 430 flash doesn't really cycle fast enough. If I can approach a 10% success rate then I consider it a good shoot. If I am shooting flowers etc outdoors I usually knock up a wind break out of anything handy but anything other than the gentlest breeze is doomed to failute in my experience.

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    I love the difuser Willie. I an see you getting into this.

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Awesome work, Willie. I think it makes a perfect avatar too! Nicely done.

    - Bill

  8. #8
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by KeithH View Post
    Practice, practice and yet more practice Jiro If I am shooting natural light I crank up the ISO, crank up the shutter speed and shoot in burst mode whilst continuously changing the focus - either using the focusing ring or moving the camera. Its the same technique for flash although my Canon 430 flash doesn't really cycle fast enough. If I can approach a 10% success rate then I consider it a good shoot. If I am shooting flowers etc outdoors I usually knock up a wind break out of anything handy but anything other than the gentlest breeze is doomed to failute in my experience.
    Thanks, Keith. It's definitely a handicap for photography to have poor eyesight. Yeah, I need a ton of practice on this new type of photography for me.

  9. #9
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Ryan View Post
    I love the difuser Willie. I an see you getting into this.
    Thanks Peter. That big paper towel is really a good front diffuser element.

  10. #10
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Awesome work, Willie. I think it makes a perfect avatar too! Nicely done.

    - Bill
    Thanks, Bill. I like my new avatar, too. Hehehe.

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    My first attempt in focus stacking. I combined 12 images using Photoshop CS5.
    Hi Willie, when you looked at the 12 images you took to get this shot, how many do you feel you could eliminate and still get a sharp focus? The reason I ask is that I tried focus stacking and found it difficult to manually (no slide tray) space the focus points evenly and as a result ended up with about 5 images. That being said, I didn't have a macro lens and the scene spanned from 11inches to about 12 feet away. Thanks!

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by jiro View Post
    Thanks, Keith. It's definitely a handicap for photography to have poor eyesight. Yeah, I need a ton of practice on this new type of photography for me.
    I know the feeling Jiro For sixty years (almost as long as I have been taking photographs) my eyesight got progressively worse and then I developed AMD - which is under control but will never get better ) and then in the last four years I have had cataracts removed from both eyes. Eureka, now I see colours as they should be and I can now see from two feet to infinity almost perfectly, but need glasses for reading. The old joints are the problem now unfortunately Keep at it my friend, it is very rewarding

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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Willie, when you looked at the 12 images you took to get this shot, how many do you feel you could eliminate and still get a sharp focus? The reason I ask is that I tried focus stacking and found it difficult to manually (no slide tray) space the focus points evenly and as a result ended up with about 5 images. That being said, I didn't have a macro lens and the scene spanned from 11inches to about 12 feet away. Thanks!
    Hope you don't mind me butting in guy's but your answer isn't that simple Frank and it depends on the degree of manification you are using. There are very complicated math formula that will work it out but as a rule of thumb, when I am shooting at about 1:1 @ f11 (the best for my lens), the acceptable depth of field is about 2mm or so; at 5:1 magnification, the dof is down to less than 0.1mm. I don't know if the math bears these figures out as they are from my own test results and work well for my style of shooting but it can be seen that any subject with even a modicum of depth is going to take a lot of shots, even at 1:1 magnification, if you want the whole of the sunject to be in focus.

  14. #14
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Hi Keith, If I understand correctly, there is a big difference in this aspect between shooting macro with an object as small a Willie's soldier and shooting in the focus range of a normal lens where the DoF is significantly wider? OK. That makes sense. So how do you change the focus evenly and by such small amounts? I tried manually twisting the focus ring by tiny amounts but it was very sensitive and extremely difficult. Does a macro lens have a way of doing this short of moving the camera on a sled/slide tray? Thanks!

  15. #15
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Willie, when you looked at the 12 images you took to get this shot, how many do you feel you could eliminate and still get a sharp focus? The reason I ask is that I tried focus stacking and found it difficult to manually (no slide tray) space the focus points evenly and as a result ended up with about 5 images. That being said, I didn't have a macro lens and the scene spanned from 11inches to about 12 feet away. Thanks!
    I have no idea, Frank. My subject is small. The head of that lego figurine is about 1/2 inch in diameter. What I did is to incrementally adjust the focusing from the front tip of that yellow thing on the lego's helmet up to the back. I figured about 12 images will do it. I don't have time to do the math since I am merely experimenting and testing the process.

  16. #16
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Thanks Willie. From the looks of the results, you got it right!

  17. #17
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Keith, If I understand correctly, there is a big difference in this aspect between shooting macro with an object as small a Willie's soldier and shooting in the focus range of a normal lens where the DoF is significantly wider? OK. That makes sense. So how do you change the focus evenly and by such small amounts? I tried manually twisting the focus ring by tiny amounts but it was very sensitive and extremely difficult. Does a macro lens have a way of doing this short of moving the camera on a sled/slide tray? Thanks!
    Frank, some dedicated macro workers have real complicated setups with micrometer slide tables etc and calculate everythng to the n'th degree, I just shoot lots of frames and sort them out afterwards If I am shooting on a tripod I stick a piece of masking tape on the focusing ring and lens barrel and then mark off datums for the nearest and farthest point of focus. My Sigma 105mm macro lens has a large movement of the focusing ring for a small movement in the point of focus so it is fairly easy to move in tiny increments. For 1:1 shooting and above I will shoot through the focusing range many times just to be sure I have enough images to cover the required dof - based on the theory that it is almost impossible for me to turn the focus ring to exactly the same spot every time so I shoiuld have lots of mini-increments. I know its not very scientific, but neither am I, and it is a lot of fun, albeit frustrating at times .

    Some guys find it easier to move either the camera or the subject to focus and I say take whatever option works the best for you.

  18. #18
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    I like it! I love the lighting and the detail is immense!

    Now when are you going to admit that these are your toys and not your son's?

  19. #19
    jiro's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    I like it! I love the lighting and the detail is immense!

    Now when are you going to admit that these are your toys and not your son's?
    Thanks, Tommy. Kids are on a vacation so the toys are solely "mine" for now.

  20. #20
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: The unknown soldier.

    Hi Keith, that's the answer. The focusing ring on my normal lens is way too sensitive to even come close. Thanks! Now I've got a hankering for trying some more focus stacks! Hmmmmm... I wonder if I can make a macro lens out of coke bottles and duct tape?

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