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Old Aug 17, 2012, 9:14 AM   #21
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Thanks Zig. Id like to see what you come up with. Oh, one thing I forgot. My camera is mounted on a Manfrotto focusing rail. Its not the best one out there and Id look for another. Its great for moving in tiny increments, but every time I turn the knob the image moves sideways different amounts as it moves closer to the subject.
Interesting, as I'm using a Manfrotto #393 gimbal head along with a rail system. There are no incremental markings on the rail which make it a bit impractical to use.

Actually, the times that I've had the best success with focus stacking, I mounted the camera on the tripod and left the camera in the exact same location. I just changed the location of the focus point in the camera, then used the timer shutter release to avoid any vibration induced by me. But then, you're really up close to the subject - so that may not be practical.

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Old Aug 17, 2012, 9:21 AM   #22
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This is something I really dont understand. If you fix the camera and only change the focus moving along the depth you wish to cover, how does this differ from not changing the focus but rather moving the camera along a rail in tiny increments. I have tried both methods and they both seem to work. Perhaps it does because of the little distance we are talking. There is no perspective to be concerned about.
The Manfrotto rail I have is a 454.

Last edited by Bynx; Aug 17, 2012 at 9:24 AM.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 9:34 AM   #23
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This is something I really dont understand. If you fix the camera and only change the focus moving along the depth you wish to cover, how does this differ from not changing the focus but rather moving the camera along a rail in tiny increments. I have tried both methods and they both seem to work. Perhaps it does because of the little distance we are talking. There is no perspective to be concerned about.
The Manfrotto rail I have is a 454.
Maybe I'm having a brain cramp regarding this whole subject. But my logic tells
that if I reposition my camera by moving the rail, then I'm effectively changing the size of the subject(however small that size change may be). Since my rail has no incremental measurements on it, I have no clue as to how much I'm moving the camera and thus the lens in or out.

By the way, I'm using either a Sigma 105mm f2.8 macro with the D7000 or a 35mm macro+ Olympus E-P2 combo.

I've yet to try the extension tubes or close up lenses i.e. the Canon 500D series of close up lenses.

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Old Aug 17, 2012, 10:03 AM   #24
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Extension tubes sound interesting but I cant find anyone who sells them. In Ontario we dont have a half decent camera store. What we do have all sell the same limited amateur consumer stuff, just under a different name.
Im with you. Common sense tells me just changing the focus is better than actually moving closer to the subject. But the wasp was done by moving closer.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 10:17 AM   #25
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However, you accomplished your goal, you did it exceedingly well.

I've never seen a more detailed image of an insect up close and personal....

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Old Aug 17, 2012, 10:54 PM   #26
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Really outstanding!

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Old Aug 17, 2012, 11:48 PM   #27
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Very interesting followup discussion here. I've only used photoshop for stacking and it usually (but not always) does OK for not too many frames. I've never tried something like this, this is just outstanding.

I keep eyeing RRS's focus rails, but they are horribly expensive - well out of my price range right now. But some day I'd like to get them (or perhaps something less expensive but equally well made).
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 12:47 AM   #28
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Well in spite of the lateral movement of the image, it seemed to have worked ok when put through Helicon Focus. The Manfrotto 454 wasnt that expensive.
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 5:06 PM   #29
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25 stings? Sounds more like Hornets than Wasps!

Well, whatever works is obviously done right, but Zig is correct that the closer the lens to the subject the larger the image becomes. Bynx' speculation is probably right on the money that the increments are so small in his stack that Helicon Focus is able to compensate for the small differences in image size. While I don't know if I ever thought of this before, what could be confusing is the fact that as a lens extends, even as the camera body is fixed on a tripod, the lens to subject distance probably changes the same way as it does by moving the camera, so the ideal situation would be to use an internally focusing lens on a sturdy tripod and dispense with the rail. The flip side is that the rail probably causes less camera displacement than manually focusing the lens, so nothing is without some downside. I doubt that a macrofocusing telephoto would be as ideal in this situation as a prime macro lens, but we often have to make do with what we have, and in this case the results couldn't be better, so a good job was done.

Extension tubes and extension bellows are useful because they decrease the lens to subject distance and therefore tha DOF which is helpful in stacking, but there is a penalty in that there is loss of light as a result of the extension, which could require a compensatory change if f-stop, thus negating the decreased DOF, which is critical here. Plus lenses, on the other hand, add magnification without losing light - they have their shortcomings, too, but many photographers swear by (rather than at) the Raynox Macroscopic supplementary lenses which have proven to be far superior to most other add-ons.
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 5:48 PM   #30
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Good info penolta, and your explanation makes perfect sense. Thanks.
I dont know how the number of stings determines whether it is a wasp or hornet. I was literally swarmed by the colony as they left the BBQ in force and attacked me. Tonite at 10 I will be going at the nest with some spray I got. I hope thats the end of that. I just hope that any more stings arent going to be more effective after the number Im still getting over.

Last edited by Bynx; Aug 18, 2012 at 5:50 PM.
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