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Old Apr 7, 2005, 4:09 PM   #1
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It's nearly impossible with a dSLR to achieve the hyperfocal (everything in focus) landscape without stopping down to
the point where diffraction becomes problematic and wrecks sharpness. Now I think there is a way for us to achieve
this without going to large format film and such. The following shots were all taken at F11 so optimal focus and sharpness
were preserved.

Hyperfocal landscapes are common with large format cameras, but dSLR shooters have had a tougher time of it
for a variety of reasons.

I've found what I think is an ideal solution for me at least. The recent heavy rains in California have presented a
"once in a lifetime" opportunity to shoot a virtual sea of wildflowers against the rugged landscapes of Death Valley.
This potential got me to thinking about ways to enhance depth of field. We've always had software such as CombineZ,
Helicon Focus and others which help do this with photomicroscopy. A few months ago I found I could use these techniques
to greatly improve my macro depth of field for small art objects, but until now I've not found software which could
really do this for landscapes.

The new version of Helicon Focus has an incredible ability to register different frames and correct for the normal size
differentials. I decided to give it a try with the aim of producing an infinite focus landscape. A quick trip to the front
yard with my Canon 1DS, Sigma 15-30 zoom and an old Nikon on a tripod as a close-up subject has convinced me that this
can not only be done, but can be done very well.

Below is the result of a four frame capture using different focal points. The Nikon on the tripod was about 14 inches in front
of the lens, so this frame is essentially an infinite focus using Helicon Focus (about 15 seconds) to combine the four into what
you see below. A pesky reflection on the LCD of the Nikon was cloned out and the image you see below was sharpened a
bit in PhotoShop but otherwise it's as it came from the combining of the four frames. The four component shots are linked
if you want to see them.

Below is a link to the Helicon site where they have a free 30 day trial if you want to try it for yourself...
Lin

http://heliconfocus.com/pages/?focus_overview



[align=center]Image control: Zoom out | Zoom 100% | Zoom in | Expand / Contract | New window[/align]


http://www.lin-evans.org/hyperfocal/1.jpg
http://www.lin-evans.org/hyperfocal/2.jpg
http://www.lin-evans.org/hyperfocal/3.jpg
http://www.lin-evans.org/hyperfocal/4.jpg

Last edited by Lin Evans; Feb 1, 2015 at 1:21 PM.
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Old Apr 7, 2005, 7:47 PM   #2
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Lin,

That's neat and apparently, very usable. What were your four focal points in the images?

Thanks,

TG
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Old Apr 7, 2005, 8:25 PM   #3
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Back of the camera, grass about six feet in front of the lens, corner post on chain link fence and infinity.

Best regards,

Lin
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Old May 5, 2005, 2:17 AM   #4
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Lin, I want to purchase myself a better camera, currently I have the Canon Powershot S1 IS, and I am looking around for a better camera. The two main issues I experience is the lack of detail in pictures taken, as well as DOF. There is however a nice function on the Powershot that enables you to take 3 shots with different focal points. I was thninking of using this feature with the DOF application to give me greate DOF, but the camera takes very long to take 3 shots, and alot can happen in the time between shots. I know that the focus functionality on a dSLR is very dependant on the lens, but is there a dSLR that could take 3 or 5 shots in a row with different focal points? The dSLR should be speedy between shots, and the shots can then be combined with the DOF app. Does the FZ20 have the 3 shots feature? (Also known as Auto Focus Bracketing)
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Old May 5, 2005, 9:06 AM   #5
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Good morning, Lin.

Thanks for the information regarding Helicon.

Why not just shoot the pic at the hyperfocal point of focus (1/3 of the way in?) with your smallest aperture (>= F11) for greatest DOF.

Also, you indicated that stopping down to the maxcauses
diffraction to become problematic and wrecks sharpness.

Can you explain what you mean by diffraction becoming problematic?

What do you define as "diffraction"?

What then is the advantage of Helicon?

Given that you make your living with your camera, I greatly value your opinion on this!

Thanks in advance for your reply, Lin

digcamfan

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Old May 5, 2005, 9:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the Link, looks like it can be a useful addition to the Software tool bag.

Now if someone could write a donut-remover to clean-up highlights in images from a long CAT lens....:GSigh, Actually I don't think that is possible.:?

Peter.

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