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Old Dec 15, 2005, 8:33 AM   #1
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During my macro work I have started a technique, that I want to share with you.
This technique can be used with immobile objects, as long as the camera is fixed and different layers of the object can be focussed. Landscapes - dead sharp - from 3cm to infinity are possible now for users with manual focus. This will be tricky with autofocus - FZ5, but there is always hope.
Back to macro:

This is an example of restricted DOF - micro-digiscoping FZ5.


A series of shots with different overlapping focus areas can be combined with heliconFocus.
Some of us use heliconFilters, this one is very good too!
HeliconFocus develops this set of shots, a thrilling process! Sharper parts are added to the picture, one by one.
Even photoshop masks can be generated.

So let's look at a set of more than 100 pictures of the fly above.
Processed in 4 different sets and combined by pano technique:
voila! (my computer needs 1 minute for 25 shots)


This is the link to the product (Tom K. in dpreview showed me this link):
There is a 30 days evaluation period:
http://www.heliconfilter.com/pages/focus_overview.html
Here are some examples:
http://www.helicon.com.ua/forum/viewtopic.php?p=657#657
http://www.helicon.com.ua/forum/viewforum.php?f=8
This was the last missing link for me in still photography!
There are three image enhancement techniques now - using sets:
- contrast range: photoshop CS2 HDR tool
- wide angle: panotools
- DOF: heliconFocus

..and these techniques can be combined as seen above!

Don't be afraid, for some landscapes 3 to 4 pictures are sufficient!

Please post your opinion!
Sven




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Old Dec 15, 2005, 11:02 AM   #2
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Man, you are a great experimentor.

I knew about that prog, but I use only those for landscape panos (Panoramamaker 3) and when I have time to spend, PTA tools which is very complicate and not easy to exploit at its best.
But made 10-20Mb jpgs with it, up to 20Megapixels images (mosaic stitched).
Must print one someday
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Old Dec 15, 2005, 11:48 AM   #3
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Hey Francesco,
the main point was the DOF link, did you see the forum??
The pano theme is only an addon, because my new objective (<4*) has not arrived yet.
Sven

another example:
traditional - enlarging lens


heliconFocus - 26 layers

this photo is not automatically "better", but we have a new choice!
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Old Dec 15, 2005, 5:30 PM   #4
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Sven this is nothing short of brilliant........

The combining of 4 sets of 25 images in Helicon filter fo max DOF ..... THEN combining 4 images in a panorama is amazing.

And in the Micro world .... I hope forum viewers understand :?

The second image is beautiful you cannot detect from the web image the proccessing involved.

Sven how do you focus the different layers without manual focus ?

John from a dull rainy morning



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Old Dec 15, 2005, 5:47 PM   #5
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Hi John,
this animal is 1mm long, but too big for my objective....
Focussing is simple: the camera is fixed: focus, time, aperture - everything.
You start focussing with the microscope above the object and turn the nice wheel below the wire release.
This is the fine tuning focus rail? (oh my english!...)
After a fast cycle of turning and releasing you will be below the object focus in 25 steps.
HeliconFocus does the rest.
I am plannig to do this with freehand macros too, there are old series, shot with continous shooting. My first attempt to find the focus (one of 20 pictures has to be good!).
cheers
Sven
(this is a stormy and rainy night here!)

..by the way: most of the time is used for setting light conditions now. The picture above is a real portrait with different light sources. The wings had to be revealed! I wanted to have the second fly in this shaded - ghost like appearance (actually it is the haloween mask of Nick Trop).

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Old Dec 15, 2005, 6:15 PM   #6
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Beautiful and amazing :shock:.
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Old Dec 15, 2005, 6:35 PM   #7
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Understand Sven I thought you were using the Microscope focusing rail to gradualy focus in layers from the front to the back of the insect here I am talking in terms of depth or call it the Z axis in 3D terms X any Y being the plane the insect is resting on.

Still amazing work Sven.

It seems you acquired new objectives for that beautiful old dumped Microscope I assume the eyepiece is original.... is this a Zeiss microscope ?


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Old Dec 15, 2005, 6:53 PM   #8
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Oh John,
this is pure Leitz (aroung 1890) - what else?
Don't forget I found it in a rich german waste container.
There is no eyepiece involved in theses shots - 12-14* zoom to find the little spot below! Only real closeups (detail-head) need an eyepiece (4* Leitz).
The objectives are of a cheap russian type (lomo). I have two Leitz objectives and I am fighting for years now to convince ebay to offer me original ones at a moderate price....
You need the focus program / slice technique for the up/down movement! But it is even better if you move from front to the tail - resulting in 50-100 shots. This is no problem for the program as long as there is no diffraction involved.
Sven


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Old Dec 15, 2005, 7:33 PM   #9
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Amazing stuff, Sven. I will check out those techniques. My Raynox Macro stand should arrive any day and I have the Raynox DCR-250 (Infamous for its tiny DOF) as well as the Nikon 4T. Can't wait to experiment with macros. Thanks for the tips. Those Germany, always the engineers.


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Old Dec 16, 2005, 9:58 AM   #10
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thanks Rainer,
I am just working on a special macro stand.
A normal binocular has to be modified.

Here is a non macro exercise, just to show the effect:
FZ5 F:8 focussed at 5-10 cm

FZ5 F:8 4 slices from 5 cm to 4m (infinity is no problem)
This is the DOF of a fisheye with a 35mm objective!


This focussing is easy with the FZ10,20,30 but tricky with the FZ5!
I needed a "special" part again.
Sven

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