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Old May 7, 2010, 1:31 PM   #1
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Default More bugs and focus stacking tests

Well another terrible, terrible weather day, had to shoot at f3.2 at the minimum for most of the day, so thought I would try focus stacking, seeing as I had to shoot in continuous mode due to the razor thin focus.

Fly turned out ok, spider not so much, as it was tiny (less than 1cm long) I was missing a tiny strip along it's abdomen, but thought I would share it anyway.

A friend of mine is loaning me a monopod so should make things easier. Been shooting handheld all this time.

Tamron SP Di 90mm Macro, Av mode, etc.






Comments and criticism welcome as always.

Thanks for looking (again)!

*edit*

Re-did the spider image as realised I messed up the background, and managed to get the rear legs stacked from another photo.

Last edited by Tachikoma; May 7, 2010 at 3:05 PM.
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Old May 7, 2010, 4:44 PM   #2
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Excellent start Tachi ! What program are you using to stack ?
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Old May 7, 2010, 5:16 PM   #3
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Cheers Frogfish!

Using GIMP, doing the stacking by hand, multiple layers (2 on the fly, 3 on the spider) and using the erase brush to paint in the layer below it.

For my first attempt at focus stacking I was pretty happy with the results, the original shots were seriously lacking due to the razor thin DOF.

I wasn't taking the shots with the intention of doing focus stacking, was just a side product of having to shoot in continuous mode due to using f3.2 and doing it handheld. Gave me a nice selection of shots with various focal points, once I get the monopod I should be able to get better results due to the added stability.
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Old May 7, 2010, 5:43 PM   #4
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You can download CombineZ - a free stacking program - for Windows. It has got rave reviews.

Monopods are great in some situations but I tried mine with macro and found I lost the best of both worlds - it made shooting by hand inflexible due to the leg getting in the way all the time, and is no-where near as stable as a tripod. I tend to use mine more when I'm walking around town / zoo / on a trip.
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Old May 7, 2010, 7:48 PM   #5
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Way to go Tachi!
Great detail on the fly's eyes. You have me out classed. I have yet to be able to get that kind of detail hand held. Even with the tripod I can't seem to get the detail I'm looking for, starting to think my lens may be partly to blame.
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Old May 7, 2010, 7:57 PM   #6
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the fly shot is pretty amazing. incredible sharpness and detail.
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Old May 8, 2010, 3:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
Way to go Tachi!
Great detail on the fly's eyes. You have me out classed. I have yet to be able to get that kind of detail hand held. Even with the tripod I can't seem to get the detail I'm looking for, starting to think my lens may be partly to blame.
Haha don't be too impressed, I took 737MB of photo's and these two were the only keepers, it was sheer luck I managed to get any shots where I wanted them!

Thanks Hards!

Frogfish, I downloaded CombineZ and had a play with it, but can't work out what the heck I am doing with it. Loaded in the same images I used to stack the spider photo, and it whirred and clunked for 10 minutes and just gave me a blurry photo. I was a little drunk at the time though, so probably missed something obvious.
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Old May 9, 2010, 9:31 PM   #8
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The first one is really very good - you should be proud of that one.

The thing about using a monopod for macro is not to use it as a monopod, but rather as a pole. Hold it in your left hand with the camera, brace the end against a foot or something if possible, then slide your hand down the pole until you get to the level you want for your macro. It isn't as steady as a tripod but it's better than nothing as you have a third balance point. Don't try to mount the camera on the pod and adjust the height - in fact you can use a broomstick, pipe or anything else for a pole.
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Old May 10, 2010, 2:23 AM   #9
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Nr1 is a wow, nr2 is more than good enough for me.

And don't worry about not having an insect completely in the shot it's not a requirement.

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Old May 10, 2010, 2:55 AM   #10
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Thanks both!

Yeah got the monopod for today, I was planning on doing like you suggested, I just wanted it for a bit of extra stability, the 1:1 ratio makes handholding the camera and trying to get something this small consistenly in focus and in frame is a nightmare.

I did have all of the fly in shot, but I thought it looked better cropped like that, the abdomen was so out of focus I didn't think it added anything to the shot.
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