Moving camera vs lens focus change

General discussions, bugs, support, suggestions
Post Reply
edokie
Posts: 16
Joined: 29.12.2009 02:08

Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by edokie » 06.01.2013 19:44

Does anyone have a definitive answer on multi-focus layer captures: moving the physical camera to gain layer-depth of focus . . . versus the stationary camera position and changing the lens-focus?

I have no desire to "reinvent the wheel" if others have already discovered the answer. I have always used focus-change on the lens itself, never attempted sliding the body forward. Recently catching my attention is a device offered by RRS (Really Right Stuff in California), a precision threaded adjustment rail. Downside is cost: $350. Not exactly chump-change. My lens focus-ring method works well (manually turning the ring a very slight amount after each exposure), but wondering if the threaded-rail is a more noteworthy approach. Though I do have Helicon Remote focusing software (plus that of Breeze's Remote dSLR program), neither is a practical solution when working outdoors in flower gardens (I'm in Florida, flowers now starting to bloom). Dragging along a laptop plus connection cable is more hassle than it's worth, as if the necessary macro-equipment required isn't already enough.

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 09.01.2013 14:56

Please see these topics in our forum:
http://www.heliconsoft.com/forum/viewto ... 124&p=9402
http://www.heliconsoft.com/forum/viewto ... 101&p=7474

And also consider that we have Helicon Remote for Android which allows to automate focus stacking from Android phone like Samsung Galaxy S2

Stewart g
Posts: 7
Joined: 16.11.2011 23:52
Location: San Francisco Bay
Contact:

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by Stewart g » 17.01.2013 16:12

One consideration is that with a rail one is limited by its length. That can be an asset or a hindrance, I guess, but my case I've often included infinity, or large objects, in my compositions. Stacking works very well across the whole range of a lens' focus, if needed.
My cameras don't allow for remote control (Olympus), but elsewhere it is mentioned having to wait for many seconds while vibrations style down after adjusting one's kit (by hand) between shots. I wanted to add that with static subjects, anyway, such a wait is no big deal, at least up to 100 image stacks or so.

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 21.01.2013 12:24

Helicon Remote supports Mirror lock up mode. If you are using StackShot rails, you can define pause before shots so that camera has enough time to calm down.

jimshirey
Posts: 39
Joined: 05.07.2011 22:26

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by jimshirey » 19.05.2013 06:11

lens focus change works ok for larger subjects and a small aperture setting. but if you are working close to 1:1, forget it. your slices will leave out too much detail to compose a good image. you can get a focus rail cheaper than the RRS model from manfrotto, but the RRS one is much better made and worth the price. i work often with the canon mpe-65 lens, frequently into the range of 2-3x magnification. in that range you need many slices. i've used as many as 400, and you can only do that on a rail. the mpe-65 doesn't have a focus ring anyway.

runout68
Posts: 1
Joined: 19.11.2013 21:33

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by runout68 » 03.12.2013 14:26

Does the Helicon Focus and Remote work well for jewelry photography.
I just order the Helicon Pro (Focus & Remote bundle) but not sure how to down load it.
Can I get the software in a box with cd?
Thanks ron

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 06.12.2013 12:13

Thanks for your order! We update our software every couple of months so there is not much sense in CDs. The latest version can always be downloaded from our server: http://www.heliconsoft.com/software-downloads/

IgorDS
Posts: 3
Joined: 04.04.2014 21:07

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by IgorDS » 04.04.2014 21:20

Moving the camera is preferable because the focal length of a complicated optical system such as modern composite lenses (made with several elements) does not remain the same when focus shifts. Moving the camera with its lens assures the same optical performance for every shot in the stack.
Be sure to move parallel to the optical axis! Otherwise additional parallax problems will become apparent.

MikeCT
Posts: 113
Joined: 08.04.2014 19:56

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by MikeCT » 23.04.2014 17:15

IgorDS wrote: Be sure to move parallel to the optical axis! Otherwise additional parallax problems will become apparent.
Is there a simple way to ensure that this is the case, other than eyeballing it?

vwsweeden
Posts: 3
Joined: 07.01.2016 22:12
Location: Dayton Ohio
Contact:

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by vwsweeden » 07.01.2016 23:12

One thing hasn't been mentioned in evaluating moving the camera vs moving the focus: perspective.

When the camera is fixed and the focus moves, the distance from the camera to the focus point increases with each shot. The perspective of the original composition is preserved.

When the focus is fixed and the camera moves, the distance from the camera to the focus point is identical in each shot. The camera views the subject from a new, closer, perspective with each shot.

An object that extends from the foreground into the distance will taper toward the vanishing point when shot by moving focus. The same object shot by moving the camera will not.

This still doesn't mean that one technique is better. The effect of tapering or not is minimal and Helicon doesn't care how the stack is acquired.

MikeCT
Posts: 113
Joined: 08.04.2014 19:56

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by MikeCT » 24.03.2016 13:09

There is an additional potential problem when moving the camera: if you are using a camera-mounted flash, the lighting will become more intense as you approach the subject. This can lead to over or underexposure, depending on where you chose to use as the image for adjusting exposure.

User avatar
Stas Yatsenko
Posts: 3850
Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05
Contact:

Re: Moving camera vs lens focus change

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 25.03.2016 10:25

The perspective changes when you adjust the focus using the lens, too, though.

Post Reply