The usual newbie question... plus an hint from me about illumination

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Joined: 11.02.2017 10:42

The usual newbie question... plus an hint from me about illumination

Post by CesareBrizio » 11.02.2017 11:31

Dear all,
I've been using Helicon Focus for several months, but I'm far from being a competent user.
Suffice to say that I discovered the forum only today....
I've been photographing with microscope + 5MP CMOS Deltapix Invenio S II camera, with photocamera alone (my old Sony Alpha A230, 10MP), with photocamera + T2 adapter peeking into the microscope, and lately with microscope objectives mounted on the photocamera via T2 BMS thread adapter ring (in this case, the camera is mounted on a microscope stand).

Still, I can't grasp which rendering method is better for hairy / bristly subjects. Plus, I'm still undecided whether or not (especially for hairy subjects) taking as many pictures as I can (i mean: making as many slices as i can) improves the final image. My fear is that, as long as the many unfocussed hairs generate what I call "fog", many slices mean also much "fog" - and I'm not sure whether or not the Helicon Focus convolution algorithms are equally effective regaardless the number of "foggy" layers, when the fog is the exact color of the hairs...

I browsed the forum but I couldn't find the precise answer that I'm looking for. Turning my doubts into questions (please pardon my coarse English) and thinking about insects, the main subject of my photos:
  1. For an hairy subject (with hairs pointing in many different directions and thus overlapping in different planes), should I assume that Method C is always the best? Or, if other methods are suggested, which parameters should I use?
  2. For an hairy subject (as above), should I make as many slices as possible? Or more slices = more problems?
  3. Should I consider subjects with many bristles ("hard hairs", each one pointing in a specific direction, overlapping the others in just a few points) the same way i do with hairy subjects?
To thank you for the help, I take your attention to two "instructables" that I made about my self-built LED-strip illuminator, that seem capable to produce decent results: Warm regards and all the best to everybody!

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: The usual newbie question... plus an hint from me about illumination

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 14.02.2017 15:13

As to the number of slices, I would recommend to select every third image in the source list (See Pop up menu) and merge the stack again. If you see soft stripes in this configuration, then most probably your step is close to optimal. If the result is the same as in full stack, it means that you can increase the step at least in 3 times and repeat the test again.
As to the method, hairy and overlapping objects are best rendered with method C. You can also calculate method B and then combine both results on Retouching tab.

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Re: The usual newbie question... plus an hint from me about illumination

Post by MikeCT » 13.03.2018 01:25

I would recommend method C. I have had similar problems with some of the very hairy caterpillars

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