A few tips please

Optical microscopes + digital photography

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Michael Durham

A few tips please

Unread postby Michael Durham » 02.02.2009 08:35

So I have been shooting professionally for many years, including insects. I recently acquired a complete nikon multiphot system which is sharper than anything i have used before for micro work. It also takes me deeper into the X scale than ever.

I have been shooting a tiny ant portrait in stacks and my results have not been great so far. I'm guessing this is roughly 19x (but I'm not sure - still learning the systems). I have to use a loupe just to see if I have the ant's head is properly aligned.

A few things that might be hindering my progress.
1. I'm shooting wide open because of the insane sharpness - thus dealing with shallow depth of field.

2. I combined 39 exposures (too many?). I am using a dynaphot scanning platform to change the focus in measured increments.

3. I am getting blown highlights on some hair.

I'm on a mac pro, and shooting with a Canon 5d. Everything is up to date in PS and LR.

i have tried various parameter adjustments but the results are not so hot regardless. Problems include severe halo effects, blotchy backgrounds, reduced sharpness.

Would I benefit by stopping down slightly, reducing number of stacks, flattening the light a bit?

A bit of expert advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Michael Durham
www.DurmPhoto.com
Attachments
Focus Result 2 (B, 3, 2).jpg
(249.6 KiB) Downloaded 1555 times

Michael Durham

reply

Unread postby Michael Durham » 03.02.2009 19:18

Feel free to email me michael@durmphoto.com if you prefer.

MD

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Dan Kozub
Posts: 1157
Joined: 24.03.2004 18:14

Unread postby Dan Kozub » 04.02.2009 13:48

> 2. I combined 39 exposures (too many?). I am using a dynaphot scanning platform to change the focus in measured increments.

No. But if the focused areas overlap too much you may try to use every second images.

3. I am getting blown highlights on some hair.

The program only combines images, the brightness should not be changed. If this is not so, please contact me at dankozub at helicon.com.ua


i have tried various parameter adjustments but the results are not so hot regardless. Problems include severe halo effects, blotchy backgrounds, reduced sharpness.


I would suggest you the following:

1. Use manual exposure mode to avoid brightness fluctuation. Apply Autoadjusment for brightness in the Helicon Focus preferences. This should fix the blotchy background.

2. Apply dust map to get rid of dust tracks.

3. Use method B and experiment with different Radius settings.

Michael Durham

Problems

Unread postby Michael Durham » 06.02.2009 02:05

Don

Thanks so much for your reply.

Regarding your suggestions: The exposures are all precisely consistant with virtually no difference between them. It is all shot manually, with vivtar 283 units powered by quantum batteries for quick recycle.

The blown highlights on the hair seem to be confusing the program and/or creating dramatic halos. As I rack through the focus, the highlights appear in different places, because the plane of focus changes.

The obvious solution is light differently, which seems to have helped. To be honest, I wasn't too concerned with aesthetics because i wanted to put the software through its paces.

stacks with too much overlapping focus might be a problem, I will take a second look.

Working with other subjects since, i have had better results with stacking.

I have been working with the free trial version, to see if the mac version can do the job. One other problem that has presented itself is the program reporting that it has "run out of memory" and then any work i have done is lost as it is no longer responsive.

I am using a Mac Pro with 2 X 2.66 Ghz Dual Core, and 6 GB of RAM. I shut all other programs, and i have lots of space (100gb) on my system drive.

If I should purchase the multi-core version, will this be different from the free trial version?

Michael Durham
www.DurmPhoto.com

Michael Durham

Getting Better

Unread postby Michael Durham » 06.02.2009 08:25

Having some good results with more even illumination. The subject here is less reflective and dark which I think also helps.

Raymond Coory in New Zealand gave me some invaluable advice.
Attachments
2409CF2-F1.jpg
6 stacks
2409CF2-F1.jpg (160.08 KiB) Viewed 9885 times

Michael Durham

Closer

Unread postby Michael Durham » 06.02.2009 08:27

switched to the 19mm with 12 stacks. Generally good results from heliconfocus with minimal touching up.

No crashes this evening.
Attachments
24509CF2-F.jpg
24509CF2-F.jpg (196.54 KiB) Viewed 9884 times

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Dan Kozub
Posts: 1157
Joined: 24.03.2004 18:14

Unread postby Dan Kozub » 06.02.2009 14:04

Very good results, congratulations! We are working on 64 bit version for Mac, this will solve out of memory problem. Windows version aready supports 64 OS and can process 100+ Mpixels x 16 bit images.

Eric Fisher
Posts: 3
Joined: 04.11.2008 03:41
Location: Sacramento, Calif.

A few tips please

Unread postby Eric Fisher » 07.02.2009 01:11

Michael,

Yes, very good results with the fly. Any chance you might pass on to us that 'invaluable advice' you received from Raymond Coory -- since it may have helped with your image?

Thanks,

Eric
Eric Fisher
Sacramento, Calif. USA


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