First sucessful stack!

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks

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First sucessful stack!

Unread postby Timm » 21.10.2007 22:46

I've been practicing with Helicon Focus (trial) for a couple of days now, and finally got a stack nearly the way I wanted it!


I used a Novoflex Castel-L rail on a tripod, flower on my studio table. Lighting was two Nikon SB-R200 macro strobes. 105 Micro-Nikkor on 36mm extension. 48 frames @ f6.3.

I had a lot of difficulty keeping the vibration under control, even with a Webster's unabridged dictionary hanging from my Gitzo 2530 tripod. I guess it's time to invest in a steel plate for a studio table!

Thanks to you all at Helicon!

One question: Is the Multi-core wort the extra cash? I'm currently running a dual-core AMD and anticipate that my next build will have at least two cores....

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Dan Kozub
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Joined: 24.03.2004 18:14

Unread postby Dan Kozub » 22.10.2007 21:20


Thanks for the photo. Have you added some contrast or it is natural? Have you removed halo around the edges or there was none?

Multicore version: each processor adds increases the speed by some 25-30%. You decide if this critical point for you.


Unread postby Guest » 26.10.2007 02:10

Dan: I batch-processed the NEF files in Nikon Capture Editor, using Auto Brightness to correct for inconsistent flash output from my R200 macro strobes. I made no other changes before stacking in Focus. After fiddling around for a couple of hours, I finally got a decent stack, which I saved as a PSD. The Retouching tools in Helicon Focus allowed me to remove most of the blurring within the image, for instance, the calyx was nearly obscured before re-touching. I used PhotoShop CS2 for the final editing, increasing contrast, enhancing local contrast, and bumping the saturation a bit, all in Lab color mode. I removed the rather extensive halo using the clone and healing tools. After re-sizing for the web, I used a very small amount of Smart Sharpen and converted to sRGB for web display. All in all, I only invested about four hours in this image! First try; hopefully future stacks will go faster.

I still have a couple of weeks on this trial download, and I'm still up in the air about single or multi-core, but I will be purchasing.

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