Helicon Focus, is there a "best choice" for f/stop

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks

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okie

Helicon Focus, is there a "best choice" for f/stop

Unread post by okie » 19.04.2008 20:50

Macro work with a Canon 5D and 100mm macro, if I had to pick one f/stop that generally gives best-results with flower closeups, f/8 would be it. Zone of focus obviously is limited, but equally important is the out-of-focus background... that renders silky-soft at f/8 - and makes the subject really pop out.

Using Helicon Focus software and stacking a series of shots - is there a reason to use, say, f/4 or f/5.6 instead of f/8... to end up with a "best results?" (number of shots required is not a concern, more obviously needed for larger f/stops).

Concerning controlling lens focus-ring, changes between shots, has anyone come up with any device such as a longer lever attached to the lens-ring that allows better visual movement of focus-ring shifts? (The tiny difference in ring-change is hard to judge, and keep it equal between shots.

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Ariel
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Unread post by Ariel » 22.04.2008 22:53

I wouldn't worry about a specific aperture size. If you want the background to be more blurred, you can use a wider aperture and take more shots to make sure everything is in focus, though that means you need to make sure everything will be motionless for longer, and you'll have more pics to stack. It may be easier to use a smaller aperture like f8 and take fewer shots, and if there's enough light and the background is far enough away, I think that's what I'd use.

TomMeeks
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Re: Helicon Focus, is there a "best choice" for f/

Unread post by TomMeeks » 09.05.2008 01:49

okie wrote:Macro work with a Canon 5D and 100mm macro, if I had to pick one f/stop that generally gives best-results with flower closeups, f/8 would be it. Zone of focus obviously is limited, but equally important is the out-of-focus background... that renders silky-soft at f/8 - and makes the subject really pop out.

Using Helicon Focus software and stacking a series of shots - is there a reason to use, say, f/4 or f/5.6 instead of f/8... to end up with a "best results?" (number of shots required is not a concern, more obviously needed for larger f/stops).

Concerning controlling lens focus-ring, changes between shots, has anyone come up with any device such as a longer lever attached to the lens-ring that allows better visual movement of focus-ring shifts? (The tiny difference in ring-change is hard to judge, and keep it equal between shots.
I use the 100mm and moved to using a focus rail with my XTi for that very same reason. So, your suggestion of a handle on the focus ring is an excellent one. I think a possible gizmo might be achieved using a modified metal frame from a glass magnifier. I think I'll play around with this.

But, now I have the XSi with LiveView so I will be able to use a monitor to view focus. I don't know how old you are; but, when I was a child there was a program called 'Winky Dink' that used a vinyl sheet that you put over the screen and wrote on to create graphics for the stories. I plan to use this technique to mark out each focal plane to avoid having to use a focus rail or worry much about aligning the focus ring.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winky_Dink_and_You

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