Blurry edges

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks

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Blurry edges

Unread post by msshea » 18.06.2009 00:46


I've been trying to eliminate the blurriness that often appears at the edges between a somewhat smooth area and an area that has more detail. For instance, at the edge of a near rock with trees in the distance. I've attached a 100% crop of an image. As you can see, the edge of the rock is sharp and most of the distant trees are also sharp. But the tree area next to the rock, at the same focal plane, is blurry. I have tried many different settings in Helicon, but nothing seems to help. This happens in most images. Any suggestions?

I"m shooting with a Canon 5D MKll.

IMG_7635-7643 copy.jpg
IMG_7635-7643 copy.jpg (168.8 KiB) Viewed 12214 times

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Dan Kozub
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Unread post by Dan Kozub » 25.06.2009 10:09


Try to set lower values of Edge feathering in the Helicon Focus Preferences. Lower Smoothing value should also help.

We are now looking for beta testers for Helicon Remote, the program to make focus bracketing from computer via USB cable. Please contact me at dankozub (at) for details.

joao barroca

same trouble

Unread post by joao barroca » 19.10.2009 17:10

I have same trouble, and I will try this too

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Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by rainiershooter » 13.04.2010 07:18

Me too....

I also am seeing quite a bit of blurring along edges between high detail and lack of detail. I have tried reducing the smoothness setting and lowering edge feathering but to no avail. Any further suggestions??

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by Stas Yatsenko » 14.04.2010 12:13

I would also suggest to set lower value to Depth map feathering in the Preferences.


Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by mwkozlowski » 03.01.2011 19:13

in my opinion there is no way to remove completely such blurry lines when something in the front covers something in the far background in one axis...just optics roles!!!!! to bad!

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by Stas Yatsenko » 05.01.2011 13:18

You are right, blurred object on the foreground may mask the details behind it, so the program simply does not have enought information.

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Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by JWSPhoto » 30.12.2012 03:52

I'm having a slightly different problem related to blur and moire patterns. I've uploaded reduced test file that I did of a cordless phone on a desk, and enlargement details of areas mentioned below. The desktop has a pattern, and all objects were shot completely still. Notice several things. The desktop has what the program rendered as granules of dust or debris, but in reality that is only some strange rendering of the patterned desktop. Next, notice the significant blurring along the edges of the phone. Last, notice the patterning at the bottom (nearest edge) of the phone. I set the nearest focus to the bottom of the phone near the small vertical contact strips, but the entire bottom had the final result in a very strange pattern and out of focus. This was shot as jpgs with a Nikon D800 & Nikkor 105mm Macro, using Helicon Remote (155 images were shot and composited).
So, am I missing somehting or are there some limitations on patterned backgrounds, etc.? Any help would be appreciated.
desktop_detail.jpg (46.11 KiB) Viewed 8867 times
See my comments in 12-29-2012 post
test_full.jpg (62.04 KiB) Viewed 8867 times

Henry M

Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by Henry M » 08.01.2013 04:04

Same with focus stacking in Photoshop, but in HF this blurriness can be reduced by low Radius and Smoothness values.
Here a layman's explanation: Focus stacking is made possible by a decision making process based on content recognition. The program looks at our shots and recognises in-focus-areas (sharp) and masks them to be used. To get a seamless result it also looks at the next frame and makes a decision as to which one of the two to use for a certain area. - To the rock image above. I don't know how many shots were taken in this shoot. But lets assume:
The distance from lens to rock edge is 5 meters and 5 shots were taken to cover this area.
The distance from rock edge to trees is also 5 meters and again 5 shots were taken to cover this area. In other words you've got 4 shots between rock edge and trees which are out of focus (blurred) before HF finds focus (sharpness) in this area.
I suggest to have the last in-focus rock shot followed by the first in-focus tree shot and that all out-of-focus tree shots in between, are excluded from stacking. Also use at least mid range f values around f/10 to get some DOF to start with. Also consider to slip in one single shot, which covers the cross over from rock to tree with maximum DOF.
Had no chance to test this myself, but hope it brings some success. Henry

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Stas Yatsenko
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Re: Blurry edges

Unread post by Stas Yatsenko » 08.01.2013 14:24

We need to test your files in our environment. Please upload your stack to our server as described at

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