Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks
Moderator: Stas Yatsenko
I'm considering the purchase of Helicon software for macro photography and have a lens question: Is it harder to use the software with a macro lens which has an extending barrel, like the Tokina 105, as opposed to a lens with internal focusing, like the Nikon 105?
Unsure about the extending lens but the Nikon 105 is absolutely excellent with HF. I use it with Helicon Remote on D5100 body. Very pleased with the results. I've use HF with a manual Nikon 105 and found that despite taking care and using a manual slide rail as well it often left me with small blurred areas as I wasn't accurate enough.
According to my experience, the most important criteria is how fine are the steps of the focus motor in the lens or in the body (for Nikon cameras). For example, the recent Canon 60mm EF-S f/2.8 Macro lens has finer steps (= more steps for the same depth) than the the old EF 50mm f/2.5, that makes a great difference for 3D reconstruction. From a geometrical point of view, focus by whole barrel extension should be better than internal focus which progressively modifies the lens focal.
The answer will depends on your intended use. More focusing steps allow for finer adjustment, but sometimes with larger subjects, a direct-coupled lens is best. My experience is limited to 1.0x (1:1) magnification, but often I feel that with some lenses the fine focus adjustment is too fine. Much more important (to me) is the quality of the focus ring action, such as, whether I can move it with one finger without bumping the rig, or turn it with gloved hands.