Have you ever used Focus Stacking?

Started Oct 5, 2011 | Discussions thread
WT Jones Senior Member • Posts: 2,495
It works

One of the cool things about digital. Focus stacking gives you a range of DOF on close up & macro shots otherwise unobtainable. It allows you to shoot at lower f stops like f/8 or f11 to avoid diffraction softening you would get at f22 or f/32 on digital cameras these days.

You do have to have some overlap on your series of images to avoid streaks of out of focus parts running through your subject. I sometimes on wider shots will do two or maybe three shots hand held and stack them in CS-5, but I usually use a tripod for best results.

If you blend two or three shots you can do it manually in layers. it is a bit tedious, but can be done.

For automated stacking. Photoshop CS-5 has a great layer alignment tool and a excellent stack tool. I think it works better than Helicon Focus software myself. However Helicon works too. but always seem to get some ghosting with Helicon. There are a couple of other programs out there as well, their names escape me.

Here is a stacked mushroom probably four or five shots(I forget) hand held. laying on the ground & carefully focusing a 100 macro lens while trying to maintain some semblance of alignment

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