Macro Focus Stacking

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: Remote shutter release, tripods and heads.

Duncan C wrote:

digital ed wrote:

Bob from Plymouth wrote:

Nice write up Duncan. I too have a D600 and recently bought the Tamron 90mm macro lens.

I've been using Adobe CS with some success for focus stacked images. Just two simple steps, firstly to Auto Align all the layers then Auto Blend.

I like the D600 live view for macro work as you can zoom the screen and shift the autofocus point or critically focus in manual mode.

A really firm camera mount is crucial and I've been using a very sturdy video tripod but I've just bought a Three Legged Thing to try. Also the self timer is useful to let things settle if you don't have the means of remote shutter release.

I use a D800 and the shutter delay is critical for optimum sharpness. I use the 3 second delay for my camera even when on a sturdy tripod.

As far as remote shutter release, Nikon Camera Control handles that. I hook my camera to my laptop, put it in live view mode, get my focus set, then click the "Shutter" button. Camera Control also has the option to change the focus in very small, set increments, which is really useful.

Is this working with Live View running to the computer? If not, be sure to use Mirror-up, or the 3 sec. delay after raising mirror.

I think I need a better tripod head for macros. I was working in our rec room, with the flowers on top of our (very heavy) pool table, with my tripod next to the table. The floors are maple hardwood, and quite solid.

Unless the floor is on a concrete slab, it might be the floor that is transferring movement. If I put a telescope on a second story balcony, I can see movement from a washing machine (also second story) at the other end of the house. Floors are not as rigid as we might imagine.

Your tripod could be exacerbating the problem. The Arca-Swiss dovetail L-brackets from Kirk and RRS are the best way to do portrait orientation when the lens does not have a foot.

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Robin Casady
"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts."
— Bertrand Russell

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