Macro Focus Stacking

Started Apr 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Robin Casady Forum Pro • Posts: 12,898
Re: Rail vs. Focus (+1 interested !)

JP Scherrer wrote:

Hi Robin !

I beleive that both techniques give the same -or very near- result at the end, and each one should chose its own way....

Personally, I tried -not scientifically, of course- the rail, the bellow and the rotating distance ring ways, and ended-up using exclusively the ROTATING DISTANCE RING method !

.....but I'll be very interested on your findings !

The thing about bellows is that you can either move the lens, or you can move the camera body. If you move the lens, the magnification changes radically, which is not good. However, if the lens remains the same distance from the subject, and you just move the camera body, the magnification changes only a little.

Of all the methods, I think that moving the camera body only (not the lens) on bellows is the best. Second best is using a rail to move camera and body while leaving focus fixed.

Moving the focus ring on the lens wasn't too bad with the 105mm Micro VR. It may work differently with different lens designs. ZereneStacker coped with it, but my Helicon Focus results were very poor; probably because I just used default settings. I don't know enough about it to know how to make the proper settings. I'll have to study it more.

It is difficult to make precise adjustments to a focus ring without computer control. So, probably best left to Helicon Remote for macro subjects.

Changing the focus ring is, of course, the best method for larger subjects and landscapes. Otherwise, you might have to build a very big rail.

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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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