Have you ever used Focus Stacking?

Started Oct 5, 2011 | Discussions thread
SteB Veteran Member • Posts: 4,507
For and against

kombizz0 wrote:

I read a short article about Focus Stacking assistant for EOS cameras.

Then I google it and found this article.

I have never worked with this method during my macro photography in the period of film cameras.

I wonder have you ever used this? If so, how do you use it? Also I wonder what would be the advantage of this method over other methods (if there are any)?
I was born and brought up in Iran, a beautiful country full of history.

I have had a bit of a love hate relationship with focus stacking. For illustrative purposes it is superb as it allows small things to be all in focus, which previously was only possible with a Scanning Electron Microscope. Also in the hands of a superb macro photographer like John Hallmen it can produce superb images.


However, I also think it tends to get over-used now. For simple photographs it distorts perception, and I've found that many non-macro photographers wrongly assume the subject is much bigger than it really is, as we are use to the DOF getting shallower as the subject gets smaller. It is also time consuming at times, especially dealing with difficult stacks and artifacts. Another limitation is that you can only really use it on perfectly still subjects. So It is impossible to capture behaviour with it.

In other words it is a great tool, but it is probably best not to become too fixated on it, unless you are using it for a particular purpose. I am just giving a different perspective as most are helpful answers about using the method. However, I noticed you asked about the advantages of this method. I still think there are advantages to single shot macro photographs. Pictorially they can be more pleasing. Whilst most photographers, including me can get a bit fixated by image quality and sharpness, this is not the be and end all of what makes a good photograph.

I have used focus stacking for a 6-7 years, but now I tend to just take a few extra shots in case I want a bit more in focus.

A female Araneus quadratus in her web

For instance I took this in 2009. It was technically difficult because I kept having to wait for it to be perfectly still as the slightest movement due to a micro breeze destroys sharpness and makes stacking difficult. However, you also get no sense of scale. These are about the size of a pea.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow