Handheld Macro for XT-2

Started Nov 1, 2020 | Discussions thread
Tim van der Leeuw Contributing Member • Posts: 863
Re: Handheld Macro for XT-2

Kyodo wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Tim van der Leeuw wrote:

Kyodo wrote:

Stunning pictures!

You used focus stacking obviously.. It was so difficult to me to have in focus more than 1mm.. 😬

Thank you!

I may have used exposure stacking of 2 frames on the 1st of those pictures, not even sure anymore if that one was focus-stacked or not! But I think it was...

The others are single frames, no stacking. Shooting at f/8 or f/11 with a flash, and hey some of those things in the shot are perhaps just 1 or 2 mm in size...

The focus stacking I did was from hand-held shots btw; shots had to be rotated a bit for that of course but Helicon Focus managed that quite well for me.

Actually, to reply to myself, I think that all images I posted were single frames. This is a focus stacked image:


But to be 100% sure I'll need to check my other laptop tonight.

If that's true, I have to drastically improve my technique.. 🤣🤣🤣

Thanks anyway for your answer!

I usually take a lot of photos in quick succession (checking focus in between for each shot) because I'm shaking a bit, flowers are moving in the breeze all the time, insects tend to fly or walk away... That helps improve my chances of getting one that is sharp. The red verbena for instance, I shot at least 20 photos of that to get perhaps 2 or 3 that were "good enough". From that I pick the best.

I use focus-peaking and zoom in to check sharpness, then press the shutter quickly when focus seems best in the EVF (or LCD). Perhaps the shutter of the X-H1 helps to make it easier to get the right shot when compared to the shutter of the X-Tn series of cameras? It has a very light press when compared to my X-T3.

For such close-up shots I shoot at F/8 or F/11. Then in CaptureOne I increase sharpness a bit, enable CA and diffraction correction (even without a lens profile for the lens, I think it still helps a bit) and increase texture and clarity.

To help getting the focus right, when I have my framing right and focus mostly right I move the camera back and forth little bits to get it sharp as possible in the EVF or LCD.

If you're not familiar with Micael Widell, he has a lot of useful tips for freehand macro photography on his YouTube channel, such as this video:


(I wouldn't have started using a flash and diffuser for instance if it wasn't for his tips, and yes, it really helps me!)

 Tim van der Leeuw's gear list:Tim van der Leeuw's gear list
Canon EOS M5 Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm X-T3 Sigma 2x EX DG Tele Converter Canon EF 24-70mm F4L IS USM +14 more
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