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24/52: Germander Speedwell

By sherlob    
Another focus stack. This time I manually increased the steps on the Helicon FB extension ring. Less images (meaning less movement between images) but still adequate DoF between exposure steps. I also used a beanbag to help steady the camera between exposures. In this instance the Helicon software was much better than PS - especially when retouching the stacked image. The process in helicon focus for this is much easier than in PS.

Not the best composition, but then again the point of the image was to experiment further with focus stacks.

Best wishes,


Tags: Blue Wildflower Flowers and plants Helicon focus Blue flower Germander speedwell Focus stacked Macro and close up 1 of 52 project 1 out of 52 project Helicon FB Extension Tube

Voters: mike9005, dark_lord, Xandru and 40 more

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dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
17 Jun 2021 3:18PM
A good result Adam. Focus stacking is something I've yet to try.
Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2021 4:10PM
Elegant and very beautiful...
Isabel GrinGrinGrin
17 Jun 2021 4:25PM
A great detailed description Adam. I have done quite a bit of focus stacking with my 5dmk4 and had some good results.
I have just tried with my R5 and things are so much easier as the camera refocuses every shot and fires of the shutter and it happens so much quicker than I can manage. I'm hoping to try some wildlife to see if it is quick enough

sherlob Plus
15 3.2k 131 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2021 5:13PM
I'm interested in learning more about how cameras with in built focus bracketing (FB) features manage this function; specifically can you set the change in distance of the steps between each exposure?

I opted for Helicon FB extension tube as I didn't want to upgrade my 5D MkIV (which has hardly been used). The Helicon FB tube automatically steps the focus by a degree between exposures in a similar way to in-built focus bracketing features, but with more faff and the loss of infinity focusing. In theory this means that hand held focus stacks can be taken using the cameras burst mode. However, I have found the pre-programmed steps for my lens/aperture combination when used at the distance I use for flower photography is too small - the acceptable DoF of each exposure overlaps too much and you end up having taken 30+ images which when stacked don't cover the depth of field you were initially after. Added to this is the potential for movement between every exposure - something the helicon focus software does not cope with well.

I appreciate that there is a learning curve with every new bit of equipment - I am still not quite there with this device. However, if I am honest, I am not convinced by the suitability of the FB technique for images taken in the field. Perhaps I still have to learn when the technique is best applied, but my initial thoughts are that the technique is flawed. I have yet to produce an image that I would be happy to commit to print using this device which is very frustrating!
17 Jun 2021 5:21PM
Beautiful image
17 Jun 2021 5:45PM
The focus bracketing on my Canon R5 allows me to shoot up to 999 photos (card space allowing) focus increments can be adjusted before start of capture. What I have learnt so far is you focus on the nearest point you want in focus and setting your self timer for your first shot to avoid camera shake the camera continues taking pictures until it reaches infinity or number of shots selected whichever comes first. The camera can be halted part the way through if you feel you have the shots you need. It is good to watch the lens adjusting the focus as it goes through the shots. The macro mini figures in my portfolio were focus stacked using my 5dmk4


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