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Macro photography.....focus stacking..??

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  • #16
    Zerene Stacker is relatively inexpensive and will give you much better results than CombineZP.
    1x to 5x is relatively easy to do as the depth of field is (relatively) pretty large. 10x DOF is around 10 microns. 100x is around 1 micron.
    The finite microscope objectives need tube lens matching their design, usually around 160mm. Infinite objectives, like the Nikon BD Plan(s), just need a bellows. Reversing a common 50mm lens will get you fairly good 1x to 5x images.

    What type of subjects will you be shooting?

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Bob Engelhardt View Post

      Really impressive! He takes 2-3 weeks per photo, 8-10,000 exposures. Then he gets a print: "I'd like a 5 x 10 ... 5 x 10 FEET".
      agreed. i'm surprised that you can generate such a good look enlargement of that size from a small format camera, i.e. even if its the top of like FX at 20 megapixels, you're not supposed be able to get decent enlargements anywhere near that size. https://photographyicon.com/enlarge/
      .

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

        agreed. i'm surprised that you can generate such a good look enlargement of that size from a small format camera, i.e. even if its the top of like FX at 20 megapixels, you're not supposed be able to get decent enlargements anywhere near that size. https://photographyicon.com/enlarge/
        It's not an enlargement It's just large. When you combine that many images, you usually need to downsize the final image to print at the standard number of pixels per inch. I have several photographs hanging on my wall which were printed at 1/4 size and they are still 24"x48". The subjects are small flowers the size of a thumbnail.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by elf View Post

          It's not an enlargement It's just large. When you combine that many images, you usually need to downsize the final image to print at the standard number of pixels per inch. I have several photographs hanging on my wall which were printed at 1/4 size and they are still 24"x48". The subjects are small flowers the size of a thumbnail.
          I believe you, but still don't get it. What am I missing? The sensor only has so many pixels by so many pixels which means at X x Y size its going to start looking really grainy. What you're saying is somehow in post processing/stacking that, say 100 x 100 pixel digital image, becomes 1000 x 1000? the data beyond the 100x100 limitation of the sensor must be an interpolation then?
          .

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

            I believe you, but still don't get it. What am I missing? The sensor only has so many pixels by so many pixels which means at X x Y size its going to start looking really grainy. What you're saying is somehow in post processing/stacking that, say 100 x 100 pixel digital image, becomes 1000 x 1000? the data beyond the 100x100 limitation of the sensor must be an interpolation then?
            No, you're missing a key point. Not only is he stacking focus, he is stitching images to make a larger photo. You're familiar with panoramas right? You take a bunch of photos in an arc and stitch them into a wide photo. This guy is doing the same, but moving linearly in X and Y.

            Think of it like a box. Instead of taking one photo at 10 focus "depths" he takes 25 wide, 25, tall, and 10 at every depth. Then the stitches them all together to make a 25x25 wide photo and then stacks them, or stacks and then stitches. Either way, the you end up with a sensor equivalent of not 20mp, but of 12500mp.

            It's a lot of work, but the resolution is real, and his 3 meter prints are probably actual size with no scaling.
            21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
            1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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            • #21
              Focus/Image stacking for macro makes a lot of sense, since your depth of focus is so shallow.

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              • #22
                Each individual frame of a panorama is focus stacked. The stacks may be a hundred or more images deep to get the desired depth of field. Each of those stacked images are then stitched together to form the panorama. There's no limit to the number of frames in the panorama. Multi-gigapixel images of macro subjects are possible. Focus stacking by itself doesn't increase the pixel count. It only increases the depth of field. Combining it with panorama stitching gives the high pixel count.

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                • #23
                  got it, thanks. That makes sense. I understand focus stacking, but didn't note the panorama stacking...thats why the penny took awhile to drop
                  .

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                  • #24
                    Here's a shot of my setup for shooting macro panoramas in the field.
                    ‚Äč
                    It's currently configured to do landscape panoramas. For macro panoramas, the lens would be removed from the camera and attached to another carriage on the linear slide with a bellows between it and the camera. It's all controlled from an app on a smart phone.

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                    • #25
                      Although I normally use digiCamControl for focus stacking, that has been put on hold since some idiot left the laptop I use for camera control and in the shop out in the rain.

                      I read that Photoshop can be used for easy focus stacking so I thought I'd give it a try. I used a D810 and Rokinon 14 mm lens to shoot 9 shots of this old church. I converted the raw files to 16 bit Tiff, and imported them into Photoshop. I hit one button and went and made coffee. When I came back the image was done. I will want to do so some more postprocessing work, but the focus stacking came out nicely. This is a downsampled 1000 pixel wide version of the real shot, which is 7000+ pixels wide.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      The video which gave complete and easy to follow instructions:

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                      • #26
                        I wanted to clarify something about the previous discussion of panorama stacking. There are several ways of increasing overall pixel count with what might be called panorama stacking.

                        One is the old swing the camera in an arc, or move the camera side to side, and capture lots of overlapping scenes. With a 50% overlap using a 20 MP camera a 8 by 4 pano can yeild a little under 200 MP.

                        Another is also called superresolution or shifting overlay. In this technique the camera is held more or less steady, and either the sensor is moved by less than a full pixel or the natural unsteadyness of hand or wind vibration causes partial pixel shift. That means that a stack of these images doesn't cover new ground right to left or up or down... but there is a different registration of the pixels on the parts of the scene. A computer program can take those multiple partially shifted images and deconvolute them to create an image that is the same as if it were taken on a camera with a lot more pixels. This technique has been demonstrated at some camera conventions, and should be coming out in consumer products in a year or so...

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                        • #27
                          Photoshop is just OK for small stacks or stitches. It had too many artifacts that were difficult to clean up when I tried it a few years ago. It could be better now, but I don't think it can yet handle large stacks.

                          Pixel shifting has been in Olympus cameras for several years. The subject has to be pretty static for it to work well.

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                          • #28
                            The Olympus Tough TG-6 does hand-held focus stacking. It also can does extreme close-ups (equiv. magnification 5X). It has dropped $50 in price since I bought mine two months ago: https://www.getolympus.com/us/en/tough-tg-6.html

                            Here are two shots, with and without focus stacking.

                            If you use the camera to record a machining project it won't mind being doused in coolant!
                            Attached Files
                            Allan Ostling

                            Phoenix, Arizona

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by aostling View Post
                              The Olympus Tough TG-6 does hand-held focus stacking. It also can does extreme close-ups (equiv. magnification 5X)

                              Here are two shots, with and without focus stacking.
                              Pretty impressive.

                              For what it's worth, rumors are flying that Olympus is getting out of the imaging game. If you want one of these get it now.

                              https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53129451

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                              • #30
                                Dan, that link had nothing to do about Olympus. I kind of doubt it considering they have 70% of the global endoscope market.
                                That's a lot of imaging up the wazoo

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