December 21, 2014, 07:22:47 AM

Author Topic: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses  (Read 7058 times)

yorgasor

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2014, 12:50:31 AM »
You might consider using the tripod collar on that big 70-200.  if your rotation of the table is small enough, you could even use the tripod collar to rotate the camera to match.  And you might be able to use a wired or wireless remote to trigger the camera with the same hand you are using to hold the flash.

I do have the wired remote and the tripod collar.  I could try spinning them both to match, but that's a lot of precision to get just right.  I'll have to see what other designs I can come up with to get things just right.  What would be really nice would be to have an external display so I can fiddle with the table and see what the camera sees at the same time.  With such a long macro solution, it's hard to do both at the same time.

Consider getting a cheap macro slider to use to focus.
 
You can tether the camera to a laptop via USB and Canon utilities and see the live image as well as release the shutter when it looks right.  The image can be brightened as well, so you can see it better.

You're right, if I want to do photo stacking to improve my depth of field, I'm really not going to be able to build something any better than a good macro slider.  That really will solve all of those problems.

And how did I miss that you can hook up the 5D3 to a laptop and get a video feed from that?  That's a brilliant solution and will definitely come in handy when I want to do some more self portraits.  It's really tricky to get the focus and positioning just right when you're trying to work both sides of the camera! 

Thanks for the tips!  When I'm done, I plan on compiling all this information into a good blog entry or something.  I really got hooked on it when I saw the Russian guy's snowflakes and tried reading all the information about it.  I ended up getting snippets of hints here and there but never all the information I needed in one place. 

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2014, 12:50:31 AM »

K-amps

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2014, 07:15:20 AM »
What software's (including ML) do focus bracketing? I'd like to do this for Macro shots. I have Macro rails, but the tiniest of lateral movement on the tripod could affect the shot. However Automatic focus bracketing could help eliminate that one variable.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2014, 07:20:59 AM »
What software's (including ML) do focus bracketing? I'd like to do this for Macro shots. I have Macro rails, but the tiniest of lateral movement on the tripod could affect the shot. However Automatic focus bracketing could help eliminate that one variable.

Helicon Focus does, and I think Zerene Stacker does also.  However, you're trading one variables for another - macro lenses focus breathe (almost all lenses do, except cinema lenses which is one reason they cost tens of thousands).  Focus breathing changes your magnification, real focal length, and framing - if your stack is deep enough, you'll notice it.

Probably the best solution is a macro rail with a stepper motor, like the Cognysis StackShot.
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tolusina

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2014, 09:04:46 AM »
What software's (including ML) do focus bracketing?.......
If you've got an Android phone or tablet.......
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=eu.chainfire.dslrcontroller

It doesn't do focus bracketing per se, as far as I've explored it, more like focus stepping.
You set the step sizes within certain limits, you set the range limits. Each focus step can also be exposure bracketed at the same time.

The app has its own web site at..
http://dslrcontroller.com/
I've found that that site pretty much has all the help and support you'll readily find.

There is a support forum thread at.......
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1202082
This single thread currently runs to over 300 pages with over 3,000 posts, good luck finding answers there.
 
No matter that the thread is so overwhelmed, the site is pretty comprehensive.
 
I'm running the app on  a Samsung Galaxy S4, it also runs on my two older phones though it rather overwhelms the oldest phone.

I'm using it to tether to my 6D.
Tried using Wi-Fi, found it very erratic regarding the stability of the connection, I found it essentially useless over Wi-Fi. I suspect it's an issue with the 6D's Wi-Fi implementation.
 
Having given up on Wi-Fi, I stepped up to a cable connection which is rock solid and dependable. S4 as many others use an USB OTG (On The Go) Host cable adapter which go for less than $5 U.S. on Amazon.
 
The app does way more than I could have ever imagined prior to trying it, I now consider it a Must Have accessory.
I'm so impressed with this app/camera combination, I'm considering buying a 7” or 10” tablet to run essentially just this app.
 
Before you click the buy button,  do read the full description, especially read the devices page at...
http://dslrcontroller.com/devices.php
make sure your devices are listed.
 
If you currently have your camera set to back button focus, you'll need to reset back to focus activation on the shutter release button as when new, otherwise there will be no focus control from within the app, not much point in that.
On my 6D, I set up Custom shooting mode C1 just for this app.

---
Ah, Neuro, happy you showed up!
…..  However, you're trading one variables for another - macro lenses focus breathe (almost all lenses do, except cinema lenses which is one reason they cost tens of thousands).  Focus breathing changes your magnification, real focal length, and framing - if your stack is deep enough, you'll notice it....

I had wondered about focus breathing, specifically if maybe the term was incorrect and if maybe Focal Length Breathing might be a more accurately descriptive term.
 
I have seen write ups where this was apparent in the results even though glossed over and un-commented upon by the author.
Specifically, the target subject was a quarter, viewed on an angle.
As you'd expect, the quarter should appear oblong when viewed at an angle and it did indeed.
In the focus stack example, the near edge was fairly circular when the near edge was the focus point, the far edge was visually drawn out.
Once the focus point reached the far edge, the far edge appeared somewhat more circular, the near edge became drawn out.
Once the set of frames had been combined, the end result looked to me, rounder overall, though not completely round.

I get a headache trying to wrap my head around the following concept, I certainly have no idea if it is true or not, maybe you know?
Assuming a fixed focal length as with a prime, is the focal length true only in the center of the area in focus? Is there focal length drift away from that center that is of absolutely no consequence when focusing at a distance but only becomes obvious and significant when focusing very close?
IF the above is true, again, I have no idea, then a completed focus stacked set should have a proper perspective for the focal length used all the way across the final image. Seems to me that this would be a desirable end result.


.......
Probably the best solution is a macro rail with a stepper motor, like the Cognysis StackShot.

http://www.cognisys-inc.com/stackshot/stackshot.php
Oh my, that is beautiful stuff. For what is is and does, the price looks downright reasonable, possibly justifiable.
BUT, from the few railed stacks I've seen, if there is anything in the background, background objects get totally borked by the rail process, similar to long exposures while zooming.
As long as the background is clear, no problem.
 
Now, if my focal length drift concept above is true, would there be any significant difference in the end result between marching the focus point/plane across the subject using the lens' focus compared to marching the focus point/plane by moving the entire lens/camera assembly?
 
 
 
.
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Badger

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2014, 05:05:47 PM »
Quote
If you like snowflakes take a look at the flickr page of this guy from Moscow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaoticmind75/sets/72157626146319517/

It’s even more impressive if you see how he gets these results with an old  Canon PowerShot A650 and an even older  reversed Helios 44M-5 lens.
http://chaoticmind75.blogspot.nl/2013/08/my-technique-for-snowflakes-shooting.html

Impressive!
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yorgasor

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #20 on: January 29, 2014, 01:12:52 AM »
Ok, we've got snow here again!  Unfortunately, my nice macro sliding rail is still in the mail.  UPS screwed up, it was supposed to have been here by now :(  I'm making do with what I have though.  I have a new light source, a home made dimmable LED light source, using a steel mixing bowl with a strip of 600 LEDs wound around inside and a translucent lid to give a nice, soft, even light.  I'm loving it!

Anyway, the snow falling seems to be more like ice chunks falling than pretty crystalline figures.  Here's my best photo of the night so far (I may go out and take some more photos when I finish thawing out)


snow flake by yorgasor, on Flickr

TheJock

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 01:18:02 PM »
This is an image of the set up I mentioned earlier.
The "wind up" handle on the smaller tripod works well in small increments to aid focus, I imagine you could stack the images!
I have a 8" square of foam board that sits on top of the small tripod, this acts as the platform to sit the objects to be photographed.
Hope it helps  ???
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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 01:18:02 PM »

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2014, 01:29:01 PM »
Has anyone tried a lab scissor jack like this one for example:
http://www.amazon.com/American-Educational-Laboratory-Scissor-Overall/dp/B00657ZTIU
?

This would be quite cheap and allow for precision in movement while taking care of the table rotation problem. Of course a good macro rail would be better and easier to use from the camera side, but they are expensive for poor blokes like me...
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

btaoka

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2014, 04:27:52 PM »
Last fall I came across some super amazing macro shots of snowflakes up close.  I instantly fell in love with the concept and started working on learning how to do it myself.  With a reverse stacked lens, your magnification is a divisor of the front lens and the reverse stacked lens.  So, for higher magnification you want a larger lens connected to the camera and a smaller lens reverse stacked on the front.

I'm using a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens, a 1.4x III extender, a reverse lens adapter ring and a Nikon 24mm f/2 AIS lens.  This gives me a magnification of 280 / 24 = 11.66x!  For light, I'm using a 580EX Speedlight connected via an ETTL cable so I can position it however I need to.  This combination is really dark to see to focus, so sometimes I'll turn up my cell phone brightness.  I'm really just getting started, my first few photos were done hand-held, trying to position my cell phone light and the flash while hand holding the camera and moving in or out to focus.  This is the method I used last night when we got a little bit of snow and ice in NC.  I got these shots from the top of our garbage can:


Frozen Crystals by yorgasor, on Flickr


_MG_1129 by yorgasor, on Flickr

If you like snowflakes take a look at the flickr page of this guy from Moscow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chaoticmind75/sets/72157626146319517/

It’s even more impressive if you see how he gets these results with an old  Canon PowerShot A650 and an even older  reversed Helios 44M-5 lens.
http://chaoticmind75.blogspot.nl/2013/08/my-technique-for-snowflakes-shooting.html

Hi yorgasor, 100,

I realize this thread is about stacked lenses, but I just wanted to show you that you don't need a special setup to get snowflake photos.  I saw the same article and series of photos from that Russian guy several months ago and was also inspired.  I saw the kind of rig he had set up, and was too lazy to do anything like that.  It took a few snowstorms, but I got this photo from Storm Janus a few weeks ago:

The Silver Lining of Storm Janus by btaoka, on Flickr
The Russian guy's snowflake photos have more DOF and detail to them, but this was taken from my 100L macro (i.e. 1:1 magnification), no focus stacking, just a single shot.  No special lighting either, ambient light used. 
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Dick

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2014, 02:25:31 AM »

The Silver Lining of Storm Janus by btaoka, on Flickr
The Russian guy's snowflake photos have more DOF and detail to them, but this was taken from my 100L macro (i.e. 1:1 magnification), no focus stacking, just a single shot.  No special lighting either, ambient light used.

Decent quality there! Why did you do as the Russian and put the flakes in some pubes or something similar? That was the only thing that bugged me in his photos when I saw them the first time.
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btaoka

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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2014, 12:44:07 PM »

The Silver Lining of Storm Janus by btaoka, on Flickr
The Russian guy's snowflake photos have more DOF and detail to them, but this was taken from my 100L macro (i.e. 1:1 magnification), no focus stacking, just a single shot.  No special lighting either, ambient light used.

Decent quality there! Why did you do as the Russian and put the flakes in some pubes or something similar? That was the only thing that bugged me in his photos when I saw them the first time.

Haha yeah I didn't think of it that way, but now every time I see photos like this I will   :P.  The main reason to use some kind of cloth is you need something that doesn't conduct heat at all.  Metal is the worse and glass can somewhat conduct heat as well.  If you put snowflakes on either of those two surfaces, they'll probably melt away before you even take the photo.
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Re: Extreme Macro shots with stacked lenses
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2014, 12:44:07 PM »