May 22, 2018, 10:09:34 AM

Author Topic: Hejnar Macro Rails  (Read 7750 times)

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 495
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 02:26:09 AM »
My macro shots this week have been handheld using the flippy screen on my 6D2 for composition. The crocuses in the front yard are blooming, and of course are so close to the ground that much of a setup would be a lot of trouble. I also used autofocus and autoexposure. Results were surprisingly good, and I posted some in the macro pictures of flowers thread.

Back in 2014 shortly after I got the 100mm macro, I bought a $20 focusing rail, 6" Dot Line Adjustable Camera Platform from B&H. I found it more than adequate for my purposes, mainly focus stacking. It seems stable enough in my limited use. Photoshop does a good job with the stacking, there again in my limited experience.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2018, 02:26:09 AM »

Zeidora

  • EOS 5D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 633
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2018, 10:12:25 AM »
Photoshop does a good job with the stacking ...

Maybe for 3-4 frames, but once you hit 50-200 frames in >>1:1 macro, PS is completely useless (tested CS5.5 back in the day resulted in a smeary mess). ZereneStacker and HeliconFocus are the applications you want to use. AffinityPhoto is doing an OK job, but still not as good as ZS or HF.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • CR GEEK
  • ***************
  • Posts: 14176
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2018, 11:46:59 AM »
Unless you are very critical, and I mean very, a rail will likely work just fine for most of us.  A used Olympus can be had for a reasonable price from ebay, but you have to watch for one.

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 495
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2018, 12:05:37 PM »
Photoshop does a good job with the stacking ...

Maybe for 3-4 frames, but once you hit 50-200 frames in >>1:1 macro, PS is completely useless (tested CS5.5 back in the day resulted in a smeary mess). ZereneStacker and HeliconFocus are the applications you want to use. AffinityPhoto is doing an OK job, but still not as good as ZS or HF.

I think I tried it in the 5-6 frame range with good and fairly predictable results. I don't envision needing more than that for anything I'd want to do. And I doubt I have the patience for 50-200 shots of anything, or have a clue as to why I'd need them (the two obviously go together). My macro lens goes just to 1:1. I have some cheap extension tubes, but can't control the aperture, so shooting everything wide open. They did give me enough fun playing with them to let me know I wanted a macro lens. And I got one picture of detail of a mum flower that I really like and have a framed 16" x 20" of it in my living room. I just posted a small version of it on the macro flower thread.

But I certainly don't doubt that one can benefit from more specialized software, if one knows what one is doing (unlike me). My point was to suggest that we clueless duffers can get some good results for what we want, just adding a bit of cheap hardware and using software we already have.

Is there some example of how (and why) you use such big stacks that you can explain without a lot of trouble?

gruhl28

  • EOS Rebel 300D
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
  • Canon 70D
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2018, 12:35:07 PM »
I have the RRS rail. The only issue I have with it is that when you lock it down there is a  bit of image shift.

I had read that using a rail was better for stacking than changing focus, but I'm not sure I agree with that now having some experience. Sure, focus breathing is an issue, but framing changes when using a rail also, and not only that but relative positions of objects change when moving a camera, which cause issues with focus stacking.
EOS 80D, EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS II, EF 100 f/2.8 USM Macro, EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF-S 24 f/2.8 STM, EF 85 f/1.8 USM

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 495
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2018, 12:45:43 PM »
I have the RRS rail. The only issue I have with it is that when you lock it down there is a  bit of image shift.

I had read that using a rail was better for stacking than changing focus, but I'm not sure I agree with that now having some experience. Sure, focus breathing is an issue, but framing changes when using a rail also, and not only that but relative positions of objects change when moving a camera, which cause issues with focus stacking.

Issues with just changing focus were what caused me to get a rail. The latter generally works better for me, but the range that works is rather limited close to 1:1.

gruhl28

  • EOS Rebel 300D
  • ***
  • Posts: 59
  • Canon 70D
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2018, 02:05:51 PM »
I have the RRS rail. The only issue I have with it is that when you lock it down there is a  bit of image shift.

I had read that using a rail was better for stacking than changing focus, but I'm not sure I agree with that now having some experience. Sure, focus breathing is an issue, but framing changes when using a rail also, and not only that but relative positions of objects change when moving a camera, which cause issues with focus stacking.

Issues with just changing focus were what caused me to get a rail. The latter generally works better for me, but the range that works is rather limited close to 1:1.

I haven't really tried much yet with changing focus, just recently realized that the changing relative positions when moving using the focus rail was what was causing the stacking problems. What issues did you have with changing focus?
EOS 80D, EF-S 15-85 f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, EF-S 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 USM, EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 L IS II, EF 100 f/2.8 USM Macro, EF 50 f/1.4 USM, EF-S 24 f/2.8 STM, EF 85 f/1.8 USM

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2018, 02:05:51 PM »

chrysoberyl

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 832
  • 6D
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2018, 02:09:51 PM »
Or Stack-Shot. >>5:1 without stacking, I don't see the point. Stacking is so much easier with Stackshot. Just make sure to get the X3 controller even if you only use single axis.

So then I had to check out Stackshot.  Oooh, looks sweet!  I'm likely to keep the rail for field work.  But if my obsession intensifies...

Mt Spokane Photography

  • CR GEEK
  • ***************
  • Posts: 14176
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2018, 02:20:33 PM »
Changing focus works best using a lens with rear focus group, since the entrance pupil then stays fixed.  Some lenses are much better for the changing focus method than others.

A Voitlandar125mm Macro is excellent for the focus method, 630 degree rotation focus ring

They are over priced though.  $$$$  so thats out for me, unless I find one at a estate sale cheaply.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Voigtlander-Macro-APO-LANTHAR-SL-125mm-f-2-5-Lens-Native-EF-mount-Excellent/173126327708?epid=101744630&hash=item284f221d9c:g:5AsAAOSwz7NabhB2

https://www.ebay.com/itm/EXCELLENT-Voigtlander-Macro-APO-Lanthar-125mm-F2-5-SL-Lens-w-Hood-from-JAPAN/323048548430?hash=item4b3731a84e:g:~6AAAOSwZLhY26-i

Zeidora

  • EOS 5D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 633
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2018, 08:22:20 PM »
Is there some example of how (and why) you use such big stacks that you can explain without a lot of trouble?

I shoot small flowers with MP-E 65 at up to 5:1 with 5D2 and up to 4:1 with 5DsR. At 4:1 f/2.8 DOF is 53 µm, stacking steps = 70% of DOF = 37 µm. Flower are about 1.5 mm long plus rachis of inflorescence, and flowers in back of inflorescence so say 4 mm travel. 4000 µm : 37 µm/step = 108 steps.

I shoot fully open because that gives sharpest images. Effective f-stop is f/14 when setting lens to f/2.8, so just about at diffraction limit for 5DsR. On those photos I can see individual cells of the flowers. I compare that then to my scanning electron micrographs, which are B&W only. So the stacked images give me color, the SEM gets me detail. I also stack on stereo and compound microscope, but that's a different story again.

I go through that trouble for ongoing research into systematics of orchids. Those images get published in peer reviewed scientific journals, and I use them in my talks.

Processing 100 5DsR images, first from RAW to 16-bit tif in DXO, then stack in Zerene takes about 10 minutes on a 6 core MacPro desktop. Looking forward to the new MacPro, rumored to have 32 cores or so.

I know, a bit out there ... but people like me exist.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

Zeidora

  • EOS 5D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 633
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2018, 08:26:31 PM »
Or Stack-Shot. >>5:1 without stacking, I don't see the point. Stacking is so much easier with Stackshot. Just make sure to get the X3 controller even if you only use single axis.

So then I had to check out Stackshot.  Oooh, looks sweet!  I'm likely to keep the rail for field work.  But if my obsession intensifies...

Yep! My X3 set-up just lives on top of one tripod. The old single axis is used to control a stepper motor on the fine focus of my compound microscope, and the Stackshot controller is run from a laptop with Zerene. The Hejnar rail is just for occasional outdoor work.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

stevelee

  • EOS 7D Mark II
  • *****
  • Posts: 495
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #26 on: February 08, 2018, 03:31:50 AM »
I haven't really tried much yet with changing focus, just recently realized that the changing relative positions when moving using the focus rail was what was causing the stacking problems. What issues did you have with changing focus?

I've tried it with just the one macro lens I have. From Mt Spokane's post I gather there are lenses where it would work better. With mine, magnification changes with focus I guess, since closest focus is how you get 1:1.

The lens is the 100mm USM macro. I really like the lens for both macro and farther away. Now that I have a FF camera, it could be my portrait lens until I can afford an 85mm. Wide open it could blur the background pretty well. I've not used it for that purpose since I got the 6D2, so that suggests to me that a portrait lens would not be a priority until I have other gaps in my lens arsenal filled. I used the 50mm f/1.4 for that purpose on my Rebel, and hadn't used it for a long time, and still have found no reason to put it on my 6D2. So I'm not one of the people crying for an improved 50mm prime.

The kit 24-105mm STM has turned out to be more useful than I would have expected. The pictures I have made of people with it showed them in the context of the setting, so I didn't need wide lens openings to get what I wanted.

Random Orbits

  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 2042
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 10:45:43 AM »
I have the RRS rail. The only issue I have with it is that when you lock it down there is a  bit of image shift.

I had read that using a rail was better for stacking than changing focus, but I'm not sure I agree with that now having some experience. Sure, focus breathing is an issue, but framing changes when using a rail also, and not only that but relative positions of objects change when moving a camera, which cause issues with focus stacking.

I find the rail works ok with the 100L up to 1:1, but I don't unlock it with the MP-E.  The image shift from unlocking, turning the screw and relocking it gives me more problems than changing the magnification/focus plane at higher magnifications.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #27 on: February 08, 2018, 10:45:43 AM »

NancyP

  • EOS 5DS R
  • ******
  • Posts: 1246
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2018, 11:39:47 AM »
Hey Zeidora, that's cool!
Tiny orchids!

I am rather fond of the Spiranthes cernua "Lady's Tresses" terrestrial orchids that are common in Missouri.

Zeidora

  • EOS 5D Mark IV
  • ******
  • Posts: 633
Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 07:09:34 PM »
Hey Zeidora, that's cool!
Tiny orchids!

I am rather fond of the Spiranthes cernua "Lady's Tresses" terrestrial orchids that are common in Missouri.
Here's an illustration from one of my papers. Scale bars are 10 cm for plant, 1 cm for inflorescence, 1 mm for flowers.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2018, 07:09:34 PM »