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Macro-photography

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Raphael Golez16/08/2020 22:23:01
128 forum posts
125 photos

This is taken with a 92mm extension tube and a 4X Olympus microscope objectives. The magnification is only around 3X as I did not placed a complete 120mm extension tube. 130 image stack done via Helicon Focus.

final.jpeg

Edited By Raphael Golez on 16/08/2020 22:25:03

Raphael Golez16/08/2020 22:26:30
128 forum posts
125 photos

80 image stack of a Harvestman. Taken with a 50mm reverse macro and a 80mm extension tube.

2020-08-13 23-58-55 (b,radius8,smoothing3).jpeg

Raphael Golez16/08/2020 22:29:34
128 forum posts
125 photos

Flowers taken 0.5:1. Not a true macro by definition but exploring image stacking and depth of field at this magnification.

2020-08-14 18-53-50 (a,radius18,smoothing5).jpeg

2020-08-14 18-56-20 (a,radius18,smoothing5).jpeg

Glass Swan

2020-08-14 14-54-35 (a,radius15,smoothing4).jpeg

Raphael

Nicholas Farr17/08/2020 07:23:51
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2442 forum posts
1193 photos

Hi Raphael, they are really amazing photos and on a floral note, I've just remembered that I took this one of a Mint plant on my kitchen window sill that has past its sell by date, which I took a couple of weeks ago. Again it was hand held and the morning sun lit it up nicely, however some of the sun light reflected off the macro lens light can be seen on the window behind, the lens light was off. This was a bit difficult to take as I was standing on a two step, step ladder and kneeling on the kitchen worktop/sink and the widow sill is 400mm deep, took a few rejected shots before I got this one, but the sun light made it look good. Again, it has just been resized by 50%.

mint.jpg

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 17/08/2020 07:28:45

Raphael Golez17/08/2020 21:32:43
128 forum posts
125 photos

Nice shot Nick. Actually I love how your shots turned out. Reminds me of a Christmas Tree covered with snow. The background creates an effect the its windy and light snow.

The good thing about macrophotography is that most of your subjects is within your reach and you don't need to go out of your house the get an excellent pictures.

Keep it coming Nick and thanks for sharing!

Regards,

Raphael

Nicholas Farr17/08/2020 23:29:59
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2442 forum posts
1193 photos

Hi, Raphael, pleased you like my mint plant photo, I had noticed it developing over several days before this, but the top half of what you see in the photo was still green, the morning that I took it the light was in my favour and I just had to have a shot at it.

This morning the light on my lounge window was pretty good and I noticed a very find cobweb on the outside of another one of the pains and saw a little tiny creature on it, which I thought was a bit of dirt or something at first. So using my 400D camera with my EF25 ll extension tube and my macro lens, I had a look, I had the foresight of putting the lens hood on this time though, so I didn't get the lens light reflection. I was able to hold it against the glass and it focused quite well.

004.jpg

However, this little chap was still alive and kicking, but after a while, I believed it wasn't actually caught, as it was moving and those little white balls were disappearing along its way. To my best measurement, this chap would fit into a space no bigger than 2mm square. Although the lens beeped to say it was focused, I was bemused by the fuzzy strands of the web away from the centre and after taking one or two more shoots, it dawned on me that the lens was out of its comfort zone this close and on the extension tube and put it down to optical aberration. So I just used the macro lens without the extension tube, but of course it would not auto focus on the web and decided That I was trying to take a photo of the trees about 15M away. Therefore I had to turn off the AF but then having the lens hood touching the window pain made it too close to focus and trying to hand hold was not going to work, so it was a tripod set up or nothing, but my son gave me a Shoot attachment for a recent birthday present with right and left and forward and aft adjustments, and a handy but cheapish little tripod that I was given many years ago was just the job.

camera & tripod.jpg

shoot attacment.jpg

I then managed after a bit of fiddling around, to get a decent shot or two when this chap would stay still for a moment or the very slight breeze didn't blow it and the cobweb about.

007.jpg

010.jpg

The last photo is the best I could get and I have not altered any of the above photos in any way, I didn't see the spider of this web, but I guess this little chap is so small, the spider can't detect it.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 17/08/2020 23:36:09

Meunier18/08/2020 16:55:56
353 forum posts
5 photos

Nick, I think it could be a flea or similar and is having a meal from the 'sticky drops' on the web.
The 1st photo he is on the thread to the right of the staggered junction, in the 2nd photo 'he'/it has removed most of the sticky buds on that thread and has moved over one thread to the right and in the 3rd appears to have mostly cleaned up to the bottom of that thread. Great photos !
DaveD

peak429/09/2020 21:55:34
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1197 forum posts
143 photos

Not posted on this thread for a while.

I thought my keyless Jacobs drill chuck was starting to feel a bit gritty.
These are 1/8" ball bearings; or rather they were at one time.

ball bearings.jpg

Olympus E-M1 Mk2 60mm macro with 1.4 converter & 10mm + 16mm tubes
10 images stacked in camera

Bill

Nicholas Farr29/09/2020 22:43:51
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2442 forum posts
1193 photos

Hi Bill, very good photo, I think you can safely say they have had it.

Regards Nick.

Sam Stones30/09/2020 00:13:06
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770 forum posts
305 photos

Well Bill, call me Rip Van Winkle.

When did in-camera focus stacking turn up?

Sam

Michael Gilligan30/09/2020 07:24:01
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16389 forum posts
715 photos
Posted by peak4 on 29/09/2020 21:55:34:

[…]

Olympus E-M1 Mk2 60mm macro with 1.4 converter & 10mm + 16mm tubes
10 images stacked in camera

.

That’s an interesting and rather effective image, Bill

Could you please share a single frame from that stack, for comparison ?

MichaelG.

Nicholas Farr30/09/2020 08:09:20
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2442 forum posts
1193 photos

Hi, I did wonder about in camera stacking. but looking at the specs Olympus it states it has a focus stacking mode of 3-15 images.

Regards Nick.

SillyOldDuffer30/09/2020 10:04:30
Moderator
6331 forum posts
1389 photos
Posted by Sam Stones on 30/09/2020 00:13:06:

Well Bill, call me Rip Van Winkle.

When did in-camera focus stacking turn up?

Sam

Been about for a while, at least in primitive form. My oldish Cybershot HX200V Bridge Camera has it in primitive form, I think I bought it in 2013. It has what the blurb calls "Superior Auto-mode", in which the camera sometimes decides to take multiple-exposures (in practice I hear only 3 shutter clicks) and splices them together to remove blur. Mostly does it in low light conditions. I don't think it can be controlled manually, nor is there a way of getting at the individual frames.

The Cybershot doesn't frame stack in the way needed for macro-photography, but the basics are there. Some more recent cameras come with built-in focus stacking, and Canon owners can add it by loading Magic Lantern firmware.

My macro set-up is about 6 years out-of-date. Quite a few affordable new options and improvements are available now, I'm not sure what an upgrade would look like. In-camera focus stacking would be handy for outdoor opportunity shots, and a heavy motorised rail for indoor posed shots. Ready availability of ball-screws and other parts for 3D printers would make home-brewing easier, especially for an man with a lathe, milling machine and Arduinos! Anyone into that?

Dave

peak430/09/2020 12:33:19
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1197 forum posts
143 photos
Posted by Sam Stones on 30/09/2020 00:13:06:

Well Bill, call me Rip Van Winkle.

When did in-camera focus stacking turn up?

Sam

Sam, quite some time ago with Olympus (in m4/3s only.)
I think it first featured native from new with the EM-1 Mk2, but became available post release in the Mk1 with software updates.
In some form, it's available in all the EM-1 range and possibly in later releases of the EM-5 &10, though I'm not sure about that.
Focus bracketing, ready for out of camera stacking, has been available for a while too.
In Camera stacking only works with a limited range of lenses, with must be Oly, rather than other manufacturers.
In my EM-1 Mk1, I'm limited to 8 consecutive shots, whereas the Mk2 will go up to 15 (I think); not sure how many in later models such as EM-1x

Here's a quick video for those interested.

Bill

Raphael Golez30/09/2020 13:10:17
128 forum posts
125 photos

Great to see updates here.

Bill, very clear evidence of worn out parts. I would assumed you did it hand held then do a burst shots and the rest of stacking is handled by your camera?

Dave, I just use my XY milling machine table to do the increments and stack it in Helicon Focus although it would be nice to get it automated with an electronic controlled focusing rail. Maybe someday i can get my hands on it.

Raphael

peak430/09/2020 13:25:18
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1197 forum posts
143 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 30/09/2020 07:24:01.

That’s an interesting and rather effective image, Bill

Could you please share a single frame from that stack, for comparison ?

MichaelG.

Michael, It looks like I misinformed folk originally as I think it must have been a stack of 15 images, though I can only currently find 14 of them in the recycle bin.
If you've seen the video above, you'll have spotted that one can also set a focus differential between shots; in this case I used 1 for a minimum shift between adjacent photos, as the bearings were only 1/8", so I only needed a Depth of Field (DOF) of a bit over 1/16"
If I'd practiced more, rather than what was really just a snapshot to illustrate a point, I think I'd have ended up using a differential of 2, but without playing more I'm not sure.
I'm really not very experienced with this stuff.

Also a couple of basic errors, as I was rushing a bit to complete before we went out for a walk seeking fungi to photograph.
You'll have spotted a blue cast on the bearings which make it look like they've overheated.
I think it was because I left the camera's white balance set to Auto, and the orange plastic lid fooled it.
These two later images were processed individually from raw files from the original stack, and show less colour cast, but I forgot to correct it further before uploading to here; whats left of the bearings is actually silver.

This was 15 stacked images, taken in jpg+raw, but the final result out of camera is a jpg as a result of the in-camera stacking.

I don't normally bother with white balance, as I usually shoot raw, rather than jpg, so it's easy to compensate later.
Inevitably when I shoot these bracketed focus shots, I forget to pre-set to the correct colour temperature.

The second error, was forgetting to reset the differential to 5, so I failed to get full DOF on the later fungi shots.

Front image of stack
balls front of stack p9291716_dxo-1.jpg

Back image of stack
balls back of stack p9291729_dxo-1.jpg

There is a 15th image somewhere, which I think shows a bit more DOF on the lower right hand ball.

It's one of these techniques which needs more practice than I've given it, as there are no set numbers relating to the actual DOF for each of the focus differentials, as it depends on the distance, as well as the lens.

I'd previously had a go with my 4/3s 150mm Sigma macro lens + 25mm tube, which is as sharp a combination as any really, but to get sufficient DOF, I had to stop it down so far that diffraction damaged the image quality.
Anything greater than F5.6 does cause loss of quality in 4/3 or m4/3s, though it's workable OK up to about F11
Being a Sigma lens the in-camera stacking doesn't work, though I could probably have opened up to F2.8 and uses auto bracketing and lots of shots to re-assemble in Helicon or similar.
I don't have a licence for it though, and this was really only for a quick snapshot with minimal post processing.

DOF Calculator is worth a look as well;
https://www.photopills.com/calculators/dof

Bill

Edited By peak4 on 30/09/2020 13:29:59

Michael Gilligan30/09/2020 13:41:13
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16389 forum posts
715 photos

Many thanks for that, Bill ... it gives me a pretty good idea of what can be done.

I use image stacking [Zerene Stacker] with the microscopes; but they typically have much greater native resolution and much smaller depth of field, than a camera lens. ... The two, of course, being inversely related.

Much appreciated, and I’m mightily impressed.

MichaelG.

peak430/09/2020 13:50:36
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1197 forum posts
143 photos
Posted by Raphael Golez on 30/09/2020 13:10:17:

..........

Bill, very clear evidence of worn out parts. I would assumed you did it hand held then do a burst shots and the rest of stacking is handled by your camera?

.........

Raphael

I did actually use a tripod and cheap macro rail, which really isn't up to the wight of the 150mm Sigma, but is OK with the 60mm Olympus Macro.
The rail was used to set the distance, to frame the image, rather than for final focusing. The actual high speed photo burst and stacking takes care of the focusing automatically.
The DOF is so thin with this sort of stuff, that hand held, even with the very fancy 5 axis image stabilisation on Olympus, I don't always get a successful stack.

The only reason it works at all, is that Olympus developed a silent shooting mode, where the shutter is held open and the individual shots are taken electronically, almost like individual frames from a video.

I went for a stroll the other day, and inadvertently set the shutter for High Speed Silent. Since both that and my normal low speed sequential, are silent, I didn't realise until I came to download the images from our bimble along the Cromford Canal. 2968 photos in raw+jpg took a while to download and sort.
blush
Since there is this high speed mode available, the camera also has another clever trick up its sleeve.
You can set a shutter release mode, where the camera stores a series of images in buffer, as long as you half press the shutter release.
When you take the final photo, it also save the previous shots, up to the number you've pre-programmed.
i.e. focus on a bird on a tree, wait until it takes off and release the shutter.
Due to our reaction time, one will normally miss the actual start of the flight, but the camera already has it stored in buffer.
Hence the number of excellent in-flight shots we are starting to see from birds actually taking off. ( I should say, that's from other folk, rather than me)
It fills up a memory card very quickly in practice, so you need to get proficient at deleting multiple images in the field.

Bill

Raphael Golez30/09/2020 14:18:53
128 forum posts
125 photos

Thanks for the info Bill, very good features. I think this is a very good advantage of your camera. Im sure you can do that buffer feature on macro, I would say at most with a 1:1 magnification as beyond this it would be very difficult hand held.

I have successfully managed to take a 5 FPS shot on my old D700 hand held at 1:1 magnification and stack it in Helikon Focus. I have to reherse my "rocking" motion forward to act as a human focusing rail. I used this a lot with outdoor shots.

Post some more of your shots.

Raphael

peak430/09/2020 14:34:12
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1197 forum posts
143 photos

I've just been having a quick look to try and find a couple of comparative images that show both the advantages and disadvantages of stacking in camera.
The actual images are a bit better than they show up here, as I've compressed them quite a lot for this forum.

The first is of a Common Darter ♀ taken with just a single image focused on the eye; as well as I could anyway.
None of the wing tips are in focus, but I managed to get about parallel to the body for the top shot;
EM-1 Mk2 300mm@F5.6 ISO800 1/2500sec (seems odd settings, but I was out to try and catch one in flight when this individual landed)

p8241420_dxo-1 common darter.jpg

Below is the same dragon after it had moved onto a post; same camera/lens/aperture/distance, but an in-camera stack of 8 images, differential would probably have been 4, 5 or 6; I can't remember.

p8241500_dxo-1 common darter stacked.jpg

Much more of it in focus, but even with a fast burst at something like 30FPS, you can see the blurring of the tail end where it moved, giving a bit of ghosting, similarly with one of the wings.

exif claims subject distance is 1.8m and using that in DOF calculator mentioned earlier gives a DOF of 1 cm, which ties up about right for the top photo.
The actual wingspan of these is about 6cm wingtip to wingtip, measured from my Field Studies Council life size fold-out guide.
I could probably have done better (as always) had I set the camera to a stack of 15, and a slightly lower focus differential, but I just used what I already had programmed into a button ready to go.

These were taken in August at Taddington Mere, just up the road from me.

Bill

Just found this one on Flickr from last year; I think clicking on the image should take you to the original.

This shows the shallowness of the DOF  with the 60mm@F2.8 (Subject Distance - 0.285 m from exif)
Common Darter Male A8090010_DxO-1

Edited By peak4 on 30/09/2020 14:45:29

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