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Thread: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

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    Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Hi,

    I am a newbie, considering upgrade to MFDB. One thing I really know is that I would be doing quite a bit of focus stacking work. With the D3S it is ofcourse a charm (live view, multiple AF points, least to say - a tripod is sufficient!).

    With the Hassey, as I see it, it will not be that easy - since there is only one AF point and no live view. Either I recompose to precision (so that I do not lose pixels in the focus stacking software) or I use a focusing rail. Also, most times, I will not be shooting tethered.

    So questions:

    1/
    Is that the only way to do it ? I know at least one hasselblad master Hans Strand { www.hansstrand.com } who shoots landscapes and does not use a focusing rail always (but uses focus stacking to get more dof). Is there something I am missing wrt focus stacking technique per se ? Will be glad to hear some points!

    2/
    Would investing in the IQ series alleviate these problems ? (i am reading up about other differences between the two systems, have tried my hands on both the systems also - but nothing significant enough to conclude yet - just to say I am not just forum-posting from the word 'go!'; and thought i will take some advice from experts here!)

    3/
    I have currently short listed a H3D-39, H3DII-39 and looking for a H3DII-50. I need to print really large and am looking in the 2m range for the heights of the print. I have an offer for an H4D-60, too. Cost will of course be a factor for my purchase, but I think I will be able to make an informed decision if I assume for the moment that the cost is not a factor. I know that the H3D[II]s have the largest pixel pitch. When using a 120/4 macro how does it all fall in place ? Can I go any lower than f/16 ? I read a comparison between the 120/4 on a H3D vs. Nikon 105/2.8 on D3 { Hasselblad vs Nikon | Nadine Shaw Photography } which said he could not get good results with the Hassey. Will appreciate if someone can drop a few notes about it.
    Last edited by trinetr; 22nd May 2012 at 23:44.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    With respect to focus stacking with pretty much any system there's one thing you are probably going to forget about using straight away and that is auto focus. You just don't need it.

    If you take the fact that you're not using auto focus out of the equation you'll now find that focus stacking, for landscapes at least, now breaks down to your ability to accurately shoot a series of focus planes throughout your image. Depending upon the scene that may be as simple as zone focusing at various distances for foreground through middle-ground all the way out to the distance/infinity. Alternatively you may prefer to selectively focus on key elements within the scene, again at various focus planes. This you could arguably do this using AF but to be honest if you're shooting landscapes why bother.

    In my experience the most important tools for capturing decent focus stacks are (1) a great viewfinder and accurate manual focussing, and/or (2) lenses with decent distance scales on them, and preferably with hyper focal marks on them for the f/stops (which for MF digital you can pretty much ignore and use f/stop marks a couple of stops down).

    As regards focusing rails - you'll only need this if you are shooting macro. For landscape, leave it at home because it isn't going to help you.

    Now if you're serious about focus stacking and understand that basically you are shooting everything manually, both focus and aperture/exposure/white balance etc, then you might want to also consider whether you want a MF DSLR at all. Maybe, just maybe, the better tool is going to be a technical camera. Just saying ...

    I can't help you with the specifics of the Hasselblad questions but hopefully this is helpful for the landscape/focus stacks.

    At this point I expect someone else to step in and talk about tilt/swing as your savior. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Certainly a quicker solution in the field and better for anything that moves.

    Bueller, Bueller ... (that's the rallying call for the Arca/Cambo tech camera folks with tilts)
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Hi,
    There is as you say only one focus point but there is live view. You can also move the focus in small, medium or large steps via the software. Check out the relevant pages in the Phocus software manual (pages 34-35). I have not done any focus stacking work, what software do you use?

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Just throwing a spanner in the works...there is an MF camera that has an automatic focus bracketing function that works pretty well with AF lenses: Hy6/ AFi.
    You set the central plane and choose between 2-3-4 clicks in each direction. It uses triangulation to measure the focus distance and will adjust the clicks according to the working aperture.

    Otherwise I'd use manual focus as Graham as described above. If the back offers Live View and a good screen (Credo/ IQ) then it'll help put focus where you want

    Enjoy!

    Yair

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    I'd tend to agree with Graham, if you want to perfect all this to the level you seem interested in, then consider a technical camera with movements. That would also suggest looking at the Phase One IQ backs which are more suited to that application.

    RE: the Hasselblad example and link, I'd question that level of macro performance and suspect other aspects, such as something being totally out of whack.

    Like most lenses, the HC120/4 is NOT a stellar performer when stopped down to far (I seriously doubt any lens will be all that great at f/32).

    The version -1 HC120/4 has been superseded by the new HC120/4-II which supposedly has improved close focusing performance and acuity in order to stand up to the newer smaller pixel-pitch, higher meg backs. I have not used the new lens, so I can't attest to whether it has increased performance beyond f/11.

    I shoot 12" fabric samples for GM each year ... from which the marketing agency crops 1" sections for reproduction @ 2.5" ... and can assure you that the version 1 HC120/4 is no where near what that link showed ... and I've shot it at f/19 with decent results ... it is just better at f/8, like most lenses are.

    -Marc

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    I've been playing with hyperfocal distances recently and am wondering what the benefit focus stacking has on this other than to get objects less than 10 metres in the foreground in focus?

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Not sure what the person has done in the example. At f32 most MF lenses will be not great and the PP trickbox needs to be used.

    As an example. At f32 (HTS/13mm ext & HC80).




    As you can see, usable but not great. I would love to stay away from this. Below an example of focusstacking.




    Automated on an elektronic rail stacking is a piece of cake. Just takes a little bit more time. Unfortunately sometimes people want to print small things very large but do not want to free up the extra budget for stacking..

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I've been playing with hyperfocal distances recently and am wondering what the benefit focus stacking has on this other than to get objects less than 10 metres in the foreground in focus?
    Chris,
    I get wonderful results using hyperfocal with my tech camera and digital lenses, although I have read some people achieve less than optimum results. Is it lack of adequate technique or a bad lens? I do not know, but some people do use image stacking with multiple f-stops to overcome diffraction blurriness and/or to improve corner sharpness: Image Stacking: Multiple F-Stops

    I use focus stacking at a constant f/11 in the studio when shooting small products (like Dustbak's examples) or macro shots of botanicals.
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Thanks Darr, Hyperfocal stuff is a new subject for me. In a way it makes manual focusing easier. Generally I don't go past F/11

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Hi,

    I am a newbie, considering upgrade to MFDB. One thing I really know is that I would be doing quite a bit of focus stacking work. With the D3S it is ofcourse a charm (live view, multiple AF points, least to say - a tripod is sufficient!).
    Actually, with the right tech camera system focus-stacking for landscapes is MUCH easier with a D3s with a typical Nikon lens. With a Nikon lens you have only the roughest idea of how far you need to turn the focus wheel to take the next focus-stack frame. This nearly always leads to shooting far more frames than is required for proper DOF overlap. With a large built-for-manual-focus helical focus ring you can determine appropriate settings once (it will take a good few hours one afternoon) and then return to those settings VERY quickly, easily, and consistently. This is especially true on the Arca system where the precision of focus placement is, if anything, way overkill for focus stacking. It would also be true of using the Alpa or Cambo using the HPF rings.

    So even before you bring tilt into the equation it just works better to do landscape stacking on a tech camera.


    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    With the Hassey, as I see it, it will not be that easy - since there is only one AF point and no live view. Either I recompose to precision (so that I do not lose pixels in the focus stacking software) or I use a focusing rail. Also, most times, I will not be shooting tethered.
    Focus rails have no effect on landscape focusing. When shooting landscape if you push the camera forward 1 cm on a focus rail you're moving your focus point from e.g. 50 meters to 50.01 meters.

    Focus rails are for macro work (see also).

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Would investing in the IQ series alleviate these problems ?
    Focus mask, live view in the field (though limited), and very fast 100% review anywhere in the frame by double tapping that part of the frame are all great tools to CONFIRM focus stacking. However, the tech camera focus system is still the best way (IMO) to EXECUTE focus stacking (consistently and easily).

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    I have currently short listed a H3D-39, H3DII-39 and looking for a H3DII-50. I need to print really large and am looking in the 2m range for the heights of the print. I have an offer for an H4D-60, too. Cost will of course be a factor for my purchase, but I think I will be able to make an informed decision if I assume for the moment that the cost is not a factor. I know that the H3D[II]s have the largest pixel pitch. When using a 120/4 macro how does it all fall in place ? Can I go any lower than f/16 ? I read a comparison between the 120/4 on a H3D vs. Nikon 105/2.8 on D3 { Hasselblad vs Nikon | Nadine Shaw Photography } which said he could not get good results with the Hassey. Will appreciate if someone can drop a few notes about it.
    Diffraction is visible at 100% on screen at earlier f-stops on higher res backs. BUT you will never get less real-world detail than you would have with a lower res back. Regardless of which back you go for

    Also that link completely missed the issue of "effective aperture" in high-magnification macro photography. His apertures were in fact not the same because the "effective aperture" changes drastically as you approach and exceed 1:1 magnification and the same subject will be more greatly magnified to fill the frame of a larger sensor (read more).

    But that's a different topic entirely.

    Then there's tilt...
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Now if you're serious about focus stacking and understand that basically you are shooting everything manually, both focus and aperture/exposure/white balance etc, then you might want to also consider whether you want a MF DSLR at all. Maybe, just maybe, the better tool is going to be a technical camera. Just saying ...

    I can't help you with the specifics of the Hasselblad questions but hopefully this is helpful for the landscape/focus stacks.

    At this point I expect someone else to step in and talk about tilt/swing as your savior. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Certainly a quicker solution in the field and better for anything that moves.

    Bueller, Bueller ... (that's the rallying call for the Arca/Cambo tech camera folks with tilts)
    We need an Arca/Cambo Bat Signal...

    Tilt is a lifesaver in many (though not all) landscape compositions assuming:
    - you understand tilt and how to use it
    - you have a camera body / lens that allow it
    - you have a digital back which provides you good feedback on the focus of the image (otherwise it's relatively difficult to take consistent/confident advantage of unless highly experienced with tilt)

    An Arca offers tilt with any lens. A Cambo offers tilt with most lenses. Alpa offers tilt with long lenses.
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    For focus stacking your best choice is not MF.
    Use a Nikon D800 and the software Control my Nikon.

    Control my Nikon does focus stacking automatically and with great precision.

    Get the D800, a Samsung Slate Tablet PC and run Control my Nikon on it.

    You will get an 11 inch live view screen for very precise viewing.

    Control My Nikon sends the files directly to various focus stacking programs.

    ControlMyNikon - Focus Stacking - YouTube

    Also the Nikon 105 2.8 macro is an exceptional lens as it the 100mm f2.8 L IS Canon.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Fred,

    I'd agree that in the studio and still life/macro that this is a good approach. It's not so great if you're sitting on a mountain top waiting for the light or generally out in the field.

    With manual focus glass for most landscape situations I can focus stack images quicker than I can set up a tilt. In most scenarios you also don't need hundreds of images - for landscape it might be as simple as two frames for foreground & middleground , or if shooting longer it may need more.
    Last edited by GrahamWelland; 23rd May 2012 at 13:42.
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Focus mask, live view in the field (though limited), and very fast 100% review anywhere in the frame by double tapping that part of the frame are all great tools to CONFIRM focus stacking. However, [b]the tech camera focus system is still the best way (IMO) to EXECUTE focus stacking (consistently and easily).[b]
    No. Automated focus stacking where focus is computer controlled using a Nikon is far better.
    It avoids touching the camera during the focus stacking. You set up how many steps you want, press a button and it's all done automatically. You can also do the whole thing in live view mode so you don't even have mirror vibration.

    On top of this for a fraction of the cost of an MF system you could add a motorized panoramic system from Seitz

    VR Drive

    With a high end Nikon you could have focus stacking and automated multi row panoramic shooting and still have money left over for a couple of awesome trips.
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I've been playing with hyperfocal distances recently and am wondering what the benefit focus stacking has on this other than to get objects less than 10 metres in the foreground in focus?
    I don't know about you but for me the first 10m are CRITICAL for pretty much any landscape image. If it's soft then it's a distraction. The other issue is the size of prints you intend to produce. If they're just 4x6's or 8x10's then it won't matter that much because 40 or 60mp downsized will produce sharp prints regardless of whether the images look like mush at 100% on screen.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Fred,

    I'd agree that in the studio and still life/macro that this is a good approach. It's not so great if you're sitting on a mountain top waiting for for the light or generally out in the field.

    With manual focus glass for most landscape situations I can focus stack images quicker than I can set up a tilt. I most scenarios you also don't need hundreds of images - for landscape it might be as simple as two frames for foreground & middleground , or if shooting longer it may need more.
    Touch your tripod on location between exposures and your resolution goes down, especially with long lenses.

    Most importantly using the Nikon plus Control My Nikon and Samsumg Slate tablet PC combo you get to see the final result before moving your tripod when on location. This alone is priceless. The whole setup is also lighter than an MF camera and lenses. You also get a backup at the same time.

    Add on top of this IS for hand held macro on location and the benefits of a high end Nikon out weigh MF.

    On top of that you can (if you have them) use cine lenses that while very expensive have absolutely no focus pump. That is the image does not change size when focusing. This avoids subject distortion or scaling having to be done by the focus stacking software.

    Also I have heard that Nikon is working on in camera focus stacking control in camera for future firmware though it may be a paid upgrade.
    This is only focus stacking control, not focus stacking processing.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    No. Automated focus stacking where focus is computer controlled using a Nikon is far better.
    It avoids touching the camera during the focus stacking. You set up how many steps you want, press a button and it's all done automatically. You can also do the whole thing in live view mode so you don't even have mirror vibration.
    This kind of automated focus stacking is also available for Hasselblad (if we are talking about macro rails). The added advantage of the HB is that you only have to flip your mirror once. It doesn't come down in between shots. The lenses are also central shutter which are typically less prone to vibration.

    Anyway not to tout MF compared to Nikon (I use both) but in this case there are solutions for both (where as the Nikon can have another advantage because of its smaller sensor BTW).

    It would be nice if HB would built automatic focus stacking in as well, that should be possible certainly when shooting tethered...

    A tech camera would be easy too. My take for landscape would be, who needs to be seeing what you are doing? You are taking the complete scene in focus by stacking anyway. In case of doubt just add some shots more

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Also I have heard that Nikon is working on in camera focus stacking control in camera for future firmware though it may be a paid upgrade.
    That's what the AFi/ Hy6 does...no need for a computer

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
    Can I go any lower than f/16 ? I read a comparison between the 120/4 on a H3D vs. Nikon 105/2.8 on D3 { Hasselblad vs Nikon | Nadine Shaw Photography } which said he could not get good results with the Hassey. Will appreciate if someone can drop a few notes about it.
    First, at a 100% monitor view, the Hasselblad image is being magnified much more. So even if the Nikon Image and Hasselblad image look as sharp on a print, the 100% view might not. Second, f/32 on a Macro lens has a great deal of diffraction--not only because the set aperture is f/32 but also the effective aperture when you take lens to sensor distance is even smaller--and at 100% will not look good. This is where focus stacking becomes very attractive as your working aperture can be much larger and so causing less diffraction. Shaw's criticism that the Hasselblad is not sharp is more about a photographer not knowing what they are doing.

    I use a 120mm Macro on my Pentax 645D. It is a really sharp lens--the sharpest I own. I would be surprised is the Hasselblad lens was worse. You should be able to get fine images from those optics and a Hasselblad MF camera.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Focus stacking is really not rocket science. It is very easy to do. While automated focus stacking is neat, making a stack with a manual focus lens is simple.
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    No. Automated focus stacking where focus is computer controlled using a Nikon is far better.
    It avoids touching the camera during the focus stacking. You set up how many steps you want, press a button and it's all done automatically. You can also do the whole thing in live view mode so you don't even have mirror vibration.

    On top of this for a fraction of the cost of an MF system you could add a motorized panoramic system from Seitz

    VR Drive

    With a high end Nikon you could have focus stacking and automated multi row panoramic shooting and still have money left over for a couple of awesome trips.
    OP doesn't want to tether.

    Also his question (and my answer) were specific to medium format.
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    When tilt is introduced, is focus stacking possible, or what the result is going to be?

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Pics2 View Post
    When tilt is introduced, is focus stacking possible, or what the result is going to be?
    Simple answer - not easily.

    Well, yes ok you certainly CAN do a focus stack but it probably isn't going to be what you think it should be. When tilt is used you actually rotate the plane of focus so that it typically runs from near -> far at an angle and it extends out as a focus edge. Changing your focus on the lens isn't simply going to move the focus point backwards & forwards as you might expect from non-tilted operation and so the effect is not going to be simply to give you a stack of images to combine for greater DoF.

    You'll save yourself a lot of grief if you do either focus stacks OR lens tilts/swings.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    Focus stacking is really not rocket science. It is very easy to do. While automated focus stacking is neat, making a stack with a manual focus lens is simple.
    IF you have a rock solid tripod.

    But you also get better results with precise focus increments and more images in the stack. That is why automation is much better.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    OP doesn't want to tether.

    Also his question (and my answer) were specific to medium format.
    I guess you missed this part.

    I read a comparison between the 120/4 on a H3D vs. Nikon 105/2.8 on D3 { Hasselblad vs Nikon | Nadine Shaw Photography } which said he could not get good results with the Hassey. Will appreciate if someone can drop a few notes about it.
    While he did say he does not want to tether he may not be aware that you can control a Nikon from a small device like the Samsung Slate or even smaller.
    Being able to finalize or preview focus stacks in the field with a low cost portable device is priceless. 4GB of RAM and really fast SSD virtual memory can handle big stacks.

    This fall Nikon is coming out with it own Android (and later iOS) software to control Nikons wirelessly so all you would need is a good smart phone.

    Nikon bringing DSLR wireless control, photo transfer to Android devices now, iOS in the fall

    With this new USB to WiFi adapter it will no longer be necessary to have a physical tether.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Pics2 View Post
    When tilt is introduced, is focus stacking possible, or what the result is going to be?
    Not a good idea, because you get lateral movement when you chage focus and have the lens tilted. You could use shift to realine the axis, but it's hard to find it precisely.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    IF you have a rock solid tripod.

    But you also get better results with precise focus increments and more images in the stack. That is why automation is much better.
    Actually, you don't. Unless you are not paying attention, the focus step is easy to judge. All but one of my microscopes are automated. The stacking did not become better because of the automation, just easier, not that it was difficult. Done stacking with regular cameras too, not hard at all. A good staking program will also align images, not that I have a problem with my tripods moving.
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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Pics2 View Post
    When tilt is introduced, is focus stacking possible, or what the result is going to be?
    I bet you are a belt and braces kind of guy. Why do both? They are simply two different techniques that are trying to achieve the same thing.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    A good staking program will also align images, not that I have a problem with my tripods moving.
    Any pixel pushing around reduces resolution.

    One of the areas where focus stacking is used is with long lenses. Just try looking through the camera while you touch the focusing ring.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I bet you are a belt and braces kind of guy. Why do both? They are simply two different techniques that are trying to achieve the same thing.
    There are times when both can work well together.
    If you want a shallow depth of field look on a deep set, but totally sharp for a
    certain amount of the depth when shooting an inclined subject.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    Any pixel pushing around reduces resolution.

    One of the areas where focus stacking is used is with long lenses. Just try looking through the camera while you touch the focusing ring.
    I have looked though the camera. I do focus stacking all the time.

    And pushing pixels, as you can it, does not reduce resolution in focus stacking.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I have looked though the camera. I do focus stacking all the time.

    And pushing pixels, as you can it, does not reduce resolution in focus stacking.

    I was not being sarcastic... just saying that with a long lens it does not take much for camera or tripod movement for it to show.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    ...shoot a series of focus planes throughout your image. Depending upon the scene that may be as simple as zone focusing at various distances for foreground through middle-ground all the way out to the distance/infinity.

    As regards focusing rails - you'll only need this if you are shooting macro. For landscape, leave it at home because it isn't going to help you.
    You could get technical and use f8 for minimum diffraction and then calculate (using DOF formulae or on-line calculators) precisely where to focus... this would optimise the MBs of data your computer has to handle.

    I have considered using an automated focus-stacking rail, like the StackShot, on the rear standard of a view camera with an electronic shutter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Fairbank View Post
    Hi,
    There is as you say only one focus point but there is live view. You can also move the focus in small, medium or large steps via the software. Check out the relevant pages in the Phocus software manual (pages 34-35). I have not done any focus stacking work, what software do you use?
    Yes... I want to get out and try this soon... manual focus stacking without touching the camera... for when tilt cannot get the whole scene sharp.

    Quote Originally Posted by FredBGG View Post
    For focus stacking your best choice is not MF.
    Use a Nikon D800 and the software Control my Nikon.
    At last a reason to buy a Nikon!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    Anyway not to tout MF compared to Nikon (I use both) but in this case there are solutions for both (where as the Nikon can have another advantage because of its smaller sensor BTW).

    It would be nice if HB would built automatic focus stacking in as well, that should be possible certainly when shooting tethered...
    I have discussed this with David Grover of Hasselblad, and he says that it is not possible, as the (current) lenses do not send accurate focus distance numbers back to the camera - but it should be easy to automate the above manual remote stacking system, just by counting the number of manual focusing steps.

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    Simple answer - not easily.

    Well, yes ok you certainly CAN do a focus stack but it probably isn't going to be what you think it should be. When tilt is used you actually rotate the plane of focus so that it typically runs from near -> far at an angle and it extends out as a focus edge. Changing your focus on the lens isn't simply going to move the focus point backwards & forwards as you might expect from non-tilted operation and so the effect is not going to be simply to give you a stack of images to combine for greater DoF.

    You'll save yourself a lot of grief if you do either focus stacks OR lens tilts/swings.
    It would be possible to move the subject at right angles to the plane of sharpest focus.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by dick View Post
    !
    I have discussed this with David Grover of Hasselblad, and he says that it is not possible, as the (current) lenses do not send accurate focus distance numbers back to the camera - but it should be easy to automate the above manual remote stacking system, just by counting the number of manual focusing steps.
    I know about that but the system does not need to know the accurate focus distance numbers. It could be fed with a starting point and be told how many focus steps it needs to go forward and/or backwards. Focussing can already be done tethered in variously sized steps I see no reason why this could not be turned into an automated process.

    With a little bit more effort it should be possible in untethered too in some form...

    Anyway, I still think it is no biggie, focus stacking is so easy manually in most cases that it is hardly something to fret about.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by Dustbak View Post
    ... focus stacking is so easy manually in most cases that it is hardly something to fret about.
    If it makes the difference between needing to carry a 10Kg tripod instead of a 2kg tripod... that is significant... but if you also have to carry a laptop there is little or no back-pack weight advantage

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    summarized as:
    AF vs MF
    Focusing Rail is for Macros
    Tech Camera
    I have been a bit wary of touching the lens once I have made a composition, given the way my Nikon already slaps its tongue after and before every shot, even in LiveView mode. However, the ability to micro-move the AF spot in LV mode using a remote has encouraged me to stay with this way of focus stacking (using AF, I mean), at least so far. I will try by manually focusing at different distances, now!

    It was pretty dumb of me to even mention focusing rails, particularly when I knew very well that (1) it is for macros; and more importantly (2) the scene itself changes every time the camera rolls (*cough*) down on the rail, even with the micro-movements with something like stackshot.

    I have been tempted to try view camera systems myself. Bought a 24mm PC-E to boot with, but have missed it so badly after I sold it off, that too by losing some good money! But maybe it is a good thing because I have developed a soft corner for something like the Horseman LD { HORSEMAN LD FOR DSLRs } or VCC Pro { HORSEMAN VCC PRO } which bring tech camera movements to the DSLR range. More so, because they have adapters to use higher end DBs at a later stage. But are there solutions like this where I need not be tied-in to one type/make of lenses, but using the more generic standard lens board (from any manufacturer) ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Douglas Fairbank View Post
    You can also move the focus in small, medium or large steps via the software. Check out the relevant pages in the Phocus software manual (pages 34-35).
    Interesting! Is this also possible from Phocus Mobile/iPad ?

    Quote Originally Posted by yaya View Post
    there is an MF camera that has an automatic focus bracketing function that works pretty well with AF lenses: Hy6/ AFi.
    Thanx for the note about the Hy6/AFi capabilities - I had not known much about this system at all!

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpeterson View Post
    Actually, with the right tech camera system focus-stacking for landscapes is MUCH easier with a D3s with a typical Nikon lens.
    {Your +1 for IQ series}
    Can you suggest/point me to some good tech camera systems that can be used with a nikon lens ? I could find the Horseman LD and the Arca M-Line II that can be used with SLRs, but with nikon lenses ?

    PS: Thanx to all others also for your notes, too !

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post

    (2) the scene itself changes every time the camera rolls (*cough*) down on the rail, even with the micro-movements with something like stackshot.
    !
    This is something the software takes care of, like HeliconFocus. You can move camera down the rail, or change focus in microsteps. In both cases the software
    is calculating what it has to calculate.
    stacker:docs:tutorials:tutorial002 [Zerene Stacker]

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    I just tried this simple workflow using Hasselblad and Phocus and Photoshop. Frame the subject, find the focus mid point. Using the focus step buttons move a number of steps off the focus point (small, medium or large steps can be chosen, depends on your aperture etc). Now take the first picture, move one step back, then the second picture, then the next step back, keep taking images and moving one step each time until you have gone through the focus point by a appropriate number of steps. Phocus makes the next part easy, select all the images and export them all as 'Layers PSD' into Photoshop(CS4 or later), all you need to do then is apply the 'Auto Blend Layers' (and Auto Align for best results). Job done!
    Last edited by Douglas Fairbank; 28th May 2012 at 07:37.

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    Re: Focus Stacking and Hasselblad

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    Thanks for making me aware of the "Cambridge in Colour" site. It has the best tutorials I've seen and very helpful interactive tools.
    Likes 1 Member(s) liked this post

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