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Thread: Another Helicon question...

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    Another Helicon question...

    I read somewhere that the Helicon software is (understandably) sensitive to camera movement.

    Have any of you guys tried it with a view camera, especially one with a Copal shutter? ...or is that a really dumb idea?

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    I have not tried it with a view camera, but I have tried it with a Horseman with a Copal shutter.
    There were no problems whatsoever, but the Horseman is possibly considerably stiffer than the front standard of some view cameras.
    I have also tried it with hand-held images taken with an M8 and I guarantee that I am a lot less stable than almost ANY tripod.
    The software seemed to handle that just fine too, so I doubt that there would be a camera motion problem for almost anything tripod mounted.
    -bob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Speaking only from my experience with CS4 – it allows you to “auto align layers” prior to using the “auto blend layer”. I’ve had to use the auto align even when on a rock steady tripod but there was wind.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised to hear that helican software doesn’t offer the same.

    Don

    Btw I’m now shooting over 95% of my landscape images with a Cambo RS 1000 using lenses with copal0 shutters.
    Don Libby
    Iron Creek Photography
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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Helicon seems to just assume that alignment is necessary and just does it.
    -bob

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    I have also tried it with hand-held images taken with an M8
    The software seemed to handle that just fine too
    -bob
    I don't know if it is the software, or your hand-held skills, but I'm impressed either way!

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    OK, let's push the boat out here...

    ...what do we think about stitching the output from three or four focus-layered images? Or is that asking too much?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    You'd be possibly dealing with a lot of subject motion, but other than that, why not?

    The obvious question that then comes to mind is do you stitch first then focus blend, or focus blend then stitch? My gut says the latter is the best approach, but I don't know for sure...
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    Super Duper
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Unless you're using stitch software that allows you to save control points (PT) it's very likely that the stitches will be slightly different. Especially when you're dealing with images that have different focus points and therefore have tiny focal length differences. As such you're asking Helicon to work far harder in matching the images as the geometry of the resulting stitches may be different. Aligning pixels is one thing, working with different distortion corrections and unwrapping alogorithms is probably too much to expect the program to be able to do. As such methings focus blend then stitch.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    I would focus blend each set than stitch would be the ideal way. This way each image going in would be fine tuned before the stitch. That would be my guess
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Yes, Guy is correct. I have been experimenting with Helicon and stitched pans. I found running Helicon on each focus bracket set then stitching (I use autopano pro) works great. When I try to stitch first I found that the blending functions create enough distortion to confuse Helicon.

  11. #11
    Howard Cubell
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Quote Originally Posted by smhoer View Post
    Yes, Guy is correct. I have been experimenting with Helicon and stitched pans. I found running Helicon on each focus bracket set then stitching (I use autopano pro) works great. When I try to stitch first I found that the blending functions create enough distortion to confuse Helicon.
    Scott:
    If you also bracket for exposure, you will be lucky to get one shot per day. I am dizzy thinking about it. God forbid the light changes.

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Howard that is why we shoot MF we have a great range to make that adjustment if under. At least i told my wife that one. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Howard, Yes, you have to choose between focus bracketing and exposure bracketing if you stitch. But that is cured by a tilt/shift lens. Although I have noticed my hair is longer and more gray each time I post process all those shots.

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Is it everyone's general sense that the Helicon Focus is the superior to Photoshop's solution?

    Jerry Reed

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    I have not tried CS4 for it but from all reports there is a big YES
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jerryreed View Post
    Is it everyone's general sense that the Helicon Focus is the superior to Photoshop's solution?

    Jerry Reed
    Hi Jerry:

    For sure. The CS4 entry is a very basic attempt -- it works, but frankly not all that well compared to Helicon.

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Helicon is far better for focus stacking at this point.
    It does a much better job with its depth mapping technique and besides has some controls for adjusting the algorithms that PS just does not have.
    Also, it is easier, IMO, to edit the masks (easier to produce a good result, not easier from a tediousness point of view) in Helicon to dress up the final result.
    -bob

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Quote Originally Posted by jerryreed View Post
    Is it everyone's general sense that the Helicon Focus is the superior to Photoshop's solution?

    Jerry Reed
    Asked the same question and was told Helicon is the solution.
    I then gave it a try, it's nice and easy, but offer smart tools too.
    Worth every peny.

    A lens I was selling, the guy asked some pictures, so I decided to quickly make a test to see it work:

    Hasselblad HC 120mm f16:



    Hasselblad HC 120mm f16 - 6 shots staked with Helicon:



    Nice and easy, really

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Thank you for the responses and examples. I downloaded the trial and will be using it this weekend. Thanks again.

    JR

  20. #20
    DanPBrown
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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    This is a topic close to my heart. I've been focus blending for about five years now. I use the technique mainly for macro subjects. I've used Helicon Focus and found the results disappointing. All of my successful blends have been done manually, a very time consuming endeavor.
    Here is a photo that was focus blended and stitched as a panorama. The final image is 61 megapixels and composed of 151 images. It took me over 50 hours and 5 months to complete. When it was complete I was reluctant to show it to others, I was afraid that I would receive a yawn and all that time would have been wasted.
    Dan
    www.danbrownphotography.com

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    Re: Another Helicon question...

    Dan,

    In my opinion, time spent the way you want is not time wasted.


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