Macro Photography: Focus Stacking 101

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Please consider checking out my New Forum if your interested in Learning more about Photography!! My Latest Video will show you all about it! In this video tutorial I will go though the process of focus stacking using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended.

Comments

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

No Problem 😉 Please consider checking out my New Forum if your interested in Learning more about Photography!! My Latest Video will show you all about it!

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

Thank you Doug 🙂 Please consider checking out my New Forum if your interested in Learning more about Photography!! My Latest Video will show you all about it!

Doug Brown says:

10/26/12

Thanks Jason for an excellent tutorial on Focus Stacking… just a great job!

Doug.

Willske3 says:

and what happens when you don’t have enough light?

droy333 says:

too small of an aperture and you lose sharpness. Try a macro lens with all extension tubes. Even f14 has a really shallow depth of field.

droy333 says:

What? Last time I checked tilt shift lenses weren’t built for macro. A tilt shift lens will still have a limited dof anyway.

MashedPotat0 says:

Thank you for this 🙂

User6327 says:

Dot ate who?

flipkidh says:

can’t you do the same effect in this case with a tilt-shift lens?

Nizzemanden says:

You will have extreme diffraction at low apertures.

CouplesFoodTherapy says:

I thought focus stacking was supposed to be done on Low F stops with the aperture wide open to capture as much detail as possible with the highest shutter speed and lowest ISO. At the end of the video you mention that taking the photos at F8 or higher would be best but that would just give you a wide open depth of field. Can you clarify?

Juan Dela Cruz says:

Thanks for the effort. This tutorial is awesome. I like how you did it in video at first. you’re right it’s easy to understand.

bofumytofu says:

sorry, which comment in particular?

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

Please read the comments for an explanation of why 😉

bofumytofu says:

why not use a smaller aperture with more depth of field for the same effect?

landofnor says:

Will do but expecting it will take me weeks to master

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

WOW, I didn’t realize it was that shallow!! It’s a odd lens design for sure, but with the focus rack I think it will pretty relatively strait forward with non moving objects! Shoot turn a degree shoot, and stack. Let me know when you have some pics up, I would love to see them!!

landofnor says:

I’ve heard wide open it’s 0.048mm which is insane. Any you cant stop down to f16 and the images arent sharp enough; its going to be a real challenge

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

Awesome!! I really want that lens 😉 Yeah, the DOF is so narrow it’s insane. What ot you see how narrow it gets at 5x Macro!! 

landofnor says:

I’m getting my MP-E 65mm lens, focus rack and 24EX flash in a couple of days and expect working with such a narrow DoF is going to take some getting used to. Cheers for the vid

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

Yes it is!!

landofnor says:

Quite tricky with an insect

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

I’m not sure if can do focus stacking or not. Sorry.

MultiHappyballs says:

Thanks for the reply. One more question though. Will elements 10 do the job? Thanks.

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

You got it!! 😉 Thanks for the comments!!

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

You can, but I high magnifications f/22 will still not work, and f/22 is certainly not the ideal f-stop for top quality. It also introduces detraction on the senor depending on what kind of camera/ lens combo your using. f/8 is a better way to go with a few frames overlapping the detail a bit just like you do in a panoramic.

Depth of fields at super high magnification (not in video) are less than 1/16th of an inch. therefore stacking is critical with standard equipment.

I hope that helps

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

I recorded with a mic into the computer why using a program called Screeflow. Thanks for the comments!!

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

Very cool!! Thanks for this info, iPhone user 😉 

Jay SonyAlphaLab says:

Just photoshop, although I did use lightroom in the video it is not necessary as you can simple open the photos in photoshop first, or use Adobe Bridge.

Photoshopuzr says:

thanks man you gave me new light on this.

ThePhotographerWes says:

Why can’t you just take the picture @ f22?

c2thew says:

what did you use to record audio if you were recording in-camera then did a voice over while using screen capture?

fantastic tutorial

cambike says:

Great video, if your using a dslr and have an andriod device you can use something called dslr controller to automatically step the focus. (I have nothing to do with DSLR Controller but it saves lots of time and removes human error)

Thanks for the tutorial 🙂

MultiHappyballs says:

Do you need lightroom and photoshop?

Splittermensch says:

You’re a hero. Just saved me over a hundred bucks!

fullofdogshift says:

well done! very interesting!

trw1996 says:

Thanks a lot!

harrybean2006 says:

Alignment would be better if you used focus rails instead of changing lens focus.

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