Macro and Focus Stacking
Working with Sony A7rIII and 90mm macro oss. On small subjects, even at high f-stops, depth of field is very apparent. Would focus stacking help? And if so should I just let RC sort the raws straight from camera, or use focus stacking software?
Using software, to me, seems like it would distort the image to an untrue form, much like sharping or noise reduction would.
Googling the subject, seems most use stacking software, but shouldn't RC be able to just use the best parts from each image?
I have had pretty good results using Helicon focus on objects between 2 cm and 10 cm.. lots of photos though !
an advantage was that for the texturing RC gave me sharper results.
hope that helps.
btw, I used a nikon Fixed lens 105mm
My info is that stacking is stronlgy discouraged.
However, you could just give it a try with a small set and report back.
Usually, undistorting images before using them is also not recommended, but there are people who claim that in some cases it actually improves the result. I had also one case where it helped.
that mini safe was 5cm.. done with stacking.. rendered in Maxwell.
Looks excellent! Do you have a matcap or wireframe?
And would prove my point. :-)
Did you by any chance compare it to a calculation without stacking?
oki will post later... a bit busy now.. :)
well can confirm stacking yields much better results.
interesting, thanks for sharing!
In the not-stacked set you have 203 images vs. 27 in the stacked one.
Did you put all the source images for stacking into the non-stacked one? Because photogrammetry doesn't like it at all if there is more than one camera in more or less the same spot.
If yes, it would be great if you could try again with only one image per camera position.
nice! How many images did you use?
BTW is that the raw mesh or did you clean it?
And did you use a polarization filter? The brown areas seem quite shiny...
well if I recall correct.. was something like 50 images stacked..
very minimal cleaning.. :)
I did use a circular pola, but at that time it was just on Camera lens.. and I had used very diffuse lighting. no flash but 4 sphere paper china lamps with 200w bulbs in... :)
hehee.. man this is so old...
again, thanks a lot!
I'm sure this thread is very helpful for many people...
Götz Echtenacher I don't think just using one photo out of each stack would work. The depth of field is so shallow that there would not be enough information for alignment or depth mapping. or something like "just the tip" or base would be in focus.
I don't know, your screw looks all right to me on the second example.
The thin is that the algorythms get messed up when you have images (cameras) too close to one another.
So the really bad result is in my opinion rather due to that then the depth of field.
But maybe your're right and un-stacked shots would not provide for enough tie points...
This topic is of particular interest to me. I'm using a Sony A7rII and the FE 90mm f2.8 macro. One thing to remember is to turn off image stabilization. I'm not stacking, but have been getting decent results with insects. I generally airbrush them with a matte varnish first.
I'd love in improve on this, but my scans are already between 200 - 400 images, so manual stacking is out of the question, far too time consuming, so I need an in body solution, or at least software that either stacks a whole series, not one result at a time.
I've also pre-ordered the Arsenal smart camera assistant which apparently does in body stacking.
your stuff is super amazing! I think you posted about a wing a while ago, right?
It can't get any better than that!
So why do you want to use stacking?
Do you now also change the focus plane a lot but at the same time change position slightly?
If yes, then I would say that your way is probably better than to reduce it to 50 stacked shots.
Thanks, my results are decent, by my images aren't as sharp as I'd like them. Shooting with f22, there's a lot of diffraction, and ideally I'd shoot no higher than f11, so stacking is the only way I can do that.
Yes, I rotate the subject along the Y axis, and rotate the camera to maximize and fill the frame, I also zoom in and shoot sections.
Latest beetle is proving more challenging, to the point, I wondered if RC had changed something between updates, it's very noisy and lacking detail, with the same process as my other scans, so I need to figure out what's different.
Maybe there has been some new setting or a reset?
Noisy in the mesh or texture?
If it's the texture, it might be a display issue...
The mesh. I'll run an old photoset, and compare the results to the last time I ran the same set.
I've been trying to do a dragon fly my self to test.I had over 1200 photos to stack, about 15-20 to stack in each position. I started using helicon focus for stacking. I did notice the stacking software included noise from each frame in the stack. My guess was that it thought it was fine details and compiled it in the results. I'll have to try the matte varnish as my results didn't turn out so good because of the reflectiveness of the majority of the subject.
What I really want to focus on would be the compound eyes. I see this being a major challenge, but would be amazing to pull off. Have you any pointers besides the matte finishing? I don't use stabilization and am using a tripod, and a light box.
Some samples of the focus stacked dragon fly. I deleted the pictures to be used for photogrammetry, but kept some I took outside. They make a good example of the same dragon fly. In the actual pictures I put him on the top of a triangular ruler.
Does the A7rIII do focus bracketing? the rII doesn't and the Sony app is useless. Are you creating your stacks manually?
I'm using a turntable from orangemonkie called the Foldio360, so it's semi automated and has been fantastic, though I probably can't use it the same way, if I try stacking.
Your detail is great, but the dof is still too shallow, and yes, too much shine and reflection. Also try adding a circular polarising filter to your lens.
Unfortunately Paul, it does not focus bracket. It was all done by hand. Yeah the depth of field in those pics was a bit shallower, but the ones used for reality capture where sharp from wing to wing and head to tail. I deleted them after many failures and control points later. Took too much hard drive space and I have other experiments to run ;) I do have a CP filter and will have to try that.
and you're shooting in a light tent? neutral background? I'm using the Foldio3 tent with extra halo LED strips. I've not had to use control points at all. Sounds like stacking is a lot of hassle.
I've been considering buying an Olympus OM-D-ME1 mkII just for macro as it offers in body staking, and bracketing. However, it's only 20mp (probably still enough)
It is a lot of work. A turn table like that would help a lot. I've only had the camera and a true macro lens for less than a month. Before I had a crop sensor and 2 kit lenses and a nifity fifty. I'm still enjoying the new-ness of my toys, and letting my budget recover. I don't mind a 5hr shoot if the results turn out. I'm a little discourage still, but seeing your results I'm thinking I'll try again with baby power and just render gray scale like that beetle yours. I would like to get to color but it will have to wait I think, till I can get some of that matte varnish.
I'm running some tests today to compare the results between polarised lens, polarised lights, and matte varnish. It's a smaller beetle than what I've done before, so more of a challenge in itself.
That aside, I have this coming in a few months, to get around Sony's lack of stacking implementation.
That looks cool!!
Please sign in to leave a comment.