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Author Topic: Macro Stitching  (Read 5126 times)
larkvi
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« on: May 17, 2005, 05:57:33 PM »
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Didger-

What is involved in macro stitching? Keeping the camera on the same plane for the multiple shots seems like it would be extremely hard to manage when working with millimeters of DOF--or am I just missing something?
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larkvi
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2005, 06:48:34 PM »
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I was assuming that you had actually moved the camera sideways in order to keep in plane. Your results do look very good and quite convincing--I shall have to look into panorama techniques--seems like a good way to squeeze a bit more resolution out of my 300D.

Could you post a picture of this setup (or have you already in some other thread?) if you get a chance, so I can understand exactly what it is you are doing to the camera?
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larkvi
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2005, 07:23:41 PM »
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Although I have the time, I unfortunately lack the tools to work with carbon fiber or anything else that requires serious cutting, so I suppose that is a no--but thank you for the offer.
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mikebinok
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2005, 08:07:33 PM »
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Some people use the 90mm tilt-shift lens for macro to take advantage of the tilt capability to put the DOF where they want it to be.  Have you pondered using the shifting abilities for macro in the same way Jack Flesher and the Outback folks have used it for landscapes?
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didger
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2005, 08:51:28 PM »
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Quote
what I want to see is a multishot macro-stitched skewered ladybug.
Hmmm, the technical aspects of that might be pretty challenging, but instead of taking that approach, I would recommend going to your local Yellow Pages to find a good psychotherapist. :laugh:
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didger
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2005, 05:34:43 PM »
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Recently Jonathan mentioned doing some macro stitching and this re-awoke me to thinking small and to start thinking about macro stitching too. With my 1ds the only macro lens I had is 50mm and that gets you so close to your subject that your shadow or the tripod's shadow or something gets in the way and things get pretty cumbersome and cramped just for a single shot; I never even thought to try stitching frames. Now that I have a 28-75 and a 105 that are both really great macro lenses, I'm reconsidering. Below are two cactus flower shots that are both 2 frame stitches. Why? Just because; or maybe to do sharp detailed 3x3 foot prints of flowers.
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didger
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2005, 06:27:27 PM »
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The cluster of barrel cactus flowers is about 8" across and the single beaver tail cactus flower is about 2.5" across.  The DOF for the barrel cactus is probably about 3 cm and the single flower at least 1 cm.  With my rather sloppy way of doing the stitching shooting, I don't think I could do 1:1 macro stitching very effectively.  I don't use any sort of level.  I simply use the ball head for rotation.  For this to work you really have to use a program that lets you specify control points manually (like PTAssembler or PTMac).  This gives the best and most consistent results anyway, and is no hassle at all once you've had a little practice.

The reason I use the extremely simple field method of rotating with the ball head is speed and weight savings.  A proper panorama head weighs (and costs) considerably more than my entire tripod/ball head assembly.  To rotate about the nodal point of the lenses I have a carbon fiber bracket permanently attached to the camera and the whole thing only weighs about 5 oz.  For more "kosher" ways of doing the field work with greater precision and level control, perhaps Jonathan can explain his system.  My only defense for a very very unorthodox way (evolved over several generations of hardware innovations and changing stitching technique) to do all this is that I'm getting excellent results and it's as easy for me to do panorama series shooting as it is to shoot single frames.
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didger
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2005, 07:18:16 PM »
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I haven't posted any gadgetry invention pictures for some time because no one was ever at all seriously interested, just occasionally for a good laugh or some sort of debate or discussion.  I don't think anyone ever tried any of the stuff I've mentioned.  This bracket gadget takes considerable craft skill and one size definitely does NOT fit all.  It has to be exactly made for a particular camera, and the tripod mounting points need to be exactly placed for particular lenses.  There's no patterns you can copy.  You have to design from scratch and my current version is #5.  I do a huge amount of panorama stitch shooting (almost nothing else), so for me all this work to streamline the field equipment and techniques was worth it.  If you think you're that interested and might actually order the necessary carbon fiber plate material and go for the effort to make such a thing, I'll post a picture.
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didger
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2005, 07:35:07 PM »
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Yeah, you need some sort of saw, like radial arm, or chop saw, or band saw.  Also, I use a milling machine for certain operations and you also need a drill press.  My methods are relatively crude, but there's a limit to how crude you can go and still have adequate precision for a good fit for your camera and accurate placement of tripod attachment points (for accurate rotation about lens nodal points).  If weight and cost are not major factors, you could check out the various commercial panorama heads available.  These are very precise and very versatile, but not nearly as quick and convenient as my system.
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didger
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2005, 08:22:18 PM »
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I've got some Ukranian T/S lenses for my 1ds and I experimented a little with shift for pano, but not with macro or using tilt for controlled apparent DOF with stitch shots.  I quit doing T/S lens stitch stuff once I started getting such good results with "normal" panorama stitching.  I also prefer not to be limited to just 2 frames wide and I don't like carrying extra lenses just for pano stitch shooting.  In any case, I have no T/S lenses for my D2X.  I might see about getting my 35mm Arsat switched to Nikon mount.  I'm pretty sure they could do that, though I'm in no hurry.  The main reason I wanted some T/S lenses was for canyon wall DOF, but I don't expect to get back to Utah/Arizona any time soon.

So far I haven't found any very small things for trying macro stitching with.  Maybe my existing methods will work OK.  I also want to try some 4 frame two layer macro stitches.  I don't think that will be a big problem, just a bit tedious to set up and shoot.  The considerable extra DOF with the D2X (compared to full frame sensor) is quite a help for macro.
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rickster
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2005, 08:33:34 PM »
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While the flower pics are nice what I want to see is a multishot macro-stitched skewered ladybug.
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