Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Best DOF for photo stacking in Helicon Focus?  (Read 942 times)
Raul_82
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


WWW
« on: August 24, 2012, 09:18:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Hello!

I recently installed HC (trial), because I need to photograph a building interior on a scale model, and I would like to know which are the best settings for shooting and merge the files
1- Lots of shots with a shallow DOF or the lens sharpest aperture, or maybe a couple of shots at a narrower aperture.
2- Do I apply any base sharpening to the RAW files before stacking or leave that for later?
3- Any tips on HC settings? I hear it does a good job with the default values.

Knowledge is welcomed!  Wink



Logged
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 11:51:52 PM »
ReplyReply

Lots of photos at say f8, or your best aperture.  There is no particular punishment for too many photos, but you can suffer focus gaps with too few.

I don't believe Helicon works on raws.  Lightroom exports tifs to Helicon.  Process your raws fully before submitting them as tifs to Helicon.

If you have sharp, high resolution originals try B 4 2 or A 4 2 to start.  I think default is B 8 4 or something a little less tight than that.  Default works fine too.  It's worth an hour of two of experimentation to find the best settings.  Not really very critical for most subjects.  Bramble-bushes need the most carefully chosen settings, hard edged architecture will be much more forgiving.

Best if you set Helicon to use the monitor profile, and be sure you don't stumble into outputting jpegs.  Check all the option settings.  If you have the version that allows editing, be sure to do so if you have moving objects like clouds in the image since those can generate visual echos.  For landscapes you usually only need to edit the infinity plane.

Great program, I use it all the time.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 02:41:05 AM by bill t. » Logged
BartvanderWolf
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3457


« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2012, 05:47:26 AM »
ReplyReply

Lots of photos at say f8, or your best aperture.  There is no particular punishment for too many photos, but you can suffer focus gaps with too few.

Indeed, but if this is something that has to be done on a regular basis, then investing in a focus rail type of setup will pay off (length depends on the size/depth of the subject to be shot). With close-up and macro, depth of field (DOF) will be limited, but also simple to calculate using a formula that uses the magnification factor as one of the inputs. With a focus rail, the magnification factor remains the same, so the DOF range is a constant. All that needs to be done is calculate the step interval to make the rear of the DOF zone match the front of the next more distant interval shot. An ideal COC to use in the DOF calculation would then be equal to the sensel pitch.

Quote
I don't believe Helicon works on raws.  Lightroom exports tifs to Helicon.  Process your raws fully before submitting them as tifs to Helicon.

Helicon Focus does process Raws, by the use of DCRaw. However, first processing the intermediates to TIFFs or JPEGs does give more control, e.g. it allows to remove Chromatic Aberrations if needed. Other than Capture sharpening, I wouldn't spend too much effort on processing the individual focus brackets, because only a relatively few pixels will be used from each one. It does pay off to remove sensor dust spots, because they will turn into very noticeable trails in the final image. Helicon Focus Pro does offer a Dustmap feature, where a single dustmap image will remove the dust from all frames in the stack, however, this is an operation best done at linear gamma, so that would be in the linear Raw converted stage, or on at least a 16-b/ch file that can be linearized during the operation without too many quantzation/rounding errors. I remove my dust spots in Capture One Pro, but when I tried it, HF alo did a reasonably good job.

Quote
If you have sharp, high resolution originals try B 4 2 or A 4 2 to start.  I think default is B 8 4 or something a little less tight than that.  Default works fine too.  It's worth an hour of two of experimentation to find the best settings.  Not really very critical for most subjects.  Bramble-bushes need the most carefully chosen settings, hard edged architecture will be much more forgiving.

Yes, it is subject dependent (occlusions are potential troublemakers, although shallow DOF brackets can help when there is lttle subject motion), but with straight edged subjects and sensel pitch aligned DOF zones, the Radius can be very small, even a B 2 1 setting can work well in such a scenario. A tightly controlled setup at the start, will pay off later in the stackng/processing.

Quote
Great program, I use it all the time.

I'm also a long time satisfied user of the program.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
Raul_82
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 104


WWW
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2012, 06:50:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for all the tips guys! I'm getting excellent results, although I realize it is not a complex subject, but I tried to do the same with photoshop and the result was unusable. Great software.

 
Logged
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad