1. jakeblu

    jakeblu

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    Ok I tried out my close up filters today on my Panasonic 45-175mm f4-5.6. I've always fancied a go at macro and following advice from @GardenersHelper and encouragement from @Graham I bought a cheap set of close up filters to try macro and see if I was suited to it. Here are two images I tried today, please excuse the rubbish subject, I just wanted to see what they could produce and I needed a static subject

    [​IMG]P9160001-Edit-2.jpg by Steve Vickers, on Flickr

    [​IMG]P9160017-Edit.jpg by Steve Vickers, on Flickr

    Basically I had a +4 and a +2 filter on the lens and the camera on my mini tripod. I used the Olympus focus bracketing, set at 15 shots at +4 differential. They were stacked together in PS. One thing I noticed about the close up filters, they have a very limited focal range and will not focus on any thing outside of it, so much so that on my first attempts the camera wouldn't take 15 shots, I'm assuming thats due to its inability to focus at all the stages.

    One thing that I did notice was this

    [​IMG]P9160001-Edit-2.jpg by Steve Vickers, on Flickr

    It's on both images, full sizes on Flickr for those interested. I'm assuming its my technique, if so does anyone know what I did wrong?

    I would like to continue this adventure a little further, so any advice on how I can improve would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. GardenersHelper

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    With +6 diopters power, which is between the power of a Raynox 150 and Raynox 250, the range over which you can gain focus from a fixed position will be very limited. Exactly how limited will depend on how close the camera lens can focus. You used the 45-175 at 45mm, and with +6 diopters on my 45-175 (two Marumi 330s in this case) I could focus over a range of a little under 40mm, around one and a half inches. This is the best case. If you start with the camera nearer the subject than the infinity focus position then the focusable range will be smaller.

    It is probably to do with an unfortunate characteristic of stacking that arises when you have two surfaces that overlap in the scene but are at different distances from the camera and you want both of them in focus. I have written about that with an example in this post at dpreview. and discussed it with a different example from 22:00 in this video at You Tube.

    Depending on the distances involved, you may be able to reduce the problem by using a different stacking technique, but there may be no alternative to trying to solve the problem with cloning, which may or may not be possible, and if possible may or may not be worthwhile.

    What you might want to do is to look through the images at the same size, pick a halo and see if you can find one of the images in which the haloed area is in focus. My guess is that you won't be able to and that there is no image in which that area is in focus.

    You might want to try some different subjects and see how it goes.
     
  3. jakeblu

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    Thanks Nick, thats very informative, the video was especially helpful. I wondered if you would get the same problems with Olympus's built in focus stacking, I guess you probably would.
     
  4. chris malcolm

    chris malcolm

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    It's a software problem. You might find that different focus stacking algorithms handle it differently. Try the in-camera one. If that's no better try some more.
     
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  5. GardenersHelper

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    If there are no images with the haloed areas in focus then it won't matter what software you use. Have you checked the images to see if any of them have the haloed areas in focus?

    I would be rather interested to see the set of images; they might make a rather good example if you were ok with that. If you would like to, please upload them (JPEGs probably better than raw because of upload times for you) at https://www.dropbox.com/request/IgPhNhl1zwxM3ffC9MGF and I will have a look at them, try stacking them and report back on how it goes.
     
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  6. davholla

    davholla

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    One question about focus bracketing does it work with flash? Or only in Good light
    To get back on topic - good photos.
     
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  7. GardenersHelper

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    Yes it can, but it depends on the equipment you are using. For example this video shows how to do it with an Olympus camera. That is with the camera controlling things. You can also use apps and/or more complicated automated stacking rigs which will control the camera (and flash), or you can control it manually shot by shot.

    Not something I've ever done btw. I don't think my Panasonics can control the flash properly for this (to slow things down to let the flash recycle), and I don't have the kit/inclination to try the other methods. FWIW I have done a handful of test stacks using an LED light.
     
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  8. jakeblu

    jakeblu

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    With the built in focus stacking on the Olympus, you can choose a delay between the shots to allow time for the flash to recharge
     
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  9. jakeblu

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    Hi Nick, uploaded the images in soc jpg. I'm looking forward to see what you can do with them.
     
  10. GardenersHelper

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    Thanks for doing that Steve.

    I put the images into Helicon Focus and tried stacking them using two different methods and varying the parameters of one of them in a way that sometimes eliminates haloes. It didn't work. There were significant halos no matter what I tried.

    I picked an area to look at more closely and exported to Photoshop the image in which the nearer surface was in focus (image 3 in the series) and the image in which the surface behind it was in focus (image 12 in the series). (Actually these were screen shots of part/most of the image which I took from Helicon Focus, because I wanted to make sure the images were aligned.)

    Here is the image which has the rear surface in focus, showing the area we'll be looking at.

    [There are larger versions of these if you click through to Flickr. I hope that works; I have made them private at Flickr, so if clicking through doesn't work then I'll have to make them public.]

    [​IMG]
    NOT MY IMAGE - JakeBlu pine cone - 1383 01 In Photoshop, Image 12 annotated
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Here is the image which has the front surface in focus.

    [​IMG]
    NOT MY IMAGE - JakeBlu pine cone - 1383 02 In Photoshop, Image 3
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Here are the in focus areas of the front surface image.

    [​IMG]
    NOT MY IMAGE - JakeBlu pine cone - 1383 03 In Photoshop, Image 3 areas in focus
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    Here are the in focus areas of the front surface image overlaid on the rear surface image. As you can see the rear surface image has an area where it is not in focus around the edge of the in focus front surface. (And none of the other images has this area in focus either.)

    [​IMG]
    NOT MY IMAGE - JakeBlu pine cone - 1383 04 In Photosohp, Image 3 areas in focus overlaid on Image 12 annotated
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    If we restrict ourselves to simply stacking the images, choosing the in focus areas from each, it is inevitable that there will be a halo in that area, and of course others too.

    The only solutions I can see for this image set are (a) to accept the haloes or (b) use cloning to try to hide them (which looks distinctly non-trivial to me in this case).

    What you might want to try (and I would be very interested in) is to do the captures again, but this time using more images (30, 40, 50? I don't know how many you could reasonably manage) so the distance/difference between successive images would be smaller. My guess is that the haloes would be the same size, but that is a guess and I'd be very interested indeed to see if it is correct.

    I think this is a really good example and I would love to be able to use it elsewhere.
     
  11. jakeblu

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    Again thanks for the detailed response, you clearly know your stuff. You are welcome to use the images any where you like.

    I will capture the fir cone again and post the stacked images. You are welcome to those too if they are of any use to you.
     
  12. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    Thank you. That is very helpful.

    I'll be interested to see if it comes out any different as far as the haloes are concerned.

    Thanks. If you upload them to the same place I'll also try stacking them and see how it goes.

    Just so I know for the future, if you click on any of the images in my post does Flickr let you see the larger versions?
     
  13. jakeblu

    jakeblu

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    It tells me its private and doesn't show me the images
     
  14. GardenersHelper

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    Thanks. I've made them public. Can you see them now?
     
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  15. jakeblu

    jakeblu

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    I can, and I can also click through to the full size images
     
  16. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    Good. Thanks. Now I'll know for next time.
     
  17. jakeblu

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    Ok, round 2

    [​IMG]P9180001-Edit.jpg by Steve Vickers, on Flickr

    I set the camera to take 40 images in focus bracketing, and set the differential to 1. Unfortunately, the camera would only take 29 shots no matter how many times I tried.
     
  18. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist

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    The focusing range is standard for these.
    With the lens set to infinity focus the lens & close up filter (technically a dioptre) will focus at the focal length of the 'filter'.
    They are usually sold as '+1' '+4' where the positive number is the dioptre of the lens, which is 1/ focal length in meters.
    So a +1 has maximum focus of 1m, a +4 has maximum focus of 1/4 meter...
    If combining multiple dioptres you can just add the numbers.

    Closest focus with the filter fitted is more complicated, but is a combination of the dioptre strength & how close the lens focuses without it.

    With my 150-500 the minimum focus distance is not impressive (3m IIRC) so the focusing range with my first large close up lens (+8) was about 12cm to 12.5cm AF is clearly not much help here!
    Most macro photographer soon learn to focus by changing subject distance.
     
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  19. GardenersHelper

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    Good stuff.

    This is true, but FWIW I use autofocus almost all the time. How well autofocus works depends on the kit being used.
     
  20. GardenersHelper

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    29 is fine. We both got haloes again.

    I tried two methods with several parameter variations. Here are 100% views of two of them. (A screenshot from Faststone Image Viewer. Full size screenshot available over at Flickr.)

    [​IMG]
    NOT MY IMAGE - JakeBlu pine cone - 1383 05 Compare Helicon method C1 with B8,4 at 100pc
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

    The angles were a bit different this time and that proved useful because I think it shows, as illustrated on the right, that the haloes get worse as the distance between the two surfaces increases (assuming you want both surfaces in focus - If you reduce the number of images used so that only the front surface is in focus you can get rid of the halo completely, but it may no longer work as an image).

    On the left is a stack using a different method. The haloes are still there, but much less of a problem. (Using that other stacking method isn't a generalised solution because, like all the methods, it has problems of its own, and like them it sometimes works fine and sometimes doesn't.)
     
  21. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist

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    At lower magnifications I usually will just use AF, but at higher magnification (2x & up) I'd always at least get roughly right first by moving the camera/subject.
    With 3D subjects getting AF exactly where I want is close to impossible (not that MY manual skill is much better).

    When I get to really high magnifications I don't have any AF options.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018 at 6:25 PM
  22. GardenersHelper

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    I don't do a lot with very small subjects, but when I do I use autofocus - springtails, barkflies, mites, ticks, fruit flies, that sort of thing. About the only thing I don't use autofocus for is spiders hanging on the other side of a web.

    Having (non-hunting), quite quick and very accurate autofocus available is one of the things I really like about using close-up lenses on telezooms with live view contrast detect focusing.

    I find it especially useful when tracking moving insects - the autofocus can react far faster than I can - and with an invertebrate on the move there often isn't time (for me at least) to move the camera back and forth to place the focus plane where I want it. With autofocus all I have to do is place the small focus box where I want the centre of focus. As well as being quick, it is easier on my eyes too as I don't have to make fine judgements about exactly which part of the image is in best focus..
     
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  23. davholla

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    What kit is that, (I get confused with your kit) that gives you autofocus? My Canon MPE65 mm of course does not autofocus.
     
  24. GardenersHelper

    GardenersHelper

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    Panasonic FZ330 1/2.3" bridge camera with Raynox 150, 250, stacked 150/250, stacked 2 x Marumi 330, stacked 2 x Marumi 330 + Raynox 250, MSN-202, (very rarely) MSN-505 (but it does give autofocus).
    Panasonic G3 first with 45-200 and then 45-175, G5 and G80 with 45-175, all of these with the close-up lenses and combination listed for the FZ330.
    Canon 70D with EF-S 55-250 STM and the same close-up lenses.

    Those combinations are mainly for invertebrates. For botanical subjects the same cameras/lenses with mainly Canon 500D close-up lens (or no close-up lens), occasionally with Raynox 150 for small subjects. More recently, and now almost all the time for botanical subjects, G80 with Olympus 60mm macro (and no close-up lens).

    I generally use the FZ330 these days for invertebrates.

    All used with their camera's articulated screens rather than the viewfinders (and therefore dual pixel sensor-based focusing with the 70D rather than off-sensor phase detect focusing).

    The Panasonics can focus quicker, on a smaller area than the 70D (making for more accurate placement of the centre of focus) and more reliably find good focus.
     
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  25. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist

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    With the MSN-505 (the strongest of your listed dioptres) your maximum working distance is about 3cm.
    If you camera is further away than that your AF doesn't have a chance. I'm pretty sure the OP's issue was along the same lines just less extreme.

    4x lifesize on a tiny sensor like that could make for some stunning macros, if you can get light on your subject!
     
  26. GardenersHelper

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    Which of the OP's issues are you thinking of here, the haloes or the limited range from front to back over which it is possible to gain focus? What is the link with autofocus? (I don't think the OP mentioned autofocus.)

    Getting light on the subject is ok with the KX-800 and its bendy arms. Well, ok-ish, it depends on the shape of the surroundings. With that very short working distance it is easy for other things to get in the way of putting the flash heads where I want them, especially as they have quite large diffusers on them and there is a concave diffuser suspended in front of them.

    The MSN-505 doesn't go to 4X on the small sensor FZ330. Given the FZ330's 6.2mm wide sensor, 4X would be a scene width of around 1.5mm. With the FZ330 at its maximum focal length of 600mm equivalent the scene width with the MSN-505 is around 2mm, so about 3X magnification.

    The MSN-505 goes well beyond 4X on my micro four thirds Panasonics. With the MSN-505 on a 45-175 at 175 the scene width is around 3mm, so around 6X magnification given its 17.3mm wide sensor.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018 at 6:15 PM
  27. Petrochemist

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    The OP said 'One thing I noticed about the close up filters, they have a very limited focal range and will not focus on any thing outside of it'
    It's the very limited focusing range of dioptres I was referring too, especially at higher magnifications. AF (or the MF control on a lens) can only work within the movement range of the lens & subject distance needs to in that range to make it possible to use AF. Most of the focusing has been done in getting that subject distance appropriate.

    It's that '600mm equivalent' that made me look at that combination, it's actually only a 108mm lens, so yes you would get more magnification from a 175.
    I think you'll find your 'about 2mm' was nearer 1.5mm (which is 4x), unless the specs quoted for the Raynox or on the front of the lens are exaggerated.
     
  28. GardenersHelper

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    Thank you for the clarification.

    It looks more like 2mm to me. (And yes, horrible fringing.)

    I don't have anything on the front of my MSN-505. On the side it says "Super Micro Lens Made in Japan".
    I didn't notice a reference to 4X on the product page on the Raynox site.

    [​IMG]
    P1550715 LR7 900h
    by gardenersassistant, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018 at 10:00 PM
  29. Petrochemist

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    I admit that certainly looks closer to 2mm!
    There wouldn't be a reference to 4x on the Raynox site, as magnification is a function of the focal length of the lens it's used with. It will give twice as much magnification on a 200mm lens as on a 100mm.

    I don't think I've used a close up filter stronger than +10 dioptre, but I've stacked camera lenses etc to use the reversed front on as a dioptre. The 4mm lens (+250 dioptre) wasn't a success, but the 28mm was OK once the contrast was boosted (giving roughly 6x on the 200mm lens I tried it on).

    Getting rid of aberrations on these extreme macro set-ups gets to be a pain so I switch to using a microscope where possible, and then have to use panoramic stitching to get the FOV back up to a reasonable value! Unfortunately combining stitching with stacking rarely works well...
     
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  30. davholla

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    Do you have all these together
    "Raynox 150, 250, stacked 150/250, stacked 2 x Marumi 330, stacked 2 x Marumi 330"
    Or just some of them?
     
  31. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist

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    I assumed the commas separate different set ups:
    Raynox 150 is +4.8 dioptre
    Raynox 250 is +8 dioptre
    stacked together give +12.8 dioptre
    2 Marumi 330 make +6 dioptre
    with the Raynox 250 as well gives +14 dioptre
    The MSN-202 is +25 dioptre
    & the 505 is +33 dioptre

    An impressive collection as they all have excellent reputations.
     
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  32. jakeblu

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    I didn't really have any problem with the autofocus initially, once I had the distance right. It does seem though that even on a relatively small subject, the autofocus had a limited range.
     
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  33. GardenersHelper

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    Mike has it exactly right.
     
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  34. GardenersHelper

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    The only thing I would add is that I have only recently been testing the twin Marumi 330 setup. I didn't try the 330 for a long time because I got such bad results with the Marumi 200 (+5), as I did with the Canon 250 (+4), when I tested them (with two copies of each, written up in my Journey thread). I got such good results with the Marumi 330 when I finally got round to testing it recently (apart from at longer focal lengths, see below) that I got a second one to try stacking them for +6, which sits nicely between the Raynox 150 and 250 in terms of both magnification and working distance. Also, because the Marumi has a larger diameter than the Raynox 150 it gives (even when stacked) a wider range of magnifications than the Raynox 150 (because there is less vignetting at the wide end). The Raynox 150 is my workhorse, and +6 providing a bit more magnification and a bit wider scene width at the other end would be ideal from my point of view, given suitable image quality.

    With the twin Marumi 330 setup I found I got better results by reversing one of them. I still haven't made my mind up as between the Raynox 150 and the twin Marumi 330 setup. I was doing a lot of testing but got sidetracked multiple times and the testing (which to be honest is rather tedious, even for an obsessive like me) has "gone cold". And at this time of year there isn't much around of the type that I need that sort of setup for anyway, so my motivation for getting back into hours of tedious testing is low. (Actually, never mind this time of year, the whole year has been worryingly poor in terms of subject matter. Not that it matters whether I get good subjects or not, but I do find the very low numbers and extremely low variety rather troubling, as it seems to be entirely consistent with a longer term trend - and not just here locally apparently.)
     
  35. GardenersHelper

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    I think with small subjects any focusing, whether auto or manual, only works over a limited range when using close-up lenses, and that is one of the disadvantages of close-up lenses, and not just with small subjects.

    It is an extreme case, but with the very powerful MSN-505 for example the range is very close to zero - I find it difficult to move the camera in small enough increments to get the distance right. Oddly enough though, and I know this must sound bonkers, even though that is the case autofocus is still useful. I keep the shutter button depressed and when the camera catches focus it fires. This (I believe) minimises the time between focus lock and capture, so minimising the time for camera movement between focus lock and capture, compared to the opportunity for camera movement with manual focusing in the time between looking very carefully, ascertaining when the subject is in focus and then pressing the shutter button to take the shot, and the additional possibility that pressing the shutter button induces some additional movement. (For me this is often "somewhat hand-held" btw. Tripod working out in the field at these magnifications has its own, no less problematic issues in my experience.)
     

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