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I have taken a fair number of shots of slotcars over the years and anyone who has done similar will know the problems of shallow depth of field when taking macro shots (DOF is the band of focus in a shot from front to back).

I thought i would share a software product that i have recently started using (i have no relation to the company selling the software).

Helicon is a focus stacking software program - basically using multiple shots taken at different focus points and blending them together to create one final image with the item in focus from front to back. It's actually designed primarliy for Micro photography so our larger world is easier.

Here are some of my (very quick) examples to explain.

First shot - focus on the rear;


Second shot - focus 3/4 from the front;


Third shot - focus on the wing mirror;


Fourth shot - focus on the front bumper;


Final result after processing (which only took a few mins);

(note stand roughly removed in PS)

Now you can take a lot more shots to get 100% results, but this was a simple quick test.

I'm sure there are other similar programs out there that will do this. Trying to do this yourself in PS is really tricky becasue as you re-focus the focal length of your lens actually changes producing ever so slightly differetn angles in your shots - this is what Helicon sorts out with ease. It struggles with parts of the image in the corners of the frame, but generally does a good job.

Decent info on their web site www.heliconsoft.com

And a cheesy video on you tube;

The software is available for free as a trial demo for 30 days and after that it's about $30 per year.

Have fun.
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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6,455 Posts
I guess it's a useful piece of software for those with instamatic style digital cameras. Although the bottom end of the point and shoot range is essentially theoretically infinite focus.

For those with DSLR or D-hybrid the software really shouldn't be necessary. For those with the middle range point and shoot, yeah... ok.

But it is always interesting to see what image processing software is out there.

Embs
 

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Premium Member
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1,361 Posts
Isn't technology great?

For "studio" shots such as Jexy 1's example above, I would be tempted to try increasing the lighting, thereby decreasing the lens aperture. This will increase the depth of field. It might not provide enough depth, but it could. A small focal length on the lens will also increase DOF.

(Forgive me if the above does not help. I am no photographer but all I have learnt about imaging and optics is from the world of CCTV!!!
)

Cheers,
Philip
 

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Premium Member
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I think the opposite is true - I use several DSLR's (DX and Full frame) with Macro lenses and I could not get this level of depth of field.

You are, right compacts (generally) do have a greater DOF.

The above shots were taken on a 60mm Macro lens at f14 (Nikon D300 DX format) (decreasing the aperture to say f32 would have given me an extra 2mm either way DOF)
 

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Use a wide angle lens or setting to get both greater depth of field and better perspective, then crop in whatever software you like to use.
 

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One petunia in a field of onions
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6,455 Posts
Hmmmm......


EOS 10D 35-80mm 4.8f zoom lens @ around 70mm, 3x close-up filter, 200 ISO equivalent, available light and tripod.
Overall depth of field - approx 200mm
 

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David K Phillipson
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Ember
are you throwing down the gauntlet for who takes the best picture without using software
thats a mighty fine starting point if you are
 
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