Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

Join our unique resource for Olympus Four Thirds E-System DSLR and Pen and OM-D Micro Four Thirds photographers. Show your images via our free e-group photo gallery. Please read the e-group.uk.net forum terms and conditions before posting for the first time. Above all, welcome!


Go Back   Olympus UK E-System User Group > Cameras, lenses and system accessories > Software

Software Discuss Olympus Master, Studio and Viewer software applications as well as third party programs like Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and others.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 19th May 2014
Grumpy Hec's Avatar
Grumpy Hec Grumpy Hec is offline
Grumpy Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mersea Island, Essex
Posts: 2,465
Thanks: 230
Thanked 320 Times in 253 Posts
Likes: 615
Liked 539 Times in 249 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Interesting and timely thread this John.

I am just about to start experimenting with stacking using Photoshop. Helicon does look good I have to say.

How is it in terms of workflow? I use LR and PS CC so I'm keen to keep my workflow simple and in tune with my existing practice.

cheers

Hec
__________________
I've worked hard to be this grumpy. It hasn't been easy at times but it's worth it.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 19th May 2014
Ralph Harwood's Avatar
Ralph Harwood Ralph Harwood is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,822
Thanks: 213
Thanked 294 Times in 274 Posts
Likes: 765
Liked 412 Times in 254 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Hi everyone!

I've been wondering for a while now why this feature isn't included in our cameras? We can bracket for exposure and other things - since the camera controls the focussing, why can't we focus on a near point, refocus on a far point (all on the touch screen at the back) and then let our incredibly powerful cameras decide how many frames it needs to take at our chosen aperture and then give us a stacked image as a jpeg as well as all the RAW files for if we want to play ourselves. I don't think any other manufacturer does this at the moment, so Olympus could have it as a USP, and it should be all possible in software so no major technology redesign costs.

Maybe if Mark is reading this he might pass it up to head office?

Cheers,

Ralph.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 19th May 2014
StephenL's Avatar
StephenL StephenL is offline
Senior Pixelmonger
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Yorkshire Dales
Posts: 9,863
Thanks: 984
Thanked 1,126 Times in 921 Posts
Likes: 658
Liked 755 Times in 499 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Now that's a nice idea, but I have it in the back of a dusty mind that one manufacturer has or had this feature. Sony is ringing a vague bell. Of course, Lytro have an alternative to focussing already.
__________________
Stephen

A camera takes a picture. A photographer makes a picture

Fuji X system, + Leica and Bronica film

My Flickr site
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 19th May 2014
meach meach is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Posts: 653
Thanks: 125
Thanked 30 Times in 28 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

The E500 had focus bracketing. Not quite what what Ralph envisages but someone clearly was at least thinking along those lines.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 19th May 2014
Zuiko's Avatar
Zuiko Zuiko is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Dunmow, Essex
Posts: 22,190
Thanks: 1,991
Thanked 3,175 Times in 2,480 Posts
Likes: 3,448
Liked 4,504 Times in 2,141 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy Hec View Post
Interesting and timely thread this John.

I am just about to start experimenting with stacking using Photoshop. Helicon does look good I have to say.

How is it in terms of workflow? I use LR and PS CC so I'm keen to keep my workflow simple and in tune with my existing practice.

cheers

Hec
When you download the program there is an option to set it as a plug-in for Lightroom, but sadly not Elements so my workflow will be a bit more labourious. However, selecting pictures is dead easy, just drag and drop and I don't envisage using this for a very high percentage of my images.
__________________
John

"A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 19th May 2014
Ralph Harwood's Avatar
Ralph Harwood Ralph Harwood is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Wirral
Posts: 1,822
Thanks: 213
Thanked 294 Times in 274 Posts
Likes: 765
Liked 412 Times in 254 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by meach View Post
The E500 had focus bracketing. Not quite what what Ralph envisages but someone clearly was at least thinking along those lines.
Does it?!? I'll have to dig it out and have a look - if I could set it to do 5 fairly widely spaced focus brackets then that's half the battle already sorted. Would be nice to be able to do it all in camera though!

Cheers,

Ralph.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 19th May 2014
meach meach is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Posts: 653
Thanks: 125
Thanked 30 Times in 28 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Harwood View Post
Does it?!? I'll have to dig it out and have a look - if I could set it to do 5 fairly widely spaced focus brackets then that's half the battle already sorted. Would be nice to be able to do it all in camera though!

Cheers,

Ralph.
If I remember correctly it only does three shots and you have no control over where it focuses. I suspect it was an idea to compensate for focusing error rather than stacking them together. I believe Wrotniak wrote a bit about it but he was unable to work out exactly what was happening - again that's from memory so I shall see what I can dig out.

Update:

I was wrong:

"Focus bracketing: When in manual focus mode (ZD lenses only!), the camera may shoot a sequence of five or seven frames, tweaking the focus a bit from your manual setting. Two different focus step values can be used."



link here: http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e500.html
__________________
Paul

Last edited by meach; 19th May 2014 at 03:34 PM. Reason: Added a few bits
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 19th May 2014
Zuiko's Avatar
Zuiko Zuiko is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Dunmow, Essex
Posts: 22,190
Thanks: 1,991
Thanked 3,175 Times in 2,480 Posts
Likes: 3,448
Liked 4,504 Times in 2,141 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

I took a short series of 4 shots in windy conditions this evening, to test how the software copes with movement. It was predicably bad, with very obvious and horrible artifacts.




I tried combining just two shots, one of the foreground buttercups and one of the background tree. There was an improvement but the image is still unusable.




Which leaves the alternative of a traditional single frame, shot at f16 and obviously compromised by diffraction but still not sharp in the background (I focussed on the foreground flowers.)




It seems that this software will have its uses for landscapes, but only when there is no movement in the frame, be it wind-blown vegitation, clouds or flowing water. I guess there is no such thing as a free lunch!
__________________
John

"A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 19th May 2014
StephenL's Avatar
StephenL StephenL is offline
Senior Pixelmonger
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Yorkshire Dales
Posts: 9,863
Thanks: 984
Thanked 1,126 Times in 921 Posts
Likes: 658
Liked 755 Times in 499 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Interesting that you came up with this conclusion. This afternoon I loaded the same donor images I had used in my experiment earlier ths year with Photoshop. They were taken in flat-calm conditions, so the only "movement" was that of lens focus shift. In PS the software aligned the images perfectly. Today, Helicon gave unacceptable results with obvious haloes on the nearer items. I tried all three blending options, and whilst there was an improvement using, I think, option 3, my conclusion was that PS was better at alignment. Maybe it would be different used on macro subjects, but certainly for landscape focus stacking PS wins.
__________________
Stephen

A camera takes a picture. A photographer makes a picture

Fuji X system, + Leica and Bronica film

My Flickr site
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 19th May 2014
Kami Kami is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: with Frank and Brenda
Posts: 323
Thanks: 7
Thanked 56 Times in 45 Posts
Likes: 37
Liked 42 Times in 36 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Looks interesting, so thanks. Halo-ing on the left-hand buttercups maybe in the combined shot ?
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 19th May 2014
gphemy gphemy is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: 57 38' N by 4 08' W
Posts: 350
Thanks: 28
Thanked 43 Times in 40 Posts
Likes: 4
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by meach View Post
The E500 had focus bracketing. Not quite what what Ralph envisages but someone clearly was at least thinking along those lines.
And the E-330, no?

Piers
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 20th May 2014
Grumpy Hec's Avatar
Grumpy Hec Grumpy Hec is offline
Grumpy Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Mersea Island, Essex
Posts: 2,465
Thanks: 230
Thanked 320 Times in 253 Posts
Likes: 615
Liked 539 Times in 249 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
When you download the program there is an option to set it as a plug-in for Lightroom, but sadly not Elements so my workflow will be a bit more labourious. However, selecting pictures is dead easy, just drag and drop and I don't envisage using this for a very high percentage of my images.
Thanks for that information John. That sounds like it covers off my workflow issues then. I will stick to testing PS though as I have that and don't particularly want to by more software if I can avoid it.

cheers

hec
__________________
I've worked hard to be this grumpy. It hasn't been easy at times but it's worth it.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Liked This Post:
Zuiko (20th May 2014)
  #28  
Old 20th May 2014
meach meach is offline
Full member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Stockton-on-Tees, UK
Posts: 653
Thanks: 125
Thanked 30 Times in 28 Posts
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Re: Helicon Focus Stacking for Landscapes

Quote:
Originally Posted by gphemy View Post
And the E-330, no?

Piers
I don't know. I've had an E-500 but not an E-330 so I couldn't say.
__________________
Paul
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Landscape focus stacking StephenL Looking for improvement 24 5th February 2014 01:36 PM
Focus Stacking Peter_Hartland Foto Fair 8 1st February 2014 11:41 PM
Focus Stacking Software. Seonnaidh Software 5 6th September 2012 09:43 PM
Focus stacking help please Swordfish Foto Fair 3 7th January 2012 06:37 PM
Focus stacking for Mac sapper Software 4 7th August 2009 01:02 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:30 PM.


The Write Technology Ltd, 2007-2019, All rights reservedAd Management plugin by RedTyger