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EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2022-08-17 00:05:43

Example: Stacking at 135mm (Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks)

The 135mm focal length of the Zeiss 135mm f/2 APO-Sonnar is a challenge for depth of field, and yet I wanted to juxtapose these three glacial erratics against Unicorn and Cathedral Peaks in order to compress the perspective. A strong blur on the leading boulder would have wrecked the effect, and f/16 would be no solution at all. The depth of field challenge was insurmountable without focus stacking.

The challenge with longer focal lengths comes from the relatively large blur haloes for out of focus areas; these overlap edges that cause a halo zone, such as the edges of the boulders in this image (wide angle lenses are much less troublesome in that regard). The Zerene Stacker retouch facility was used to clone in crisp edges of the boulders and some of the forest area over the DMAP stacked result, which had been blurred in the composite image (stacking algorithms can have trouble with low contrast areas also).

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  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
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  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Erratics’ View of Cathedral Peak and Unicorn Peak
Focus-stacked image, 3 frames
f11 @ 1/60 sec, ISO 64; 2016-06-15 19:20:04
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 @ 135mm

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