Imagery: Auto - Large Table of Contents

EXCERPT page containing first few paragraphs. 2021-07-28 17:05:16

Enable javascript for this site to show Retina images, aperture series, image toggles, topics page menus and more.

Overview of Focus Stacking

The range of sharp detail (depth of field) can be a major challenge with many subjects—more on that below. This article shows how focus stacking sidesteps the limitations of depth of field, making composite images having sharpness over a much deeper zone than is possible in a single frame. Let’s start by looking at a macro photography challenge: the impossibility of making a sharp image even when the lens is stopped down as far as it can go.

Below, a single frame taken at f/9 offers detail over the bicycle cassette for about the depth of a single cog—yet it is an 11-cog cassette. Use of f/13 instead of f/9 would extend sharpness to perhaps two of the cogs. but with some loss of brilliance for fine details (due to diffraction). Using f/22 would damage overall contrast and micro contrast substantially: stopping down is a non-solution for high quality and it still would not deliver a sharp image through all 11 cogs.

Article continues for subscribers...

Diglloyd Making Sharp Images is by yearly subscription. Subscribe now for about 13 cents a day ($50/year).
BEST DEAL: get full access to ALL 8 PUBLICATIONS for only 68 cents a day ($249.95)!

Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • 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.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • 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.

11-Cog Bicycle Cassette
Focus-stacked image, 15 frames
f9 @ 0.3 sec, ISO 64; 2016-05-19 11:09:50
NIKON D810 + Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135 ZF.2 @ 135mm

[low-res image for bot]

diglloyd Inc. | FTC Disclosure | PRIVACY POLICY | Trademarks | Terms of Use
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2021 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.