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Not returning to closest focus point

Posted: 20.05.2020 02:18
by GracieAllen
I've been doing some working with Helicon remote lately. Nikon D850, Tamron SP 90mm macro, ISO 125, F/8, 1/2 second. Helicon Remote 3.9.11 W.

I set up a ruler to play with. Put the front edge at the minimum focus distance for the lens. Set the lens to focus full range so there was NO LIMITING on the focusing. Used HR to move with the arrows until the lens was focused perfectly on the point I wanted to start. This was minimum focus for the lens. Locked point A. Then used the arrows to move out 685 points to where I wanted the farthest focus point. Locked point B.
So, A is locked and B is locked. Interval is 5, the default set by Helicon Remote. The number of images is whatever Helicon needed.
I pressed the left arrow next to point A to have it jump to the focus at point A. It DID NOT. I jumped to approximately 42 mm down the ruler. Repeated, it would NOT move to my locked point A.
Repeated the entire process. Tested by moving out 100 or so focus points, then hit the arrow next to A and it jumped to my locked point A.
Moved out 600 focus points, hit the arrow to jump to point A and it did not. It again stopped at 42mm.
This was absolutely repeatable and occurred several times. SOMEWHERE between 100 focus points and 600 Helicon either lost my locked point A or changed something so it didn't move to point A.
Finally, to get the stack I wanted to test, I positioned and locked point A, moved out 600 points then attempted to jump to point A. It stopped at 42 mm. I locked THAT point into B, then stepped forward with the arrows until I reached minimum focus at the line I wanted and locked point A. Shot the stack of 35 images.
THEN I locked the point where I FINISHED that stack into point A (42 mm), moved out to what would originally have been 675 focus units, locked point B, and shot the 38 image stack.

And, BTW, for reference, I did the same thing using the built-in stacking in the D850, and had NO problem setting the starting point at the lens minimum, OR having it return precisely to that point every time I tried... I don't believe it's a camera issue or a lens issue.

Is there ANY reason why Helicon Remote would NOT return to the original, locked point A? Is it a known issue or built-in limitation that affects longer distances?

Re: Not returning to closest focus point

Posted: 21.05.2020 07:01
by Catherine
Some Nikon lenses cannot perform large movements reliably, and some lenses have a certain point at which it halts if you attempt to cross this point in one large movement. Tamron lenses are especially notorious for being quirky. Go to Helicon Remote preferences -> Nikon, and set "Limit maximum amount of continuous focus movement" to "Yes". If it still doesn't work well, try lowering the "max. amount" value.

Re: Not returning to closest focus point

Posted: 21.05.2020 19:30
by GracieAllen
So the "continuous focus movement" isn't related to movement between shots, it's the total amount of movement between nearest and farthest focus points? I can Set it to yes and play, just to see if there's some hard limit to how many focus units I can reliably use before the lens and Helicon Remote stop working together properly.

Re: Not returning to closest focus point

Posted: 23.05.2020 13:57
by Catherine
GracieAllen wrote:
21.05.2020 19:30
So the "continuous focus movement" isn't related to movement between shots, it's the total amount of movement between nearest and farthest focus points?
No. Whenever the program attempts to make a movement that is larger than the threshold, it will be split into a series of smaller movements. No matter what the context of that movement was. Maybe you've changed the settings to make the big step 1000 units long, then each big steps will be split into smaller ones. Unless you set the threshold to > 1000, of course.