LightRoom direct to HF using preset - Method B defect

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks
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Posts: 16
Joined: 29.12.2009 02:08

LightRoom direct to HF using preset - Method B defect

Post by edokie » 09.09.2012 02:05

When moving a series of stacked finished images in Lightroom to Helicon Focus using HF's preset "Helicon Focus"... whenever "Method B" is selected to layer-process images in HF the out of focus background displays substantial irregularities and odd patterns. And it is consistent. The newest version of HF and the prior version.
But if the same stack of images is - first saved - as Jpegs, then imported into Helicon Focus ...the layering process is flawless, Method A, B or C.
New version is for unknown reasons substantially blurring surface textures rendering images very very soft. Previous editions rendered razor-sharp images. Method A, with 8 and 4 default settings.
Camera used should not make any difference: Canon Mk III, initial captures as raw files; post-processed in Lightroom, then into Helicon Focus.

Also, HF is not clearing "Temp" files created by the Lr to HF via HF's supplied preset, those huge Tiff files. The accumulation can quickly overload a hard drive. Most programs clear out written Tiff files when they close. The are appearing at this location: C:/users/(my name)/AppData/Local/Temp. Recently discovered 64GB worth of layering files taking up space on a SSD drive.

When sending from LR to HF using the preset... is there any user choice other than Tiff files? (roughly 125mb for every image)

Another observation: Method C in HF boosts contrast but adds appreciable noise. Images are noticeably sharper, more contrast, more crisp, but the noise added can easily overwhelm.

Posts: 16
Joined: 29.12.2009 02:08

Re: LightRoom direct to HF using preset - Method B defect

Post by edokie » 10.09.2012 17:39

Retesting - shooting Jpegs instead of raw image files:
Helicon's "Method B" layering process produces background aberrations in out of focus areas (mottle) - that does NOT appear under Method A, nor Method C.
Consistent whether exporting direct to HF from LightRoom; or if first exporting Jpegs from LightRoom, thereafter importing into HF. Same result. Background mottle (banding).

"Method A" 'solves' the problem... but renders images very soft with appreciable detail missing. No amount of post-processing sharpening will bring detail back.

"Method C" renders the most detail by far... but induces a huge amount of noise, plus boosted contrast levels.

Lastest edition of HF is being used, 5.3.7 Pro version with an August 28, 2012 release date.
Camera is Canon MkIII
Lens is Canon 180mm
Lightroom is version 4.2
PhotoShop is CS5
Forum's "Upload attachment" tab (to send illustrative examples) allows only a small token-size image file, 258k (basically postage-stamp size - detail not visible)

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Stas Yatsenko
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Joined: 06.05.2009 14:05

Re: LightRoom direct to HF using preset - Method B defect

Post by Stas Yatsenko » 12.09.2012 10:27

The problem with the background may appear if the exposure of source images is quite different. Maybe lightroom applies different setting when exporting images? To tell you more, we would need both tiffs and jpegs to be able to compare them. Can you upload those files to our server (as described at We would need at least jpeg images to have better understanding of the problem.

The program should clean the temp folder, we will check this.

You can define in Lightroom properties which is default format for export.

Method A is not good for long stacks. Try to set Smoothing to lower values, this should make the result sharper. As to method C, we will wait for your test stack and try to optimize it.

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