Another use for Helicon Focus.....

Shooting in macro mode, techniques, tips & tricks
Post Reply

Another use for Helicon Focus.....

Post by Guest »

Obviously the primary use for this tools is for photomicrography (microscopic photography} and macro work, but I find it also offers great potential for hyperfocal landscape photography.

Landscape photographers frequently try for infinite focus. To do this with large or medium format film they use a combination of methods including tilt/shift lenses and small apertures. With a dSLR shooting at apertures amenable to hyperfocal frames it's quite common to loose sharpness due to diffraction.

In many cases, especially where there is no large object extremely close to the camera such as when shooting a sea of mountain wildflowers with majestic mountain peaks in the distance, I believe Helicon Focus can allow the 35mm shooter to get dynamic infinite focus images.

To create a "worst case" scenario, I decided to test this idea by placing one of my old Nikon CP995 cameras on a tripod in close proximity to my lens (about 12 inches). I used my full frame Canon EOS-1DS on lower resolution (for file size considerations) with my Sigma 15-30mm zoom at 30mm.

I didn't use the very useful opacity mask (which would greatly help here) but simply took four frames. The first frame I focused on the Nikon camera body. The next frame I focused on the grass about six feet in front of the lens, then for the third frame I focused on the brick column supporting the chain link fence then finally on infinity for the fourth and last frame.

I used Helicon Focus and ran the four frames. The results were amazing. Excepting the small halo from missing pixels due to registration (image size differential) adjustments the results were outstanding. There was slight cloud movement but this is of little consequence and easily smoothed out in PhotoShop. The small halo around the camera body could easily be cloned out and had I used the opacity mask would have been greatly ameliorated.

Typically when used in the scenario suggested above (mountain wildflowers & mountain peaks) there would be no need for touch-up and the effect would be a near perfect hyperfocal or infinite focus landscape.

Below are the four original frames followed by the result. Only slight sharpness and levels were done to the result. Obviously this isn't a "pretty" landscape, but it does demonstrate the potential for Helicon Focus for a much different purpose. Because of the registration adjustments, a very small border of out-of-focus area will surround the image and needs to be cropped out. Set PhotoShop's crop tool for the actual pixel dimensions of the original frame and print density desired and
crop a tiny bit and you will get an incredibly good hyperfocal image this way without buying expensive tilt/shift lenses and loosing sharpness to diffraction.

Lin ... result.jpg

Post by nzmacro »

So this is where you are M8t 8) :wink:

Lin Evans
Posts: 1
Joined: 10.04.2005 01:00
Location: Berthoud, Colorado U.S.A.

Post by Lin Evans »

Hey Danny,

Off and on, for sure. How's everything in the macro world? I've got to get out more.... HA!

best regards,

Post Reply