German cameras

A short tutorial for using stacked focus in photographing, telling the story by showing a free picture of 4 German cameras.
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These are all German cameras ranging from the 1920s tot the 1950s. The photo was ‘constructed’from 35 raw images, each with there own focus point. Maybe 35 was a but too much but I wanted to have every detail razor sharp. My laptop worked for about an hour to align and blend all images using stacked focusing. Photoshop determines which parts should be taken from the photographs and masks them. When it finished rattling the .psd file was over 2GB.

The images were taken with my favourite lens, the micro AF Nikon 55mm 2.8 from 1987. It’s a very sharp lens, according to Ken Rockwell it’s maybe the sharpest lens ever made! I used a tripod and a flash, bouncing to the left of the ceiling. All pictures were taken at F7.1 (the optimal aperture here), ISO100 and a shutter time of 1/200th of a second. The tripod is crucial, if you don’t use one your software will have a hard time aligning and blending and you risk blur and ghosts. The more your camera stays steady, the better your result will be. If your setup and preperation is like it should be, the technique isn’t that hard at all. You have to use live view on your camera to zoom in on parts of your subject, and use manual focus to get to the sweet spot. You repeat this until you think you covered everything in your photo. If you can bother to do a calculation (total distance field of your subject / absolute selected depth of field) you know roughly how many shots you have to take. I think that in the future cameras will be able to do it automatically, maybe there are some that already can.

If you download the picture and zoom in to different parts, everything will be sharp. This seems unnatural for photography, but in fact it comes closest to what your eye can do. An eye can focus instantly, so wherever you look in you personal ‘frame’, the light that lands on the Macula (retina)in the center is always sharp. With stacked focus photography every part of the picture is sharp, just like it would be if you’d look at the object with your own eyes. At least, it comes pretty close.

One thing is for sure, the cameras on display here weren’t able to make very sharp photos.

Download Size: 7,1 MB

To the extent possible under law, Skitterphoto has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to German cameras.