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 Post subject: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:41 am 
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Hello

I want to invest sub £/$500 in a focus stacking camera for gem photography. I wanted to see what others on this forum use and if there were an recommendations or advise on things I should be aware about.

To be honest Im not very knowledgeable about the scene or terminology and feel a little lost when researching on the net. At the moment Im using an old canon eos with manual focus.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2020 9:33 pm 
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Location: San Marcos, CA
focus stacking is the process of taking images at different focal distances from the subject and then they are stitched together by software like Helicon Focus, Photoshop. Some of the newer cameras actually do it in camera. You need a tripod, your camera and focusing rail. Just Google YouTube for focus stacking, it's the same wether your shooting insects or gemstones.

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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:26 am 
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Thankyou!

Yes I have narrowed it down to a Panasonic which should do all the work in camera, so I would not need to toil with post process software.

Focus rail... more things to buy :|


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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:22 pm 
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Your on track by the sounds. Is this camera not going to put you over budget? I use a a7rii Sony with 90mm macro This combo was 3300$ US. You do not really have to use a rail depending on your lens, but I found it easier just leaving the lens focused at the closet point and just finely moving the rail into the subject at very small increments. Always something more to buy.

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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2020 3:03 am 
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glhays wrote:
Your on track by the sounds. Is this camera not going to put you over budget? I use a a7rii Sony with 90mm macro This combo was 3300$ US. You do not really have to use a rail depending on your lens, but I found it easier just leaving the lens focused at the closet point and just finely moving the rail into the subject at very small increments. Always something more to buy.


Sadly yes, well over budget :shock:
I was a little naive. I also didnt realise how expensive the lenses were.
I will be focusing on choosing a camera along with a macro lens minus the rail. I can always get the rail later if it proves necessary.
Thanks for the advice


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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 2:30 pm 
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There are ways of doing this inexpensively as well. There is a whole subculture of finding high quality lenses for macro work--if you want to fall down the rabbit hole the photomacrography forums (http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/index.php) are an amazing resource, if a bit overwhelming.

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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2020 11:32 pm 
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Agree with Stephen, it can be a very deep hole. I do not stack images of gemstones, not enough depth on the gemstone where most lens will not focus. I
On jewelry is where it is needed and maybe larger stones where a 1.1 image is needed. Here's the start of hole and it just gets deeper.

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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:39 am 
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Thanks fellas. I will indeed check out that forum. We have a baby on the way so Ill take the time to find the most inexpensive option :D


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 Post subject: Re: Advise on focus stacking camera for gem photography
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:39 am
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Location: Birmingham - England
just a word of caution for the future then:
If you decide to go with a rail be sure to spend money on a decent tripod.
The ball ones can be a problem if your rail is heavy - you can end
up with overtightening problems. (Camera plus rail = heavy)


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