Helicon Focus is a program for extending the depth of field limits in photos. The depth of the sharply depicted space, or GRIP, is the area in the photograph that is in focus. It is often the case, particularly in macrophotography, that the object being photographed does not fit into the sharpness zone. This is not surprising, the width of the GRIP, especially when shooting macro rarely exceeds 1-2mm. For example, the very famous Canon EF 100 f/2.8L macro lens will have a 1.1 mm GRIP when shooting from a distance of 10 cm. You can of course extend the depth of field, close the aperture completely and face a number of other problems, such as lack of light, slow shutter speeds and loss of sharpness due to diffraction, especially on high-resolution cameras.
In this situation Helicon Focus will be indispensable. The main principle of its work is to combine the sharpness zones on several images. The mechanism of something similar to gluing panoramas, but the images are not located horizontally with a little overlap, and go as though deep into, superimposing one on another. The right process is called stacking by focus. In practice, everything is simple: you need to fix the camera, for example, by setting it on a tripod, in most cameras you will have to turn off the automatic focus, and if you take off the macro, you should activate the appropriate mode. Next, move the focus ring gently over the sharpness area and take photographs until the focus area passes through the entire subject. Then you can simply drag the received images into the Helicon Focus program and it will automatically combine all the sharp parts of the photos into one image. If you want to configure image processing parameters in detail, retouch and add text or ruler scale.
This method can be used not only to make macrophotographs with enlarged GRIP, but also to create the effect of vintage portraits taken on large-format cameras. Take photos with a sharp foreground and background in situations where there is no other way to do so. Process photos from microscopes equipped with cameras and much more.
On the official website you can find several detailed video lessons, as well as the program has a Russified interface and help.
- automatically adjusts and resizes images (important for stereo microscopes and macrophotography);
- Processes an unlimited number of images in the stack;
- has no restrictions on image resolution (at least 512MB of RAM is required to work with images larger than 8MP);
- supports a "dust map" to automatically remove black dots from the resulting images;
- automatically adjusts the brightness of adjacent images;
- reads RAW, 8-bit and 16-bit TIFF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, BMP, etc;
- Writes 8-bit and 16-bit TIFF, JPEG, JPEG 2000, BMP files;
- creates opacity maps for further processing in Adobe PhotoShop;
- adds text headings and scale to images;
- in new versions of the program additional functions appear constantly.