I bought a Nikon 105mm VR and tried focus stacking in CS5. I don't mind purchasing a focus rail but I was wondering if just playing with the focus ring would not give you the same result.
I had some success with sharp-edge subjects at ridicule small aperture but when it came to flowers with more reasonable aperture, CS5 do not seams to know what to do with the strong bokey changes of the close and the far side of the flower as the focus point moved. Would a focus rail be better at keeping relative size of the different parts from one shot to the next?
Or instead, the focus rail is just a more precise way to bring the focus in the right spot and gives no other advantages over manual focus for stacking purposes.
I read that stacking from the far to the near gave better result and I was wondering why.
Also, with 4 gig of ram, CS5 complains he does not have enough memory to stack more than 3 layers, so I have been stacking my 9 layers in group of 3, and finally stack of the 3 merged groups and I was wondering if this could be the cause of my problems. I found that CS5 was making some mistake as to what is sharp when the flower had subtle details.
The below required quite a bit of post stacking manual manipulations: