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Which Focus Stacking Software???

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Thread started 04 Feb 2010 (Thursday) 16:25   
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dicklaxt
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I know next to nothing,,,,,,,,,,reall​y all I know is that the results are something I want to be able to get to/do. My computer skills are minimal,,,,,,,,,,,I need instructions like ,Put Tab "A" in Slot "B" so that assembled Pkg "C" doesn't come apart if you blow on it,now thats kind of basic, but thats the way it is.

Now with that having been said,where do I start?Which software program is the easiest to work with and are there any free trial periods available with it.
I have a daughter who is a guru that I can call for help 24/7 but I would rather not if you know what I mean,who wants their kids telling them what to do even tho she is 50 years old ,,,,,,,,,,we tend to argue:).

dick

Post #1, Feb 04, 2010 16:25:55




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bltefft
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I use CombineZP, which is free, and Zenene Stacker, which costs about $90, after a 30 day trial (I'm still on the 30 day trail.) I'm still not sure if ZS is $90 better than CZP.

Check out http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=fJiEw4VCcYUexternal link for a good howto lesson on focus stacking.

Hack

Post #2, Feb 04, 2010 22:58:47


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LordV
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Think zerene stacker is easier to use and does give better results than combinezp but all stacking progs need good slice shots fed into them.

Brian v.

Post #3, Feb 05, 2010 00:50:30


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dicklaxt
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Good slice shots ?,define please,,,,,,,,,,,, and what is there about Zerene that makes it more user friendly.

dick

Post #4, Feb 05, 2010 03:10:23 as a reply to LordV's post 2 hours earlier.




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LordV
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dicklaxt wrote in post #9545266external link
Good slice shots ?,define please,,,,,,,,,,,, and what is there about Zerene that makes it more user friendly.

dick

Sorry the shot sequences used in a focus stack are often called slices.

I just found the interface of zerene a lot easier to work out than the combine series. It's also much better at auto-aligning the shots (including rotational movement), better at preserving low contrast detail (which does have the unfortunate side effect of stacking sensor spots), and better at not getting halos around high contrast edges. Got to have some advantages if you have to pay for it !
Brian v.

Post #5, Feb 05, 2010 04:29:04


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dicklaxt
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Thanx

dick

Post #6, Feb 05, 2010 05:27:47 as a reply to LordV's post 58 minutes earlier.




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bltefft
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Dick, I just bought a license for ZS. It is a little more user friendly and what Brian said about the lack of the halo effect is good in ZS.

As for slices, I put my camera on a tripod and the focus sharply on the part of my subject that is closest to me. Then, I focus on a part just a little farther away. I keep doing this routine until I get to focus on the farthest part of the subject. Each pic is a slice. I may take me 6-10 slices to move from the front of the subject to the rear.

I put all the slices in a folder, start the stacking program, select all the slices I want to stack and run the program. It is a basically that simple.

Hack

Post #7, Feb 05, 2010 17:17:05


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dicklaxt
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In my practice effort with this stacking ,,,I downloaded ZM and am now going to concentrate on reading any and all Tutorials I can find..........

The bugs have to cooperate too don't they,LOL

dick

Post #8, Feb 05, 2010 17:36:04 as a reply to bltefft's post 18 minutes earlier.




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bltefft
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Dick, CZM will give you a good idea of what this is about.

As far as stacking goes, I think a moving subject will not stack worth a flip - I could be wrong, as I'm also very new to this. I had read about using "kill" jars to kill an insect and then doing your slices. But someone said they've never killed the insects they stack. I took a college college course, Entomology, and for it, I had to put together an insect collection, classifying them down to Family - so, I know about making and using killing jars. In that class, the professor told us to kill the insect and then put it in the freezer. That way, later, you can handle them without breaking off parts. I guess one could kill the insect and then pose it on a flower.

Now, in bright sunlight, taking a photo of an insect using a tiny aperture, tripod and long exposure may be the way some take the great pics I've seen - I don't think they're stacked.

Hack.

Post #9, Feb 05, 2010 17:58:40


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dicklaxt
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Do the slices have to be stacked in any particular order or is it a random lay of events?

dick

Post #10, Feb 05, 2010 19:15:23 as a reply to bltefft's post 1 hour earlier.




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bltefft
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Yes, it is my understanding that there is an order. I always lead with the slice that is nearest. But I have heard others lead with the one that is farthest.

I've never done it first one way and then the other way to see if one really is better.

Hack

Post #11, Feb 05, 2010 23:12:06


Canon EOS 40D camera, Canon T1i camera, Canon EF 100mm IS USM Macro lens, Canon EF 28-135 IS USM lens, Canon 400mm f/5.6 L USM Lens, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L USM lens, Kenko Extension Tube Kit, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon Ring Flash

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LordV
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dicklaxt wrote in post #9550505external link
Do the slices have to be stacked in any particular order or is it a random lay of events?

dick

Stacking progs do work better if the stack is in focus order either front to back or Vice versa. You tend to get less stacking border if back to front.
Brian V.

Post #12, Feb 06, 2010 01:00:26


http://www.flickr.com/​photos/lordv/external link
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Macro Hints and tips
Canon 600D, 40D, 5D mk2, 7D, Tamron 90mm macro, Canon MPE-65,18-55 kit lens X2, canon 200mm F2.8 L, Tamron 28-70mm xrdi, Other assorted bits

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dicklaxt
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Thanks both,one other thing is this done with RAW or JPEG format or can it be done with either or what is reccommended,I guess thats 3 questions:lol:

dick

Post #13, Feb 06, 2010 05:53:16 as a reply to LordV's post 4 hours earlier.




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bltefft
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dicklaxt wrote in post #9552725external link
Thanks both,one other thing is this done with RAW or JPEG format or can it be done with either or what is reccommended,I guess thats 3 questions:lol:

dick

I imagine it can done with either. However, being the rookie that I am, I only use JPEG. I've never even fooled around with RAW.

Hack

Post #14, Feb 06, 2010 10:16:30


Canon EOS 40D camera, Canon T1i camera, Canon EF 100mm IS USM Macro lens, Canon EF 28-135 IS USM lens, Canon 400mm f/5.6 L USM Lens, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L USM lens, Kenko Extension Tube Kit, Canon 1.4x Teleconverter, Canon Ring Flash

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racketman
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Helicon is very easy and the only one I know that works with a Mac.

Post #15, Feb 06, 2010 13:17:02


Toby
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