Author Topic: Photo Stacking  (Read 2667 times)

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Offline Maxx-7D

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Photo Stacking
« on: January 27, 2013, 10:23:43 PM »
I have seen some really nice photos on this site using stacking or focus stacking. Thought I might have a go during the winter months. I am curious if some one with experience can help me, is it better to change the focus on the camera bit by bit, or use a focus rail to move the camera bit by bit?

Thanks
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Offline chappo1

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 10:32:37 PM »
Pat is the expert and when she reads the thread hopefully she will set you straight.  I have used both and mostly use the lens.  For my level of expertise they give a similar result.  I have a "microscope stage" set up I bought from a HK e-bay seller and the advantage that offers me is that I can get sideways adjustment as well as front to back. Saves me trying to do fine set up with the ball head....john
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Offline wildieswife

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 03:50:22 PM »
Sorry for not seeing this earlier. This is a vast subject and there are many ways of stacking from a simple 2/3 shot stack to the major 50/80 image hyper macro  stacks my OH does of insects - his web site is HERE

Stacking can be highly technical and, in the hyper macro scenario of OH's, involves the use of bellows, a 'stackshot' (a computerised rail) and pretty crucial lighting/diffusion. It also involves a fair bit of post processing - but not as much since he got the lighting right.

A rail is handy but I find for simple stacking a tripod and hand focussing are Okay. The focus peaking facility on the A77 is pretty handy for this. A rail is handy but not absolutely essential as long as you're careful about vibrations. Children jumping about on the floorboards (or even a Pat running up the stairs) is not ideal for any kind of stacking. 'Mirror up' can be used to help prevent 'mirror slap' but the new Sony technology means this isn't necessary as the mirror doesn't move any more.

Then there's the stacking software.
Some find PS OK but for the sort of stacks MrWildy does he comes down on the side of Zerene stacker pro (Dmap) every time.

The smaller your subject the more difficult it is. For small insects tubes/bellows are recommended and of course the DOF narrows. You also lose light.
Without knowing what kind of stacking you're aiming for it's difficult to advise?

Pat

Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.  ~Minor White

Gear - Sony Alpha77 /Minolta 300mm f4 /Tamron XR DiII SP 17-50mm f2.8 / Minolta 28-80mm/Tamron Di 90mm macro . And various slaves/lights and studio stuff.

Offline Maxx-7D

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 09:45:26 PM »
Hey thanks for the responses. Guess I should have stated what in particular I was interested in trying. I will probably try some flower images like I see on this site. A good starting point I think. My PS is too far out of date to update and its not in the budget to invest in it again. A less expensive specialty program is far more likely in my future. Tubes I have, bellows I do not, but think I can get started, just need to get a little space in the spare room set up as a studio. Thanks again.
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Offline chappo1

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2013, 06:05:14 AM »
Before you purchase Zerene Stacker give combineZP a try. It also has a Dmap and has the major advantage of being free..
john
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Offline Maxx-7D

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2013, 04:35:09 PM »
Free is always in my budget!! :)
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Offline wildieswife

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2013, 07:55:24 PM »
By all means go for the free one - you may decide stacking isn't for you anyway.
 
If you do become committed to trying to achieve a really detailed and top class job, with as few 'artifacts' as possible then you may have to pay to achieve this. Helicon is another option but, as said, Mr W has trialled them all and found that, for his purposes, Zerene comes out on top. Horses for courses - as always. Don't forget that you can stack in Photoshop if you use this software.


Pat
Often while traveling with a camera we arrive just as the sun slips over the horizon of a moment, too late to expose film, only time enough to expose our hearts.  ~Minor White

Gear - Sony Alpha77 /Minolta 300mm f4 /Tamron XR DiII SP 17-50mm f2.8 / Minolta 28-80mm/Tamron Di 90mm macro . And various slaves/lights and studio stuff.

Offline Stef.

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2013, 10:47:51 PM »
I have written a tutorial re stacking at some point. Might be helpful?

It is to be found under "Photoshop" tips:

Stacking Images or Increasing depth of field

http://www.dynaxdigital.com/digital-darkroom/add-a-tip-for-photoshop-please!/msg68101/#msg68101

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[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/15931938@N05/]flickr


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Offline Maxx-7D

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Re: Photo Stacking
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 10:43:12 AM »
Thanks for the link. I knew there would be one here, but had not found it. Thanks again. I will give it a read.
"From the minds of Minolta"