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Focus stacking images

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perkyjude
perkyjude  346 forum posts England11 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 8:31 AM

Help --- I am desperate to find a user friendly, free way, to focus stack. I have elements 9 but it does not seem to do it... although I may have missed something. I downloaded a free trial of Helicon which is fabulous and very easy to use but will cost quite a bit for the full version... any ideas? The photos I am trying to take are with a macro lens, but I need to stack them to increase the dof. I did a trial one with Helicon and results are fabulous but they watermark all your trial versions. Thankyou so much - Jude ♥

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14 Nov 2012 - 8:31 AM

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Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1318434 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 8:54 AM

You could try CombineZP. It's a bit of a crude looking interface but may do what you require and is free Smile Click the CombineZP.msi link to download and then click the file to load the program onto the computer, ignoring the warnings by saying Yes to install.

Last Modified By Pete at 14 Nov 2012 - 8:56 AM
mikehit
mikehit  46187 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 8:55 AM

There is a free programme called CombineZP which seems pretty good from what I have seen so far.

MacroMeister
14 Nov 2012 - 11:12 AM

I use Helicon, The Lite version is good enough (I use it) and it's not too expensive at 19 a year. I have tried using my Photoshop CS6 for stacking. It's OK if you take the shots very carefully, but it doesn't handle discrepancies as well as Helicon does. I'd go for Helicon.

This one was stacked with Helicon. sample shot

Helicon site

Last Modified By MacroMeister at 14 Nov 2012 - 11:13 AM
oldblokeh
oldblokeh  3773 forum posts United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 - 11:23 AM

+1 for combineZP, especially for the price Wink

As Pete said, the UI is not that brilliant, and sometimes you have to try the different stacking methods to see which works best for a particular image.

Here's one of mine done with CombineZP

perkyjude
perkyjude  346 forum posts England11 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 12:04 PM

I can't seem to download combine zp without a tonne of rubbish coming with it... anyone got a clean link? I have spent an hour removing all the pop up spam stuff that downloads with it... grr.

oldblokeh
oldblokeh  3773 forum posts United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 - 12:39 PM

There are clean link -- I got my copy from one, but I'm behind a pernickety proxy at the moment. I'll look when I get home.

Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1318434 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 12:49 PM


Quote: I can't seem to download combine zp without a tonne of rubbish coming with it... anyone got a clean link? I have spent an hour removing all the pop up spam stuff that downloads with it... grr.

That link I gave takes you straight to the owner's page. And the first link at the top of the page instantly selects download of just that program? Not sure what happened for you?

Ade_Osman
Ade_Osman e2 Member 114484 forum postsAde_Osman vcard England36 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 12:52 PM

You could try Zerene Stacker it's what I use and after much trial and error I found it to be the best program for the job. As I remember you can download a free 30 day evaluation copy, might be worth a look even if the program is a little on the pricey side, but cheaper than Helicon I think?

Ade

perkyjude
perkyjude  346 forum posts England11 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 2:26 PM

Zerene is cheaper..... it is 56, vrs 86 for Helicon. Do any of the elements programs have a focus stacker??

Pete - I have managed to get Combinezp without the attachments... but for some reason it is not recognising my file formats when I search for the photos to add - they are Nef.

Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1318434 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 2:32 PM


Quote: but for some reason it is not recognising my file formats when I search for the photos to add - they are Nef.

It may not support RAW...if so you'd need to convert to JPEG before processing

oldblokeh
oldblokeh  3773 forum posts United Kingdom
14 Nov 2012 - 2:36 PM


Quote: but for some reason it is not recognising my file formats when I search for the photos to add - they are Nef.
It may not support RAW...if so you'd need to convert to JPEG before processing

What I do is:

1. Make adjustments to levels etc to the whole batch using Lightroom.
2. Export whole batch as TIFF files. I find that there are fewer JPEG artifacts this way.
3. Feed the TIFFs into CombineZP

perkyjude
perkyjude  346 forum posts England11 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 2:43 PM

Ahhh, thankyou. I will try that this evening. I have to collect the girls from school now so my freedom is temporarily on hold... freedom to do what I like will resume at 8pm...lol

Pete
Pete Site Moderator 1318434 forum postsPete vcard ePz Advertiser England96 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 3:06 PM

off topic ...but I just had a quick click over to your blog...thanks for putting ePHOTOzine at the top Smile It's very much appreciated.

You could add a small bit of code to that link so if anyone ever joins from following your link and becomes a member of e2 you get a percentage back for the recommendation. All you need to do is change the link url. Details here: ePHOTOzine affiliate scheme

perkyjude
perkyjude  346 forum posts England11 Constructive Critique Points
14 Nov 2012 - 4:19 PM

Thanks Pete.

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