CombineZP photo stacking software test run. Good results!

9 years 6 months ago - 9 years 6 months ago #38433 by Yasko
Hi Macro shooters, I finally got around to downloading and trying CombineZP this evening. This is a free focus stacking software developed by Alan Hadley. Lord V, Thomas Shahan, and other prolific insect shooters have been using this software in recent years to increase DOF in their shots without sacrificing image quality.

What I wanted to know specifically, is how practical the process of focus stacking is for hand-held shots. Can you put your camera on continuous frame, snapping off a quick succession of shots to successfully stack in software? And the answer is yes!

So, I set up some test objects in a light tent and shot them 1:1 macro, shutterspeed 1/500, f16.0 with a canon 30D on continuous shooting mode. Focus set to manual, gradually easing forward while shooting continuous. First, a pencil. 5 shots:











COMBINED:



This software is fairly easy to use, I got flawless results with just a couple minutes of fine-tuning. Much more DOF you could ever get with a single shot.

Next up, A wine bottle label, 7 shots on continuous shutter:















COMBINED:



This software looks daunting, but Lord V was nice enough to do a very good tutorial that's quick and easy to follow. Remember to go into advanced menu mode, and do the steps in which you align the frames from the view menu. CombineZP doesn't support RAW or 16 bit mode, so if you shoot RAW, be sure to convert the files to TIFF or JPG first. Just follow the tutorial:

www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=61316

Download the software here:
www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=61316
As with all freeware, use a virus check. I found nothing bad in there.

This is a great tool for increasing DOF in your macro shots, or any set of shots, really. Insects that are ambush predators like jumping spiders, robber flies, dragon flies, and praying mantises can hold perfectly still for seconds, even minutes at a time, so this can be successfully used for those. Can't wait to try this on the bug mugs!

Have fun!

-Nick


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9 years 6 months ago #38439 by chasrich
:judge: :goodpost: Thanks Nick for posting such a carefully composed posting. Good shots too for the illustrations. :thumbsup:

“Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light, I just make pictures… ” ~ Vernon Trent

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9 years 6 months ago #38468 by Baydream
Well done.

Shoot, learn and share. It will make you a better photographer.
fineartamerica.com/profiles/john-g-schickler.html?tab=artwork

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9 years 6 months ago #38751 by effron
I used Combinez for a couple years, and I like it, however I found a stacking program that works better for me............
www.zerenesystems.com/stacker/

Why so serious?
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9 years 5 months ago #39252 by Yasko
Thanks, I'll check it out


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9 years 5 months ago #39307 by Moe
Impressive work!


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9 years 5 months ago #39309 by Scotty

Yasko wrote: Hi Macro shooters, I finally got around to downloading and trying CombineZP this evening. This is a free focus stacking software developed by Alan Hadley. Lord V, Thomas Shahan, and other prolific insect shooters have been using this software in recent years to increase DOF in their shots without sacrificing image quality.

What I wanted to know specifically, is how practical the process of focus stacking is for hand-held shots. Can you put your camera on continuous frame, snapping off a quick succession of shots to successfully stack in software? And the answer is yes!

So, I set up some test objects in a light tent and shot them 1:1 macro, shutterspeed 1/500, f16.0 with a canon 30D on continuous shooting mode. Focus set to manual, gradually easing forward while shooting continuous. First, a pencil. 5 shots:











COMBINED:



This software is fairly easy to use, I got flawless results with just a couple minutes of fine-tuning. Much more DOF you could ever get with a single shot.

Next up, A wine bottle label, 7 shots on continuous shutter:















COMBINED:



This software looks daunting, but Lord V was nice enough to do a very good tutorial that's quick and easy to follow. Remember to go into advanced menu mode, and do the steps in which you align the frames from the view menu. CombineZP doesn't support RAW or 16 bit mode, so if you shoot RAW, be sure to convert the files to TIFF or JPG first. Just follow the tutorial:

www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=61316

Download the software here:
www.digitalgrin.com/showthread.php?t=61316
As with all freeware, use a virus check. I found nothing bad in there.

This is a great tool for increasing DOF in your macro shots, or any set of shots, really. Insects that are ambush predators like jumping spiders, robber flies, dragon flies, and praying mantises can hold perfectly still for seconds, even minutes at a time, so this can be successfully used for those. Can't wait to try this on the bug mugs!

Have fun!

-Nick


Lord V is my favorite macro photography, definately going to take a loom.

When the last candle has been blown out
and the last glass of champagne has been drunk
All that you are left with are the memories and the images-David Cooke.

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