dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
3710
share rss forum feed


GeekGirl1
Premium
join:2007-01-28
Morrisville, PA
kudos:2

2 edits

1 recommendation

[Soft] Increasing Depth of Field with CombineZP

Click for full size
NIKON D60
100mm 1/160th F16 ISO200


Iris - First image on the Stack
Click for full size
NIKON D60
100mm 1/160th F16 ISO200


Iris - Results using Pyramid Do Stack
Thanks to Gemologist, I now have a new tool in my slowly growing software arsenal - CombineZP. It's the successor to CombineZ.

I didn't appreciate how shallow the depth of field actually was. It took some practice, but I finally got the results I was looking for. I followed the instructions in the help. Also, a tutorial on manual frame alignment by LordV.

You really have to experiment with all the different macros. That's a lot of image processing going on. I found a few software reviews and CombineZP appears to still be the best around.

One thing I didn't expect was the appearance of the image processing artifacts. I guess there's nothing you can do about that except fix it later (crop, blur, etc.).

These images are reduced resolution for the forum. No other editing done so the output of CombineZP can be shown.

I'm trying to minimize the software I'm using. So far, Picasa for organization, GIMP for editing, and now CombineZP for macro processing. Can GIMP do anything like CombineZP? I want to stay with freeware for now.


Gooiool
May God bless you.
Premium
join:2006-11-27
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:4
This is a great program . I've been using it for awhile now.
All the way back to when it was just Z well ZM ,
Once you get the camera set and take 2-3 photos (with progressively tighter focus area), it works well.

Great work on your Iris Geekgirl...
--
Team DiscoveryJoin us help fight cancer.
Gooiool©2005 My Photo Site


GeekGirl1
Premium
join:2007-01-28
Morrisville, PA
kudos:2

2 edits

2 recommendations

Click for full size
NIKON D60
100mm 1/200th F16 ISO200


Mountain Laurel - first image of stack
Click for full size
NIKON D60
100mm 1/200th F16 ISO200


Mountain Laurel - Do Stack
OK, I admit it. I spent my day off taking lots of test shots and getting to understand what this software can do. Wow. It's not just for "macro" shots.

What I learned:
1. The frames need to be in order as you said. I started with the closest distance (minimum focus) and progressively advanced the focus (more distant). I see the software does its "auto-align" using adjacent frames, so it's important to get the sequence right.
2. I ended up running the Do All Methods macro because you can't tell from the scene which one works best.
3. My D60 can only process 4 shots before it has to stop and take a breather. That's not helpful, because I like to take at least 6 shots.
4. Knowing what the software does, you should strive to get a slight overlap of the areas in focus. IOW, give the software something to work with frame-to-frame as opposed to guessing what should be in focus or not. It also affects alignment.

Note: The auto-align only works in X-Y offsets, not rotation. For that, you need to do a manual alignment. I suspect that I'll be playing with that next, as pausing for my camera makes the positioning a bit unsteady. (I see a need for a D90 .... )

Here's my experiment for today. A cropped and higher res version is in the gallery (3508 x 2462). »/showpic/dimag···94&r=887

OK, I'm done. Now for those critters....


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
said by GeekGirl1:

Note: The auto-align only works in X-Y offsets, not rotation. For that, you need to do a manual alignment. I suspect that I'll be playing with that next, as pausing for my camera makes the positioning a bit unsteady. (I see a need for a D90 .... )
Or just use a tripod.


GeekGirl1
Premium
join:2007-01-28
Morrisville, PA
kudos:2

1 edit
Oops, I forgot to mention that I'm using a "stick". It's a Canon Monopod - (don't tell Canon I'm using it with a Nikon camera ). Indispensable when you're trying to do something like this.

My tripod is a bit cumbersome. Especially if some critters show up and you need reconfigure quickly.

I figured that 1/200 should eliminate the hand-held motion blur (it's the most my D60 can do). The stick also helps with the motion blur and is almost mandatory if you want to maintain alignment for the multiple focusing shots.


Jodokast96
Stupid people really piss me off.
Premium
join:2005-11-23
Erial, NJ
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
One other thing that may help a bit as well. There is a monopod out there that has three legs that pop out of the bottom to give you a free standing monopod. The TrekPod is one of them, though I'm pretty sure at least one of the better manufacturers makes a cheaper one.


Hayward
K A R - 1 2 0 C
Premium
join:2000-07-13
Key West, FL
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to Jodokast96
said by Jodokast96:

Or just use a tripod.
And that is the thing about this kind of software, while they might allow some shift latitude likely with much lesser results, pretty much requires a tripod... mono pod at least, hand held probably pretty poor, even without great positional or FL shift.
--
»haywardm.com (Hayward's Key West)


GeekGirl1
Premium
join:2007-01-28
Morrisville, PA
kudos:2

2 edits
I'm getting a good feel for both what this software can do and what it can't do. Took my first critter shots today. Indoors, my basement wall.

In a low-light situation, it was very easy to just walk the focus over the range until I was sure I had it covered. It needed a manual frame alignment because the background (stucco wall) caused the software to output 2 critters (centipede). All OK after the alignment.

The second critter (cricket), saw me coming. It was in a tight spot, no room for a tripod. I had to take a rapid series of shots. I really didn't need to use CombineZP, but I wanted to see what it could do.

I managed to get 2 consecutive shots of him standing still. However, he moved his antennas just a tiny bit between shots. The software gave him a 2nd set of antennas. Looks really cool, but he only has 1 set. I kept it as an example.

I'm starting to depend on the software...

Exposure level off? RAW can handle it.
Wrong color temperature? Picasa will fix it.
Something show up in the background? GIMP will fix it.
Can't get the depth of field? CombineZP

Maybe it's not a dependence, but knowing how to make best use of the tools at your disposal. I played all kinds of tricks when I had my film darkroom. That's when you really did dodge and burn.


Gemologist
Premium
join:2001-11-15
USA
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to GeekGirl1
These were stacked as well for DOF due to these being about 1mm in size and were taken under around 10:1 or so magnification, only 2 images though:




This was a stack of 3 images, but truly needed a fourth and possibly even a fifth.

--
Images are Copyrighted and use is NOT
permitted.