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Old May 1, 2010, 9:26 PM   #11
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robar, you're stacking shots with handheld? how is that possible?
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Old May 2, 2010, 12:22 AM   #12
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Roy - that's a gorgeous shot of the jumping spider ! They are so photogenic aren't they. I am amazed that the exact same spider can be found on the other side of the world, I guess maybe they were carried over in colonial times on British and American ships plying trade with Shanghai.
Ah yes 4/5:1 that's the dream ! If all your macro are handheld then they must all be shot in burst mode in good light ? I haven't tried that technique yet ... anther one to add to the project notebook !

Thank you GW - it took me about an hour before he gave up and sat still long enough for me to use the rails

Thanks Scott ! We often find jumping spiders around the house - they are very cute and I always drop them out onto the window ledge. This was my first attempt with Zerene Stacker so I've got 30 days to see if I want to keep it. There are less options on the Mac (for Windows users CombineZ is free !) but the ridiculous annual fee on top of the high purchase price of Helicon Focus means ZS (at about $90) seems a reasonable price to pay. You can also use CS4 but I found it is not as flexible or easy to use as the dedicated ZS.
I actually leave the new Velbon on the tripod now - it is light and very easy to use (a 4 way as you mentioned) and I am delighted with it's very smooth operation.
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Old May 2, 2010, 4:05 AM   #13
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Kevin great work on the stacking, insects are always hard to stack they tend to move

Last year I decided to go get me a lifetime version of helicon focus lite, you miss the "Retouching brush to clone from aligned source images to the resulting image (cannot be performed with external photo editor)" although you can work around that by doing a merge 2 times and including the result of the first stack in the second. Then you can paint the watermark with the previous generated image. They shouldn't have made it so expensive

have used ZS but somehow I like the Helicon version more. Photoshop CS4 also does a great job only I find it to hard to make changes to the masks it generates. Got the CS5 but haven't had time to check out if they made the stacking better.

One thing more you are making me think to get rid of the cheap rails and upgrade to the velbon version.

Hope to see your next stacks

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Old May 2, 2010, 12:25 PM   #14
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Thanks Ronny !

ZS has the function you are missing in HF lite ... and I love it. It is so easy to go and find the shot in the stack that has the area you are looking for and then paste it in - just takes a few seconds at most ! I actually thought the re-touching function is the strongest suit of ZS.

I love the Velbon rails although the only thing missing is scale markings, you just have to work by using a 1/4 turn for each shot and so on.

Afraid it's going to be a while before I can post any shots though as the hard disk on my new (3 months old) MacPro died today !!! It will take sometime to get a new one and reinstall all the programs etc. (

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Old May 2, 2010, 7:36 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Frogfish View Post

Afraid it's going to be a while before I can post any shots though as the hard disk on my new (3 months old) MacPro died today !!! It will take sometime to get a new one and reinstall all the programs etc. (
Darn, Kevin. Don't you just hate it when that happens!
Seems like its always something. hope you get it back up and running soon,
I know what its like to be without one.
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Old May 2, 2010, 9:30 PM   #16
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Darn, Kevin. Don't you just hate it when that happens!
Seems like its always something. hope you get it back up and running soon,
I know what its like to be without one.
The reason I switched to a Mac 3 months ago was that both my Dell & HP laptops suffered catastrophic HD problems / failures over the last 2 years and I was totally disenfranchised with buggy, unreliable Windows in general.

I LOVE the Mac and have wondered why I spent years agonising over the decision to switch ... I have found alternative programs for everything I used on the Mac except my business database and that I can still run on the Mac via a proxy. This is SO frustrating - especially so because I tried to buy the Time Capsule backup a few days ago and they didn't have it in stock ! *bangs head against wall*
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Old May 2, 2010, 10:39 PM   #17
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I've been out of town for the weekend and trying to get caught up. CS4 is pretty good for lining up hand-held shots before you do the stacking, so that's why I like it. As everyone else found out - if it doesn't get something right, it's hard to correct. The one time I tried to change something I gave up, so now I take it as an all or nothing type of thing. Perhaps I'll try one of the specialty software as I find stacking kind-of cool sometimes.

I like your spider, well done!

Roy - good to see you around posting again. I've always loved your jumping spider pics, I haven't managed to get anything approaching that good.

My Macbook Pro had a weird problem at first - it was repaired under warranty and I haven't had trouble since. Like you, I've been very happy with the set-up, and don't regret changing over at all.
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Old May 2, 2010, 11:49 PM   #18
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I don't think the spiders are the same - both your photos are good enough to look them in the eyes! The outer two eyes on Roy's are smaller and higher on the "head" (spiders don't really have a head - not a separate one, at least). Great photos of a jumpy subject.

Welcome back, Roy - I hope you are back to stay!
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Old May 3, 2010, 11:16 PM   #19
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i am a jumping spider fan too
we have them over here in the antipodes also
the ones i find are a lot smaller than yours, at least half the size of yours
and how did you get it to stay still long enough to take that many shots
i doubt i will be posting one

i downloaded that windows free stackere ( i dont mind trying free stuff )
now to figure out how to use it
any tips are welcome lol

g'day Roy, good to see you back
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Old May 4, 2010, 6:59 AM   #20
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Great to see Roy back!

Wonderful jumping spider photos from both Roy & Frogfish!

Looks like focus stacking really makes a difference in these - thanks for sharing!

PS - did you get AppleCare for your Mac Pro? Also, you might want to look into Darwine as an alternative way to get the Windows program to work on your Mac. I use it to run Irfanview on the Mac Mini...
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