Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Sep 14, 2010, 11:53 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
NMRecording's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Eastern Appalachains
Posts: 866
Default Need Help stacking - warning Bugs!

ok, i rigged up a pentacon electric 35-70 reversed by pentax K mount to a flat piece of metal with a 52mm thread so I can screw it onto my pentacon 35 70 and also my 135mm 2.8 and have a reversable adapter (got bored and didnt want to wait for a K mount 52mm reversal ring to come in mail)

my new macro lens is great,

the 35-70 is great, at the long end reversed it makes a great portrait lens, and at 50mm its one heck of a macro, at 35mm, well its something out of this world

the only problem is the razor thin DOF. I went out today and got some amazing little critters, I knew the DOF would be an issue so I got upwards of 50 shots for some of these insects just to get their whole body sharp and exploding with detail.

Now if these images stacked like I wanted, I could have some pretty amazing shots but the problem is, Photoshot cs4 is not stacking them the way I want to.

I tried Combine Z and well that was somewhat better it was also allowing the bokeh over the sharp images in some spots, which created weird looking sunflares and holes in my images. Very strange

I tried Helicon focus and that was, well very interesting.. my images came out as blobs, the resolution was sharp but the subject matter looked like pools of bacteria, Not what I shot and didnt resemble any of my images.

Im at a loss here.

Heres a few of the BEST stacked images, and I am posting up some non stacked ones as comparison, where you can clearly see the non stacked images are superior to the stacked ones.


I really need help in figuring this out and what is going wrong with these because liek I said, Ive got 25, sometimes 50-60 shots of some insects and if these were stacking properly Id have a really nice string of macro shots to post up and share.


Heres a tiny cricket for starters, I want to emphasize the size here, these were about pinky nail sized, about the size of a thumbtack, really incredible for their size, the highest magnification ive gotten yet.


need some serious help!


Ill start with the worst- the stacked image!!!




as you can see, really terrible. It grabbed a PART in focus, where the hairs are but this obviously isnt stacked, let alone 7 very sharp images.


here are two NON STACKED shots, out of this to give you an idea of where the sharpness should/could be



as you can see, razor thin DOF but see the texturing on the leaf? and see the head itself? much sharper than the stacked version, what is going wrong here? why is it throwing this out of the image?



again, more sharpness on the leg hairs and leaf texturing then the "stack shot" as you can see here the OOF head in this one is actually closer to the stacked version than the previosu shot




this one here came out, well slightly better but still I got maybe 15-20 shots of this one and assure you several overlapping shits got the entire torso in focus, but as you can see here, this stacked shot has the torso OOF as well as many of the legs.






this last shot here is not stacked, a single shot out of over 50 images, this one comes out as a giant swirling blurr /blob (resembles brown bacteria) in Helicon focus, and cs4, its doing the same things as the previous two. its allowing the OOF Bokeh over the sharp image. as you can see the detail is there and with the amount of shots I took, well ( this is one i didnt need to post all to prove to you) there should be no reason my pics are coming out so crappy.

is there some trick to it im missing? Sure the images arent aligned 100% but they seem to be aligning them auto just fine, just not keeping the right info up front.


I hope my problem is making sense, thanks again for your time.

cant wait to show you the rest of the shots when i get this problem fixed, they are truly out of this world. but im just not happy with what im getting obviously.
NMRecording is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Sep 15, 2010, 12:08 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Frogfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 2,774
Default

It's difficult to say exactly what is going on since we can't see your 50 shots or the actual process. I don't use any of those programs (I bought Zerene Stacker - which I love) but just can't see them all failing on the same shot.

However, if I can hazard a guess - it's alignment. 50 shots of one insect ? Did it remain perfectly still for all of those 50 shots ? Since all three of your attempts with various software failed I think it has to be something basic like this. Usually that many shots are for inanimate objects, live subjects may require much less to get a sharp photo.

Often this can be cured with less shots rather than more - try just selecting the best 5 that you are SURE can be easily aligned because there is no indication of movement by the bug.
__________________
http://frogfish.smugmug.com
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
Frogfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 2010, 7:53 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
NMRecording's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Eastern Appalachains
Posts: 866
Default

thanks for the input, the DOF was so thin that yes on many of the shots i think a good ten or so shots is needed atleast. The alignment is surely off however what I dont understand is its aligning them just fine on CS4, just producing crappy results. Combine Z and Helicon should be able to align them just fine but maybe that is the problem.

Ill try it again with less shots and see what the problem is.

Ive seen some good stacked shots from you so I may check out Zerene stacker, if its not too expensive.

thanks
NMRecording is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 2010, 3:47 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Frogfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 2,774
Default

I haven't used CS4 for a long time and never for stacking but Mtngal is the resident CS4/5 expert I think - maybe she knows what's going on there.

Zerene Stacker - $89. I love the ease with which you can align, as well as the interface. Take it for a trial spin.

Good luck with the re-stack !
__________________
http://frogfish.smugmug.com
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
Frogfish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 2010, 4:05 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Goldwinger's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Posts: 6,515
Default

Hey, NMR,
Stacking can be a little tricky. Although I have used CS4 with some really good results, there are limitations to what it can do. I t will take any image you throw at it and do its best to align them (if you have that little box checked) however, if there are areas of the image that don't line up, the results won't be what you expect. A tripod is a must, I'm sure you know that but just thought I'd mention it. if any part of the bug you are shooting moves, like the antenna or a leg or whatever, it can cause problems. Especially if you have several shots where say, a leg has moved in each shot, and you try blending all these together, its not going to give the results you want. Sometimes too many shots will make things worse. You can get around this sometimes by using a few little tricks. lets say just for simplicity sack, you have 12 images that cover the focal range. Instead of trying to stack them all at one time, stack just image 1&2 to make image "A" image 3&4 to make image "B" image 5&6 to make image "C" and so on. then go back and stack image A&B... C&D... E&F... etc. This way the software has less to choose from and confuse it. you can also mask out the area of each image that you don't want the software to consider while making its algorithm to merge the images into one. I hope this makes sense the way I'm trying to explain it. If you'd like me to have a go at it to see what I can come up with, I'd be happy to give it a shot, just email me the images in TIF format in at least 200ppi and I'll give it a shot.
Cheers,
__________________
GW

Life's a breeze on a Goldwing...
Goldwinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 2010, 11:23 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

I have only used CS4 for stacking. I've found that it sometimes makes mistakes. At first I thought it might have been because the focus point didn't consistently move from one end to the other, but it wasn't that at all. I ended up finding the layer that had the part I wanted sharp and adjusted all of the layer masks on top of it so it would show instead of the blurred layer that the program chose. That's not a big problem if you only have a few layers/frames, but not something I'd try with 20 different frames.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 17, 2010, 3:55 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
rhermans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Antwerp - Belgium
Posts: 3,454
Default

Helicon focus works only great when the images are perfectly aligned and gets more in focus then, only with the top images I don't know it they are crops or what and how far they are aligned.

Focus stacking with cs4-5 works only if you align your layers before you blend them. But then again it makes mistakes.

You can also combine helicon focus and photoshop, align them in photoshop and stack them in helicon focus/

These shots have the possibility of a good stack only you'll have to mask them yourself.

Don't give up

Ronny
Attached Images
 
__________________
rhermans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 17, 2010, 12:38 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Tachikoma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Wales
Posts: 1,086
Default

I didn't get on with any of the stacking programs, so do it manually, takes a long time, but I have been pleased with the results. I take 2 shots at a time, blend those, and then blend with however many other shots are needed. Since I bought the ringflash though I have not had much reason to do it as I don't need to open up quite as much.

I like Ronny's stack, that's a nice image!
__________________
http://kuma-no-kimi.deviantart.com/
Pentax K-7
Tamron 90mm SP Di Macro
Tamron Adaptall 2 - 28mm, 28-80mm, 500mm Mirror
Pentax KAF - 18-55mm WR, 28-105mm PowerZoom
Pentax K - 50mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 28mm f/2.2
Tachikoma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 18, 2010, 2:53 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Washington State
Posts: 930
Default

I know that stacking produces great results but much like HDR I just don't like it. Macro to me is all about making the most of the limitations.

John
jelow1966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 18, 2010, 4:17 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Frogfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Shanghai, China
Posts: 2,774
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
I know that stacking produces great results but much like HDR I just don't like it. Macro to me is all about making the most of the limitations.

John
I know John that it is a case of 'to each his own' and we all do this for fun, so that's the way it should be !

However when you see those macros that make you go WOW ?! They're stacked, well at least 90% of them are, it makes a huge difference - but only if you have the inclination to sit behind a computer screen for hours after shooting
__________________
http://frogfish.smugmug.com
Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
Frogfish is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:18 PM.