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Author Topic: Focus Stacking Software  (Read 746 times)

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Offline Chetcombe

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Focus Stacking Software
« on: November 13, 2016, 05:25:34 PM »
Whilst going through the latest copy of the NGS Journal I came across a very useful article on photographic tips written by the editor :read:

In order to ensure that a photograph is in sharp focus for its entire depth, Grahame suggests taking a number of photographs of the same scene from the same position but with different focused distances and then using a free software package to combine them into one image which is all in focus.

Does anyone have any experience with any focus stacking software? If so any recommendations?  :camera:

Many thanks

Offline austinbob

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Re: Focus Stacking Software
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2016, 05:40:17 PM »
There is a tutorial about this technique in the May edition of the British Railway Modelling DVD. Can't remember if it mentions such software.
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Offline msr

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Re: Focus Stacking Software
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2016, 09:04:30 PM »
Zerene Stacker or Helicon Focus are the software packages of choice. They have free trial periods so that may be sufficient for your needs.

Offline Railwaygun

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Re: Focus Stacking Software
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2016, 08:04:59 AM »
isn't this what iPhones do in HDR mode?
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Offline Izzy

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Re: Focus Stacking Software
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2016, 08:49:00 AM »
isn't this what iPhones do in HDR mode?

No. HDR - high dynamic range - is concerned with exposure, and especially when high contrast is involved i.e bright highlights and deep dark shadows. It's an attempt to combine the two extremes to assist with the way digital sensors are unable to cope with this quite as well as film could/can.

Focus stacking, as the name suggests, is about trying to combine differently focussed shots to produce one with back-to-front sharpness. Many seem to find benefit in this, but despite many experiments (for a digital photography website) I never have. Too many artifacts and mis-focus areas in the final shot whatever software was used. Indeed for those using small sensor digicams which have massive and virtually b-t-f DOF (depth of field) anyway it seems rather unnecessary. With SLR's, using the optiminal F8/F11 aperture and correctly positioned focus always seemed to produce a better quality image. (Using a smaller aperture gives greater DOF but with degraded image quality out of the central image area).

All swings and roundabouts really....... as is so often the case!

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