Help With A Stacking Issue

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Brandontmyers
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:11 pm

Help With A Stacking Issue

Post by Brandontmyers »

Hi Everyone,

I am still fairly new to macro but I have been learning quite a bit. I continuously have an issue with a stacking output that I do not know the fix to. I am not sure if the issue lies in the stacking itself or the images.

I stack everything with Photoshop CC 2015. I have tried Zerene but do not seem to get results that are as good as I get with PS. This particular image is just a short 7 image stack that I did as a test. I have circled the areas where I am seeing the distortion but they should be obvious. I am open to all advice when it comes to this! Thank you!!!

Image

ChrisR
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Location: Near London, UK

Post by ChrisR »

What's your lens combination/ magnification, and step size?
Trying finer, may be a worthwhile try.
Chris R

Brandontmyers
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:11 pm

Post by Brandontmyers »

Hi Chris. Thanks for the advice. I’m not 100% sure how to calculate the magnification yet. For this particular image I was using a Tamron 90mm macro lens with a 4x objective attached. I was also using a macro rail which unfortunately is a little touchy with the steps.

hero
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:38 pm
Location: California

Post by hero »

I find it difficult to believe that Photoshop can stack more reliably or accurately than Zerene. Maybe it's because I'm using an old version of Photoshop, but I've never had success with it, even when stacking as few as two images. The problem I have with Photoshop is that it uses hard boundaries to decide which part of the source images to use. Zerene is not perfect, but the results are generally far superior in my experience. It takes more care to choose correct settings and use the retouching feature, but I wouldn't dare to stack more than 5 shots in Photoshop.

What those artifacts in your composite suggest to me is that Photoshop has failed to detect the right scaling for the source images, or that it hasn't aligned them properly.

Brandontmyers
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:11 pm

Post by Brandontmyers »

Hmmm that’s interesting! Maybe I just need to learn how to use it. The last time I tried it was a 5 stack and two of the images didn’t get aligned correctly. I may pick it back up and see what I can do with it! Thanks.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Hi, I'm the fellow who wrote Zerene Stacker and who handles all the support requests.

Speaking very generally, the big difference between Photoshop and Zerene Stacker is that Photoshop makes "errors of omission", while Zerene Stacker makes "errors of commission". That is, Photoshop has a tendency to leave blurry sections that were sharp in some source image, while Zerene Stacker is more likely to preserve all the sharp bits but to introduce artifacts of one sort or another.

Usually when somebody reports better results with Photoshop, it's because their stack was fundamentally so flawed that no software could do a really good job, and Photoshop's omissions ended up being less annoying than Zerene Stacker's commissions.

For a subject of this size, 5 and 7 frames strikes me as being rather too few to expect a clean result.

But I would be happy to take a closer look, if you'd like to send an email to support@zerenesystems.com or otherwise make the source images available to me.

--Rik

Brandontmyers
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 8:11 pm

Post by Brandontmyers »

Wow Rik, that is incredible support. This whole time I have heard amazing things about Zerene but you putting yourself out there makes me want to use it even more. I’ll shoot you over an email tomorrow. Thank you so much.

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