HDR, Tone Mapping and Photomatix

A forum to ask questions, post setups, and generally discuss anything having to do with photomacrography and photomicroscopy.

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augusthouse
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:39 am
Location: New South Wales Australia

HDR, Tone Mapping and Photomatix

Post by augusthouse »

I've been doing some initial reading online regarding HDR and noticed that Photomatix has an alignment feature (obviously essential) and I was wondering if other members had considered it as in any way useful with regard to photomacrography focus stacks?

http://www.hdrsoft.com/index.html

http://www.hdrsoft.com/resources/tut_win/index.html

http://www.naturescapes.net/072006/rh0706_1.htm


Just thought I would ask as I continue reading...

Craig
To use a classic quote from 'Antz' - "I almost know exactly what I'm doing!"

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

I have no hands-on experience with Photomatix.

However, from quite a bit of experience (and theory) with other alignment tools, I would not be very hopeful.

There is an implicit assumption in HDR work that the images are identical except for exposure. That means all images are focused the same, which also means the alignment process is particularly simple because every feature you choose to look at is almost identical (except for brightness) in different frames.

But in focus stacking, it is specifically the point that most details do not look identical in different frames. A few details in the zone of focus overlap do look identical, but there are gobs of other details that are fuzzy in one, sharp in the other. This makes life quite a bit more challenging for focus alignment.

This is not to say that PhotoMatix alignment won't do a good job in many cases, perhaps even most. But for the tougher cases, like deep stacks through microscope objectives, I'd expect to get better results from other tools that have been wrung out with those kinds of images.

--Rik

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