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Thread: Combine ZP Focusing / Stacking

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    Yep...that looks great Paul.

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    I knew you would say it Phil

    cheers, paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by Train Kid View Post
    Give it a try and then you be the judge.
    I don't have the software yet, I do plan on getting some... just thinking out loud right now.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jack43 View Post
    i tried it! It seems to work!
    Great, thanks... that does look good.
    I was thinking specifically of a longer line of sight, ending at the edge of the layout. Kind of like if your camera were sighting alongside the track in your photo... down a string of cars and then ending at the layout edge.

    I'll have to track some software down soon and start to fool with it. Thanks again!

    Paul

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    you´r welcome!
    I was thinking specifically of a longer line of sight, ending at the edge of the layout.
    I can´t test such a shot because my layout is rather small!
    cheers, Paul

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    Quote Originally Posted by pwh70 View Post
    Would a stacked photo look goofy if behind the the "desired" depth of field boundary the picture took on the standard blurriness of a tight DOF photo?
    It's desirable in a lot of our spaces to have the background go out of focus, because it's the living room, or the basement or whatever and we don't want people to see the mess or whatever.
    I'm wondering what it would look like if you had a nice long stacked DOF, and then the photo suddenly transitioned quickly to blurriness at the edge of the layout and into the real life background?
    I think that would be an interesting (and obviously useful) effect, but I also think it would harm some of the "realistic" effect that we are going for with the focus stacking...

    When you take a long shot of a prototype engine, generally you are at the point where you are effectively focused to infinity (can't remember the technical term... hyperfocal distance?) ... so the entire shot beyond a certain point, no matter how far in the distance is in focus.

    Usually when we see a photo with a blurred background it is something with an intentionally very narrow DOF, like a portrait or a still life with nice bokeh in the background.

    I'm afraid that unless you were really subtle about the blurring (to trick the mind into thinking the stuff is simply beyond the resolution of the eye), the blurred background on a "long shot" would set off that "something's not right about this" meter we all have in the back of our heads.

    It's worth a try, though. Take a crack at it and post up the results. What's the worst that can happen? You waste some "film"?
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    I think that would be an interesting (and obviously useful) effect, but I also think it would harm some of the "realistic" effect that we are going for with the focus stacking...

    When you take a long shot of a prototype engine, generally you are at the point where you are effectively focused to infinity (can't remember the technical term... hyperfocal distance?) ... so the entire shot beyond a certain point, no matter how far in the distance is in focus.

    Usually when we see a photo with a blurred background it is something with an intentionally very narrow DOF, like a portrait or a still life with nice bokeh in the background.

    I'm afraid that unless you were really subtle about the blurring (to trick the mind into thinking the stuff is simply beyond the resolution of the eye), the blurred background on a "long shot" would set off that "something's not right about this" meter we all have in the back of our heads.

    It's worth a try, though. Take a crack at it and post up the results. What's the worst that can happen? You waste some "film"?
    Agree on all points. Except the word "bokeh", I've always thought it doesn't look like a real word and I wish they would choose another one.
    I'll certainly try it, I have some film to waste. But I think the attempt would be best with a fully scenicked scene. That might be a while for me!

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    Resurrecting a dead thread ... Moose's old computer had CombineZP free photo stacking software. Moose having difficulty getting a copy of software to install on newer computer...
    Last edited by Moose2013; 29th Dec 2018 at 03:02 AM.
    = > ÷

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    Moose trying to use Gimp with GIMP plug-in that seems like it is suppose to do multiple image stacking, but Moose's experiments with it haven't yielded positive results...

    Moose finally find website that has functioning download copy of CombineZP.msi. Yeah!
    Last edited by Moose2013; 29th Dec 2018 at 03:06 AM.
    = > ÷

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    All I know is my cell phone gets way better depth of field than my SLR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NtheBasement View Post
    All I know is my cell phone gets way better depth of field than my SLR.
    that's because phones are replacing SLR or DSLR's won't be long now and they too will be a thing of the past.

    As for focus stacking, I'd given up on that a long time ago
    pfff
    ~ Charles

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    Quote Originally Posted by zosimas View Post
    As for focus stacking, I'd given up on that a long time ago
    pfff
    Nutz ... Moose was hoping you might know of an acceptable alternative ... Also realized that the functional copy is missing several stacking macros and the help function doesn't work... It's better than nothing, which thus far appears to be what the other free options have...
    = > ÷

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    Moose , try Helicon Focus its free for a year and pretty easy to work .

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikec6201 View Post
    Moose , try Helicon Focus its free for a year and pretty easy to work .
    Their website says 30 day free trial, but Moose will look into it. Paying for an annual or lifetime fee seems the norm anymore, just don't know if it is worth it but there may be no choice... Arrrrg!
    = > ÷

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    Mine was free for a year I think , but it probably changed . You can still use it AFAIK but there will be a watermark on the pics after 30 days.....Mike

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    Several years back I did comparison tests using Combine ZP and a product called Zerene Stacker, and I consistently got better results using Zerene. My results compared very favourably to those a friend was getting using the more expensive Helicon Focus.

    Zerene Stacker (https://zerenesystems.com/cms/stacker) has a 30-day free trial period, as well as several licence options including a Personal Licence for USD $89.00

    Regards,
    Ron
    https://gulflines.blogspot.com/

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    Slightly off-topic - wondering if anyone here has any experience with focusing rails that they can share. These are useful for stacking macro shots, not so much for normal lenses.

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    Lance Midheim has an article in the November 2017 MRH about taking pictures with an iPhone, varying the focus (without moving the camera), and compositing the resultant shots using Helicon.

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    Just out of curiosity, what aperture are you all shooting these photos at?

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by GNMatz View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what aperture are you all shooting these photos at?

    Matt
    I shoot most of mine with f22 with my 35mm Macro lens , Sony A68 on a mini tripod and using Sony Remote software on a laptop to take the shots, the software lets me change anything on the camera without touching it except focus. With f22 I get quite a good deal of the photo in focus, I do use longer shutter times dependent on the lighting I use, normally 1/4 or 1/8 shutter time.

    I must add that I am still in the learning stage with my new camera.
    As long as I can model in N-scale, I know I'm not old

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    I shoot most of mine with f22 with my 35mm Macro lens , Sony A68 on a mini tripod and using Sony Remote software on a laptop to take the shots, the software lets me change anything on the camera without touching it except focus. With f22 I get quite a good deal of the photo in focus, I do use longer shutter times dependent on the lighting I use, normally 1/4 or 1/8 shutter time.

    I must add that I am still in the learning stage with my new camera.
    Reason I asked, is because most people are unaware that if you are using a true Macro Lens, it has a 1:1 reproduction ratio (or greater) vs 1:4 reproduction ratio of a typical standard lens. If shooting with an actual 1:1 macro (or even more extreme such as a 3:1/5:1 ratio macro where a rail is necessary) the steps in the DOF are greatly narrowed because the lens is doing it's job, which is shrinking the DOF so the the focal distance can be reduced to only a few inches away from the subject. I use a 1:1 macro only for very, very small subjects, as the DOF is razor thin, even at high f-stops, moving with the amount of reproduction ratio the lens has. A non macro lens without stacking software, shot from a greater distance and and higher focal length with a very tight aperture, will yield the more realistic photos IMO.

    When you are shooting a real train from a closer to parallel (15 degreeish) angle to the tracks vs say, a 70 degree angle, the focus will naturally fall off at the greater and closer distances. That's the way I feel MRRs should look as well. In N Scale, the DOF should be to scale the same as we try to achieve scale speed. What I mean by that is this... if you are trackside, shooting an actual approaching train, you would have to shoot at over f32 to even come close to keeping a 1000 feet of that train in focus. 1,000 feet in N is only 6.25 feet. A tight aperture at an extended distance should, by itself, maintain good focus at less than 7 feet.

    To shorten the above to application terms, most need to move the camera back (move the camera away from the subject) use a moderate telephoto at the desired distance, use a very high f-stop and GOOD lighting. Macro lens are intentionally designed to flatten the DOF, not extend it. I view it as trying to keep the scale correct as if the shot was of an actual train... and a lengthwise shot will always have limitations in respect to DOF, as the need for a higher f-stop becomes necessary.

    Long story short, if you are shooting the nose of a short 1,000 foot train, focus on the the nose and the tail will not both be in focus in real life, but some/many want it to be in N scale. I suppose there are good reasons to strive for that, I just chose not to manipulate a photo that way.

    Matt

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