Batch raw processing on a mac -- for focus stacking

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pittendrigh
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Batch raw processing on a mac -- for focus stacking

Post by pittendrigh »

My linux box died. I'm stuck with a Mac until the new box arrives.

On Linux, for focus stacking I shoot a sequence of raw images. I do the shooting on a Mac because I use Helicon Remote, which does not have a Linux Port. I like Helicon Remote for focus stacking. It's cheap and it works.

Then I secure copy the raw images to my linux box where I use the GUI point and click interface of UFRAW to custom edit only the first image in the sequence. Then I quick the UFRAW GUI and use a terminal command, invoking UFRAW in batch mode to convert all the raw images to tif format. UFRAW makes that conversion using all the custom editing adjustments made manually in the first GUI session.

Now I can import the resulting tif format images into ZereneStacker.

I assume I could run ZereneStacker on the Mac because it's written in Java. But I wonder what raw image editor could be used on the Mac, that has a batch mode. Is there such a beast?

How do you use Mac for focus stacking?

Asha
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Post by Asha »

For batch processing of RAW images, I mostly use DxO Optics Pro. I've been using it since v8 and it is now up to v10. You can "select all" in a folder, and then apply changes such as exposure compensation, unsharp mask, etc., and see side-by-side comparisons of the original to changed versions. If you sign up for DxO's email newsletter, you can be informed of sales (which are frequent), that way you get the best price. You can try it for free before buying.

I think Adobe Lightroom also has the functionality for batch RAW processing, but I've found it to be so unintuitive that I don't actually know for sure. I would check it out since many photographers use Lightroom and seem satisfied with it. I don't know if there is a free trial for LR.

Another option is Adobe Camera Raw, which is in Photoshop. In ACR, you can create a "profile" which you can then apply to all images. If you don't already have PS, and that is the only function you want, it might not be worth the price. However, you can at least try it on a 30-day free trial, and if you decide to subscribe, the monthly fee is around $10 if I recall correctly.

One other software I tried and liked is CaptureOne. It is like Lightroom on steroids, with super robust tethering, cataloging and sharing capability. I tried the free trial a while back, and found it a bit buggy/crashy, and more horsepower than I needed. However, the all-RAW workflow is totally amazing and quite forward-thinking. Also, at the time I tried it out, there was no tethering support for less prominent brands--Nikon and Canon appeared to be fully supported for the pro and semi-pro cameras, however.

ETA--Helicon and Zerene both work on the Mac. However, I think Helicon won't work with the latest Yosemite OS. As of earlier this month, their system requirements did not list 10.10.x, and there was a forum post about Helicon crashing on Yosemite. If they've updated since then, that problem may be resolved.

Also, supposedly Photoshop can align and assemble a stack. I haven't tried to do that since CS6, and back then I found the results to be sub-par. Could be better in the CreativeCloud version, so if you're going to do a free trial, you might try that too.

rjlittlefield
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Re: Batch raw processing on a mac -- for focus stacking

Post by rjlittlefield »

pittendrigh wrote:Then I secure copy the raw images to my linux box where I use the GUI point and click interface of UFRAW to custom edit only the first image in the sequence. Then I quick the UFRAW GUI and use a terminal command, invoking UFRAW in batch mode to convert all the raw images to tif format. UFRAW makes that conversion using all the custom editing adjustments made manually in the first GUI session.
I have no experience with UFRAW, but I notice that there's a Mac version posted on its web page at http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/Install.html. Have you investigated that?
I assume I could run ZereneStacker on the Mac because it's written in Java.
Yes, Zerene Stacker runs fine on Mac. The default look-and-feel will be different from what you're used to on Linux, but that can be changed to be the same. Go to Options > Preferences > Look & Feel, and change the setting to be Java cross-platform Look & Feel.

--Rik

pittendrigh
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Location: Bozeman, MT
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Re: Batch raw processing on a mac -- for focus stacking

Post by pittendrigh »

RE> "I have no experience with UFRAW, but I notice that there's a Mac version posted on its web page at http://ufraw.sourceforge.net/Install.html. Have you investigated that?"


Thank you.....
Mac has built a reputation on "user friendly and everything works" but it's a limited concept. They don't make it easy to install open source software. I did a "sudo post install ufraw" and let it grind away for a long time only to discover there are a half a dozen other manual hacks needed to run X11 and/or GTK based programs. They could make this easy but they have chosen not to. Mac, I think, wants their customers to be tightly corralled inside their own proprietary sphere.

I get my new mega memory 64bit hot rod tomorrow. Mint Linux is what I use. It's what I'm accustomed to now. I'll just wait.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Thanks for the info about UFRAW on Mac. I can't say that I'm surprised. Your description of the Mac environment certainly resonates with what I see from my viewpoint as a software developer. When "everything works" it's great for the user, but behind the curtains that's achieved by developers having to frequently tweak their products to keep up with the latest system updates that break compatibility with older versions. Even if the UFRAW installer worked flawlessly this week, it probably would not in another six months unless it got some attention in the meantime.

--Rik

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