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Perhaps this is not the hobby for me.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 19390
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
is there degradation from shooting in raw, changing to jpeg or tiff to stack in Zerene and then uploading to PM?

Well, the maximum image size that can be uploaded to photomacrography.net is only 1024 pixels square, with file size 300 KB max.

Those numbers are so small that it's inconceivable there would not be degradation from camera to uploading.

So you have to decide: is uploading to photomacrography.net your only goal? Or do you have other goals, and if so, what are their requirements?

For my own photography, the goal is always to get the highest quality image that I can, consistent with the amount of work that I'm willing to put into it. That means there are tradeoffs, which I have to think about for each situation.

For deep stacks shot in studio, where I can closely control the lighting and don't want to pay the costs of shooting raw, I shoot high quality JPEG.

For shorter stacks, especially in the field or when the lighting is especially challenging, I shoot raw. Usually I convert those to 16-bit TIFF, but if I plan to retain the Zerene Stacker project with converted images embedded in it, then sometimes I'll convert to JPEG because JPEGs are so much smaller than 16-bit TIFF.

Quote:
IOW, is there any advantage to shooting in raw or tiff when uploading to PM?

In some cases, sure. If the lighting is challenging, then shooting in raw may give you more control that ends up producing a better result even at the reduced size required for posting. Or if your camera treats JPEGs harshly, typically by oversharpening, then actual-pixel crops may show better results from shooting TIFF. I have even seen cases where TIFF resolved a bit more detail than JPEG, though that varies a lot between cameras.

In the end, I'm afraid there's no substitute for running your own tests and seeing what the tradeoffs are for your equipment and your goals.

--Rik
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JH



Joined: 09 Mar 2013
Posts: 1175
Location: Vallentuna, Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tevans9129 wrote:
is there any advantage to shooting in raw or tiff when uploading to PM?


No -or at least almost never.

I normally take both jpg and RAW. I stack the jpg:s with the function "Stack New Images (Pmax)" in Zerne mostly for the fun to follow the stacking process but also to stop if the pictures does not turn out OK.

Usually the jpg stack is good, and almost always good enough for the webb.

But sometimes I get colour banding problems whit jpg:s that I do not get whith TIFF:s.

The example is from this post:.
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=223272#223272

Here is a comparison between the banded JPG to the left and TIFF stack to the right. This is not an exact comparision I have done some adjustments to the RAW:files before saving them as TIFF:s and there is a differens in the number of picture used for the two stacks.



Best regards Jörgen Hellberg
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Jörgen Hellberg, my webbsite www.hphoto.se
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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 129
Location: TN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
is there degradation from shooting in raw, changing to jpeg or tiff to stack in Zerene and then uploading to PM?

rjlittlefield wrote:
Well, the maximum image size that can be uploaded to photomacrography.net is only 1024 pixels square, with file size 300 KB max.
Those numbers are so small that it's inconceivable there would not be degradation from camera to uploading.

My question was poorly worded for my intent. I know there is degradation uploading to PM what I was trying to determine is there an advantage to shooting in raw and then converting to jpeg to upload over shooting in jpeg fine to begin with. Both scenarios under same identical conditions, nothing done to files before stacking. My belief is no, but I have been wrong before.


rjlittlefield wrote:
So you have to decide: is uploading to photomacrography.net your only goal? Or do you have other goals, and if so, what are their requirements?

For my own photography, the goal is always to get the highest quality image that I can, consistent with the amount of work that I'm willing to put into it. That means there are tradeoffs, which I have to think about for each situation.

All of my shooting is done in RAW and then converting to TIFF for stacking, unless, the purpose is only for posting in PM.

rjlittlefield wrote:
For deep stacks shot in studio, where I can closely control the lighting and don't want to pay the costs of shooting raw, I shoot high quality JPEG.

For shorter stacks, especially in the field or when the lighting is especially challenging, I shoot raw. Usually I convert those to 16-bit TIFF, but if I plan to retain the Zerene Stacker project with converted images embedded in it, then sometimes I'll convert to JPEG because JPEGs are so much smaller than 16-bit TIFF.

Makes sense to me.


Quote:
IOW, is there any advantage to shooting in raw or tiff when uploading to PM?


rjlittlefield wrote:
In some cases, sure. If the lighting is challenging, then shooting in raw may give you more control that ends up producing a better result even at the reduced size required for posting. Or if your camera treats JPEGs harshly, typically by oversharpening, then actual-pixel crops may show better results from shooting TIFF. I have even seen cases where TIFF resolved a bit more detail than JPEG, though that varies a lot between cameras.

In the end, I'm afraid there's no substitute for running your own tests and seeing what the tradeoffs are for your equipment and your goals.

--Rik

I agree with that, OTOH, if I can learn from others that have previously done the testing and has the knowledge then why not save my testing for other things.

I appreciate your thoughts and explanations, thanks.

Ted
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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 129
Location: TN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JH wrote:
tevans9129 wrote:
is there any advantage to shooting in raw or tiff when uploading to PM?


No -or at least almost never.

I normally take both jpg and RAW. I stack the jpg:s with the function "Stack New Images (Pmax)" in Zerne mostly for the fun to follow the stacking process but also to stop if the pictures does not turn out OK.

Usually the jpg stack is good, and almost always good enough for the webb.

But sometimes I get colour banding problems whit jpg:s that I do not get whith TIFF:s.

The example is from this post:.
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=223272#223272

Here is a comparison between the banded JPG to the left and TIFF stack to the right. This is not an exact comparision I have done some adjustments to the RAW:files before saving them as TIFF:s and there is a differens in the number of picture used for the two stacks.



Best regards Jörgen Hellberg


Thanks for the comments and images Jorgen, interesting.
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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 129
Location: TN

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is getting to the point that it is not fun anymore. This image is after 8-10 cleanings with PEC-PAD and Eclipse and the Altura Photo Professional Cleaning Kit. Perhaps $20-25 worth of swabs.



Exasperated, I thought what the hell, the Eyelead jel stick cleans everything, so many folks claim, so I got one of those. After two cleanings with the Jel stick.



OK, perhaps the third one will do it.



These only shows up when the magnification is >3x. I have used JPEG fine, TIFF and Raw converted to TIFF in View NX2, makes no difference. Same with different lens setup, 200 f/4 micro with pnll and 20mm 2.8 reversed, PB6 bellows with Amscope and Nikon 4x objective lens.

I cannot see anything on the sensor when using a 4.5x lighted magnifier, it appears absolutely clean. Neither can I see anything on the sticky paper when cleaning the jel stick. I am thinking about taking it to the local car wash and see if that will get the dust out.
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 3069
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ted,

Until you can reliably see all the dust on your sensor, you won't be able to clean it effectively. I find sensor loupes, such as your 4.5x lighted magnifier, almost useless--much too low powered to see fine dust with. Do you have a low-powered stereomicroscope? I can't imagine cleaning a sensor without one.

Another thing you want is a small, handheld light that you can quickly move; moving the light while watching through the microscope helps make dust pop out to the eye.

Remember, of course, that lenses invert light, so if your images show a dust spot in the upper right of the frame, you want to look the offending dust on the lower left portion of the sensor.

And for removal of stubborn individual spots, a swab is too broad a tool. I have a number of home-made, improvised gizmos for this. A pencil whose eraser has been covered with a piece of Pec Pad is one I reach for frequently.

But although one can very thoroughly clean a sensor, it never stays spotless very long. So it's OK to live with a few dust spots. Since you use Nikon's View NX2 for processing your raws, remember that it has a pretty nice auto retouch brush that works nicely for dust spots. When doing a stack, I sometimes use this to retouch the dust in one out-of-focus frame (in which the dust spots stand out well), and use NX2's batch mode to apply this retouching to all frames in the stack.

My Nikon bodies also let you take a dust reference photo, and use it for automatic dust retouching. But in the several times I've tried it, I've gotten errors, so I've given up on it. Your mileage may vary, however.

Cheers,

--Chris S.
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Smokedaddy



Joined: 07 Oct 2006
Posts: 1184
Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... my suggestion is to copy and paste this in your browser;

site:cloudynights.com "dust mots"

and start reading OR join the forum and start asking questions. Also I included a link below with 'seems' to be similar to taking flats as they do in the Astronomy forum. I know absolutely nothing about the software below, if it wors and/or if they are still in business. I simply found it while searching and figured you might be interested since nothing has worked for you so far.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/technique/expert_advice/dealing-with-sensor-dust-on-your-nikon-dslr-60698

-JW:
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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 129
Location: TN

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris S. wrote:
Ted,

Until you can reliably see all the dust on your sensor, you won't be able to clean it effectively. I find sensor loupes, such as your 4.5x lighted magnifier, almost useless--much too low powered to see fine dust with. Do you have a low-powered stereomicroscope? I can't imagine cleaning a sensor without one.


Thanks for the suggestions Chris and no, unfortunately I do not have a microscope and have no knowledge of them. I would have guessed that it would be impossible to see into a camera body with an average microscope.

Chris S. wrote:
Another thing you want is a small, handheld light that you can quickly move; moving the light while watching through the microscope helps make dust pop out to the eye.


The small handheld light I have, but no MS.

Chris S. wrote:
Remember, of course, that lenses invert light, so if your images show a dust spot in the upper right of the frame, you want to look the offending dust on the lower left portion of the sensor.


I have been cleaning the entire sensor with each cleaning which I thought would diminish the need for seeing individual specks, not so?

Chris S. wrote:
And for removal of stubborn individual spots, a swab is too broad a tool. I have a number of home-made, improvised gizmos for this. A pencil whose eraser has been covered with a piece of Pec Pad is one I reach for frequently.


Sounds like a good idea…if I could see the spots.

Chris S. wrote:
But although one can very thoroughly clean a sensor, it never stays spotless very long. So it's OK to live with a few dust spots. Since you use Nikon's View NX2 for processing your raws, remember that it has a pretty nice auto retouch brush that works nicely for dust spots. When doing a stack, I sometimes use this to retouch the dust in one out-of-focus frame (in which the dust spots stand out well), and use NX2's batch mode to apply this retouching to all frames in the stack.


A few, I do not mind so much, 15-20 is not a few in my view. The only thing that I have used NX2 for is converting NEF files to TIFF and occasionally using the focus point view. I did a cursory scan of the program but it did not pop out to me how you are using it.

Chris S. wrote:
My Nikon bodies also let you take a dust reference photo, and use it for automatic dust retouching. But in the several times I've tried it, I've gotten errors, so I've given up on it. Your mileage may vary, however.


Cheers,



I have never tried it, in fact, was not even aware of it. It just drives me ballistic that I cannot clean the sensor to a reasonable degree. It has to be something that I am doing wrong. The cleaning is done in the bathroom and I have used white gloves, bare hands, with nylon wind breaker on, with no top of any kind on, tried not to breath while cleaning and have watched several thousand YouTube clips on sensor cleaning…more or less. So far, I have had more success with the Eyelead gel stick but not to the degree that I expect.
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tevans9129



Joined: 30 Nov 2017
Posts: 129
Location: TN

PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smokedaddy wrote:
... my suggestion is to copy and paste this in your browser;

site:cloudynights.com "dust mots"

and start reading OR join the forum and start asking questions. Also I included a link below with 'seems' to be similar to taking flats as they do in the Astronomy forum. I know absolutely nothing about the software below, if it wors and/or if they are still in business. I simply found it while searching and figured you might be interested since nothing has worked for you so far.

http://www.amateurphotographer.co.uk/technique/expert_advice/dealing-with-sensor-dust-on-your-nikon-dslr-60698

-JW:


Thanks much for the links JW, I have them bookmarked and have been reading them.
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Chris S.
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Joined: 05 Apr 2009
Posts: 3069
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ted,

tevans9129 wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions Chris and no, unfortunately I do not have a microscope and have no knowledge of them. I would have guessed that it would be impossible to see into a camera body with an average microscope.

Remember that there is a world of difference between a "lower-powered stereomicroscope" and a "compound microscope." The former are commonly called "dissecting scopes." This is what I'm recommending for cleaning your sensor. They have much more working distance than a compound microscope. They are also far easier to use, with near zero learning curve. Decent models can also be much cheaper than a good compound microscope. My dissecting scopes are very basic Bausch & Lomb Stereozooms, such as EBay item 122931585955, priced at $110. This is a fairly typical price.

If you get one, you will likely find it worth its weight in gold for things in addition to cleaning your sensor. Before photographing small subjects, I nearly always examine them first under the dissecting scope. Here I notice dust, damage, or other things that would ruin a picture, and figure out which are the best portions to photograph--a huge time saver. The dissecting scope is also handy when removing a wood splinter from a finger, reading tiny model numbers on small parts, and a host of other things. I don't know how anyone lives without one.

tevans9129 wrote:
I have been cleaning the entire sensor with each cleaning which I thought would diminish the need for seeing individual specks, not so?

Emphatically not so, in my opinion. You can't remove stubborn specks unless you can see them.

tevans9129 wrote:
I . . . have watched several thousand YouTube clips on sensor cleaning…more or less. So far, I have had more success with the Eyelead gel stick but not to the degree that I expect.

A problem is that YouTube tutorials on sensor cleaning are not made by photomacrographers, so far as I've yet seen. And photomacrographers need much cleaner sensors than general photographers. This is because the very small effective apertures we use make dust much more visible in our images, than do the larger apertures used in general photography. We need to remove small dust that a sports or fashion photographer would never see.

Also, clearly seeing a tough dust spot will help you know what it's composed of, which will help you clean it off. For example, a textile fiber rarely adheres strongly to the sensor (it's held mainly by electrostatic force, I believe, and this is rather weak); you can remove it with a puff of air, a soft brush, or a bit of adhesive tape (test the tape first on a clean microscope slide, to see if it leaves a residue; and use a very small piece affixed to some home-made tool). A human skin flake, on the other hand, will often adhere as if glued on. For these, I like an alcohol-soaked bit of peck pad on the pencil eraser, and a surprising about of hand pressure. When such a flack finally moves, it will leave a greasy streak, which then needs to be cleaned with a fresh bit of Pec pad and more alcohol. Contrast this against a grain of sand, which requires the gentlest possible treatment, because these can scratch the glass cover on the sensor. (However, these should have been removed as the first step in any cleaning.)

tevans9129 wrote:
The only thing that I have used NX2 for is converting NEF files to TIFF and occasionally using the focus point view. I did a cursory scan of the program but it did not pop out to me how you are using it.

Sorry--version confusion on my part. Try the current (and free) versions of Nikon ViewNX-i & Capture NX-D. I believe the retouch function and batch capability I described are in Capture NX-D.

--Chris S.
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