Stacking software: iMac & Snow Leopard OS - Advice reqd.

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dunksargent
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:50 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire UK

Stacking software: iMac & Snow Leopard OS - Advice reqd.

Post by dunksargent »

I'm a new forum member and although experienced with film macrophotography, I'm only just getting into digital in a serious way. I use an iMac 9.1 with 24" screen with Snow Leopard OS. I also have an older iMag G5 running Leopard OS. I'm not keen to load Windows onto my 24" Mac to use Windows compatible stacking software.

AFAIK the only Mac OSX compatible stacking software packages available are : Zerene Stacker, Macnification, Helicon and Photoacute - and I'm aware there are some trial versions available.

The obvious question is which is the easiest and/or best stacking software package to buy? Do any of the packages have any problem areas to consider? Are there any other Mac compatible packages available or on the horizon?

I'm planning to use a Fuji S5, and a Canon 1Ds ... but for most of my work so far have used an Olympus E-1. I do not yet have any Photoshop software but am planning to buy Photoshop Elements . So far I have managed with minimal post processing using iPhoto and the editing facility in Photobucket.

Another area where some advice is required is focusing racks. I have a Manfrotto 454 (actually have two to give X and Y movements when necessary) which has quite a fine pitch ie 1mm per one turn but maybe this will be unsuitable for high magnification stacking requiring eg in excess of 30 or more exposures. Are there any 'favourite' micrometer scale focusing racks I should consider ... or make/modify myself`?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers

dunk
And now for something completely different.

rjlittlefield
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA
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Post by rjlittlefield »

dunk, I think I haven't welcomed you aboard yet...so, welcome! :D

About stacking software, my personal favorite is Zerene Stacker. I wrote that one so it's optimized for what I like to do: deep mechanical stacks with subjects that are often troublesome for the other stackers. See HERE for a comparison of Helicon and Zerene. The other stackers you've listed are the ones I know about for Mac. I believe you can also run CombineZP on Mac under Windows emulation, but I haven't tried it. Don't know about other stackers under Windows emulation.

About racks etc, see FAQ: What's the best way to focus when stacking? and follow the links. Hopefully other people will chime in with links to newer postings -- the FAQ has not been updated for a while.

--Rik

dunksargent
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:50 pm
Location: Cambridgeshire UK

Post by dunksargent »

Thank you Rik the links are very useful and looks like I'll be trying Zerene especially if it is best for transparent subjects. Now I'm also thinking that my days of using my kitchen as a temporary studio are over and I need to convert the spare bedroom into a permanent small studio.

Lots to consider and learn

Cheers

dunk
And now for something completely different.

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