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Stacking comparisons

 
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gpmatthews



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1040
Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:05 am    Post subject: Stacking comparisons Reply with quote

Each image below is generated from the same stack of images:

Microscope: Zeiss Standard GFL
Objective: Leitz 40/0.7 NPL ICT Fluotar
Substage: Leitz ICT
Ocular: Watson x8 Compensating
Stack of 92 images
DIC

I had my attention drawn to another stacking program, Syncroscopy Auto-Montage (see http://www.synoptics.co.uk/syncroscopy/default.asp) and wanted to do some comparisons. The Auto-Montage images below are screenshots from the demo version. I find Actinoptychus to be a good test object for stacking.


Helicon Focus



Auto-Montage with patch size of 10, blend mode


Auto-Montage with patch size of 22, blend mode

Each picture has been slightly rebalanced for colour, but is otherwise unretouched.

I'd be interested to know whether anyone else has tried this software, and what their impressions are. My own impressions, having tried it on a number of images and with different settings, is that it appears rather prone to blotchy halo formation or else contouring/"tidemarking" than Helicon. It also seems more tricky to optimise than Helicon, so I'm not sure I've got the best from it.
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 20077
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your results are consistent with mine, which I have passed along to Syncroscopy. They might be interested to hear of your work also. Competitive aspects and all that, you know...

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graham... I too have tried it and found the results from Helicon generally much better. This is fortunate Wink because if it were clearly better I afraid I might have had to come up with a big bundle of cash!
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Neil Fitzgerald



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,
Nice to see this comparison. I used Automontage a lot a few years ago. Near the end of that work I found Helicon and a quick play with the trail version brought me to the exact same conclusion as above here. We had already spent the big coin so admitting we had probably wasted a lot of money wasn't easy.
If there have been more recent comparisons, or if there are other options now I'm interested to hear.
Thanks.
Neil.
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Neil,
Just following up on your post in regard to Focus Stacking Software.

At present, the members are using Helicon Focus v4.47, CombineZM (latest edition CombineZP) and a new player doing things an old way TuFuse Pro.

All have their good and bad points - there are no point and shoot solutions. Some perform better with certain types of subjects and shooting conditions than others; but as has been demonstrated on the forum, all three have significant merit when attempting to produce images that would have been impossible or basically impractical to attempt otherwise.

There are a few other programs out there that I am aware of; but at the moment they are still out there for all intended purposes and usually contain focus stacking as an additional utility rather than the core function.

Links below to the three programs mentioned.

Helicon Focus:
http://www.heliconsoft.com/heliconfocus.html

CombineZP and CombineZM links and info.
http://hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZM/News.htm
http://www.hadleyweb.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/CZP/News.htm

TuFuse Pro:
http://www.tawbaware.com/tufusepro.htm


Craig

*edit: added CombineZP latest news link
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Last edited by augusthouse on Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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rovebeetle



Joined: 22 May 2008
Posts: 308
Location: Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rjlittlefield wrote:
Your results are consistent with mine, which I have passed along to Syncroscopy. They might be interested to hear of your work also. Competitive aspects and all that, you know...

--Rik


At that price tag, they'd better listen really well.

I have worked with Automontage for years, because at the time my institute bought it (more than 3 years ago) there was no real competition.

I seriously consider installing Helicon and the other companions on my home PC and stack the images shot at the institute at home, also because the institute PC is a lame snail compared to my home PC.

Cheers
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dmillard



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 570
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

augusthouse wrote:


At present, the members are using Helicon Focus v4.47, CombineZM (latest edition CombineZP) and a new player doing things an old way TuFuse Pro.



But members who are Mac users are currently restricted to using Helicon Focus v3.6.1, and PhotoAcute Studio Sad
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P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 461
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're using the Intel Mac, why don't you use Bootcamp to dual boot with Windows?

Craig, am I right in assuming that CZP is better than CZM?
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lauriek
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Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: South East UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CZP does everything CZM does PLUS some pyramid stacking algorithms (a-la Tufuse).
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David,
Thanks for the reminder regarding Macs.

I have a G4 (Tiger) myself (MS PC is the main workhorse) though, I have been considering - on and off - about upgrading to an Intel Mac.

On the Mac - HF 3.6.1 and PhotoAcute Studio. How do you find the Mac version of PhotoAcute Studio? Do you use it for stacking or mainly for its other features? I've been playing around with it on the PC.

P_T,
CombineZP is the next generation of CombineZM and has some additional features. I don't know if 'better' is the word (more of an extended version), but if definitely has added functionality as Laurie indicated.

Craig
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dmillard



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
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Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

P_T wrote:
If you're using the Intel Mac, why don't you use Bootcamp to dual boot with Windows?



Thanks PT, BootCamp (or Parallels) would both be excellent solutions for an Intel Mac - I'm using an older PowerMac G5, and the Windows emulators that are available don't work as well, so I may need to eventually upgrade to take advantage of newer software.
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P_T



Joined: 19 Jul 2008
Posts: 461
Location: Sydney, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that bit of info. I also checked out Lauriek's stack comparison using that fly and looks like the extra functionality does make it work better.

Speaking of which, when are you going to restart that stack comparison Lauriek? This microscopic comparison is nice and all but to someone clueless about micro organism, all the artifacts in the image might as well be the specimen. Besides, that fly with all the hair would really push the capability of the softwares.

Craig,
You really surprised me there for a second. I thought "How the hell does he know my name?!?" then I realised you were talking to dmillard. Laughing
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dmillard



Joined: 24 Oct 2006
Posts: 570
Location: Austin, Texas

PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

augusthouse wrote:
David,
On the Mac - HF 3.6.1 and PhotoAcute Studio. How do you find the Mac version of PhotoAcute Studio? Do you use it for stacking or mainly for its other features? I've been playing around with it on the PC.

Craig


I've just done a quick and easy comparison, nothing rigorous or quantifiable. The results seemed to be very similar, and HF was much faster.
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microcollector



Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 254
Location: Port Orchard, Washington

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The most recent version of Helicon Focus is 4.5 and it fixes a bug in the dust map among other changes.

Doug
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augusthouse



Joined: 16 Sep 2006
Posts: 1195
Location: New South Wales Australia

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Doug.....downloading

4.5 for the PC
3.79 for the Mac

Craig
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