OK, I have the AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm f/4D IF-ED, Kenko 10, 20 & 36mm and the TC-201 (The TC-201 will not auto-focus, but who cares, I am shooting macro). RRS focusing rails will be ordered soon. I do have Photoshop.
In your guys' opinions, what is the best focus stacking software? They have to be significantly better than Photoshop to be worth learning a new program.
You can do Exposure Stacking and Focus Stacking.
One thing, after viewing the GIMP video, Helicon Focus offers the advantage of being automated. Since I often stack dozens of images, the GIMP method would be, er, difficult.
In addition, Helicon Focus has another program, Helicon Remote, which takes control of the camera, automating the process of focussing. All very cool.
HOWEVER, artifacts develop...here are two images..
My first ever stacking (17 images, focused by hand) of raindrops in a hibiscus
A later image (12 images, focused with Helicon Remote) of some raspberries
Note both have areas that are blurred. Yes, Helicon Focus allows you to touch up the image, but this would be hard with the raspberry image (note the blurriness at the end of many of the little 'stems.')
Anyone know if it is my technique or a limitation of Helicon Focus...or of stacking in general?
That bug is crazy cool.
The ball in the foreground is about two inches in front of the face which is about one inch high
Helicon has some great examples and if it is automated the better.
I use Zerene to stack and Helicon's app for camera control.