My first stacks 7

Yesterday Malcolm Storey (bioimages.org.uk) brought over some new equipment he had just bought for photo-stacking, along with a ‘kit’ including a spare dSLR (3MP Nikon D100) and macro lenses. The real star of the equipment is Malcolm’s new StackShot – an automated system for racking a camera through pre-defined focus points and taking the photos to make into a stack.

We took a few hours to rig up a very rudimentary setup and ran off some test shots. Then this morning I downloaded the PC drivers for the Nikon camera and the Zerene Stacker (beta) for controlling the StackShot, so that everything could be run through the PC with no need to touch the camera of StackShot – thus reducing camera movement. I have also downloaded the latest HeliconFocus trial too and I will be seeing how Zerene and Helicon “stack up” 😉

This is where I will post-up a few of my first stacks, just to show what is possible. 🙂

Each stacked photo has been processed separately in PhotoShop so things like levels, cropping and sharpening will be slightly different. All photos are taken at a resolution of 6 megapixels. Lighting is a big issue with all photos and currently my setup is very simple/poor and in serious need of improvement but for this experiment I am just playing around with the equipment to see what sort of results I can get.

The body length of the flies are as follows: Microsoma exiguum is 2mm; Prosena siberita is 8-10mm; and Eudejeania melenax is about 15mm.

7 thoughts on “My first stacks

  1. Reply Proctos Apr 15,2011 12:47 am

    This photo was taken on the Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens. Pay attention to the size (2mm) and fine details!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45174307@N02/5620636054/sizes/l/in/photostream/

  2. Reply ChrisR Apr 15,2011 8:13 am

    Yes, Malcolm has that lens and it would be my number-1 choice for the job but unfortunately I don’t have the money to buy all the equipment at the moment and Malcolm is busy – so I am using a more basic setup (to test the process) until we can sort out the best equipment 🙂

  3. Reply ChrisR Apr 15,2011 8:13 am

    Excellent – that’s exactly the sort of photo that I want to produce! 🙂

  4. Reply Proctos Apr 15,2011 6:38 pm

    1. You need to replace the fluorescent lamp for halogen. In the halogen lamp has a good light spectrum. Point of light will be near by insects.
    2. You need to use paper diffusers or styrofoam cap with a hole at the top.

  5. Reply ChrisR Apr 15,2011 6:43 pm

    @Proctos
    Yes, I have tried a halogen lamp (on the Pelecotheca (Cerotachina)) but I need to create the diffuser to soften the light 🙂

  6. Reply Michael Jefferies Sep 18,2011 7:46 am

    Greetings Chris,

    I have been experimenting with stacking; an example Tachinid is below. I use a led ringlight as illumination, can’t afford and have no access to museum quality equipment!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ogcodes/5308409839/

    The detail on this one is nothing like the original which is about 175mb as a final.

    regards

    Michael Jefferies

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