Hi there. I'm Joseph S. Wisniewski, a photographer of about 30 years.
Alan, thank you again for a wonderful program.
I've been doing focus stacks since the days when you had to do it on
an enlarger and make pin registered rubylith masks for each image in
Been doing this by hand in PotatoeShop for about 10 years, and with
CombineZ for about 5 years. I even teach a (poorly attended) course in
focus stacking at Midwest Photographic Workshops where I've taught
about 10 other Detroit area photographers (to date) some CombineZ
tricks and tips.
I use CZ mostly for fine art work, and am just putting the final
touches on some rather nice milkweed flower clusters. (And yes, I have
less botanical and zoological knowledge than most of the folk on this
group, often labeling flower pictures "a pretty blue one").
Most of my shooting is done in the field, with a Nikon D2X and a 200mm
f4 micro Nikkor on a Novoflex focusing rail, or a 63mm Zeiss Luminar
on a Nikon PB-4 bellows. In the studio, I use a table top setup with a
floating isolation table (Lefkowitz still has the best book), the
Nikon bellows, and a 63mm Luminar, 40mm Luminar, 25mm Photar, and 16mm
Luminar. Also a Nikon U10 scope objective (which is nearly a drop in
replacement for the 16mm Luminar, and outperforms the Zeiss in many
situations) and a Nikon M-Plan 20 (8mm) objective which serves me to
25x, which is about as high as I go on my bench.
I'll try my "old standby" macro that iterates "Do Stack" with "Find
Detail" at 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 (because the best setting
varies all over the place depending on the particular flower and
composition) and if it still works with the latest CombineZM, I'll
post it to the files section. Also some stuff I've written on
perspective in focus stacks, and a comparison between stacks taken by
focusing traditionally with the main rack of the bellows (infinite
perspective), focusing by moving the rear standard (short
perspective), and moving the front standard (anomalous perspective).