Focus Stacking with a Raspberry Pi – test stack of 148 images of a fly

Today I made another test run with a stack of 148 images at 40 micron intervals using the Otamat 20mm lens, this time on a 42mm extension tube. The subject was another of my old insects forraged last year for trial purposes. I have been waiting to see how these tests go before getting hold of various bits of entomological equipment – forceps and the like – as well as acquiring the necessary chemicals for relaxing the insects, stilling, drying etc, and plastic/glass tubes and containers for processing the specimens and keeping them clean. The work by Johan J Ingles-Le Nobel on his website – Extreme Macro – has been an inspiration and a huge help in working out what to do.

test specimen - not in the best of conditioning - no prep other than mounting for the stack
Test specimen – not in the best of conditioning – no prep other than mounting for the stack

So this specimen is a bit ugly in many respects, is missing some key components with many bristles broken off, and it could do with a wash and brush up!  But it has served its purpose. I am satisfied that if I can prepare a passable specimen, then I can make a passable macro image. After a number of test stacks I am now sure that the kit works as envisaged, and that the lenses are OK; we are good to go to the next stage.

There are some minor software changes to be implemented to make things a little easier; I am accumulating a list and at some point will do an integrated update. I intend to make another light box, much larger, to accommodate larger specimens in a diorama form for 1:1 macro work; for this I will need to improve the method of positioning and lighting the backdrops as the current arrangement doesn’t really do what is required – back to the drawing board here.

Finally I need to decide on my stacking software. At the moment I am using a trial version of Zerene. I am quite happy with the results so far but will probably have a look at Helicon Focus too.

What’s it all about?

Here are my jottings about my photographic projects and activities. I have been working on a focus stacking macro photography rig. There are quite a few posts about that. In addition I write about other photographic activities as and when!

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