Thursday, 16 September 2010

For Adrian - CombineZP

Yesterday Adrian was experimenting with a commercial program which combines a set of photos of the same subject but with different focus points. The idea being to make a resultant photo where everything is in focus. Very useful for macro shots where the depth of field is very shallow. See his post HERE. Without Adrian's blog I would never have know that such programs existed.

That caught my imagination so I decided to see what could be done for free! After a hour searching and looking at various options I eventually found a great free (released under the GNU Public License) program - CombineZP - and tried it out. My simple test involved placing five batteries at different distances from the camera and taking five shots each with one of the cells in sharp focus. Point CombineZP at a folder on the PC which contains the five shots, tell it to Align and Balance them and then tell the program to 'Do Stack' - result, all in focus on one photo.


From top to bottom, the first and last of the five individual photos and finally the result of stacking / piling them with CombineZP.  Looks a handy utility to have for still subjects where it is hard or impossible to get everything in focus with one shot.  CombineZP site is HERE.


  1. Thanks John have just run a back to back test with the biro. Really should have read the instructions first. But it does work and is certainly useful. AND FREE. Helicon accepts RAW files and dng, CombineZP seems only to accept jpegs the latter looks to also exposure blend and the results are impressive, the gnats whiskers in fact. Will post later as we are off out now.

  2. Hi Adrian.
    From the help file: Legal file types for CombineZP are .jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif, and .tif

    Like everything it takes a bit of experimenting to come to terms with a new pgm and I've only scratched the surface as it seems to have lots of options for different methods of processing.

  3. Thanks for sharing! A program I'm definately going to check out and share with some photography friends!

  4. It's not perfect Aunt Tina, but a very useful addition to the digital photographer's armoury.

  5. Great demo, John. Definitely worth keeping in mind.

  6. Thank you Wilma. A program you have to play / practice with to find out what it can but worth the effort.


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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