Here are some brief answers to questions I have received, or that I have seen posted in news groups and forums.
This is not true. CZM is the latest version, it can process movies, take pictures, and has more macro commands but still has all of the functionality of CombineZ5. CZ5 will stay on the website for now because it works with older versions of windows. There may still be some bugs in CZ5 that have been fixed in CZM, e.g. the latter works properly with large pictures.
There have been a few step-by-step pictorial guides posted on the internet, just Google. The process is very simple though. Just click New on the File menu, Select all of the frames you wish to stack, CZM will load them all at once. There are two things to bear in mind, first all frames must be the same size. Second the order of the frames matters, CombineZ sorts frames into alphanumeric order and so for a successful stack they should be named appropriately. Once all frames are loaded click Do Stack which is on the Macro menu then wait for the result to appear.
It's one of those 'well it all depends' answers. The idea is to make sure that every part of the scene you want in focus in the result is in focus in at least one of the input frames. There are some special cases, you can take groups of pictures at each focus level and average them together to reduce noise, and taking too many pictures can fool the alignment algorithms as the difference between successive frames is too small to detect.
This is not an error, it's just the way CZM works. You may loose some of the edges from some frames when they are resized and aligned, if a frame needs shifting or magnifying to make it align with it's neighbours this may happen. To save a result without the messy edges try pressing 'A' twice then use Save Rectangle As. What is inside the dotted rectangle on the screen is saved by this function. On pressing and holding down the left mouse button you can drag out a rectangle which can be saved in the same way.
Whether or not you get halos depends on the nature of your stack, they are sometimes unavoidable and must be edited out in an art program after stacking. Halos happen because in a region with little or no detail in any frame the apparently most detailed thing is the out of focus image of something on another frame. There is no quick solution, there are several settings you could try changing but time spent trying different values might be better spent in an art program touching up with the clone tool.
It is hard to make a single 'Do Stack' macro that works properly for every stack and every photographers personal preferences, so a compromise is used. The best way to reduce sharpening is to edit the offending macro as follows.
1. Click on Macro menu->Edit->Macros
2. Choose the macro you want to edit e.g. 'Do Stack'
3. Click on the line that says 'Create Highpass Filter(... '
4. Click the Edit button to the right
5. Change the second number in the row of three edit boxes below, higher numbers mean less sharpening, 1000=no sharpening.
6. Click the Update button on the right
7. Click OK at the bottom
8. Close the 'Edit Macro' box
You can now use your altered macro. Once you have got a macro set that meets your needs:-
1. Click Macro menu->Edit->Save Macro Set As
2. Give your macro set a new name
3. Save it
Now you can reload your custom macro set by clicking the Macro->Load Macro
Set menu item and choosing it. You could have several sets for different
purposes. You can edit the Contrast stage in the same way if this is too strong, in fact any line in the macro can be edited like this.
Many things can cause this, are the frames in the correct order? Is everything sharp in at least one frame? Are there close by objects which are in reality well separated in the Z direction, if so try using Do Weighted Average. Is one or more frames rotated relative to another, if so manual alignment with Points is recommended.
No, there may be a version in future that will but no promises there are memory allocation problems.
Is there a version of CZ for Mac computers?
No, I do not know anything about these computers so cannot do a convertion myself. If you know of a vertion please let me know.
Will CZ Preserve XIF information
No, there are programs available that will copy this information from one of your source images and add it to the output from CZ, one is Xifer.