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Mmmmm Tomatoes (with stacked noise reduction)

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by ghetto, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    So this test / show of results was prompted by another thread where there was some light discussion about noise reduction and image stacking. I figured I should post evidence of my claims :rolleyes: 

    I love tomatoes, they taste good, and they photo well too because they stay still!

    Tomatoes at iso 200 from an E-P1 :
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    here's a 100% crop showing some noise :
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    Here's the same tomatoes also at iso 200 from the same E-P1 but 20 image stacked :
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    here's a 100% crop showing how smooth the pasta sauce, err photos can be
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    The merging was done with a program called ALE and it took just over 1 hour to stack all 20 images, but after further research below is information on how to use hugin which does the same in a few minutes.


    1) open hugin panorama creator (yeah it's called panorama but it does everything under the sun)
    2) open all the files
    3) select "align" and let it do it's thing, all images will line up perfectly (just close the window that openned showing the nice alignment grid etc)
    4) do NOT click create panorama, instead on the top tabs, click on stitcher, un-check "panorama outputs", scroll down a little more and check "layers", now click stitch on this panel.

    TA-DA! perfectly aligned, and merged tomatos with much less noise and it runs much much quicker than ALE (only a few minutes) and it is some-what graphical interface for those who are command-line-aphobic. The quality seems on-par with ALE.

    No one wants to eat noisy tomatos eh?

    Here's a link to 3 sample tomatos if you want to try it yourself


    Even with just 3 images the noise reduction is fairly dramatic, almost 80% of what the 20 images did. I think in real usage maybe 4 or 5 images is optimal.
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Huelight

    Huelight Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 15, 2011
    Looks good, have you tried Photo Acute? It is quicker not sure how it compares IQ wise...

    Also do you have a windows binary of ALE?
  3. Giant bubble guy

    Giant bubble guy Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2011
    Sharper too

    The stacked image appears to be substantially sharper.
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Intruiging...May have to give this a shot for my higher ISO landscapes. And may address the slight graininess I see even at lower ISOs with the E-M5 (compared to my FF Canon).
  5. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    Just looked at photo acute and it's only a free trial so... I won't bother, everything I use is linux and free and opensource based. No, I don't have windows binaries but you might be able to find them if you google ale image stack or something like that.

    There might be better ones out there this was one of the first I found. I think hugin can do it too, I just don't know how yet. There's also tons of parameters which makes things go faster or slower etc.

    Yeah I noticed I got more details on the fine hairs on the tomatoes leaves. I didn't think it would be that good but I guess it makes sense.

    I've yet to try out door results, I might try it with hugin if I can find out how, hugin is much faster and it aligns my panos perfectly so it might be better.
  6. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    Hugin has windows binaries I think, just do a search for hugin, it also does a slew of other things like panorama's and HDR. I use it for all my pano's but I haven't tried HDR's yet.
  7. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sorry if my commentary on the other thread came off as negative ... I simply mean't to point out that stacking alone could not account for the claimed levels of noise reduction - which you expanded upon.

    No one disbutes the noise reduction effects of frame stacking!

    See this post using frame stacking and HDR (I call it HDRX).

    Noise obscures details and so acts much like a blur filter. This is why noise reduction done via stacking seems to improve sharpness - becasue it does! Noise redction via convolution/kernals or wavelets or FFT simply cannot compete with stacking in this respect.

    For those using windows take a look at this very powerful freeware for all manner of image processing tools that are really good.
  8. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    no it's alright, it wasn't negative, I just didn't think my 2 sentance response was backed by proof (you know how some times people make random comments on internet sites with no evidence to support it, I didn't want to be one of those) - and it wasn't because I haven't actually finished testing out how it all works and understanding when / if it's good or not.

    This is was more or less just posting my learning processing in case anyone else didn't know about image stacking for noise reduction either. I hadn't really thought about it much until I happened on an NEX which did it for anti-shake purposes.
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