April 2014 - CamRanger is now capable of controlling StackShot!
January 2014 - Don't want to build a Water Drop Stand? Check this out.
June 2013 - Check out the StopShot Studio - a 12 channel computer controlled version of StopShot
April 2013, Capture insects in flight with our new portable Insect Rig.
January 2013 - Check out our new Water Valve Mounting Bracket for multiple colored collisions
December 2012 - Introducing the Shutter Support System. Completely portable high speed.
October 2012 - Check out our latest one of a kind product - the High Speed Shutter - finally you can capture insects in flight.
August 2012 - Take your StackShot into the field with our new Controller Carrier Also works great with StopShot.
February 2012 - See our new web page on creating Three Drop Collisions with StopShot.
January 2012 - Check out our latest sensor the RangeIR. Designed for birds and wildlife.
Focus Stacking - Automated Macro Photography
Macro-photography is a fascinating sub-set of the photographic world. It brings to life detail that the human eye all too often misses. Unfortunately macro photographs often suffer from a narrow depth of field. How do photographers capture that stunning shot at high magnification and still have a great depth of field? Enter focus stacking. Focus stacking is the art of digitally combining a series of images with a narrow depth of field into a single image using a software program such as Zerene Stacker or Helicon Focus. Ideally each of these images is taken at a fixed distance interval.
Most macro photographers are familiar with using a macro rail to adjust the camera’s position relative to the subject of interest. These macro rails allow the distance to be roughly adjusted and provide a crude manual method for taking the series of shots required for focus stacking. Unfortunately there are several drawbacks. There is a lack of accuracy, reproducibility, speed, and precision. Additionally, sub-millimeter steps are difficult at best.
The solution? StackShot
StackShot is an electronically controlled macro-rail that coordinates the movement of the rail and the triggering of the camera. StackShot’s simple user-interface automates the entire image capturing process.
What are the advantages of Stackshot?
- Accuracy: Rail adjustment from full length of 100mm to less than 2um.
- Repeatability: An “automatic return” feature allows adjustments to the exposure settings between stacks captured with the same position and step size as the previous run.
- Speed: No more manually adjusting the rail position, pressing the shutter button, and hoping you didn’t bump the camera. Everything is automated and fast. This enables focus-stacking for critters that may not be willing to stay in the same position for very long. See our cutomer gallery for some excellent captures of live spiders.
- Completely Configurable: Just as with StopShot, virtually everything can be adjusted by the user (if they so desire). Trigger times, number of pictures per step (useful for HDR – imagine an HDR focus-stack!), maximum speed, ramp time, camera settle time, etc. It’s everything you would expect from Cognisys.
- Can be battery powered for use in the field. Check out our Li-Ion Battery Kit.
Macro Rail Highlights
- Fully automated - Controller handles the coordination of the rail and the camera
- Standard macro rail has 100mm of travel from end to end, see the Extendeded Rail for more range
- Very precise control - to 2um in high precsion mode.
- Guide rails and ACME threaded rod made from stainless steel
- Constructed from lightweight 6061 aluminum
- Durable matte black anodized finish
- Stainless steel fasteners throughout
- No lubrication required - helps keep dust and dirt off guides and shafts
- Capable of moving virtually any camera and flash setup - the rail will lift a 10lb (4.5kg) load vertically
- Light weight 2.4lb (1.1kg)
- Base includes 3 different tripod mounting options. 1/4-20 threads, 3/8-16 threads, or ARCA style dovetail mount
- USB equipped for computer control or updating firmware
- Durable extruded aluminum housing
- 4 line LCD display with adjustable backlighting
- Adjustable motor torque - turn down the torque to save on battery life
- Adjustable macro rail speed
- Configurable auto return - the rail will return to the start after the captures are complete
- Configurable settle time in between captures
- Capture multiple photos at each step (exposure bracketing or mirror lockup)
- Includes a time lapse mode for capturing time lapse stacks
- Shutter output disable to facilitate easier camera setup
- Optional battery power for field shooting, operates at 12VDC
- Ten presets - Save up to ten different setups and recall them as needed
- Shutter disable feature allows a preview of Stack without actually taking pictures
- Includes 6ft cable from motor to controller - can be extended if required
- Controller is easily held and operated with one hand
- Change the lighting or exposure and run your last stack with a single button press
- Compatible with StopShot shutter cables
See StackShot in action in this video clip.