Frequently Asked Questions: (Open All)
What is the difference between the StopShot Beam Kit and the Water Drop Photography Kit?
Both of these kits include the StopShot module, power supply and the cables required to connect a flash with a PC sync connection. The Water Drop Photography Kit includes all of the pieces needed for photographing water drops and water drop collisions. This includes the Mariotte Siphon, High Precision Water Valve Assembly, the mini beam sensor and all of the pieces to hold the setup on a tripod. While the Water Drop Kit includes the mini beam sensor, the Beam Kit includes the standard beam sensor. The standard beam sensor has transmitter and receiver sensor elements that can be placed up to 12” away from each other (6ft with the included IR Lens Assembly). The mini beam sensor has a 1.25” opening between the elements. While the mini beam sensor works great for water drops, the Beam Kit sensor allows for triggering on larger objects. If you want the best of both worlds it is possible to purchase the Water Drop Photography Kit and the beam sensor that comes with the Beam Kit.
When should I use the Laser transmitters and when should I use the IR transmitters?
The laser sensors are best suited for outdoor work like insects and birds in flight. They have a range of at least 10m, perform very well in bright sunlight, and are visible -- making them easier to align. StopShot has the capability to turn off the lasers before the image is captured so there is no need to worry about getting red dots in your photographs. The IR sensor is best suited for work like water drops and ballistics. It has a wider triggering window so aligning the sensors for small objects is much easier. IR sensors are also better suited for water drops and splashes as the lasers often go right through clear liquids without causing a trigger.
What is the PT option?
The PT option is a hardware addition to StopShot that increases the accuracy of the microprocessor clock. It improves the timing accuracy over the operating temperature range from the standard +/-1% to +/-50ppm (0.005%). This option is useful if you need to create very accurate, repeatable long duration timing events. An example of this would be a time lapse sequence that needs to happen at exactly the same time 24 hours apart. This option is not required for most high speed photography applications. The PT option is now included standard on all StopShot controllers.
Do I need a shutter interface cable for my camera when using StopShot?
Whether or not you need a shutter interface cable very much depends on what your plans are for StopShot. If you plan to take images of insects and birds in flight in the light of day you will absolutely need this camera specific cable. If you plan to do more traditional high speed photography (taking photos in a darkened room and controlling the flash with StopShot) then you do not need a shutter cable. A good example of this is water drop photography. We recommend that people start out doing water drop photography in a darkened room with the camera being operated manually in bulb mode and StopShot controlling the flash. The biggest reason for this recommendation is ease of setup. If you use StopShot to control the camera you will need to take shutter lag into account when setting up StopShot. Some cameras (like most Canon cameras) have variable shutter lag whereas the flash has almost no lag and is always consistent. Controlling the camera when taking water drop photographs will allow complete automation, and some additional creative freedom but it is certainly not required.
My water valve leaks, or my water valve has become stuck closed, what can I do?
Your valve just needs a good thorough cleaning. Debris can get caught in the seals of the valve and cause leaks. Alternatively after long periods of storage your valve seals can dry out or stick, in all of these cases a good cleaning will fix the issue. You can find detailed disassembly and cleaning instructions here.
What is the difference between the StackShot controller and the new StackShot 3X?
The StackShot 3X is the next generation of the StackShot controller. You can find a summary of the differences here.
What is the purpose of the USB port?
StackShot now comes standard with a USB port. The USB port allows StackShot to be controlled via a PC or MAC with Helicon Remote or Zerene Stacker. The USB port also allows you to update the firmware in your StackShot module as new features are introduced.
Do I need a shutter cable?
Our shutter cables provide an interface between StackShot and your camera. On one end of the cable is the connector that fits the remote shutter port of your camera and the other end of the cable has the connector to interface to StackShot. It is possible to put StackShot into manual mode and press the shutter button between each step; this is a bit more tedious than letting StackShot control your camera shutter automatically but it can be done. It is also possible to let the PC control your camera and StopShot via two USB ports, in this scenario a shutter cable is not necessary. This mode of operation will prevent you from using StackShot in standalone mode (not attached to a computer). The same shutter cable will work for both StackShot and StopShot. Our Shutter interface cables can be found here.
How do I control StackShot with my computer?
StackShot can be controlled with you computer via USB if you have either Helicon Remote or Zerene Stacker installed. You can find more details on how the physical connections look when using each program here.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Extended Macro Rail?
The biggest advantage of the Extended Length Macro Rail is the increased range of motion. The Extended Macro Rail adds another 100mm of movement over the standard rail. The disadvantages of this rail are its increased size and weight; this becomes important if you plan to do a lot of shooting in the field with your StackShot system. The Extended Macro Rail maintains the same accuracy as its smaller cousin so it can still be used for extremely small subjects.
I am trying to use StackShot with a camera exposure time over a 1/2 second and StackShot moves before the exposure is complete. How do I fix this?
There are a couple of ways to configure StackShot for longer exposures. The first is to change the Toff parameter in StackShot to exceed your exposure time. This will add an additional delay to the sequence to give the exposure time to complete before StackShot moves on to the next step.
The other option is to put your camera in bulb mode and allow StackShot to control the exposure time using Tpulse. In this configuration the time you enter for Tpulse will be the exposure time, StackShot will then wait Toff (500mS default) and then start the next move.
I've lost my AC adapter for my StackShot Macro Rail Kit, where can I get another one?
You can find a replacement AC adapter in our store here. You may also be able to source a replacement adapter locally. You will need a 12V 2000mA AC adapter with a 2.1mm power connector - the center of the connector is positive.
Can you ship to my country and how much will it cost?
We can ship to any country where the US Post Office will deliver. The US Post will delivery just about anywhere in the world. The cost of shipping a typical system is between $55 and $70 USD for US Post Priority Mail. Delivery generally takes 7 to 10 business days. We also offer FedEx if you are in a hurry.
Where can I find pricing for your products?
Pricing for all of our products can be found in our on-line store.
What types of payment do you accept?
Our online store will accept PayPal or any major credit card, including American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. We can also accept bank transfers by request.
Does Cognisys have any international dealers?
Yes, please visit the Contact Us page to view a list of Cognisys Dealers.
Will you declare my package as a gift?
Unfortunately we are not able to declare your package as a gift. Aside from being again the law, we send all of our packages fully insured and we are only able to insure the package for the declared value of the package.