Getting a good, in focus macro shot is not trivial. Even with a stopped down aperture, the depth of field is just too tiny, sometimes being less than half a millimeter. But usually, you want to shot open because you need every bit of light you can get, which makes it even worse.
The way to overcome this depth of field nightmare, is by shooting many photos, where each one has the focus slightly shifted, than stacking then together, and taking the focused bit from each one. You do this by mounting the camera on a slider and taking photo after photo after photo….
Or you can automate the process like pulsar124 and his Fast Stacker – a $150 solution for stacking macro shots. (Commercial version like the Stackshot only start at about $550, so if you have the time, this is quite a useful build).
The core of this build is a Velbon Macro Rail ($114). The rail is connected to a stepper motor, which in turn is connected to an Arduino and a control box. (List of items can be found on Sergey’s page).
The source code is available on Sergey’s page as well.
I am pretty sure that Sergey is proud – the spec list is definitely comparable to top notch units (look at that 151-frames fly in the eyes and tell me I am wrong…)
- Maximum stacking depth: 55mm;
- Maximum framerate: 4 fps (or higher if your camera + flash can handle it; my Canon 50D can do up to 4 fps);
- Maximum speed: 5 mm/s;
- Accuracy: 2.5 microns;
- Total weight (the rail + motor unit + controller unit + battery unit + 8 AmazonBasics AA batteries): 1.28 kg;
- Maximum load: at least 1 kg, probably more;
- Startup time: 0.5s;
- Has 45 different functions.
This video has a full demo (35 minutes)
Here are some move views on that rail. Sergey estimates it takes a few days to build.
[Fast Stacker | pulsar124]
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