Stackshot – automated focus stacking macro rail

I have been thinking of getting a Stackshot to aid my macro photography for a very long time, particularly when I am shooting at extreme magnifications. The cost has been putting me off for quite a while but I have managed to get one at a very good price. Hence I took the plunge.

My indoor flower photography requires me to take multiple shots of a flower and stack them together to produce the final image. So for each flower, typically I have to do this 5 times – once for each of the different filters I use (UV, IDS1, IDS2e, UV/IR cut for visible and for UV-induced visible fluorescence). With the stackshot, now I can make this fairly automated so the end result of each stack is the same.

Stackshot
Stackshot
Stackshot mounted
Stackshot mounted
Controller for the stackshot
Controller for the stackshot
Staccato mounted on bullhead
Stackshot mounted on ballhead

So far, I have used the Auto-step mode which allows me to set the start and stop points of focus and how many steps to photograph. There appear to be 7 different modes for controlling how the Stackshot functions to achieve the desired number of images for stacking.

Auto-step mode where you set the start and end point and the number of steps it will move and take photos
Auto-step mode where you set the start and end point and the number of steps it will move and take photos
Auto-distance mode where you set the start and end point and the distance between steps and Stackshot will move through the necessary number of steps to cover the entire distance (great for where the depth-of-field is known)
Auto-distance mode where you set the start and end point and the distance between steps and Stackshot will move through the necessary number of steps to cover the entire distance (great for where the depth-of-field for the lens is known)
Total distance mode - where you set the distance needed to be covered and the number of steps to focus on when covering that distance
Total distance mode – where you set the distance needed to be covered and the number of steps to take photos at when covering that distance
Distance/Step mode - you choose the number of steps and distance between each step
Distance per Step mode – you choose the number of steps and distance between each step. Photos are taken at each step.
Manual mode where you set the distance for each step and you decide when to stop
Manual step mode where you set the distance for each step and requires a press of button to move to the next step and the next shot taken. Great for if settings on the camera need to be adjusted in between shots.
Continuous mode where you set the distance the rail will travel. Number of shots taken depends on other settings in the controller
Continuous mode where the rail will move continuously the distance set and shots are taken during this movement. Number of shots taken depends on other settings in the controller
Manual distance mode where you set the start position and the distance per step
Manual distance mode where you set the start position and the distance per step

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