- Legal disclaimer
This documentation is a description of my DIY project, posted here is for the benefit of the community. I cannot guarantee that there are no mistakes in my description or my software posted here. I shall bear no responsibility whatsoever if anyone will get hurt or will suffer a financial loss (for example, by damaging his/her DSLR camera) while trying to follow this description. This documentation should be treated "as is", with no explicit or implicit guarantee that the device will perform as intended.
IMPORTANT: my updated (version 2.0) Fast Stacker is finished. It uses completely new hardware for the controller (very small changes to the motor unit). I have already updated all the wiki pages here. The old ones were preserved by adding "1" at the end of the page title. (The whole guide for v1.x can be found here: Fast Stacker1.) The highlights of the v2.0:
- It is faster (10 mm/s) and more accurate (0.6 microns microsteps), so in principle magnifications up to 60:1 can be handled.
- It is much more reliable (completely re-written motion algorithm, plus impulse noise suppression resulting in no more fake limiter switches triggering).
- It is more usable. E.g., backlash compensation can now be done in either direction (so the camera can be pointed up or down).
- It is much more convenient - user interface is significantly simplified and improved. Color higher-resolution display is a big help. The controller now has a large Help menu (so no need to print a guide and carry it with you).
- All the important parameters can now be typed in using a new Editor mode. (So one can use arbitrary values for the distance between shots etc.)
- Batteries compartment (8xAA) is now built into the controller, and it also has a power switch. So it's easy to switch from batteries to a power adapter and back.
- The controller is 3D printed, and I also designed the PCB which can now be manufactured professionally.
- Some extra niceties: red/green LEDs reflecting the state of the camera (AF / shutter), a small buzzer used for a few functions.
- Important: telescope support was removed in v2.0.
- And of course, there is always a catch: the project is now somewhat more expensive (extra 30$ or so), the controler is larger and heavier.
I present a detailed description of my DIY cheap, fast, portable, and accurate automated macro focus stacking rail (based on ESP8266 microcontroller) which can be used with a wide range of photo cameras, and magnifications from standard macro (1:1) to extreme macro (up to 60:1). To reproduce this project, you need some basic mechanical and soldering skills.
- What's new
- Hardware h2.0
- User guide
- If you find my tutorial and software useful, you can thank me by buying one or more of my photographs (doesn't have to be a macro photograph) on the microstocks website dreamstime.com . Here is the link to my dreamstime's portfolio: http://www.dreamstime.com/pulsar124_portfolio_pg1 . If you do that, please also leave a comment (just mention "macro rail") for every photo you bought.
- Flickr Fast Stacker group: post the photos of your Fast Stacker, and the photos made with your Fast Stacker!
- Youtube videos
- Forums discussing my rail:
- Example stacked photographs
- Useful links
- Old versions