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Servo macro rail


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#1
Merco_61

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Does anyone on the forum have experience with the StackShot from Cognisys?

I have started research for a replacement for my Novoflex rail that has developed some play that makes it less precise than I need for deep stacks. For the money a good rail costs, I might as well add a little and get an automated rail and a controller that can be expanded with turntables to make stitched panoramas as well.

 

My plan is to get a 3X extended package, a shutter cable, a controller carrier, ARCA adapter and a RRS B2-Pro screw clamp. I have some 4S Li-Po battery packs and charger, so I would only need to solder up a connecting cord for field use. This would be about double the cost or a bit more of a new Novoflex rail, but the possible automation of the process is worth it. A deep stack can take some hours to do manually with the wait for the vibrations to settle after moving the slide, and the interval between mirror up and exposure. I suspect this can be at least cut in half with the StackShot as you can raise the mirror while the slide is in motion.



#2
Pl.alfredPl

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I have recently purchased the Nikon D300 and would to buy a macro lens to use with it. The obvious one would be the Nikon model. Does anyone have experience of the Nikon model or of any alternatives please.

#3
Merco_61

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To start with, what does macro mean for you? If you mean close-ups that are approximately life-size on the computer screen, good AF is an advantage. If you want to go closer, into the 1:3 to 1:1 region or beyond, good manual focus feel is more important.

 

The sharpest MicroNikkors are both manual focus and very old designs. The 105/4 Ais is much sharper than the later f/2.8 versions, the same goes for the 55/3.5 Ai compared to the 55/2.8 or the 60 mm AF versions. They can both be found used without breaking the bank.

 

If you want AF, the 105/2.8 VR is a very versatile lens as it is both a long portrait lens and a macro lens in one. The earlier f/2.8-s don't behave too nice at a distance, unlike the latest version.

 

Tamron's latest 90 mm is a very nice macro lens that is much closer to apochromatic than the 105 VR, but you will have to try one and find out yourself if you like the feel of the focusing ring as it is very different to the Nikkor.