Category: Stackshot

Juxtaposition of Space…

I’ve reshuffled things about the house to come up with a dedicated studio area for the time being until I can come up with a better solution.

The idea is to separate me from the computer and the editing software, and go back to experimenting with the equipment and up-skilling myself on that which I use less often. Things such as the miops trigger, a couple of my other remote controls for interval shooting etc. It’s annoying sometimes finding you’ve forgotten how to use something or can’t remember how to access that feature quickly. The only thing I know to fix that, is practise with it. It also gives me an area to mess with prints & frames, and have all my equipment in a single location.

At this stage I can fit a reasonable size backdrop in there, albeit only a short shooting distance, which excludes some lenses for portrait work unless it’s just the upper shoulders & head.

There’s also some good light that would allow some studio macro work for some small set shooting. I like to shoot my Flora & Fauna macro work outside in the natural environment, but there are times I want to experiment with something that’s clearly NOT alive, and the “authenticity” is not a factor. Also some of the Focus stacking can be done inside which makes it far easier to control some environmental factors.

Now having some alternative lighting options should give me the ability to make better use of more time!

“Tying” It All Together…

I’ve finally worked out the trick to getting the Stackshot to work as expected with the Camranger. I was concerned that somehow I’d misread of misinterpreted the capability of the Camranger to work with the Stackshot with complete compatibility. I’d been having trouble with trying to discern how to enable the Stackshot to use it’s stepping so I could break out of using the autofocus Focus Stacking function available within the Camranger software and use the Stackshot to it’s full effect. I had been using the Stackshot via its own controller, and getting the desired functionality, but that wasn’t the way I necessarily wanted to be using it. I was wondering if I’d missed an additional component that I would need to purchase. Yet my original research indicated it would work with the equipment I already had, that being the Camranger & the Camranger Pan & Tilt Head.

It appears I’ve missed (up until now) connecting up the Stackshot Controller to the Pan & Tilt Control. Once I realised this, it’s obvious that there was no way for the Stackshot Controller to be talking to the Camranger software on the iPad without such a connection but the Documentation hadn’t really made that connection obvious. Once I’d pondered this little issue of communication for a period of time with a clear head, I began to question the use of the empty port on the Pan & Tilt Control. Once connecting up via a relatively short USB to Mini-USB cable the Stackshot Controller & the Camranger Pan & Tilt Control everything fell into place.

Now the iPad Camranger Software showed a new option available, and I could configure the Stackshot steps, repetitions and distance. This is fantastic coupling of technology and a boon to Macro and Close-up photography.

Using the Camranger

I have to say that I looked at this device a while ago when I realised that Nikon just wasn’t going to put wireless on a lot of it’s cameras for a while yet. It also offered way more possibilities than the Eye-Fi devices did, even though they were handy. I still use them on occasion, for a quick transmission of photos to show someone. The Nikon Wifi units such as the WU-1B or WU-1A themselves seem of little use to me in their current incarnations, and better units cost significantly more but with no better functionality until you reach the $1000 price range.

The best feature for me is of course the iPad application. It allows me to stop cramping myself into some ridiculously tight spots.

Using the Stackshot

This has been a boon to my Macro Shooting. It allows for absolutely startling Focus Stacking. Given that manual focus is the best option for macro shooting most of the time and even if it wasn’t necessarily the best way to go, I’d rather not use the auto focus with my Nikon 200mm F4 Micro. My one criticism of the lens is that the toggle for the manual / autofocus is fragile and the only real plastic on the lens. Others have commented that over time this is a potential failure point. I’d prefer to not use this particular component of the lens at all. I like to leave it set on Manual and not change it at all. There’s really no need given that the Lens was bought specifically because it’s the best Macro Lens Nikon offer at this stage short of Microscopic Technology.