Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

Moderators: rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S., Pau

dgarnick
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:56 am
Location: Berkeley, California
Contact:

Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by dgarnick »

I'm helping friends at a science lab select equipment. They'll shoot tethered for meso/macro/micro. I'm inclined to recommend Canon 6D II / WeMacro / Helicon Remote. Given the days of DSLRs are numbered, I'm wondering if people have found any great solutions using a Canon or Nikon mirrorless. I've not found anything nearly as simple and reliable as HR (I've tried many tethering apps), but HR only works with Canon and Nikon DSLRs.

Thanks,
David
David Garnick

zed
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2019 1:35 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by zed »

dgarnick wrote:
Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:29 am
I'm wondering if people have found any great solutions using a Canon or Nikon mirrorless. I've not found anything nearly as simple and reliable as HR (I've tried many tethering apps), but HR only works with Canon and Nikon DSLRs.
Great solutions? No. Unfortunately there really is no such software that elegantly combines a good tethered camera interface along with focus motor control. As you say - Helicon Remote is really the only software that has tried and its camera support is pretty poor.

Personally - I use a Sony A7R3 with Imaging Edge (free) as my tethered app. My microscope has a custom motor driven via Stackshot and controlled with Zerene. It is far from perfect but it is about as simple as it gets. Zerene is super nice because of all the control Rik has put into the settings for customization. The Wemacro guys have their own control software as well so that would likely work just the same.

Mirrorless are the best route to go as far as cameras - the headaches you will save yourself chasing down vibration issues is well worth the inconvenience of using 2 different software applications IMHO. Since I switched from a Nikon D850 to the A7R3 my stack acquisition times have been more than twice as fast - simply because you don't need to program so much wait time for the system to settle between shutter slaps.

Good luck!

JKT
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:29 am
Location: Finland
Contact:

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by JKT »

It is also so much easier to see the image on-screen constantly instead of playing with mirror lock-up.

dgarnick
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:56 am
Location: Berkeley, California
Contact:

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by dgarnick »

Zed - Thanks for the helpful reply. So far I've only gone up to 10x, but vibration hasn't been an issue using EFCS with mirror-up. The labs probably would go up to 10x, possibly 20x.

Interesting solution you propose. I think I'd be happy with it, and would appreciate the degree of control Zerene provides. The labs might be another thing - cost and simplicity are the most important factors. The ~$280 extra for the Stackshot over the WeMacro is a factor. Also I think the added complexity of using 2 pieces of software would be a problem for them.

Thanks again.
David Garnick

Duke
Posts: 73
Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 10:06 am
Location: Leningrad, USSR
Contact:

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by Duke »

dgarnick wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:40 am
Zed - Thanks for the helpful reply. So far I've only gone up to 10x, but vibration hasn't been an issue using EFCS with mirror-up. The labs probably would go up to 10x, possibly 20x.
EFCS certainly is a great thing, it does allow you to get the single picture without shutter shock. However, there's still some vibration, when back curtain falls down, this movement can result in some minor image position change on higher magnifications (20x, 50x and up), usually on 50x it's about 1-2px, according to auto alignment logs in stacking software I use. That's not ideal, and also the shutter has limited lifespan (my Canon 500D is currently about to hit the limit ~400k, the shutter already been stuck a dozen times, but I was able to fix it manually).
Full electronic shutter would be a nice thing to have, also pixel shift. Canon doesn't have it, what a shame, but annoyingly it is still, the most convenient solution for the working environment, in fact this is why I will continue to use this old, noisy, half-dead piece of junk (500D) at my workplace until it finally dies. Maybe till then we'll get a Canon model with FES, PS or other equally convenient solution, regardless, will it be DSLR or mirrorless — doesn't matter that much.
“Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.” - JCM

dgarnick
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:56 am
Location: Berkeley, California
Contact:

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by dgarnick »

Duke - Thanks for sharing your experience. I think I'm going to recommend a DSLR given the software setup will be simpler. I might suggest a Nikon D810 if they are okay with buying off ebay. Higher res, and Nikon started counterbalancing the shutter with that model, and supposedly that further reduces shutter shock. Otherwise, probably the Canon 6D ii.

I think they'll be happy, and by the time they need to replace it, as you suggest, there might be better options.
David Garnick

Pau
Site Admin
Posts: 5435
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:57 am
Location: Valencia, Spain

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by Pau »

Some Canon have full electronic shutter, at last the APSC M6 Mk II and the EOS R series
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/ ... 32#p271732

Unfortunately no pixel shift for now.
Pau

dgarnick
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Nov 30, 2020 10:56 am
Location: Berkeley, California
Contact:

Re: Mirrorless tethered stacking?

Post by dgarnick »

Unfortunately there isn't a simple tethered stacking solution for those :(
David Garnick

Post Reply Previous topicNext topic