Thanks, Mike. The THK products look very high quality, but what do you use to motorize your stacks?
I don't use the Stackshot anymore, as I've moved to the THK rail types. This doesn't interfere with the THK rails as I have them setup with medium ARCA clamps. This allows you could mount the long ARCA plate to the THK ARCA clamp or the short ARCA plate to the The ARCA clamp. I prefer the long ARCA plate as this is more directly mounted to the lens with better weight distribution.
With the WeMacro tubes this isn't an issue since the short ARCA plate isn't necessary because the F mount adapter fits properly.
You can't use the Nikon BR2A with the MJKZZ tubes, these tubes have an unknown to me threads (I've asked if anyone knows, but no one answered). They are about 57mm diameter, and seem to be some non-standard thread that only these eBay type tubes use. The tubes are OK, it's the F mount adapters that are the issue.
Agree it would be nice to find a ring adapter for these tubes so we could utilize quality F adapters.
You add a stepper motor, a NEMA 11 for the KR15, and NEMA 17 for the KR20 and 26. The NEMA 11 are 200 step while the NEMA 17 are 400 step. The KR15, and 20s have 1mm pitch, and the KR26 has a 2mm pitch, these are what I have and use.
You can operate any of these with the Stackshot Controller, or WeMacro, or MJKZZ controllers with the proper mating connectors. I've done this and know they all work.
Later I needed to go with a stack and stitch system, and purchased the somewhat expensive MJKZZ system which doesn't work with Mac OS (my fault for not confirming future Mac support
). So I had some excess motors, rails and extrusions & hardware on hand (why I have some MJKZZ rails). I starting looking into seeing if could adapt to what I had and quickly realized I needed either to get a PC or develop and completely new system, chose the later. Glad I did because this eventually lead to the development of the Trinamic based stepper controllers and operate at a different performance level which I've posted much information on.
The effort evolved to single, dual, triple and quad axis controllers all working from a Raspberry Pi and work with various rails and stepper motors, including the Stackshot, Wemacro and MJKZZ since the controllers are completely configurable & programmable . Now these controllers can support the nanometer level Piezoelectric Stages (with Piezo Stage Controller) with the Trinamic controllers, all from a single Raspberry Pi. So one could have a 3 axis Stack and Stitch system with coarse & fine Z axis if needed, the fine being from the Piezo Stage and coarse form a conventional stepper based rail.
Anyway, the THK are very high quality rails, some of the best available I believe. Many use them with their systems on many different platforms.
If you watch eBay sometimes the KR20, KR26 or smaller KR20 can be found for reasonable cost. These are easily adapted for macro use, and outperform the standard macro rails.
Research is like a treasure hunt, you don't know where to look or what you'll find!