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NOVOFLEX announces Stepping motor driven focusing rack

Focusing rack with electronic control

The CASTEL MICRO introduced by NOVOFLEX Präzisionstechnik GmbH, Memmingen, is a focusing rack driven by a step motor for use in a wide variety of applications in the fields of photography, measurement and science. CASTEL MICRO is the solution when conventional photographic equipment or internal camera functions reach their limits.
This new product is ideal for focus stacking in macro photography, for example to capture images of insects, minerals and scientific documentation, etc. The problem is well known: as the magnification factor increases – usually above 2:1 to 50:1 – manual focusing with a focusing rack becomes impossible. In addition, automatic functions, such as the internal camera function of focus bracketing, are no longer of much use. The consequence is that photographs with such magnification can only be captured with an enormous amount of effort. The solution is the CASTEL MICRO with its specially designed control unit and four different control modes:

Step and Picture modes are quick and simple to use. In these modes either the step distance or the number of shots can be specified depending on the magnification factor and the aperture of the lense. The software then automatically calculates the number of shots or the step distance required. In addition, pauses between the shots can be taken into consideration, for example for mirror lockup in SLR cameras.
Continuous mode is available for special applications in which the glider is in constant motion so that there is no need for acceleration and stopping distances and any associated pauses. Exposures are then best done with very fast shutter speeds and/or a flash.
Bellows mode is designed for use with the optional bellows CASTBAL-PRO. Adjustment at the front or back can be selected.
The Bellows mode is not only ideal for macro photography but also for those fields of photography requiring much effort, special cameras and tilt and shift lenses. The BALPRO adapter system enables the use of various cameras and lenses. For example, it is possible to integrate high-quality, mechanical lenses used in specialist cameras into a modern stacking workflow. The Bellows mode imitates the software control of the autofocus of a lens in order to produce a stack of images with different focus points of one and the same object. The stack of images is then processed by stacking software to produce an image with an astonishing depth of focus.

NOVOFLEX recommends the following stacking software for postprocessing: Helicon Focus Pro, Zerene Stacker and Focus Projects Professional from Franzis.

A similar effect to the one produced by the Bellows mode can also be achieved with external software (e.g. Helicon Remote). However, depending on the software program, only certain cameras and lenses can be used. In contrast, the NOVOFLEX solution is not restricted to any one manufacturer! The control unit is powered by rechargeable batteries and is thus ideal for outdoor applications and fieldwork. For studio work the control unit can be connected to the mains with a power supply.
And NOVOFLEX has designed it down to the very last detail by ensuring that both the batteries and the necessary cables are easy to find all over the world.
Camera cables are available for the following systems: Canon EOS, Fuji, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung, Sigma and Sony. Other cameras on request. The CASTEL MICRO has a maximum travel distance of 100 mm and its smallest repeatable step distance is 0.2μ! The maximum carrying capacity for vertical assembly is 4 kg. Thanks to the high-precision guide the glider moves along the rack judder-free. In addition, the focusing racks with high-precision ball bearings retain their high accuracy and have a long service life.

The electronically controlled focusing rack can be fully integrated into the NOVOFLEX-Q System with tripods, racks, brackets, etc. for complex set-ups. Another very special accessory is the special tube with a fixed achromatic lense for use of the MITUTOYO M-Plan microscope lenses. These excellent lenses are optimized for fixed magnification factors. Lenses with a magnification factor of 5 or 10 are available and they are supplied with the special tube. Further lenses with a higher magnification factor are available upon request. The NOVOFLEX Universal Adapter system allows them to be used with
most cameras up to 35 mm size. With its CASTEL MICRO the accessory specialist in Memmingen provides users with an outstanding high-precision tool for everyday use.

The CASTEL MICRO and the other accessories mentioned are scheduled for delivery as of October 2018.

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