The ALPA Log

Introducing the new ALPA Stacking Solution


The new gold standard in demanding focus stacking photography.

November 7, 2018
Introducing the new ALPA Stacking Solution

The new electronically controlled slider ALPA CASTEL-MICRO was specially developed for focus stacking in close-up and extreme macro photography, for example of insects, minerals, scientific documentation and much more.The solution has a level of precision that is second to none. The slide itself runs on high-precision ball bearing guide rails to avoid any play. The ALPA CASTEL MICRO has a maximum adjustment range of 100mm and a smallest, repeatable step size of 0.2µ (0.0002mm)! The range of step sizes ranges from between 0.2µ and 100mm depending on the motif.The maximum load for vertical mounting is 4 kg. The self-weight is about 1.4 kg. The control unit runs on rechargeable batteries (type Canon LP-E6 - not included) and is therefore also ideal for mobile use in museums and collections as well as in the field. For studio applications, the included power supply unit can power the control unit.Four application modes are available via the touchscreen control unit:The Bellows ModeThis mode is designed for use with the CASTBAL-PRO bellows attachment. This attachment is part of ALPA kits. Here the front or rear standard can be moved as desired. The Bellows mode is not only ideal for macro shots, but also for shots that were previously only possible with a lot of effort, special cameras or tilt/shift lenses. The BALPRO adapter system makes it possible to use not only ALPA cameras but also various third-party cameras and lenses. In this way, different components can be individually integrated for an optimal, efficient stacking workflow. The Bellows mode allows creating software controlled series of differently focused images of the same object, which is then processed by a stacking software to an image with an incredible depth of field.The Step and Picture Modes These two modes allow a quick and uncomplicated start. In both modes, the step size or the number of desired individual shots can be specified. This setup is based on the magnification and the aperture of the lens. The software then automatically calculates the required number of individual exposures or the required step size. Besides, waiting times between captures for swinging in and out can be set.The Continuous Mode This mode is available for individual applications in which the slide moves continuously, eliminating the otherwise necessary acceleration and braking distances and the associated waiting times. The exposures are then made with very short shutter speeds or in combination with flash.The electronically controlled stacking solution is completely integrated into the ALPA system. It can also be combined almost endlessly using the universal dovetail profiles (UniQ/C standard).ALPA presents the ALPA CASTEL-MICRO system at the Salon de la Photo in Geneva (16-17 November 2018). The first units become then be available immediately. ALPA will announce prices and kit combinations before the show.

The photograph shows a potential setup with various elements just for illustration purpose.