Wirelessly control Focus & Zoom on your Camera Lens

Have you ever tried to take macro photographs and struggled to achieve proper focus? It can be tough because macro lenses have a shallow depth-of-field, meaning only a narrow range of distance can be in focus at any given time, leaving everything else blurry. But there’s a solution called “focus stacking,” which involves taking multiple photos with different areas of the subject in focus and then blending them together using editing software. Luckily, Curious Scientist has created a device that makes focus stacking easier for macro photography.

Traditionally, for focus stacking, you would take several photos, each with a slightly different area of the subject in focus, until you cover the entire subject. Then, using editing software like Photoshop, you would merge the photos to create a macro image where the entire subject is in focus. However, manually achieving consistent focus changes can be tedious and challenging. This is where Curious Scientist’s device comes in, speeding up the process and ensuring perfect focus consistency.

blue and black audio mixer

Unlike the traditional method of refocusing the lens between each photo, this device moves the entire camera. By disabling auto-focus and manually focusing the lens to the nearest point of the subject, the camera moves forward by a specific distance after each photo is taken.

The main components used in this project include an Arduino Nano board, a linear actuator with a stepper motor, a stepper motor driver, a 1.8″ LCD panel, and control buttons. The LCD and buttons allow the user to adjust the focus stacking parameters, such as the f-stop and magnification. Once set, the device calculates the distance the camera needs to move between shots. It also works with most cameras by utilizing a standard shutter trigger.

a close up of a board with wires attached to it

Support the project!

If you would like to support me you can buy me a coffee. Just send me an email on pilens@zocus.co.uk and I will send you a link.

Supported lenses and cameras

If you decide to build this system to control your lens wirelessly, be aware that it will not work for all cameras/lenses. You need a camera built in the last 12 years and lenses that have a front filter diameter of less than 65mm. If you need to find compatible cameras or lenses, and compare them, use https://pxlmag.com/db/ to make sure it will work.