Since the last post outlining the Focus Stacker (found here) I decided I really need a new tripod before the trip next month, the old one was fine - and still is - but no quick release and a very unstable head made it a hassle to work with.
So yesterday I walked into my camera store and bought the tripod and head with I lusted after for about a year: a Manfrotto 055XproB and the geared 410. SO precise and sturdy, plus the ability to turn the column 90° comes in very handy in some spots.
And, of course, a quick release system which is really nice but it gave me a headache to figure out how to integrate it into the rails of the Focus Stacker:
This is what I came up with, quick release plate on the bottom and a complete release on top for maximum convenience. But as the plates add in height the old positioning of the motor was no longer feasible so I got back to the more traditional approach of motor controlled zoom and focus constructions - which in it of itself is an improvement of some kind because now I can use it with other lenses, we'll see...