Focusing rack/rail
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Old 06-16-2006   #1
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Default Focusing rack/rail

I need a focusing rack/rail for macro photography with the MP-E 65 lens from Canon.
Do you have any advice on this?
Sofar I've found tools from Novoflex and Manfrotto.
Do you have any experience with these tools?

Like to hear your advise.

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Old 06-16-2006   #2
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rense
I need a focusing rack/rail for macro photography with the MP-E 65 lens from Canon.
Do you have any advice on this?
Sofar I've found tools from Novoflex and Manfrotto.
Do you have any experience with these tools?

Like to hear your advise.
RRS B-150
http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/specialty/index.html
http://www.photomigrations.com/articles/0309300.htm

Kirk FR-1
http://www.kirkphoto.com/supports.html#focusrail

You can't really go wrong with either of these.

Chip

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Old 06-16-2006   #3
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

Chip,
Many thanks for your quick answer, boy these things are nice but expensive.
Do you personally have one of these?
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Old 06-16-2006   #4
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rense
Chip,
Many thanks for your quick answer, boy these things are nice but expensive.
Do you personally have one of these?
Not a rail, I've got QR plates from both Kirk and RRS. All their stuff is milled and cut by machinists. Very precise, very high quality... last your whole life kind of quality.

I don't do enough macro to use a rail, I do have a bellows extention for my Nikons but rarely use it.

Chip
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Old 06-16-2006   #5
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

You'd be amazed what you can find at camera shows. I picked up a used but mint condition Minolta focusing rail for their MD-mount auto-bellows for $10. The fact is, pretty much any good focusing rail will work with any camera setup, so the fact that the Bellows and Lensmount that this focusing rail was designed as a matched set for was long ago discontinued does not in any way diminish the usefulness of this focusing rail. I'd recommend going to the nearest used camera show and seeing what turns up.
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Old 06-16-2006   #6
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougjgreen
You'd be amazed what you can find at camera shows. I picked up a used but mint condition Minolta focusing rail for their MD-mount auto-bellows for $10. ...
Camera shows and gun shows are highly addictive, I recommend carrying limited funds so you don't end up spending the grocery money. Tons of fun, the vintage stuff alone will keep you busy for a whole day.

I went on a Graflex/Speed Graphic kick after a show once that resulted in some fun photography. I nearly bought a Super D that day... a 4x5 SLR... think about it— a 4" x 5" Single lens camera with a vertical, DoF accurate, parallax free finder, reflex mirror and a focal plane shutter that could stop down to 1/1000s. ...that's the kind of stuff you find at camera shows. Well, that and stuff like discontinued focusing rails for $10 US.

Chip
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Old 06-16-2006   #7
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

Chip and dougjgreen,
Many thanks for your replies. We don't have camerashows very frequently, but indeed you can loose a lot of cash.
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Old 06-16-2006   #8
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

I'm using the Novoflex Castel L with my macro lens and it has worked out quite well so far. Very well built and runs very smoothly with adjustable drag. The only problem I have run into is that you can't use the battery grip because it hangs to low and hits the back end of the rail. This is what the MP E looks like on the Novoflex.


Bob
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Old 06-17-2006   #9
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

Hi Rense,

Just to give you more options:

I have a Benbo Trekker Mk2 tripod (http://www.patersonphotographic.com/...bo%20index.htm)

according to the add:

the ability to swing the centre column through 180° is (Ideal for macro work).

I fully 2nd that statement )

It does have a downside (well, don't they all...): since it is a tubular design, when you adjust the vertical/horizontal centre column for- or afterwards,
you can easily 'twist' it to the left- or rightside, and it takes some practice/time to get 'smooth' with the design )

I bought it in an 'special sales action' together with the pro-ballhead, the bag, and a quick-release set (holder and 2 camera/lens plates)
and am very content with all (the bag doubles as my 'lightstands, umbrellas and external flashes' bag )

FWIW, *my* €0.02 worth...

Kindest regards,

Max@Home



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...so far, so good...

Canon PowerShot G1X MkII, Canon PowerShot G3X, some accessories (hoods, flashes, filters, tripod) and some knowledge to use them
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Old 06-19-2006   #10
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Default Re: Focusing rack/rail

These are all recommended:

- The B150 and various version and options from RRS
- Super Mag Slider macro rail from Velbon (focusing screw is a bit gross but the unit is very lightweight)
- Micro Positioning Plate 3219 from Manfrotto (I use two mounted at right angles to each other for very precise 4-way movements)


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