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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Macro Rail/Slider...I have decided to buy a Macro Lens which I have promised myself for some time. I have decided which ...
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Old 03-11-2013, 19:27   #1 (permalink)
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Macro Rail/Slider

I have decided to buy a Macro Lens which I have promised myself for some time. I have decided which lens to buy but I am aware that I will also require some accessories.

I will need a Macro Rail/slider but do not want to spend a fortune as I would rather invest in the lens. I will also need to buy (possibly) stacking software. I do have PS CS6 which will do stacking but suspect specialised stacking software may be easier to use.

Any recommendations for Macro Rail and stacking software?

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Old 03-11-2013, 19:35   #2 (permalink)

PLEASE NOTE

I TYPE USING CAPITALS DUE TO A DISABILTY

THANKS FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING
 
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

DAVE, THERE ARE SOME VERY REASONABLY PRICED ONES ON EBAY.

2-way Macro Focusing Rail Slider for Sony Olympus | eBay

ALTHOUGH THIS LINK IS FOR A SONY / OLYMPUS ONE, IT TAKES YOU TO THE OTHER MAKES AS WELL CANON, NIKON ETC
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Old 03-11-2013, 21:13   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

I must admit mine gets very little use (Velbon) but if I was stacking it may be a different matter. The things I most like to photograph in macro tend to fly away before I could get things set up on a tripod. Rocking backwards and forwards in manual focus is my preferred method
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:57   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

I would agree with Jake.

It depends on what you are going to use the lens for. If out and about then the slider is of less use, hardly use it in the field. If that is what you may use if for then off camera flash is more useful.

For stacking though, they do really help. I have a velbon super mag slider. Good fine adjustment, manfrotto do some rails, but they are more expensive.

As for stacking software - I have them listed here

http://www.macro-photo.co.uk/2013/ma...king-software/

All have free demos - and one is totally free.
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Old 04-11-2013, 19:15   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Many thanks for the information. I suspect that I will not use stacking very often so perhaps slider from ebay will do. I reckon I will mostly use the Macro lens for insects in the field and fungi. However, stacking will be useful for home/studio shots of flowers, still life and possibly insects. A friend was lent many samples of dead insects belonging to Customs and Excise who need them for training. They actually wanted him to take photographs as they could not supply the actual insect samples to all their staff. I do not plan to kill anything to take a photograph but if a suitable dead insect is available, I would certainly photograph it.
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Old 05-11-2013, 19:44   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Never been a fan of the China ones, as the one I got was useless - to clunky. Others have said they are ok - but I wish I'd never bothered with it - useless for fine F2.8 stacking. The velbon is v.smooth.

The other thing you could try - which negates the use of a slider - is helicon remote - I think it's in the Helicon demo.

It essentially moves your lens by driving the focus from one point to another. You just select the aperture and off it goes. There may be a free thing out there that does similar

Sounds like your friend got luck with the samples.
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Old 05-11-2013, 22:30   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

I will certainly be looking at Helicon which looks like an interesting solution. I have not had time to look at the videos etc. yet.

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Old 13-12-2013, 20:22   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Just thought I would report back following the excellent advice particularly from Chris.

I have now bought a Canon 100mm F2.8 L IS Macro lens, a Tesco's Hudl (Android tablet) and Helicon Remote software. I can now remote control my EOS 5D mkii and capture macro stacked sets and HDR sets.
My first attempt at a Macro stack is below. I would have produced an even better set but the Grasshopper decided to leave. I found Helicon Remote easy to use. I processed the stack using PS CS6 and again using the free CombineZP. In this case I thought CombineZP was slightly better and this is the version below.

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Old 13-12-2013, 21:01   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Fantastic result Dave You have set yourself a high bar!
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Old 13-12-2013, 21:14   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Superb result for starters & what's next ? ... honestly ; cracking result
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Old 14-12-2013, 00:07   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Spot on
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:08   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Fantastic shot
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Old 14-12-2013, 09:39   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Thanks for the comments guys. I shall explore a few other subjects now which were not open to me before owning a macro lens.

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Old 14-12-2013, 11:09   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Great start , look forward to seeing some more
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Old 14-12-2013, 23:52   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Very high standard to go on
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Old 28-12-2013, 12:14   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Very impressive
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Old 30-12-2013, 00:54   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Nice job, subject seemed to enjoy the shot also. thanks
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Old 30-12-2013, 17:48   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Thanks guys. I have been working on some still life shots today and used the Macro lens with Helicon Remote again to create focus stacks. The objects could not fly away so rather easier than insects. Live insects are going to be a challenge unless you spray them or kill them. I have read various views on this but I am not happy about using such techniques so will have to take them as they are or stick to fungi and flowers.

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Old 16-01-2014, 12:18   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Instead of writing a new thread, I think I will have to reread yours as I have made up my mind that I would like one. I might pop back in, look forward to some pictures.
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Old 01-02-2014, 17:20   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Having personally witnessed Dave's tablet and helicon set up I can see that it's very good and I'm beginning to think maybe not of bought the camranger which is proving abit troublesome in getting it to connect to my iPad I may even out the camranger and go for Dave's set up which is also a lot cheaper
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Old 03-02-2014, 17:26   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

I bought a adorama 4 way slider, it is all driven by. Money. This wasn't the cheapest one but it is most likely under the same shelve of parts that Chris was making reference too. I like to tinker and the challenge to make it work better looks good to me. As to stacking, I have always used a tripod or mono pod and manually adjusted for a spread of focus and blended in photoshop. I haven't seen any stacking software for the mac but out side of stars i would do like I do wac a do. I am going to write the rest in my thread were I will use my slider.
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Old 09-02-2014, 20:17   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Received a few box's of parts for my cool super duper still life light center. Haven't opened them cause I'm waiting for my 12mm tube, I have everything else. I'm happy for all that. I'm having trouble at work as the american way of life has lost it's way,,,meaning I wish people would like to better them selves. Any way an how I will step up to the plate and take a swing at some pictures that I can post. Most family pictures stay in my private file. Away we go and good luck as I know we all need it.
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Old 10-02-2014, 10:46   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Look forward to some examples when you get it built up and working.
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Old 13-03-2014, 14:55   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Ok I have a small but smooth slider that works great for my 40mm f/3.5 Yashica enlarger. Gives me some experience with none focus ring lenses. I want to buy the MP-E65mm and I know that the small cheaper side of works good is not going to hack this lenses. I have the set up to use the lens but lack what it takes to hold it. I have saved up the money and would like a slider that will work soulfully in a good motion. As of now I am willing to pay-up and know just what this lens will do with a good holder, what do you that use it think I should go for. ?
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Old 13-03-2014, 17:32   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Either - some manfrotto rails or the velbon are good choices for a simple smooth rail. Got good results with the Velbon one myself.

Have recently got a StackShot one - that's real neat but costly - but really excellent for stacks - as you would hope.

Will say if you get the MPE-65, there's some things you can use the rail for - and others where you're gonna need to handhold - and that's normally gonna mean good flash setup. Either a dedicated macro flash or some of the camera setup with a speedlight. There's loads of setups out the on the interweb.

Also I have heard rumours that the MPE is being moved out of support (repair) by Canon EU. Apparently they've not made any for 12 years and parts are getting thin.
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Old 13-03-2014, 18:31   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Yea I thought about the age,, but what can you do. I think we would have heard of a new lens after the release of everything else. I almost most bought this one atleast 7 years ago but got cancer and blew up like a bomb. I am ok now and seem to want to fallow the same path. It would be cheaper to have a nother camera converted. I like this one and know it takes patients., the Velbon and I have some manfrotto already. Thank for the insite, I take care of my cameras so it isn't a big risk. I will look around to see if a new one might be on the shelve.
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Old 14-03-2014, 11:52   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Only a rumor - so may not be true. Hope not or I might have to get an expensive spare lens. They are still available to buy where I can see.

Must admit I tend to mainly use hand held in the field - rail more indoor - and v.occasionally outside - though have done - but requires a patient subject. Less so as I don't carry tripod much of late.
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Old 14-03-2014, 12:32   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Chrisa, looking around to and remember the 300 macro that was out then. The one that caught my eye was f/2.8 -f/4.0 at mag. X1.4. I do a lot of shooting in the range of the lens. Where I get jumbled is the speed you can get out of it and it will bring me almost 6 feet closer. I shoot with my 1d4 and X2 on my 100-400mm and love it for any wildlife. The camera blends iso very well with the speed. Geez going back maybe just a little incouragement would land the X5 65mm as I do plan to use an indoor set up I have built. It is large set up with a number of lighting mixes. I am trying to figure out if I can get the 300mm and the mpE,,
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Old 14-03-2014, 18:22   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

300mm Macro ? What lens is this ?
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Old 14-03-2014, 19:25   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Rail/Slider

Ef300mm f/4.0 IS only has a magnification of X1.4, but thats closer then anything in that range. I have a full time camera with my 100-400mm and a change would be a good thing I just haven't found it,,,maybe.
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