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01-02-2011, 06:53 PM   #1
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Macro accessories

Hi all, I have been considering accessories for macro photography to make focus stacking easier. I was wondering whether macro rails or a bellows setup would make a difference? I realize these will only help with static subjects but my main question is will the bellows require exposure adjustment with macro subjects, that is how great is light loss with a bellows setup?
I have been looking at FotoTip eekbay store, has anyone used their products. I was wondering if this guy in Poland is just reselling the stuff from China?

Macro Fold Bellows for Pentax K200D K110D K100D K20D on eBay (end time 05-Jan-11 13:21:45 GMT)

How small an adjustment would these allow, any idea?

TIA

Craig

01-02-2011, 08:17 PM   #2
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Hi Rigor,

The light loss is the same as with extension rings for example and is directly related to the magnification factor you wish to obtain. For example, at a magnification of 2 (50mm + bellows extended at 100mm, focus ring on the lens set at max distance) you would lose 2 stops.

Basically the light loss is calculated by dividing the extension by the focal length of the lens.

About FotoTip, I know them because they sell Samyang lenses and I have been interested by some of them. Although I have not dealt with them myself, my impression is that they are a serious shop. I do not remember reading any negative feedback on them.
The bellows shown on the link you posted seem ok in terms of quality, however I think the only adjustment available on this model (unless I am mistaken) is the extension value itself. In order to adjust the focusing distance, you would need another screw that I don't see on the pictures.

For focus stacking, I understand you will need minor adjustments of the focussing distance, with no change for magnification. I don't think this specific model will be easy to use unless you mount it on a focusing rail.

I hope this helps...

François

Last edited by LeFanch; 01-02-2011 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Added information
01-03-2011, 02:42 AM   #3
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Thanks Lefanch, I think I have a decent grasp of it now
01-03-2011, 03:27 AM   #4
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I've bought a couple of items from fototip and the experience has been good. Since Poland is around the corner from here delivery has been pretty fast (~3 business days) for Ebay, at least compared to HK or China (nothing wrong with that either, given the prices and distance 2-3 weeks is great service). I had a problem (broken latch and leg tip NIB) with the tripod I got from them and they promptly sent me spare parts to fix that. They would exchanged the thing, of course, but this was easier, faster and cheaper for both parties.

I got a simple "Fotomate" (snap enclosed) macro focusing rail from Ebay (a HK seller I would recall) and while I'm sure the similar Manfrotto MA 454 is much nicer, this sure beats trying to move the camera and tripod for fine adjustment (especially after applying a bit of lube :-)


Last edited by jolepp; 03-16-2011 at 08:57 AM.
01-03-2011, 06:44 AM   #5
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Manfrotto 454

Hi,
I use two Manfrotto 454 Macro focusing rails at right angles to each other on my tripod as I found that I couldn't get the chinese ones to lock down like the Manfrotto's.
I see that you are in Brisbane so if you want to have a look at them let me know.
Hope this helps,
Regards,
Gordon.
01-03-2011, 07:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rigor Quote
Hi all, I have been considering accessories for macro photography to make focus stacking easier. I was wondering whether macro rails or a bellows setup would make a difference?
In theory, focusing rails are preferable to focus changes for stacking because changing focus also changes magnification; some stacking software can adjust for magnification changes, others not.

But I do not know if this is much of a problem in real life.

However I DO know that focusing rails are a great accessory for macro photography even without stacking. Quite small, repetitive, reproducible, camera motions are needed for framing high magnification shots and focusing rails enable such motions much better than trying to shift a tripod!

I am very satisfied with low-cost (~$50USD delivered) Chinese double Focusing Rails I got on ebay and use them frequently.

QuoteQuote:
I realize these will only help with static subjects but my main question is will the bellows require exposure adjustment with macro subjects, that is how great is light loss with a bellows setup?
Extending a lens with a bellows (or tubes) increases the effective f-stop by a factor of (1+magnification), so yes, exposure compensation is required.

QuoteQuote:
I have been looking at FotoTip eekbay store, has anyone used their products. I was wondering if this guy in Poland is just reselling the stuff from China?

Macro Fold Bellows for Pentax K200D K110D K100D K20D on eBay (end time 05-Jan-11 13:21:45 GMT)

How small an adjustment would these allow, any idea?
Practical adjustment would be on the order of 1/4mm or so, for a 50mm lens this would be a magnification change of (1/4)/50 = (1/200)X; quite small!

Dave

Last edited by newarts; 01-03-2011 at 07:55 AM.
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