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11-18-2020, 06:46 AM   #16
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Reviving an old thread but for good reason.

B&H has the Benro MP80 macro focusing rail (ballhead) at a huge discount today only, just $99.
Benro MP80 Macro Head with Arca-Type Quick Release MP80 B&H

11-18-2020, 12:17 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by gatorguy Quote
Reviving an old thread but for good reason.

B&H has the Benro MP80 macro focusing rail (ballhead) at a huge discount today only, just $99.
Benro MP80 Macro Head with Arca-Type Quick Release MP80 B&H
Now "discontinued".


Steve
11-18-2020, 03:14 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Now "discontinued".


Steve
Saw that, "sold out". Figured it would go fast.
11-18-2020, 06:24 PM   #19
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I don't know, I have 3-4 focusing rails and hardly ever use them when it comes to live macro work , however when in it comes to static work they should come in handy.

11-19-2020, 07:36 AM   #20
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That looked like a cool item.
11-19-2020, 08:01 AM   #21
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Others have chimed in with similar thoughts, but the two things I worry most about are lighting and camera stability. For focus stacking or when you really need to be precise about where the focus lies they are a valuable tool.
11-19-2020, 09:51 AM   #22
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Adorama lists the Benro head as available:
https://www.adorama.com/bemp80.html?
11-19-2020, 11:00 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Adorama lists the Benro head as available:
https://www.adorama.com/bemp80.html?
Yup, not actually "discontinued" AFAICT (I found it a few other places), but a whole lot more expensive than it was yesterday at B&H. Those Flash Deals are often real bargains, tho not as often great products. That Benro had excellent reviews.

11-23-2020, 02:30 AM   #24
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I must admit I will shoot hand held macro outside, but I have a table top setup on which I have a focus rail and a set of bellows mounted. Getting the rough focus on the macro rail is by shifting the object around until it is roughly in focus then fine tune it with the focus rail. The bellows are a bit more awkward as it is bolted down so focus is by shifting the object.

If you want to try focus stacking the macro rail is essential, there is no way you can adjust the object in small increments and maintain it in tens or hundreds of shots.
11-23-2020, 08:27 AM - 1 Like   #25
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Something different, but the one described here has fulfilled all my needs:

Oben CT-2491 Tripod, GH-30 Gimbal and MFR4-5 Macro Focus Rail Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
11-23-2020, 10:38 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Something different, but the one described here has fulfilled all my needs:

Oben CT-2491 Tripod, GH-30 Gimbal and MFR4-5 Macro Focus Rail Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews
I should probably gift myself with one of those for Christmas. It would sure simplify a lot of close focus and macro work where it is best to change the object distance rather than fiddle with the magnification.


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11-23-2020, 07:06 PM - 1 Like   #27
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For moving bugs I use handheld flash (Pentax AF540). Indoor static stuff is shot from tripod. If lifesize or greater magnification and photo stacking a Velbon Macro Slider is used. There's also the built-in slider on the Pentax K bellows. I recently added a Pentax AF 160 ring flash and it is amazing how much easier it is than the AF540?

Thanks,
barondla
11-24-2020, 06:10 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I should probably gift myself with one of those for Christmas. It would sure simplify a lot of close focus and macro work where it is best to change the object distance rather than fiddle with the magnification.
I have not used all the models available, but seriously I find nothing lacking with that Oben. For the price I think it's a safe bet.
11-24-2020, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #29
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For the static shooting I've been experimenting with, the focus rail is an essential because of the focus staying stage. Mine is a ProMaster model, all manual. (MR1 Macro Focusing Rail with quick release) For really fine adjustments under 1mm it can feel a bit fiddly, but it works and is affordable at $100 list. All of my recent lava pics have used this and focus stacked in the freeware app Focus Stacker on my Mac.

example
11-24-2020, 03:04 PM   #30
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It should be noted that if you want to try to shoot focus stacks handheld, stacking software is actually pretty good at lining up your shots as long as your movement is reasonably linear and steady. You'll get edge artefacts in your stack from the fames not lining up perfectly, but you can usually either crop that out, or sometimes even manually retouch it using single frames from the stack. I find that for 2-20 frames, it works quite well for me.

That being said, some people really trip out on motorized rails to shoot super deep stacks of non-moving subjects. Not my style, but to each their own...

Here's a single frame at 2:1:



And here's the 22-frame handheld focus stack that the previous shot was pulled from (click through for higher resolution). (Note that the whole point is to not have the subject in the same plane as the sensor.)



Last edited by Doundounba; 11-26-2020 at 07:03 AM.
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