Equipment questions from a beginner.

Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

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MacroLens
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Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:16 pm

Equipment questions from a beginner.

Post by MacroLens »

Hello everyone and I appreciate any feedback I can get on a tripod setup. I have been lurking around for a day or two; and found this site while trying to find information on the Berlebach Tripods. The Velbon Slider is also something I found referenced here as a quality entry level instrument.

First off what I have and plan on doing with this setup. Pentax K1 and D FA 100 MM Macro lens. Both are recent purchases to start shooting a little of everything but I bought the lens obviously to shoot a lot of macro. I have a cheap Sunpak 7000 Tripod and a Sigma DP2 Merrill with a few filters that I use to shoot with as it is so easy to carry. I primarily take pictures walking though park trails and our occasional family get together once or twice year. I really enjoy shooting flowers and bright vegetation the most and do take the occasional water shot of creek beds and falls.

The price I have to start out with is roughly $350.00. Items I am considering so far are:

1- Manfrotto 190 series tripod. Aluminum as the Carbon Fiber is a bit over my price point.
2- Manfrotto Traveler.
3- Benbo Trekker Tripod.
4 -Berleback Mini Tripod large size.

6-Velbon Super Mag Slider.
7-Giottos MH 1302 Head with MH 655 Quick release.


My main questions is should I go all in on a Manfrotto setup, if so which, and then just buy the slider to go with it. Or buy Manfrotto legs and get the above head and slider?

Is the Benbo anyone here would use for macro?

Is it worth getting the wood Berlebacch? This with the head and slider would be a little over my limit on initial cost. Is it worth it?

Is there a tripod I missed that is the price range of a 190 but better for macro field work?

A little more on me. I am 59 years old so keeping weight down is also a premium. One lens, one camera, one tripod setup. All this coming in at 8 to 12 pounds total is what I am looking for initially. I have purchased three books on this subject as I have a solid understanding of aperture, ISO, shutter speed. DOF etc...but different techniques is something I need to practice.

I appreciate all the input I can get and look forward to reading what experienced Macro Photographers here recommend.

MacroLens
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Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:16 pm

Berlebach Mini Large

Post by MacroLens »

I just ordered the Berlebach Mini, large size. Cost with shipping is $204.83.
I ordered it with the 3/8" thread and 1/4" adapter comes with that.
Also ordered the spiked feet/rubber feet combo.

I will keep researching heads and sliders until the tripod is on its way. I am thinking a week to get here at least. Any help on the above would be appreciated. I also know from reading I need to eventually invest in some lighting.

If anyone has a setup and/or experience using Berlebach Tripods, your input would be greatly appreciated. Given its small size and weight, I think this could turn out to be a great light field setup. I am definitely excited!

Harald
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Post by Harald »

Hi there MacroLens,
As a focus slider, I can recommend the Proxxon KT70.
I use this in combination with the Castle Q from Novoflex.
You can get 25µm steps manualy with the Proxxon...
Kind Regards
Harald

Lier Fotoklubb / NSFF
AFIAP / CPS
BGF / GMV
http://www.500px.com/blender11

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Is that Giottos MH1302 current?? Or something you have?

Hold on with the Velbon Mag slider. It's not bad, but the long rail's gearing is rather coarse for stacking, depending how close you go.

The Manfrotto rail (454) is usable for quite fine movements, but again few people's favourite. You have to use it very carefully.

There was something oriental which looked reasonable - will try to find a reference. Someone else may jump in...

You may of course stack by remote/ lens focus rather than a rail, it depends...


The Proxxon KT70 by the way is fine for on a table, not portable!
Chris R

MacroLens
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Post by MacroLens »

Harald wrote:Hi there MacroLens,
As a focus slider, I can recommend the Proxxon KT70.
I use this in combination with the Castle Q from Novoflex.
You can get 25µm steps manualy with the Proxxon...
Thanks for the recommendation. The Proxxon looks very promising but how do you mount it on a tripod with camera?

The Novaflex I am sure is very good, but the one I see is 278.00, a little over my price point for now.

MacroLens
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Post by MacroLens »

ChrisR wrote:Is that Giottos MH1302 current?? Or something you have?

Hold on with the Velbon Mag slider. It's not bad, but the long rail's gearing is rather coarse for stacking, depending how close you go.

The Manfrotto rail (454) is usable for quite fine movements, but again few people's favourite. You have to use it very carefully.

There was something oriental which looked reasonable - will try to find a reference. Someone else may jump in...

You may of course stack by remote/ lens focus rather than a rail, it depends...


The Proxxon KT70 by the way is fine for on a table, not portable!
Thanks for the input Chris. The K1 will focus on different points but I like the idea of the control of a rail; even though I have never used one. The Giottos and Velbon slider will both be new purchases if they end up being my choices.

I will not make up my mind for a week or so and open to any suggestions for a tripod setup. A little more info, I take care of my equipment, cleaning after use etc...but in the field I don't baby things. It is why Pentax with their weather proof and bomb proof builds attracted me in the first place.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Head - I thnk that one's obsolete?

I like a Manfrotto 410 geared head but I use a heavier tripod.

Rails - what magnification are you looking to work at. If it's flowers and things you don't need fineest of steps.
Have a feel of the Velbon before buying - it's not a finely machined thing by a long way - but it works. Ther are several mentions around this forum. It does cover a useful range, and the lateral adjustment is very handy.

For field photography, look up "Plamp"!.
Portable light tents (ebay, cheap) are also great for diffusing and calming the air movements. A while ago I tried one for wild orchid close-ups - ideal.
Chris R

MacroLens
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Post by MacroLens »

ChrisR wrote:Head - I thnk that one's obsolete?

I like a Manfrotto 410 geared head but I use a heavier tripod.

Rails - what magnification are you looking to work at. If it's flowers and things you don't need fineest of steps.
Have a feel of the Velbon before buying - it's not a finely machined thing by a long way - but it works. Ther are several mentions around this forum. It does cover a useful range, and the lateral adjustment is very handy.

For field photography, look up "Plamp"!.
Portable light tents (ebay, cheap) are also great for diffusing and calming the air movements. A while ago I tried one for wild orchid close-ups - ideal.
The Giottos is the version II : here is the link
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... es_II.html

I will be shooting 1:1 for now. I like shooting flowers, plants in general, and I am going to try my hand at over head shots of rocks, algae, fungi, streams as well. I will search for that light. Thanks!

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

For 1:1 you'll need steps of the order of say a third of a millimetre. Doable but imprecise with the Velbon.

I didn't mention a light! The Plamp is a Plant Clamp, and the Light tent is just a white material cube thing. Works well with flash or sunlight.
Chris R

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

I found an example of the "better looking" rail on ebay, item
152403497218. About $60, and looks ok for 1:1, with a bit of lateral nudging possible. I haven't got/used one though. Maybe someone else..

X-Y version eg 201861019328
Chris R

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Post by rjlittlefield »

ChrisR wrote:I found an example of the "better looking" rail on ebay, item
152403497218. About $60, and looks ok for 1:1, with a bit of lateral nudging possible. I haven't got/used one though. Maybe someone else..

X-Y version eg 201861019328
Those look like ebay.co.uk numbers. Here in the US, they don't work at ebay.com .

Our equivalents are 263045350040 ("150mm Macro Focusing Rail Slider Close-up Shooting Camera Support fr Tripod Head") and 252690999608 ("4-way Macro Focusing Rail Slider Close-up Shooting Camera Support fr Tripod Head").

I bought a 4-way set a few months ago. Have to confess that I haven't actually used it, but the build quality looks and feels excellent. One oddity: the screw pitch measures 1.25 mm, not 1 mm as I would have expected.

These are from iShoot. You can search the forum for that to get more info. There's a long thread at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... hp?t=32835 .

--Rik

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Post by Deanimator »

Unless I missed something, I don't recall you saying what you plan to photograph or where.

Here's a word of caution.

If you're going to be doing work indoors, movement and vibration may be an issue, possibly a critical one.

Until very recently, 80% of my photography has been studio macrophotography done in my living room.

As soon as I started getting serious it became very obvious that the floor had so much movement that the movement of the tripod relative to the subject was painfully apparent. This was after I had bought a decent tripod (Vanguard Alta Pro).

At the recommendation of others here and elsewhere, I ended up mounting a ballhead on a rig fixed to the table where the subject is placed. There's still vibration, but the relative movement between the camera and subject has been removed.

If you've got a concrete or stone floor available, you should use it. I unfortunately don't have that option.
Last edited by Deanimator on Fri Jul 07, 2017 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MacroLens
Posts: 46
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:16 pm

150mm Macro Focusing Rail Slider Close-up Shooting on Ebay

Post by MacroLens »

I found it! Thanks everyone for the help on this one. It does look promising. Reading it over now.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

That's the ones. The ebay items pop straight up for me for any country if I do a Google search on "ebay xxxxxxxxx".

I see Sunwayfoto are doing something similar now. Try
EBay 252999655757

or MFR-150S
Chris R

MacroLens
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Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:16 pm

Post by MacroLens »

Deanimator wrote:Unless I missed something, I don't recall you saying what you plan to photograph or where.

Here's a word of caution.

If you're going to be doing work indoors, movement and vibration may be an issue, possibly a critical one.

Until very recently, 80% of my photography has been studio macrophotography done in my living room.

As soon as I started getting serious it became very obvious that the floor had so much movement that the movement of the tripod relative to the subject was painfully apparent. This was after I had bought a decent tripod (Vanguard Alta Pro).

At the recommendation of others here and elsewhere, I ended up mounting a ballhead on a rig fixed to the table where the subject is placed. There's still vibration, but the relative movement between the camera and subject has been removed.

If you've got a concrete or stone floor available, you should use it. I unfortunately don't have that option.
I only shoot indoors when practicing and going through settings of this new camera; along with the occasional family get together. I shoot outdoors in parks; and some of the trails I walk involve creeks along with plenty of dirt, dust, and mud. There are plenty of planted flowers in the front areas of these parks which is where I shoot also.

Very finite and expensive equipment is probably not a good idea for my style of shooting. If it is not suppose to get wet or dusty, I need to steer away from it.

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