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Focus Rails Vs. Manual Focus


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#1 MarkM

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 07:47 PM

I bought some extension tubes and am starting to practice macro photography.  I've been using my 24-70 f/2.8 mostly at 70mm, and man, I am quickly realizing how razor thin depth of field can get.  OK for certain shots, but what if I want the entire subject in focus? 

 

I read some discussions in here about focus stacking and using focusing rails, and have a Question:

 

How is moving the lens 1mm (or whatever the increment is...maybe 0.5mm or less?) closer and closer and shifting the point of focus, any different than keeping the lens stationary on the tripod and manually adjusting the focus ring ever so slightly?  Is manually adjusting a focus ring on the lens a blunt adjustment compared to the fine tuning a focus rail provides?

 

Thanks for your thoughts!



#2 TrailEx

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Posted 22 August 2017 - 10:01 PM

Depends on how smooth your focus ring is. If its super easy to rotate it should be possible, but if it's "sticky" or is otherwise hard to turn, you will probably not be able to make sufficiently minute adjustments.



#3 geedee

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 06:39 AM

Mark, me again..(-:  I have zero expertise in macro or PP techniques, though without the camera held very steady I wonder how well focus stacking might work out...  I get the feeling this pastime could become something like an arms race in terms of ever upgrading kit ... Top end tripod and ball head...circa £2000, comes with a guarantee of FAR superior image quality..... NOT.. (-:



#4 MarkM

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 09:26 AM

Thanks fellas.
Seems like $345 USD (Really Right Stuff rail) should be reserved for a time if and when I decide to dive deep into macro photography. For now I'll keep experimenting and practicing with extension tubes and my trusty (flip lock 😀) tripod.

#5 TrailEx

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:26 PM

You can also look at Edelkrone's SliderOne for only $200. I've ordered one and should get it in about 2 weeks as its currently back-ordered. Once I get my hands on it, I'll give it an assessment.


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#6 JdMac_lb

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 12:13 AM

I have a focus rail but went the less expensive model.  It works well for now.  I just could not get the focus right with out it.  My macro less is very sensitive to the slightest movements.  I have to say though the best investment I made which helped my macro work is my ring flash.  I bought the Youngo one lot less than canon and works great.


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