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My new table top macro setup (Multiple products)

breeliz

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I have been working on getting a nice table top macro setup and I think I am just about there. I am not rich and can't afford the highest precision items. But I am very fussy about good equipment. So after lots of research I settled on these items:

1. Tripod made from the stability legs of a Sirui P-204 monopod. Fabulously stable and versatile with a ball head that will return to perfect level.
2. Manfrotto MVH502AH Video Head. This will handle ANY camera rig and has full fluid pan/tilt plus counterbalancing. Locks down vertical tilt perfectly.
3. 2-IShoot MFR150 focusing rails. Amazing precision for the price. Heavy with little to no flutter. Well engineered and beautifully milled.
They would be perfect if there was a bit more thought put into the mm scale and a referencing point and putting a reference line on the adjusters so you know
when a full or half turn is complete. But these are not critical faults to me. I can work around them. Use one or two rails as desired.
4. (not pictured) 3-GVM 10s RGB LED lights on UBeeSize 12" flexible tripods. Inexpensive, powerful, full spectrum RGB, Adj. brightness and color temperature plus
runs on replaceable batteries. This unit isn't a brick if the batteries fail like many other competitors.
I wish they had an AC/DC plug in but so long as I can replace the batteries I am happy.

I will try and take some PIX tomorrow as some of this stuff came as gifts which I just prematurely opened! Here are some PIX of the setup. Note how the Sirui legs keep this whole unit from toppling in full vertical mode. Crazy amazing. I will probably put some weight on the rearmost leg anyways just to be 100% safe.

P1090216a.jpg
P1090217a.jpg
P1090221a.jpg

P1090222a.jpg

P1090223a.jpg
 
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breeliz

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I replaced the Manfrotto plate with a Haoge CP-MA90 Manfrotto to Arca Quick Release adapter plate. So I can remove the video head in seconds and lock it in via dovetail rails instead of a single screw. Better stability that way.
 

breeliz

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I use a Quad Hands soldering hold down station for holding stuff. Heavy steel base with strong neodymium magnets in the gooseneck arms with alligator clips at the end. Brilliant product.

DSC_0592a.jpg
 
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Roger S

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It looks like you're almost set up here. We'll see further when you get some images from the kit.

On an aside note, don't forget to tick the "Full image" box beside each upload. I've done that for you this time.
 

breeliz

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It looks like you're almost set up here. We'll see further when you get some images from the kit.

On an aside note, don't forget to tick the "Full image" box beside each upload. I've done that for you this time.
Okey Dokey. I thought that multiple full size images might take up too much forum space. But I will make sure to do as you request next time.
 

Roger S

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Okey Dokey. I thought that multiple full size images might take up too much forum space. But I will make sure to do as you request next time.
We have a photo limit of 10 images maximum per post which is controlled by the forum software. So far that seems to be a reasonable number.
 

breeliz

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I put some braided cables down on the table with some higher and some lower. The stack of cables was about 5/8" high. I took several shots starting with focus on a red cable in the middle of the stack. There was a blue cable much lower in the stack on the right that was out of focus, a middle blue cable close to being in focus and a blue cable above the targeted red cable that was way out of focus. My goal was to be able to get an image that had the initial red cable and the middle and bottom blue cables all in focus at the same time.

I used a Velbon shutter release and only touched the adjustment knob for the top IShoot rail. I did 4 quarter turns (1 mm of travel) between each of the images. The resulting images were very good with no noticeable movement of the camera that was not planned. So the rails did their job well. The stability mechanisms (tripod, video head etc.) did their jobs well. What did not do its job well was Photoshop CS3. It failed to deliver a good focus stack. I then tried it in ON1 RAW and it failed to deliver a good focus stack. I think the fact that the start focus zone being in the middle of the image may have confused these systems.

I then took it into Combine ZP and finally got a good stack. So here are the #1 and #4 images and the Combine ZP focused stack blend.
#1 of 4 (top image)
DSC_0595z.jpg

#4 of 4 (bottom image)
DSC_0598z.jpg

Combined focus stack
cables combinezpz.jpg
 

Paul Mitchell

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I have to ask why your chose a yellow Nikon body? Its pretty and all, but not practical in any way. Whenever you point your camera at glass like in a museum or zoo etc you cant help but get a reflection of the yellow body.
 

breeliz

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I have to ask why your chose a yellow Nikon body? Its pretty and all, but not practical in any way. Whenever you point your camera at glass like in a museum or zoo etc you cant help but get a reflection of the yellow body.
The body is not yellow the silicone body protector is yellow.. It is high viz and easy to see if I am looking for my camera and it fits very well and provides a lot of bump protection. As for the reflections, I have a rubber hood that expands and hugs the glass and completely eliminates all reflections. So given all that I disagree about it's practicality. Hope that helps.
 

Paul Mitchell

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That big rubber lens hood is ok. I didnt know that those colored bodies were actually a wrap. Good to know.
 

breeliz

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That big rubber lens hood is ok. I didnt know that those colored bodies were actually a wrap. Good to know.
I was thinking of my older beat up Nikons and didn't want to beat up on this one! LOL!

Mine is made by STSEETOP. They have several colors. There are a couple other makers as well. Check them out on B&H or Amazon. You might find something that looks cool for you and adds protection for the expensive camera
 
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