Focusing Rail Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by tirediron, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As the current annoyance shows no sign of abating, I'm on the hunt, as I'm sure many are, of ways to amuse myself. One of things I thought about is doing some more macro work and image stacking. To that end, I figure I'll invest in a new focusing rail. I currently use this Manfrotto model, which is okay from a quality standpoint, but annoying as it only has a single axis.

    What I'm looking for is a good quality rail with X and Y axis adjustment and WITHOUT an Arca-Swiss style mount, but with graduations and good fine-adjustment control. There are LOTS of them out, but most of the better ones seem to use an Arca-Swiss mounting system and I have invested in Manfrotto mount that don't really feel like starting another system. I don't mind paying for quality.


     
  2. Alexr25

    Alexr25 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All you need a second Manfrotto rail. If you mount it on top of the first one at right angles and you get a high quality 2 axis focusing rail with fine adjustments.
     
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  3. Original katomi

    Original katomi TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I have a mid range something, did not look at brand, because I mount a manfrotto head on the rail before putting camera on the head
    Any help?
     
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  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Have to admit, I'd not thought of that. I still think I might prefer an 'as built' two axis model, but that's worth some thought. Thanks.

    Thanks... looking more for brands/models that people like and/or don't like at this point.
     
  5. Original katomi

    Original katomi TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Ok will look at what my brand is and let you know
     
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  6. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks! :)
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Most of the two axis are just two rails bolted atop each other. Personally I never liked the manfrotto design. I far prefer this kind:

    Focusing Rail

    You can use one at a time or both. I find it easier to use for fine control. Note that's just a random ebay link there are loads of stores selling the same product, just search for focusing rails.


    If you want to step up from there then I'd recommend Novoflex, which I've not used but far as I can tell are basically the top end before you get to motorised rails
    Focusing Racks - NOVOFLEX Präzisionstechnik GmbH

    Of course they come with an appropriate higher price being a niche top end product.
     
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  8. Original katomi

    Original katomi TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Tired Iron
    Hiya photos of my rail system bar code inc hope this helps
    I use this a lot and find it to be v good for a mid priced item
    It’s a fixed plate so I attach a manfrotto head
     

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  9. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks! Good info.

    Perfect!!!!
     
  10. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yep same design as Katomi's. It's a popular rail and certainly does the rounds with a load of different branding names. Now that I think of it I think B&H or one of the other big american photography stores even uses them under their own branding.
     
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  11. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I picked up an Oben MFR4-5 focusing rail last year and have been very happy with it. 2 axes of adjustment, fairly solid, and uses standard Arca plates. More stable than the generic MIC ones everyone sells, probably not as good as the much more expensive ones, but feels like a good balance of price vs. performance. There was a thread about this last summer that provided some good recommendations.
     
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  12. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks!!!
     

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