Rig for Macros


go4IT

Link Posted 09/04/2019 - 16:07
I thought some users would be interested in the macro tabletop setup I created. The focus rail is actually manufactured for precision drilling and the like. It's a PROXXON K70 Microcoordinate Table, and at $135, vastly cheaper than high end purpose built tables. It is incredibly precise, moves in both X & Y axes, and comes with several small parts, but you need only two of them: the 1.5 inch headless screw, and the accompanying thin square nut. You simply slide the nut into the center groove, and turn the screw into it. I used a heavy-duty clamp to hold the assembly on the table, and it is rock solid, earthquake-proof. The ballhead is the one I formerly used on my Sirui tripod, and it comes with Arca fitting. I have an L-bracket on my Pentax KS-2, so I can mount the camera quickly, either vertically or horizontally. The "post" screw has a very
slight play in it, but doesn't move unless you push against the camera, which you never actually touch. GO 4IT.
Last Edited by go4IT on 09/04/2019 - 16:14

Chrism8

Link Posted 09/04/2019 - 17:12
A clever adaption, I may well look to copy your idea, one thought though, would you not be better to have the tripod head touching the base, I.e a shorter screw mount, would remove any vibration / possible movement
Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

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K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8

Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.

go4IT

Link Posted 09/04/2019 - 17:33
Yes, thank you. Indeed it would be more stable, and a shorter screw is now on my shopping list. Also, since taking the photograph, I have added a washer and another nut tightened onto the bed's surface, which has strengthened the connection considerably.

alfpics

Link Posted 09/04/2019 - 18:39
A nice it of sideways thinking; thanks for sharing. I also might have a closer look at this idea.
Andy

davidwozhere

Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 01:05
I use a similar arrangement but instead of having the camera on the moveable mount (which is a BPM Focuslide mounted on a tripod) I put the subject on it so I can move it towards - away from the camera, which sits untouched on another tripod nearby. When you have a 200mm prime with a reverse mounted 35mm on the front of that, the slightest touching of the camera or tripod sends things wobbling out of control instantly. With the focuslide, you can move the subject micrometrically very easily.



Here is the result - the "thread" is a length of money spider silk.



I shall nevertheless have a look at some engineering outlets for that super two-way job. I've got one on the lathe but it's a bit hefty!

Have a look at this .... link
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link
Last Edited by davidwozhere on 10/04/2019 - 01:18

Chrism8

Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 07:39
Hmmmm.......... that's also a clever way of a similar thing, but the opposite approach
Chris

www.chrismillsphotography.co.uk

" A Hangover is something that occupies the Head you neglected to use the night before".

-------------------------------------------------------------
K1 - Sigma 85mm F1.4, Pentax 150 -450 F4.5 / 5.6, Pentax FA 24 - 70 F2.8

Sigma 100-300 F4, Samyang 14mm F2.8, Sigma 70-200 F2.8,

K5iis - Sigma 17 - 70 F2.8, Sigma 70 - 300 F3.5/F5.6, Sigma 18 - 200 F3.6 / F4.5.

Mannesty

Link Posted 10/04/2019 - 07:41
Neat solution, well done.

For macro work the 2 axis stage is ideal for positioning the subject accurately but for focus stacking, I think only a single axis is needed to move the subject or camera back and forth.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Mannesty

Link Posted 11/04/2019 - 17:57
For anybody interested in focus stacking macro images, I just came across this free software http://www.picolay.de/

It takes some time to produce the stacked image, especially if you need to auto-align your images. Combine-ZP is the only other free focus stacking software I've come across, there may be others.

Disclaimer: I have no connection to or financial interest in this software.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

derek897

Link Posted 11/04/2019 - 18:34
You can focus stack in photoshop but I don't know how good it is.
I know what i like, If not always why.

Mannesty

Link Posted 12/04/2019 - 08:54
derek897 wrote:
You can focus stack in Photoshop but I don't know how good it is.

Affinity Photo does a better job IMHO. I have a stack of 22 images of a wasp nest and I've tried most of the available stacking software and almost all have some issues with it, Photoshop and CombineZP seem to leave OOF artifacts in various places. Picolay couldn't align all 22 images, but it might if I played longer with it. I got the best result from Affinity Photo but it did take an age to get the job done, Zerene Stacker is too expensive in my opinion and I can't remember how well (or badly) Helicon Focus performed, it was a while ago. On1 PhotoRAW has a stack limit of 11(maybe 14) frames but there is a workaround. Too fiddly for me.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
Last Edited by Mannesty on 12/04/2019 - 08:56

davidwozhere

Link Posted 13/04/2019 - 01:19
I have learned always to leave a large, otherwise unnecessary border around shots destined for stacking since that is the area that will suffer as the images are successively aligned. Remember that as you shoot closer and closer to the subject, (or further away, depending on how you do it), the perspective shifts. Shifting it back to match the earlier/ later shots can do a lot of violence to the extreme edges. Keeping the big border area consigns most of that violence outside the area of interest.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

OldTaffy

Link Posted 13/04/2019 - 15:10
When I tried stacking on a wasp's nest, by moving the camera in (I think) 1 mm steps the result was awful due to the perspective shift. I don't remember details, as it was 2-3 years ago and I was using one of the free stacking programs.

I have since wondered if it would be permissible to keep object and camera fixed, and shift focus in tiny steps? That would keep a more constant perspective - or won't it work that way? (I have not yet tried to repeat the wasp nest experiment).

I appreciate what has been said about camera vibrations if one touches it, but in my case I have a massive piece of machinery that I fix the camera to. It has a screw to move the camera in one axis, and is solid enough to avoid any vibration.
A few of my photographs in flickr.
Lizars 1910 "Challenge" quarter-plate camera; and some more recent stuff.

Mannesty

Link Posted 13/04/2019 - 19:11
OldTaffy wrote:
I have since wondered if it would be permissible to keep object and camera fixed, and shift focus in tiny steps?

That's probably how it's done in the P&S cameras that have the facility.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

davidwozhere

Link Posted 14/04/2019 - 01:18
That's how I began doing it before I realised you could move either the subject or the camera. The main problem is estimating the increments to keep them more or less equal. A twist of the focus ring produces a lot more result than an equal twist on the screw of a rig (which usually has a handy scale to assist). And no matter how carefully you fixed the camera, because you are exerting a sideways force on it by gripping the focus ring, you risk shifting the whole lot laterally when you are 3/4 of the way through..... damn!
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

Mannesty

Link Posted 14/04/2019 - 07:01
The later Nikon DSLR's have a 'Focus Shifting' function to produce stacks of up to 300 images, The D850, Z7, and Z6 cameras have it that I know of. It should be so easy to implement in firmware I'm a bit disappointed that Pentax hasn't done it yet, given their range of excellent macro lenses. Search for 'focus stacking' on YouTube to see it in action.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream
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