canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Software & Accessories => Topic started by: rpt on November 03, 2012, 06:02:57 AM

Title: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 03, 2012, 06:02:57 AM
Hi,

I just got my 100L macro lens and realise I need macro extension tubes and macro rails. I shot some six legged creature that was about 1.5mm long! This is the first macro lens I have owned.

Macro extension tubes: I checked out the canon ones. They were ok. I can't get kenko in my city. On eBay I see Zeikos but the cost is 70% of the canon tubes anyway. Any suggestions?

Macro rails: I want those that can adjust the camera position in two directions. Obviously it should be good for the 5D3 + 100L macro + macro tubes. Do you have any suggestions or preferences? I see a Phottix on eBay.
http://www.ebay.in/itm/Phottix-4-Way-Macro-Focusing-Rail-LSD-/271064800548?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1cb89d24#ht_2141wt_802 (http://www.ebay.in/itm/Phottix-4-Way-Macro-Focusing-Rail-LSD-/271064800548?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1cb89d24#ht_2141wt_802)
Not sure how it mounts on a tripod. Mine is 1982 vintage  :)
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: brad-man on November 03, 2012, 06:58:25 AM
That rail will work, but it is very shaky and inprecise. This is the cheapest quality bang-for-buck rail I've found...

Velbon or Hakuba (same unit) Mag Slider Magnesium, etc

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velbon-4-Way-Super-Mag-Slider-Macro-Focusing-Adjusting-Rail-Magnesium-Alloy-Head-/230723198369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b82c9da1 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velbon-4-Way-Super-Mag-Slider-Macro-Focusing-Adjusting-Rail-Magnesium-Alloy-Head-/230723198369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b82c9da1)
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 03, 2012, 07:55:34 AM
That rail will work, but it is very shaky and inprecise. This is the cheapest quality bang-for-buck rail I've found...

Velbon or Hakuba (same unit) Mag Slider Magnesium, etc

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velbon-4-Way-Super-Mag-Slider-Macro-Focusing-Adjusting-Rail-Magnesium-Alloy-Head-/230723198369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b82c9da1 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Velbon-4-Way-Super-Mag-Slider-Macro-Focusing-Adjusting-Rail-Magnesium-Alloy-Head-/230723198369?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b82c9da1)
Thanks brad-man. I'll look them up.

Btw, are you a cricket fan from down under?
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 03, 2012, 08:08:10 AM
Tubes have no optics, just air and electrical contacts, Canon charges a lot for the air in theirs.  ::)  But really cheap ones can break at the mount (many are plastic or weak metal).  Kenko is good, if you can't get them, I'd say Canon.

Personally, I went with a Canon 25mm tube - I'm not going to risk the mount failing, because my main use for it is to reduce the MFD of my 600 II.

+1 on the Velbon Super Mag Slider, best of the 'budget' options.  For best quality, Really Right Stuff is the one.
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 03, 2012, 08:17:54 AM
Tubes have no optics, just air and electrical contacts, Canon charges a lot for the air in theirs.  ::)  But really cheap ones can break at the mount (many are plastic or weak metal).  Kenko is good, if you can't get them, I'd say Canon.

Personally, I went with a Canon 25mm tube - I'm not going to risk the mount failing, because my main use for it is to reduce the MFD of my 600 II.

+1 on the Velbon Super Mag Slider, best of the 'budget' options.  For best quality, Really Right Stuff is the one.
Thanks neuro, I think I will get canon air :)

Unfortunately Velbon is not sold by eBay India.  >:(
I guess I will have to ask one of my colleagues who will be traveling to the US...

Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: brad-man on November 03, 2012, 09:20:30 AM
Not much cricket is S Florida 8) This is the same unit, though seems a little pricey:

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Hakuba-Magnesium-Macro-Slider-EGC-/270938665619?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1533f293 (http://www.ebay.in/itm/Hakuba-Magnesium-Macro-Slider-EGC-/270938665619?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1533f293)

Most any online retailer should have them. Amazon India maybe?

Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 04, 2012, 03:14:13 AM
Not much cricket is S Florida 8)
Ah! Nice place to be in though. I don't particularly like the cold...

This is the same unit, though seems a little pricey:

http://www.ebay.in/itm/Hakuba-Magnesium-Macro-Slider-EGC-/270938665619?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1533f293 (http://www.ebay.in/itm/Hakuba-Magnesium-Macro-Slider-EGC-/270938665619?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1533f293)

Most any online retailer should have them. Amazon India maybe?
Wow! Yesterday a search on eBay.in for Hakuba did not find that! These software makers - what can one say! Any way that is about US$ 250! The Velbond is US$ 101! I'll do some more searches. Thanks.
 
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: crasher8 on November 04, 2012, 08:17:34 AM
I almost went with a Velbon until I checked one out side by side next to a Kirk.
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 04, 2012, 08:41:56 AM
I almost went with a Velbon until I checked one out side by side next to a Kirk.

I'm planning on ordering the RRS rail soon, just debating on the flash bracket setup.
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: Pag on November 04, 2012, 11:22:39 AM
If you want something very affordable, look at Deal Extreme. They have focus rails and extension tubes for a very low price. I haven't tried them, so I can't vouch for their quality, but both have good reviews on the site.

https://dx.com/p/super-mag-slider-camera-precision-rail-9430?rt=1&p=2&m=2&r=3&k=1&t=1&s=93864&u=9430

https://dx.com/p/meike-auto-focus-macro-extension-tube-set-for-canon-dslr-72650

They ship from China, so shipping can take a while, but if you're in India then that may be less of a problem than for my Canadian self ;)
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 04, 2012, 11:40:56 AM
I almost went with a Velbon until I checked one out side by side next to a Kirk.
Thanks. The best I can do is compare them in side by side browser windows ;)

I'm planning on ordering the RRS rail soon, just debating on the flash bracket setup.
I'll look it up. I thought it was an open and shut case but there seem to be so many options...

If you want something very affordable, look at Deal Extreme. They have focus rails and extension tubes for a very low price. I haven't tried them, so I can't vouch for their quality, but both have good reviews on the site.

https://dx.com/p/super-mag-slider-camera-precision-rail-9430?rt=1&p=2&m=2&r=3&k=1&t=1&s=93864&u=9430

https://dx.com/p/meike-auto-focus-macro-extension-tube-set-for-canon-dslr-72650

They ship from China, so shipping can take a while, but if you're in India then that may be less of a problem than for my Canadian self ;)
Thanks. Extension tube I am more or less certain I will go for Canon. I shall look at the rail though. There does not seem to be any load carrying spec though....
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 04, 2012, 12:51:40 PM
I'm sure even the cheap ones can support the load of even a gripped body and 180L. The issue is how smoothly they move under load, how much play and backlash which affect the ability to get the position exactly where you want it, index marks for focus stacking, and design issues (do you need to add the cost of a QR clamp, sufficient to rotate the body with a collared lens, etc.).
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: markm on November 04, 2012, 01:05:05 PM
Really Right Stuff redesigned their macro rails a few years back - the newer design is really excellent.  If you find one used make sure it is the later edition.  I have used the RRS rails with the 100mm and also the collared 180mm macro.  Very stable and smooth, but not cheap.

http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.aspx?code=MACRO&key=cat (http://reallyrightstuff.com/Items.aspx?code=MACRO&key=cat)

I have used both Kenko and Canon extension tubes.  Both have worked fine. 
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: neuroanatomist on November 04, 2012, 01:18:07 PM
Really Right Stuff redesigned their macro rails a few years back - the newer design is really excellent.  If you find one used make sure it is the later edition.  I have used the RRS rails with the 100mm and also the collared 180mm macro. 

I'm debating the single rail vs. the collared setup.  I've got the 100L with no collar (and no plans to get one), and the MP-E 65mm, which has a collar.  The problems for the MP-E 65mm are that 1) the normal plate doesn't allow camera rotation with a 1-series body, so I'd need to use just a multipurpose rail with no antitwist, and 2) attaching the flash bracket to a rail on the tripod foor puts it a couple of inches forward of where I can get it with an MPR-CL II attached to the body L-bracket - my concern is that at the short end (1-2x), with the flash bracket mounted to the lens 'plate' (MPR), the 6" extension would put the flash heads behind my subject given the 4" working distance at 1x.

Perhaps I'll give RRS a call on Monday...
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: drjlo on November 04, 2012, 01:45:48 PM
Hi,

I just got my 100L macro lens and realise I need macro extension tubes and macro rails. I shot some six legged creature that was about 1.5mm long! This is the first macro lens I have owned.


I use both the 100L and 65 MP-E, and honestly, while macro focusing rail (and macro ring flash) is an absolute MUST with MP-E with its up-to-5X(!) magnification and no IS, 100L with its hybrid IS is much more forgiving for hand-holding.  Unless you plan on going the MP-E route, a Macro ring flash (doesn't have to be expensive Canon) may be a better, and more fun, investment IME. 

Even dedicated macro shooters sometimes find it a drag having to lug around a tripod and macro focusing rail on a "fun" macro shooting..
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 04, 2012, 08:51:38 PM
I'm sure even the cheap ones can support the load of even a gripped body and 180L. The issue is how smoothly they move under load, how much play and backlash which affect the ability to get the position exactly where you want it, index marks for focus stacking, and design issues (do you need to add the cost of a QR clamp, sufficient to rotate the body with a collared lens, etc.).
Good point. That is what I don't like about shopping on the Internet. One does not get a feel for things...

Really Right Stuff redesigned their macro rails a few years back - the newer design is really excellent.  If you find one used make sure it is the later edition.  I have used the RRS rails with the 100mm and also the collared 180mm macro.  Very stable and smooth, but not cheap.

I have used both Kenko and Canon extension tubes.  Both have worked fine. 
At over $350 a pop i will have to think it through. I was budgeting $120 or so...

I use both the 100L and 65 MP-E, and honestly, while macro focusing rail (and macro ring flash) is an absolute MUST with MP-E with its up-to-5X(!) magnification and no IS, 100L with its hybrid IS is much more forgiving for hand-holding.  Unless you plan on going the MP-E route, a Macro ring flash (doesn't have to be expensive Canon) may be a better, and more fun, investment IME. 

Even dedicated macro shooters sometimes find it a drag having to lug around a tripod and macro focusing rail on a "fun" macro shooting..
You have a point there... I don't intend on getting the MP-E at the moment... Shoot! More thinking. Thanks for your thoughts.

Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: wickidwombat on November 08, 2012, 06:00:19 PM
I have the novoflex macro rails they are really top quality but crazy expensive
the kenko extension tubes are good becasue they retain AF confirm and exif data
are reasonably well made and a tight fit (not sloppy like the really cheap ebay ones)
and they are not a bad price
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: LukieLauXD on November 08, 2012, 07:52:00 PM
My dad bought me the double rail set from Really Right Stuff last year along with the Canon Dual Head flash and also the 65mm MP-E because I raise insects and he wanted to introduce photography into that too.

It was a big investment and it does take a lot of time to use, it doesn't work with really huge bodies and the lens or camera might need that RRS foot because that's how they roll, but it does work amazingly.

I mean, $650, just for the rails. Totally worth the cost, but it was a BIGGG costs  :o
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 08, 2012, 08:09:04 PM
Thanks Wombat and LukieLau.
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: K-amps on November 09, 2012, 11:38:26 AM
Hi,

I just got my 100L macro lens and realise I need macro extension tubes and macro rails. I shot some six legged creature that was about 1.5mm long! This is the first macro lens I have owned.

Macro extension tubes: I checked out the canon ones. They were ok. I can't get kenko in my city. On eBay I see Zeikos but the cost is 70% of the canon tubes anyway. Any suggestions?

Macro rails: I want those that can adjust the camera position in two directions. Obviously it should be good for the 5D3 + 100L macro + macro tubes. Do you have any suggestions or preferences? I see a Phottix on eBay.
http://www.ebay.in/itm/Phottix-4-Way-Macro-Focusing-Rail-LSD-/271064800548?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1cb89d24#ht_2141wt_802 (http://www.ebay.in/itm/Phottix-4-Way-Macro-Focusing-Rail-LSD-/271064800548?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_203&hash=item3f1cb89d24#ht_2141wt_802)
Not sure how it mounts on a tripod. Mine is 1982 vintage  :)

I have the Phottix. I use it with the 5d3 and 180L... works fine.

However you get what you pay for. There is some play if the base screws are not tight, otherwise the rails function fine and move tightly. You just have to ensure the 2 base screws are tight each time you use it. Since I am a hobbyist, this is fine for me, but if I did MACRO a lot, I would get something better.

The good thing is you can separate the X and Y Axis rails on this and use it separately (detached to each other), this is how I currently have it as for floral shots.
Title: Re: Need advise on macro rails and macro extension tubes
Post by: rpt on November 09, 2012, 11:52:03 AM
All, thanks so much for all the info.

As for the macro rails, I think I will buy only after I physically see them. I don't want to spend $150 and then find that I should have saved and got the $350 ones. I guess I'll shoot macros hand held for now as suggested by drjlo. And there is my trusty tripod too (though it may be 30yrs old).

As for extension tubes, I think Kenko air is not significantly cheaper than Canon air (here in India) and since no shops (that i know of) stock Kenko, I will get me some Canon air...