June 17, 2018, 11:56:45 PM

Author Topic: Hejnar Macro Rails  (Read 8752 times)

chrysoberyl

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Hejnar Macro Rails
« on: February 05, 2018, 01:16:28 PM »
I am becoming more interested in real macro and have realized the importance of having a macro rail.  I am open to all recommendations, but the Hejnar rails look well made.  But which is best for me?  My likely subjects will mostly be insects, gastropods and mineral crystals.  Thanks.

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Hejnar Macro Rails
« on: February 05, 2018, 01:16:28 PM »

NancyP

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2018, 02:48:55 PM »
Hejnar products are well designed. The standard rails are suitable for up to 1x magnification. The vernier-equiped rails are for 1X and greater, in general. Note the degree of travel that you get with standard rail (lots, but increments less fine) vs vernier rail (very little, but increments are extremely fine). All are manually operated. Standard rails also provide for fine adjustment of camera body position, sometimes a bit of a PITA without a rail. 

Are you doing focus stacking?

Another option is an automated focus stacking rail with the motorized Cognisys Stackshot system.

chrysoberyl

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2018, 03:04:01 PM »
Hejnar products are well designed. The standard rails are suitable for up to 1x magnification. The vernier-equiped rails are for 1X and greater, in general. Note the degree of travel that you get with standard rail (lots, but increments less fine) vs vernier rail (very little, but increments are extremely fine). All are manually operated. Standard rails also provide for fine adjustment of camera body position, sometimes a bit of a PITA without a rail. 

Are you doing focus stacking?

Another option is an automated focus stacking rail with the motorized Cognisys Stackshot system.

Thanks very much!  I will not be stacking any time soon, but thanks for the suggestion.  I found the Canon Rumors thread on Hejnar rails and am planning to buy a 'screw-adjusting macro rail'.

snappy604

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 03:37:35 PM »
I've done some ok Macro, but would like to get to the next level myself. That rail seems expensive, but don't know why vs say a $40 from amazon. Any advice on what to look for and alternatives?

Also been curious.. can this really be used on bugs unless you freeze/kill them? most move too fast (other than spiders waiting for prey) .. I use the Canon 180mm Macro for reference

chrysoberyl

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 04:17:38 PM »
I've done some ok Macro, but would like to get to the next level myself. That rail seems expensive, but don't know why vs say a $40 from amazon. Any advice on what to look for and alternatives?

Also been curious.. can this really be used on bugs unless you freeze/kill them? most move too fast (other than spiders waiting for prey) .. I use the Canon 180mm Macro for reference

Ha!  I intend to shoot stationary bugs only, especially spiders and dragonflies.  I see no need to chill or kill.

Search 'Hejnar' in the forum for a good discussion of macro rails.  My thought is to buy a good one to begin with, rather than upgrade later.  I am also concerned that the cheaper ones will be wobbly and/or fall apart under the weight of a 180mm macro + camera.  A little wobble when you are shooting macro could really through your focus off.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 07:36:03 AM by chrysoberyl »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 04:55:01 PM »
I'd suggest looking into Macro photography carefully before jumping in.

Macro rails are the easiest and most popular method, but not the best.  A long throw lens where you manually focus beats and proper use of a bellows setup is better.

Since you are considering a rail, check out this video by one of the best Macro Photographers. 

https://lensvid.com/gear/choosing-the-best-focusing-rail-for-macro-photography/


snappy604

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 05:49:07 PM »
Long video, got about half way through.

hmm.. so in order of quality he goes Bellows, turning the focus ring, then last macro rails. Not what I was expecting or am I hearing it wrong?

I doubt I'd get a bellows, but now wondering if bothering with macro rails is worth while. Also now sorely missing Magic Lantern capabilities... on my 7d you could put it on and have it focus step which was great for stacking... but not avail for my 80d (yet)..

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 05:49:07 PM »

Zeidora

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 10:53:40 PM »
I have had the cheap Amazon rails (including Velbon x/y versions). The problem with most is the wobble. Second is the lack of Arca style QR. While generally a RRS fan, their macro rail gets less than stellar reviews, so bought a Hejnar and quite happy with it. It is the MS5P-8, works well at 1:1, can do some simple stacking. With MPE 65 it is a bit trickier, but still works ok. One turn of knob = 1.06 mm stage travel, so if your DOF is about 250 microns (1/4 turn) that can be done manually. At 1:1 at f/2.8 you are about at limit. at 5:1 and f/2.8 DOF is around 0.04 mm, so a bit tricky to do that consistently with a helical thread.

Re vernier callipers, just depends on the magnification you need. If you go much above 5:1, then certainly vernier. Or Stack-Shot. >>5:1 without stacking, I don't see the point. Stacking is so much easier with Stackshot. Just make sure to get the X3 controller even if you only use single axis.

Re bellows, had them, and recently got one back for UV reflectance z-stacking with an M39 enlarger sense (Nikon EL 80/5.6 silver). The problem is the additional bayonets and their intrinsic play. Camera-lens: one junction. Camera-bellows-lens: two junctions. Then there is also some play in the front and rear standards. They have certain utilities (e.g. T/S options with some, WA lens reversal, mounting 160 mm tube length microscope lenses with RMS adapter, ...), but a blanket "bellows is better for macro" is nonsense. There are also distinct problems, such as handholding a below set-up [good luck!], fragility of the system, light leaks, ground clearance, to name just a few. Only get a bellows if you really need it.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2018, 11:31:09 PM »
A Bellows is definitely limited to those who have the right situation for one, same for a rail or long throw lens.  There are different build qualities for each.

I would be concerned about oil on the threads of a center adjustable rail, I'm prone to making a mess of things.  Its hard to get a unbiased review unless its from someone who has each design and is able to compare them side by side.

I have a Minolta autobellows III and have no serious issues with it, but it is big and certainly not something to hand hold.  I'd have a hard time believing anyone who claims they could shoot 100 incrementally focused frames using either of the 3 methods handheld. 

I'm a normally a hand held close focus shooter, and use my 100L with autofocus and holding my breath.  It works as well as could be expected, considering my low level of talent.

I bought a vintage German Made rail, beautiful machining, but not up to par, so I sold it.  I've held off of spending $350 or more including A-S clamp for a nice rail, or even more for a top quality long throw lens.

Every once in a while, I search for a good rail that would work for me.

snappy604

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2018, 12:13:16 AM »
thanks, I find I learn more from folks who have different systems and basically I think while in my head I'd hoped a macro rail would help, it probably wouldn't help me much due to speed and some possible artifacts as you stack via rail (If I heard the article attached correctly)

 I've had decent results handheld (see attached) with the 180mm + 1.4x extender and a flash/diffuser combo (manual focus). But the closer/higher magnification gets super tricky and as people noted the DOF gets crazy small.. I've had 2mm ants where the antenna is in focus and the eye is not.

Really impressed with some macro work I've seen, but not sure how to get from where I am to what I see on some photos.


Zeidora

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2018, 01:49:14 AM »
One more thought. If you shoot vertically, then rack and pinion may not hold your set-up, while helical thread will. The Hejnar hods my gripped 5DsR, with Zeiss macro plus MT24/26 no problem. With rack and pinion either you can lock it, or it will not hold, but smooth movement that also holds is out of the question. The Stackshot can also deal with pretty heavy set-ups.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

chrysoberyl

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2018, 08:36:48 AM »
I'd suggest looking into Macro photography carefully before jumping in.

Macro rails are the easiest and most popular method, but not the best.  A long throw lens where you manually focus beats and proper use of a bellows setup is better.

Since you are considering a rail, check out this video by one of the best Macro Photographers. 

https://lensvid.com/gear/choosing-the-best-focusing-rail-for-macro-photography/

Thank you, but I will be using my kit in the field and a bellows setup just looks too cumbersome.  It is also more expensive than I wish to invest.  Interesting video.

chrysoberyl

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 08:43:03 AM »
Thanks for the additional input, Zeidora.  I ordered a MS5P_8.

Has your copy needed lubrication?

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2018, 08:43:03 AM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2018, 09:49:19 AM »
While generally a RRS fan, their macro rail gets less than stellar reviews...

I’ve used Velbon rails and agree that wobble is the main issue, especially with a heavier rig.  I have the RRS rails, and I am happy with them.  Agree they’re good up to 1-2x, less effective >3x. 

Regarding using a long focus throw, to the extent that a lens exhibits focus breathing (and most macro lenses have significant focus breathing, for example Canon’s 100/2.8L Macro IS is ~68mm at the MFD), the changing framing and magnification can be problematic for focus stacking, so a rail or Stackshot is a better choice.
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Zeidora

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 01:14:38 AM »
Thanks for the additional input, Zeidora.  I ordered a MS5P_8.

Has your copy needed lubrication?
No. Have it only for about a year now, and don't use it very much. I mostly use the StackShot, but I like to have a low tech option.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

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Re: Hejnar Macro Rails
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2018, 01:14:38 AM »