Dual Axis vs Single Axis Macro Rails

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by anupam, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. I am planning to get a focussing rail for macro work but can't decide
    if the extra bulk of dual axis rails like the velbon or the adorama
    ones are worth the trouble. I notice that the highly recomended RRS
    rails are single axis.

    Although I can see how movement on the Y axis would be useful for high
    magnification shots - say with a 100mm + reversed 50 - I would like to
    hear from those who have actually used it in the field. I will be
    using it with a tripod that has a lateral arm - may be a Gitzo
    explorer - so am wondering if fine adjustments to the lateral arm is
    feasable for y axis framing.

    Any thoughts and experiences welcome.

    - Anupam
  2. I would suggest a good single axis rail along with a geared head like the Manfrotto 410 or otherwise. Will give you fine tuning for most purposes.

    If you were doing copy work where flat field alignment is critical the the two-axis is good to have.

    Good Luck
  3. "I notice that the highly recomended RRS rails are single axis."

    You can actually buy the RRS B150-B package that is dual axis, but it is a bit too bulky for my taste. I'm happy with my Kirk FR-1 but I really want a Novoflex Castel dual axis.
  4. Arnab:

    I understand - I would like to see a dual axis rail that has a long longitudinal axis (like most) & then a smaller lateral axis shift as well that is at most one or two inches wide.
  5. Anupam, I have a Panagor brand cousin of the Adorama rail. I've handled an Adorama rail, it and mine are similar but not identical. Naturally mine is better. I'm not sure about the Adorama, its been a while since I've held one, but mine separates into two single-axis rails. I usually transport it that way.

    More seriously, I use mine much for for fore and aft positioning to focus than for lateral positioning to compose. But the lateral positioning is sometimes necessary.

    What I miss most, since none of my tripods have geared center posts, is easy vertical positioning. I've been contemplating buying a cheap little lab jack to get some Z in addition to X and Y.

    But and however, I use the Panagor with a Nikon only when shooting above 1:1. Below 1:1 I shoot hand-held. This works for me because I used flash for illumination, not available darkness. With a Graphic, I have no choice. Its the Panagor or don't shoot macro. If I ever get diligent and make and calibrate a couple of focusing frames for the Graphic, well then I might be able to shoot it hand-held too.

    I b'lieve that you can combine two of the highly expensive RRS rails to make a two axis rig. The same can be done with a pair of Bogens.
  6. Lee, the Velbon Super Mag Slider does just what you described, but the stability, finish and build are ugh.
  7. Ooops, I just remembered, it didn't do that. Sorry for the blooper.

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