Macro/Tripod work w/ 5D Mark II Inconvenient Setup...

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by jim''s pictures, Nov 14, 2010.

  1. Hello: I have a SLIK Pro700DX Tripod w/ a Manfrotto Pistol grip head. I've inverted the center column of the tripod and screwed the camera in the head in order to take macro shots. Everything seems so inconvenient, however. The camera (w/ a macro light and 100mm lens) hangs directly in the center of the tripod ,and I use the Canon anglefinder C to look through the lens. Because the camera is hanging down I can't use any fine adjustment, as the camera will come crashing down onto the top surface. I'm looking at the top of my camera, through the tripod legs, w/ everything on a chest high table. There must be a better way, perhaps some grip that will get my camera out between the legs of the tripod so I can manipulate things easier. I'm not sure what to look for in tripod grips, if that's what's needed. Any help appreciated, and I apologize if my description seems confusing. I'd really like to take advantage of the macro capabilities of this camera and lens.
    Jim C.
     
  2. I find my Manfrotto 55 legs work fine as they are the XPROB design allowing the centre column to be slide sideways out of the way. I find that a fine focusing rail mounted on the head allows the best approach to Macro (I use Manfrotto) helps a lot with focusing.
     
  3. That's what I need! I see on the Adorama site one for $160..You mention a 'fine focusing rail' Is that part of the tripod or a specific head. Thanks for you help from a beginner...
     
  4. I also use a Manfrotto with the same capabilities for closeup work. Mine is the 4-section carbon fiber model and it's wonderful. With that setup, using LiveView magnified 5X or 10X give me the most accurate focusing. I believe that the 5DMK2 has that capability.
    ME
     
  5. A tripod mount for the lens would be handy too... you could spin it around so the camera would be right side up. That would make it a lot easier to use.
    Some people find the Benbo tripods are good for low-to-ground work, or tabletop work. Others say using a Benbo is like wrestling an octopus. I've never used one, but they intrigue me.
     
  6. If you are looking for portability, the Manfrotto 55 XPROB is a little on the heavy side. Excellent tripod, I use mine for indoor/studio shots. Just make sure you counterweight the center column when it's in the horizontal position to prevent it from tipping over.
    If you're going to take it out, you may want to find something a little more lightweight. I have a Velbon carbon fiber tripod that has a center column that unscrews, making it very short. The short center column allows the legs to be splayed at near horizontal and gets the camera close enough to the ground for most purposes. I use it with an Acratech ballhead. Very lightweight combo.
     
  7. For low-hight shots consider Manfrotto 55 NAT series - they can go as low as 7 or 11cm (don't remember exactly) with central column removed, excluding hight of the head. I have one which is 9 years old and find it adequate for low-angle shots. For fine adjustment geared Manfrotto 205 head is really great. When I've got this one I've basically stopped using ballhead (I shoot mostly architecture and landscapes).
     
  8. I have that same Slik tripod that I use for studio work and when shooting with my large lenses. For macro work or when hiking through the outdoors I've found the Manfrotto 190XPROB is hard to beat. I position the column horizontal when doing copy or macro work; vertical for most other things. See photos.
     
  9. I have that same Slik tripod that I use for studio work and when shooting with my large lenses. For macro work or when hiking through the outdoors I've found the Manfrotto 190XPROB is hard to beat. I position the column horizontal when doing copy or macro work; vertical for most other things. See photos.
    00XgVo-302325584.jpg
     
  10. Sorry for the multiple posts. I couldn't figure how to insert two photos in the same post.
    00XgVv-302327784.jpg
     
  11. Can you get the tripod closer to the table? Can you put one leg on top of the table (horizontal, not extended) while two extend to the ground? I'm not quite sure I have visualized this setup well, but you should not need to invert the centerpost.
    If you need to go low, get a tripod that can go low. Inverting them is no fun at all. Consider cutting the centerpost to size.
    My Gitzo 3530 can spread out flat, each leg can be set independently, and I can remove the centerpost entirely. I also cut the post to a reasonable length... it gives me about 4" of travel which is enough to make adjustments without getting in the way or giving up stability. It usually goes low enough without having to remove the centerpost (but I still have that option). I also use a strong arca-swiss compatible ballhead (Kirk BH-1), and I'm about to get a tripod collar for my 100mm macro. The pistol grips I've seen are not very strong and are unbalanced when tilted.
     
  12. I have a friend who uses an old Bolex small and low contraption called a 'praying mantis'. It is a really lightweight aluminum tripod designed specifically for macro photography low to the ground. Very light and can be set up for a lot of shots easily. I have seen a few on classified ads for under $50 from time to time. They were made for Bolex movie cameras but work real well for still macro and close up photography.
     
  13. the SLIK Pro700DX Tripod is way to bulky for close up work. I own one but I purchased it more for it's height 74" and load capacity than for anything else. This tripod is huge and heavy 7 1/2 lbs so I mostly use it to focus my 4X5 camera in the studio. Walking in the field with such a beast would require taking allot of short breaks, or a strong back. Currently for low close up work I use a Slik Mini tripod with ball head http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=Slik Sprint Mini Tripod with Ballhead&N=0
    Unfortunately it can only handle 4.4lbs. The Manfrotto 190XPROB looks like a good alternative though, Steven thanks for posting the pic.
     
  14. Check out the RRS macros focusing rail and other stuff. Download their catalog pdf to get ideas. I use a gitzo explorer tripod, forget the number, but I rarely am down at ground level, maybe waist level or higher shooting at a small hanging flower, etc. I have the rrs panoramic swivel thingy mabob which slides makeshift like a macro rail, but the rrs macro rail is next on my list. Its a step above the Bogen model. I would never hang a 5d upside down (i use the 100 macro also). I don't miss screwing the bogen or gitzo adapter plates into my camera body, they never were secure.
     
  15. Jim - I just use the Manfrotto micrometric sliding plate (about $85) it gives precise movement in one plane (two will give you movement in both planes). I find this plate meets my needsbut others such as the RRS one WT mentions are much more sophisticated. If you want to shoot macro (and especially for focus stacking) a macro rail is essential. I have only really played with focus stacking but I was impressed by how easy it is in CS5 and how good the results are.
     
  16. If anyone is seriously interested in a Bolex Praying Mantis there is one corrently on offer on eBay for $144. Looks to be complete, but only a Bolex affectionado will know for sure.
     
  17. Thanks, Chas. I just had a look at it. Wild. Now I have to find some specs, see what it can support.
     
  18. i took a look at the bolex on ebay, since I'd never heard of it. It looks unstable to me, from an elementary physics standpoint. The seller has a p&s digicam shown on it for display which is a lot lighter than your rig. Maybe I'm wrong, I've never handled or used one.
     
  19. Thanks for all the help!...In searching all the suggestions I came across this...
    Alzo 100 table top studio http://alzodigital.com/online_store/Alzo_100_macro_studio.htm
    I don't care about the lights but the camera support is what I want, it seems easier then working w/ a tripod. . Has anyone had any experience w/ this set up? Any other camera supports I see start at over $500...(Manfrotto, etc)...
     
  20. Thanks for all the help!...In searching all the suggestions I came across this...
    Alzo 100 table top studio http://alzodigital.com/online_store/Alzo_100_macro_studio.htm
    I don't care about the lights but the camera support is what I want, it seems easier then working w/ a tripod. . Has anyone had any experience w/ this set up? Any other camera supports I see start at over $500...(Manfrotto, etc)...
     

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