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Thread started 25 Apr 2017 (Tuesday) 11:36
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Macro Table

 
Temma
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Post has been edited 7 months ago by Temma.
Apr 25, 2017 11:36 |  #1

I'm in the process of cleaning up my living room where I do my macrophotography.

I've been doing my photography on a card table with a sheet of plywood on top of it. On the plywood are clamped my lights and camera mount.

Behind my card table against the wall is a filing cabinet on top of which is a large (bigger and thicker than the plywood sheet) sheet of particle board.

This board was formerly mounted on this and an identical filing cabinet, and used for years as a computer desk.

I'm considering retiring the card table. In its place I would restore the second filing cabinet and using the combination as a photography table.

This would give me significantly more space, as well as an even more stable work surface onto which the lights and camera could be clamped. In addition, this would give me storage space for tools and accessories.

I however have some concerns:


  1. The filing cabinets are sheet metal. While they're sturdy, should I be concerned with vibration?
  2. The tops of the filing cabinets are smooth metal. The top is quite heavy, but it can be slid. Would the addition of rubber strips/feet be sufficient to prevent movement (and possibly vibration)? In addition, I could glue/screw wooden cleats to the bottom of the sheet. Would this be sufficient.

Ultimately, I plan to build a purpose built macro table out of thick plywood and plumbing pipe. However, my most recent job contract expired last week, so I can't afford to spend much money.

Any comments, concerns or suggestions?



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Archibald
You must be quackers!
Archibald's Avatar
Joined May 2008
Calgary
Apr 25, 2017 11:49 |  #2

Temma wrote in post #18338058 (external link)
I'm in the process of cleaning up my living room where I do my macrophotography.

I've been doing my photography on a card table with a sheet of plywood on top of it. On the plywood are clamped my lights and camera mount.

Behind my card table against the wall is a filing cabinet on top of which is a large (bigger and thicker than the plywood sheet) sheet of particle board.

This board was formerly mounted on this and an identical filing cabinet, and used for years as a computer desk.

I'm considering retiring the card table. In its place I would restore the second filing cabinet and using the combination as a photography table.

This would give me significantly more space, as well as an even more stable work surface onto which the lights and camera could be clamped. In addition, this would give me storage space for tools and accessories.

I however have some concerns:

  1. The filing cabinets are sheet metal. While they're sturdy, should I be concerned with vibration?
  2. The tops of the filing cabinets are smooth metal. The top is quite heavy, but it can be slid. Would the addition of rubber strips/feet be sufficient to prevent movement (and possibly vibration)? In addition, I could glue/screw wooden cleats to the bottom of the sheet. Would this be sufficient.

Ultimately, I plan to build a purpose built macro table out of thick plywood and plumbing pipe. However, my most recent job contract expired last week, so I can't afford to spend much money.

Any comments, concerns or suggestions?

Hard to know without seeing exactly what you are doing, but I think you should be fine, provided the working surface is sturdy and doesn't flex. Everything on the board will move together, so even if the board sways a bit, it should not affect your macro photography. If there is a source of vibration, that could be different though, depending.


Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
C&C always welcome.
Picture editing OK

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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Apr 25, 2017 11:53 |  #3

Archibald wrote in post #18338067 (external link)
Hard to know without seeing exactly what you are doing, but I think you should be fine, provided the working surface is sturdy and doesn't flex. Everything on the board will move together, so even if the board sways a bit, it should not affect your macro photography. If there is a source of vibration, that could be different though, depending.

I've got a bunch of junk to get off of the particle board top first, so it'll be a few days before I'm ready to put the other filing cabinet underneath it.

Regarding vibrations, I hope that sufficiently thick rubber feet/sheet between top and filing cabinets would ameliorate that.




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Nogo
I could have been worse....
Joined Dec 2013
All Along the Natchez Trace (Clinton, MS)
Post has been edited 7 months ago by Nogo.
Apr 25, 2017 11:56 |  #4

If the table is large enough you can always dampen the vibrations with weight. Just put something solid and heavy on the parts of the table that are unused and it will reduce vibrations. If you are going to count on this just make sure to beef up the base sufficiently.


Philip
Does the TF actually know about the soda cans and PVC pipe from 30 years ago?

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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Apr 25, 2017 12:02 |  #5

Nogo wrote in post #18338073 (external link)
If the table is large enough you can always dampen the vibrations with weight. Just put something solid and heavy on the parts of the table that are unused and it will reduce vibrations. If you are going to count on this just make sure to beef up the base sufficiently.

In what way would you do this? Lifting weights? Sandbags? This will sit on a couple of sheet metal filing cabinets.




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Nogo
I could have been worse....
Joined Dec 2013
All Along the Natchez Trace (Clinton, MS)
Apr 25, 2017 12:52 as a reply to Temma's post |  #6

I would use whatever would work that would be easy to store. If you have something heavy setting around already such as old style TV that may be all you need.


Philip
Does the TF actually know about the soda cans and PVC pipe from 30 years ago?

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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Post has been edited 7 months ago by Temma.
Apr 25, 2017 13:08 |  #7

Nogo wrote in post #18338124 (external link)
I would use whatever would work that would be easy to store. If you have something heavy setting around already such as old style TV that may be all you need.

Anything I'm likely to use isn't going to be storable. It's just going to sit in the living room, whether it's the filing cabinets and top, a desk or a plywood and plumbing pipe table. I've accepted that and am willing to live with it.




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Archibald
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Joined May 2008
Calgary
Apr 25, 2017 13:56 |  #8

I wouldn't worry about vibrations unless you find that there even are vibrations that are affecting your macro work.

And if there are vibrations, maybe just fix the board to the wall. Unless the wall is also vibrating. But we are inventing problems, aren't we?


Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
C&C always welcome.
Picture editing OK

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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Apr 25, 2017 18:13 |  #9

Archibald wrote in post #18338195 (external link)
I wouldn't worry about vibrations unless you find that there even are vibrations that are affecting your macro work.

The major problem which I ran into was movement of the floor, causing the table and tripod to move relative to each other. Making a fixture for the camera and clamping it to the same sheet of plywood on which the subject sits fixed that.

Archibald wrote in post #18338195 (external link)
And if there are vibrations, maybe just fix the board to the wall. Unless the wall is also vibrating. But we are inventing problems, aren't we?

I live in an apartment, so that's not feasible. My concern about vibrations comes mainly from living across the street from the interstate and the occasional bump from the apartment upstairs.

I think that preventing movement of the top relative to the filing cabinets is a greater concern. Rubber feet/strips between the top and the cabinets ought to eliminate both.




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Archibald
You must be quackers!
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Joined May 2008
Calgary
Apr 25, 2017 18:20 |  #10

Temma wrote in post #18338419 (external link)
The major problem which I ran into was movement of the floor, causing the table and tripod to move relative to each other. Making a fixture for the camera and clamping it to the same sheet of plywood on which the subject sits fixed that.

Totally. I would not use a tripod in a macro studio. Too unwieldy, tripping hazard, not very steady. Rig up a camera stand and place the camera on it. Maybe that's what your "fixture" is.


Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
C&C always welcome.
Picture editing OK

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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Apr 25, 2017 19:27 |  #11

Archibald wrote in post #18338430 (external link)
Rig up a camera stand and place the camera on it. Maybe that's what your "fixture" is.

Already done. I've gotten much better results since I did.




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NoLight
Senior Member
Joined Apr 2005
Texas
Apr 26, 2017 14:54 |  #12

We need pics of this setup!!




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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Apr 27, 2017 11:02 |  #13

NoLight wrote in post #18339272 (external link)
We need pics of this setup!!

Here are pictures of the current tabletop fixture:

I will eventually probably make something even more substantial.

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NoLight
Senior Member
Joined Apr 2005
Texas
May 01, 2017 15:44 |  #14

Nice!!




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Temma
THREAD ­ STARTER
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
May 01, 2017 17:15 |  #15

NoLight wrote in post #18343760 (external link)
Nice!!

Thanks.

It's decent in the short run, but I'm considering something a little more massive and with a bigger footprint.

I've been throwing a bunch of stuff out since last week so that I can move from the plywood sheet on the card table to a pre-existing particle board table top of the same size, but at least twice the thickness. Today I bought a roll of shelf liner to go between the table top and the filing cabinets on top of which it sits, so that it doesn't move.




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Macro Table
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