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FORUMS General Gear Talk Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support 
Thread started 13 Jul 2017 (Thursday) 19:35
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Tripod for Macro?

 
JaySop
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Jul 15, 2017 18:18 |  #16

Can someone recommend a good ball head? I was looking at the Benro B1 but it has mixed reviews.




  
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peter_n
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Jul 15, 2017 19:22 as a reply to  @ JaySop's post |  #17

Don't get a Benro ballhead. They make decent tripods but their ballheads are lacking. Sirui have an impressive line of value ballheads; take a look at their K-20X, K-30X or K-40X depending on your equipment size & weight.


~Peter

  
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Archibald
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Post edited 11 months ago by Archibald.
     
Jul 15, 2017 19:45 |  #18

I do a lot of macro, mostly bugs and flowers in the field, but also table-top work indoors in the macro studio. For outdoor shooting I never use a tripod. I shoot hand-held, often with diffused flash, but also in natural light. For the indoor work, I use a camera stand, not a tripod. Indoors, tripods are clumsy things and are a tripping hazard. They are not reliable for precise focusing if your floor gives slightly, as was pointed out in a recent thread here at POTN.

A table-top camera stand is very useful for a lot of indoor macro work. You can make your own or buy one. They are expensive, so I made one. You can outfit your stand with a rail and ball-head.

This may or may not be applicable for what you want to do, but I thought I'd describe my solutions.


Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
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Archibald
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Jul 15, 2017 22:12 |  #19

I should add that I own three tripods, but I never use them for macro.


Pentax Spotmatic F with 28/3.5, 50/1.4, 50/1.8, 135/3.5; Canon digital gear
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JaySop
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Jul 15, 2017 22:20 as a reply to  @ peter_n's post |  #20

What actually wrong with the Benro heads? Lot of people say not to get them but I haven't seen much of reasons.




  
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sawsedge
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Jul 15, 2017 22:29 |  #21

Archibald wrote in post #18402940 (external link)
I do a lot of macro, mostly bugs and flowers in the field, but also table-top work indoors in the macro studio. For outdoor shooting I never use a tripod. I shoot hand-held, often with diffused flash, but also in natural light. For the indoor work, I use a camera stand, not a tripod. Indoors, tripods are clumsy things and are a tripping hazard. They are not reliable for precise focusing if your floor gives slightly, as was pointed out in a recent thread here at POTN.

A table-top camera stand is very useful for a lot of indoor macro work. You can make your own or buy one. They are expensive, so I made one. You can outfit your stand with a rail and ball-head.

This may or may not be applicable for what you want to do, but I thought I'd describe my solutions.

I'd love to see what you put together.


- John

  
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Archibald
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Jul 15, 2017 23:04 |  #22

sawsedge wrote in post #18403023 (external link)
I'd love to see what you put together.

Here is my macro camera stand.

It's just a wooden box with plenty of internal bracing, screwed and glued, and has a handle-like thing (double wood and braced) that is used for mounting the head. The box is filled with rocks so it stays put. It is heavy.

On top I have an old Manfrotto ball head (cheap thing but doesn't matter once it has been tightened up) and on top of that the StackShot focusing rail. And on top of that an Arca-Swiss clamp for my lens or camera. Even though the box is square, it stands on three "feet" in the form of largish screw heads. So technically it is a tripod. Actually, three support points are necessary or it's going to wobble.

The contraption has a small footprint, which is an advantage when working indoors.


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I also made one out of the base of an old music stand. It is not as heavy, and has a bigger footprint, so I don't like it as much.


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peter_n
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Jul 16, 2017 12:11 |  #23

JaySop wrote in post #18403019 (external link)
What actually wrong with the Benro heads? Lot of people say not to get them but I haven't seen much of reasons.

Most of the complaints are about droop after lockdown, in other words when you tighten up the main knob the ball doesn't stay locked. There can be a variety of reasons; a poor friction (drag) control, soft aluminum, poor machining, and perhaps in more than a few cases the poor technique of the person using it. Its easy to find information about issues on the internet, this link (external link) was just the first hit on the search term 'benro ballhead problems'.


~Peter

  
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Temma
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Sep 22, 2017 12:20 |  #24

Archibald wrote in post #18403038 (external link)
Here is my macro camera stand.

It's just a wooden box with plenty of internal bracing, screwed and glued, and has a handle-like thing (double wood and braced) that is used for mounting the head. The box is filled with rocks so it stays put. It is heavy.

Mine now resembles yours, only taller (and less stable), with a Wemacro on top. Mine uses an old security camera wall mount thrown out in the '80s by the NASA LeRC.

I've noticed vibration issues, so I'm considering building one like yours, although without a table saw, it's kind of tough.

I may at least start design work this weekend, although I'm more inclined to use lead bird shot than rocks. There's a sporting goods store relatively close by that sells reloading supplies and a bag or two of bird shot shouldn't run me much, as well as being a good stabilizer for my tripod outdoors.




  
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Sep 22, 2017 19:56 |  #25

Temma wrote in post #18457919 (external link)
Mine now resembles yours, only taller (and less stable), with a Wemacro on top. Mine uses an old security camera wall mount thrown out in the '80s by the NASA LeRC.

I've noticed vibration issues, so I'm considering building one like yours, although without a table saw, it's kind of tough.

I may at least start design work this weekend, although I'm more inclined to use lead bird shot than rocks. There's a sporting goods store relatively close by that sells reloading supplies and a bag or two of bird shot shouldn't run me much, as well as being a good stabilizer for my tripod outdoors.

Very good.

There are many ways to build these things. You could bore a hole through a good-sized brick, run a bolt thru it to fasten a head, and put 3 feet on the bottom.

Or make a basket-like thing and pour cement into it for weight.

Show us what you made when it is done.


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
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Post edited 9 months ago by Temma. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 24, 2017 13:13 |  #26

Archibald wrote in post #18458264 (external link)
Very good.

There are many ways to build these things. You could bore a hole through a good-sized brick, run a bolt thru it to fasten a head, and put 3 feet on the bottom.

Or make a basket-like thing and pour cement into it for weight.

Show us what you made when it is done.

I'd really like to get an optical breadboard, but the cost is prohibitive ($300+).

What I might do is use a large block of wood, like a cutting board or butcher block, perhaps combining it with a plain aluminum or steel plat.

[EDIT - Something got lost and then got merged with the below addition.]

I'm thinking about something vaguely like this, a heavy wood/plywood/MDF platform with four 3/8" threaded rods, onto which is affixed another platform adjusted with nuts and washers.



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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 8 months ago by John from PA.
     
Sep 25, 2017 12:39 |  #27

Not much advice from me as to what to get, but I do suggest you try to rent what you decide on, at least initially to test it out. Unless you have "local" exposure to a very large photo equipment supplier then it may be a trial and error situation dealing mail order. These things are a pain to return and expensive to return using common shipment methods.

The people at LensRentals (https://www.lensrental​s.com/ (external link)) rent quite a few tripods. In fact I would recommend you give them a call or email them with your needs and they can help you as well.




  
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Temma
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Oct 13, 2017 10:36 |  #28

Archibald wrote in post #18458264 (external link)
Very good.

There are many ways to build these things. You could bore a hole through a good-sized brick, run a bolt thru it to fasten a head, and put 3 feet on the bottom.

Or make a basket-like thing and pour cement into it for weight.

Show us what you made when it is done.

I actually (at least in the short run) went a different way.

This is a piece of remnant shelving from a home store. Onto that is a mounted via 5/16 threaded sleeve, a tapered furniture foot. Onto that goes a Zomei ballhead. Finally onto that goes my Wemacro and camera.

The subject stage is constructed from 1/2" PVC pipe and a mini ballhead. The subject platform is just a thin wooden sheet with a t-nut glued to the bottom.

So far, it's worked very well.

At first I thought I was having movement issues, but that actually turned out to be dirt on my sensor.

This probably won't be the final version. I'm still balking at $300 for an optical breadboard, but I may replace the board with a thick wooden cutting board, or add a metal plate underneath.


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Archibald
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Oct 13, 2017 12:15 |  #29

Temma wrote in post #18471879 (external link)
I actually (at least in the short run) went a different way.

This is a piece of remnant shelving from a home store. Onto that is a mounted via 5/16 threaded sleeve, a tapered furniture foot. Onto that goes a Zomei ballhead. Finally onto that goes my Wemacro and camera.

The subject stage is constructed from 1/2" PVC pipe and a mini ballhead. The subject platform is just a thin wooden sheet with a t-nut glued to the bottom.

So far, it's worked very well.

At first I thought I was having movement issues, but that actually turned out to be dirt on my sensor.

This probably won't be the final version. I'm still balking at $300 for an optical breadboard, but I may replace the board with a thick wooden cutting board, or add a metal plate underneath.
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forum: Tripods, Monopods & Other Camera Support

Hey, Temma, that looks like a neat macro rig!


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C&C always welcome.
Picture editing OK

  
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Temma
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Oct 13, 2017 12:22 |  #30

Archibald wrote in post #18471935 (external link)
Hey, Temma, that looks like a neat macro rig!

Thanks.

It could be better, but it's the best I've come up with so far, based on experience as I go along.

I'm thinking about replacing the board with a much thicker cutting board (or something similar), if I can get one at a reasonable price.




  
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Tripod for Macro?
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