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Discussion in 'Other Cool Gear, Camera Bags, Camera Straps' started by Glas, Jul 27, 2008.
I have Markins M10 + RRS lever clamp and need help in choosing a macro rail :smile:
I'm using (not very often) a CastelMini by Novoflex.
Its pretty good in that its small and locks extremely well. Downside is its only single axis (no side to side movement).
I use either 1 or 2 Manfrotto 454 Micro Positioning Plate. Movement is very smooth and very precise. One is usually sufficient but, if I want 4-way movement I cross two of them.
I use a Manfrotto 454 macro rail. It isn't very precise as the top plate moves sideways when you turn the main knob, or when you tighten the main lock.
I use a Kaiser micro-positioning plate which is virtually identical to the Manfrotto 454.
I started looking at the different macro rails which people are using and got sidetracked onto the Novoflex Castel-Q (it is 2/3rds of the way down this page: http://www.tripodquickrelease.com/Novoflex_Quick_Releases.htm).
This seems to be quite appealing as - if I understand the descriptions correctly - it is compatible with Arca-Swiss quick-release systems: the rail can be fixed onto a QR clamp, and the moving carriage has a QR compatible clamp (for my camera).
Does anyone have experience of this clamp? I have some nagging doubts about the compatibility of the Novoflex "Q" quick-release system with my RRS gear.
Apologies to Lim for taking this thread a little of topic.
I'm also interested in the Novoflex but the problem I have is that my macro lens has it's own tripod attachment and the orientation on the Novoflex is for cameras and not lenses.
Maybe I will just go for the Kirk long focus rail where I can change the orientation of the clamp.
No apology needed :smile:, I am looking for something that would fit my quick release system as well, I really don't want to remove the RRS plate and clamp if possible ,and use another system e.g. the manfrotto...decision decision :tongue: I'm going to read up on the Novoflex, thanks for bringing it up
I have used the Novoflex Castel-Q focus rail for over three years. It is a good solid product. The mechanism is very smooth without any backlash or wobble. The clamp and rail lock securely. The Arca Swiss clamp is quite narrow, and does not open to allow dropping lens or camera plates into the clamp. Plates must be slid in from either edge. I use RRS L-plates for mounting my cameras directly to the Novoflex rail with shorter lenses like the 60 mm AF Micro. For lenses that have tripod collars, like the 200 mm Micro, I use an RRS LMT mount with their small screw clamp (B2-FAB) attached, inserted into the Arca Swiss clamp on the Novoflex rail. Sliding these rails allows a bit of side to side adjustment without seriously unbalancing the setup.
The entire bottom of the Novoflex Castel-Q is an Arca Swiss type plate, allowing convenient coarse longitudinal adjustment of the rail position. However, this built in Arca Swiss plate is too narrow to lock securely in an RRS lever type clamp. I only use screw type clamps on my tripod (Arca Swiss B1 ball head), so this is not a problem for me (I use an RRS B2 LR clamp on my monopod).
I'm using the Kirk Long Rail Plate...
I use a $49 ebay special fitted with a Markins clamp and plate.
I have issues with it at all, though I haven't tried any of the more expensive options.
Michael, is this the 4 way macro rail like the one Adorama's selling ? Do you mind sharing pics of your set up? :smile:
Yes it is...though I have removed the top rail and use just one. I'll take a few pics tonight
Cheers Michael, appreciate it. I have read it's the same as the one from Kirk
Not from the photos I have seen. They are VERY similar though, and I reckon the Chinese have knocked off the Kirk design. But from photos the Chinese one looks roughly finished, whereas Kirk products are beautifully made. Still, what counts is the smoothness of the movements, and I cannot comment on that.
I haven't used or handled the Kirk focus rail, so I can't comment. The rail I have was originally a four-way rail, and looks the same as the one Adorama sells...except it has a different logo on the front of it. I removed the left/right rail as it just added to the bulk and I never used it.
I added a QR clamp to the top of the rail (from my Markins M20) and a long Wimberly plate to the bottom of the rail for quick mount and removal.
The action is quite smooth. Actually it was under-damped when I purchased it so I added a light layer of lube to the rail. It runs ultra smooth now. The lock holds tight and doesn't impart any creep when twisted.
I have not complaints at all...
Supposedly the same rail that Adorama sells for $175 shipped is the one that Hong Kong and Shanghai dealers on eBay sell for about $54 to $70 shipped. I don't know if it's true or not.
I might give it a shot next spring.
Looking at the pictures here and on eBay they look the same to me. I'm thinking of ordering one and use the same setup with additional QR clamp en lens plate.
Thank you Michael for taking the time to post the pictures, I'll give the ebay one a go :890::681:
Sure thing Lim.
My only complaint with the rig is that by design, and with the addition of the lower plate and top clamp it has significant height to it. A lower profile rig might be more stable, but it seems to be working real well for me.