Show us your macro rig

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10,925
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Alf
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Keep seeing these on amazon, there are various different brands, and some with 3 lights and some with 2. Worth a punt? Or just too cheap to be any good?

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product...6-5d13-4277-941a-22d2451d77f4&pf_rd_i=desktop



https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product...6-5d13-4277-941a-22d2451d77f4&pf_rd_i=desktop
I suspect not like the LED ring lights at that kind of price

This one is I believe

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LAOWA-Venu...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=FM87Q4M0RJZKHMC9DY5X
 
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10,925
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Alf
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I am looking for the simplest, most useful way to attach a camera to a tripod, what do you suggest, please?
That would depend on what type shooting you want to do.For stacking you will want a focus rail I suppose.

I presume you mean what type of tripod head.

I do not use a tripod for macro myself.
 
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731
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Jon
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I suspect not like the LED ring lights at that kind of price

This one is I believe

https://www.amazon.co.uk/LAOWA-Venu...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=FM87Q4M0RJZKHMC9DY5X
Thanks Alf. That's my suspicion too. I've seen the KX800 and that gave me the biggest alarm bell on the other lights, that they are something like 1/10th of the price of that. But the small amount of close-up stuff I do, I couldn't justify that sort of purchase. Not when I don't even have a genuine macro lens! *

I was just wondering if these lights might be better than nothing. I think a better idea might be to take inspiration from some the rigs on this thread, and go in a similar direction.

* I've a Sigma 17-70 which says macro on it but only has 1:2 magnification I believe, I've also experimented a bit last summer with tubes on my Nikkor 70-300, which for spooky subjects like butterflies I found better as you don't have to get as close.
 
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799
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Paul
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Its been awhile!
Ive just recently "updated" my home made Pringles Diffusers. These are made specifically for my Panny FZ50 camera.
This camera has a fixed lens(zooms internally) so no fouling/touching the Diffusers, by any movement/zooming in an out of the lens.
The camera has a Raynox 250 macro lens attached, an this set up is mainly for anything small in the garden.
Such as Bees/Wasps, Dragonflies/Damselflies, an any other Bugs i might find.
I might take these new Diffusers out in the field, for wild Reptiles too, but because of the Diffusers size!! i will need to hone my field craft/skills!
Just have to wait for the 2018 season to kick off properly...I have already seen/photographed 3 species of Butterfly, 1 male Adder (Vipera berus) an several Common Lizards.
But obviously didnt have this new set up to hand, so cant wait to try out these new Diffusers!

Some pics then, cheers Paul.................Oh, i ran out of Black Gaffer Tape, so the twin Diffuser looks a bit rough/raw right now!!

Pringles Diffuser, Mark 3. (side on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Diffuser, Mark 3. (front on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Twin-Diffuser, Mark 4. (side on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Twin-Diffuser, Mark 4. (front on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Twin-Diffuser, Mark 4. (rear).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr
 
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6,678
Name
Graham
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Its been awhile!
Ive just recently "updated" my home made Pringles Diffusers. These are made specifically for my Panny FZ50 camera.
This camera has a fixed lens(zooms internally) so no fouling/touching the Diffusers, by any movement/zooming in an out of the lens.
The camera has a Raynox 250 macro lens attached, an this set up is mainly for anything small in the garden.
Such as Bees/Wasps, Dragonflies/Damselflies, an any other Bugs i might find.
I might take these new Diffusers out in the field, for wild Reptiles too, but because of the Diffusers size!! i will need to hone my field craft/skills!
Just have to wait for the 2018 season to kick off properly...I have already seen/photographed 3 species of Butterfly, 1 male Adder (Vipera berus) an several Common Lizards.
But obviously didnt have this new set up to hand, so cant wait to try out these new Diffusers!

Some pics then, cheers Paul.................Oh, i ran out of Black Gaffer Tape, so the twin Diffuser looks a bit rough/raw right now!!

Pringles Diffuser, Mark 3. (side on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Diffuser, Mark 3. (front on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Twin-Diffuser, Mark 4. (side on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Twin-Diffuser, Mark 4. (front on).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr

Pringles Twin-Diffuser, Mark 4. (rear).
by Testudo Man, on Flickr
Bloody hell that's some setup but can't wait to see what results you get.
PS, same here, season is very slow to start, too much bloody rain, it should be near to 18-20 degs now, today, we're lucky to get 12 with clouds
 
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799
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Paul
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Bloody hell that's some setup but can't wait to see what results you get.
PS, same here, season is very slow to start, too much bloody rain, it should be near to 18-20 degs now, today, we're lucky to get 12 with clouds
Cheers mate, these latest Diffusers are a bit extreme in size/shape...I think i might have pushed the boundaries a little, and im sure to get some weird looks off the public(out in the field) but who cares, if they work well, than thats all that matters. To be fair, these larger diffusers were made for my garden Bugs really.

Yes, the start of this season has not been good, the weather/climate here is pants for sure. I think we will need to get half way through April, to see the wildlife emerge properly.
 
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368
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I have just upgraded to a wemacro rail and stand to replace a variety of home made contraptions. So far very pleased with it though I have had to make a few tweaks. This is it in vertical and horizontal mode. The camera is Sony A7M2, lens is a Canon A02 microfiche lens. Lighting is generally by free standing LED arrays on flexible arms though the Magic Arm shown on the rig is good for diffused flash and I may add a second arm. Control is from laptop or Android table and rail can be powered by battery (box and charger is part of kit) or mains adapter.


 
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3,394
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Chris
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I have just upgraded to a wemacro rail and stand to replace a variety of home made contraptions. So far very pleased with it though I have had to make a few tweaks. This is it in vertical and horizontal mode. The camera is Sony A7M2, lens is a Canon A02 microfiche lens. Lighting is generally by free standing LED arrays on flexible arms though the Magic Arm shown on the rig is good for diffused flash and I may add a second arm. Control is from laptop or Android table and rail can be powered by battery (box and charger is part of kit) or mains adapter.


What's the stand - is it something you made our bought ?
 
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6,678
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Graham
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3,116
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My rigs started as a fairly simple macro lens + extension tubes but expanded.

Now there are two rigs, one for using out side consisting of a Sony 90mm macro lens and if needed a Novoflex macro rail, the other though is a little more complicated.
It's using my same Sony A7RM3 camera but with an LA-EA3 adaptor fitted to it, which then fits onto a set of Novoflex Minolta AF fit bellows designed for use with the Dynax 7000/9000 camera's, (They have the AF contacts at both the camera and lens end) Of course as we know Minolta AF = Sony A mount fit, so they do fit and work with Sony A mount lenses and adaptors. On the end is my older Sigma 50mm F2.8 Macro in Sony A mount.

The bellows work well without issue and where a cracking find, picked them up for £75 on eBay the other week, same with the LA-EA3 adaptor (£70) and the Sigma lens (£115)

Lights are two TT350s Flash guns + X1Ts controller.

DSCF6222.jpg


DSCF6220.jpg
 
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368
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Good idea using A mount lenses, I have LA-EA3 and 4 but had not thought of using auto bellows, mine are universal BPM dating from 60's/70's and I use either Olympus OM or microfiche lenses, both completely manual. I also use a 200mm 'tube' lens with the fiche lenses. I'm just considering buying a microscope x10 objective. Fiche lenses are a real bargain, I bought a job lot of 20 for under £50. Some were unsuitable but the adaptable ones are flat field and can be used with bellows or, in many cases, with a tube lens.

My outside rig is similar to yours though focus rail is a Chinese x-y job and I use a pistol grip ball head.
 
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799
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Paul
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Bloody hell that's some setup but can't wait to see what results you get.
PS, same here, season is very slow to start, too much bloody rain, it should be near to 18-20 degs now, today, we're lucky to get 12 with clouds
Ok, so 1st try with all my new Pringles diffusers...Ive spent some time in my garden finding small creatures to test. Ive also made another diffuser too! my latest one is a bit different, its made to wrap(slightly) around my chosen small subjects, its concave in shape. Early days yet, but it looks like i will have to add another layer of material to the 2 layers of all but the twin diffuser. Because whilst trying different flash settings, its still a bit bright with just 2 layers of diffuser material. With the twin diffuser, 2 layers is fine, because the on-board flash is having to spread the flash in 2 directions. I might also try some kitchen roll, as a layer of diffuser material?

Anyway, its all "trial an error", here is an image of a very small "Jumper" using the twin diffuser. Ive found a few spiders in my garden to test.
"School Boy" error with this image though, i always shoot at max f/11 with my Panny FZ50, but for some reason, i shot this at f/8??!! This image would have been better at f/11.
You can see the twin diffuser reflections in the spiders eyes.
Cheers Paul.

Jumping Spider(very small!) garden photo. Twin Diffuser used. 1st-April-2018.
by Testudo Man, on Flickr
 
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6,678
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Graham
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368
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I have adapted the mount on my USB microscope to be used on the wemacro rail purchased recently. However the microscope required a mouse click on a software button to take a picture so could not be operated directly from the wemacro control box.

So, in true Cap'n Bodge-it fashion I knocked up a simple pcb interface




OK, it's an old mouse with the LH microswitch wired to tip and body of a 2.5mm stereo jack (ring is earthed at source)

Now I can set the microscope software up, use the normal mouse or trackpad to point at the screen 'button' and the wemacro controller provides the left clicks to take pictures at each step. Works well.





 
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1,110
Name
T
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Ok, so 1st try with all my new Pringles diffusers...Ive spent some time in my garden finding small creatures to test. Ive also made another diffuser too! my latest one is a bit different, its made to wrap(slightly) around my chosen small subjects, its concave in shape. Early days yet, but it looks like i will have to add another layer of material to the 2 layers of all but the twin diffuser. Because whilst trying different flash settings, its still a bit bright with just 2 layers of diffuser material. With the twin diffuser, 2 layers is fine, because the on-board flash is having to spread the flash in 2 directions. I might also try some kitchen roll, as a layer of diffuser material?

Anyway, its all "trial an error", here is an image of a very small "Jumper" using the twin diffuser. Ive found a few spiders in my garden to test.
"School Boy" error with this image though, i always shoot at max f/11 with my Panny FZ50, but for some reason, i shot this at f/8??!! This image would have been better at f/11.
You can see the twin diffuser reflections in the spiders eyes.
Cheers Paul.

Jumping Spider(very small!) garden photo. Twin Diffuser used. 1st-April-2018.
by Testudo Man, on Flickr
I use the pringle tube as well with only the opaque cap as a diffuser.
What material do you use as a diffuser ?
 
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204
Name
Conrad
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The set looks impressive : )
Well, as I already had the flash units (Canon 580EX2), it was just a case of getting a bracket from eBay and an off-camera cord for one of them, then cobbling together the diffusers, which I've attached to cheap (less than £2 from eBay) 3rd party plastic small diffusers which fit over the flash head. This makes it really easy to add/remove the diffusers.

The second flash is triggered by the first optically, and is set up as a slave in an A-B group config. This allows the brightness ratio of the flashes to be adjusted. Initial results seem to look good with a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio, and the ETTL metering still works pretty well.

It's not perfect and I'm on the lookout for a different bracket and will make some more diffusers which are significantly shorter to allow closer focussing using an extension tube or possibly Raynox lens, but for use with just the 100mm macro lens on its own, it works pretty well:

fly_b
by conradsphotos, on Flickr
 
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4,200
Name
Laurence
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For a long time I've been keen to get back into macro but my attempts to build a rig that didn't quickly degenerate into a revolving windmill were frustrated at every turn. I've now discovered the Smallrig cage for my E-m1 Mkii.
https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-cage-for-olympus-e-m1-mark-ii-2086.html
My main problem was mounting a flash gun using my existing Novoflex flexible arm. However trying to incorporate that into the rig finished in flailing disaster.
Enter the Smallrig cage. It fits onto the body very securely and in turn mounts onto the tripod head firmly. As it has threaded holes all over the place I can securely position the flexible arm where I want it. This didn't address the flashgun issue. I then discovered the Manfrotto Lumimuse 6. This gives me a continuous light source which is better for focus bracketing. It's very light and compact which avoids the windmill effect.
All I have to do is re-learn macro focus bracketing with this camera, this could take some time:D

 
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238
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I work with perspex and we quite often get opal acrylic offcuts, we use them for defusing LED lights in display cases, so I can cut to almost any size ( these being offcuts, under A3 size) and I can get them in 028, 030, 040, 050, and in thickness 3mm/5mm/6mm/8mm/10mm so if anybody wants some let me know
and when some offcuts are available I shall keep them, just pay postage.
 
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81
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alastair
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Hi, Ive just put a
Cognisys Stack Shot Macro Rail Package and a
Novoflex CASTBAL T/S Bellows and CASTEL-Q focusing rack plus extras in the Classifieds accesories and misc section if anyone is interested
Cheers

Alastair
 
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717
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the problem with some of these rigs can be getting in tight into the bushes without scaring off your subject. Recently I've switched to an Oly EM10 Mk2 with a 40-150mm lens and a Raynox250. I have one of my Sony flashes attached to an adaptor and then an extension cable - this is set on manual. Then I hold the camera in one hand and hold the flash in the other. The small light nature of m4/3's make this a great technique and allows me the option to get closer/further away with the flash and also vary the angle.

I still use my homemade ice cream tub diffuse on the flash.
 
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81
Name
alastair
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Finally got round to taking some pics of the Cognisys Stack Shot Macro Rail Package and a
Novoflex CASTBAL T/S Bellows and CASTEL-Q focusing rack plus extras. They are in the Classifieds accesories and misc section if anyone has an interest.
 
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1,748
Name
Soeren
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Need a little help with a more flexible arm/mount that will hold this one?
Alternative ways of attachment so I don't waste my tripod mount would be nice too. Other that that it seems to work quite well.


2019_0327_16465600.jpg 2019_0327_16470600.jpg
 
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14
Name
Hans
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Hi
This my setup, sb-900 as salve/remote.
105mm f/4 on d7000 equal to ~150mm and PN-11 pushes to true 1:1
have to buy tripod and still dont know what to buy




 

GarethB

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2,303
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I don't even know anymore!
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Here's my rig....

Canon 7DmkII + battery grip + Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro + 38mm extension tube.
The flash rig is a Joby Ultraplate beneath the camera, which has two friction arms attached, onto which I have two Yongnuo 560 IV speedlights with Metz mini softboxes.
It's really only suitable for tri/monopod use, but is only just hand holdable!

I haven't been using it that long so far, but it's going quite well....except that it's pretty it's heavy!
Might try to reduce weight by using one flash and losing the battery grip.


macro rig 1
by Gareth Bellamy, on Flickr


macro rig 2
by Gareth Bellamy, on Flickr


macro rig 3
by Gareth Bellamy, on Flickr
 
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71
Name
John
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I use a Sony A55 with a SIgma 35-85mm Macro lens. I do a fair amount of Focus Stacking, so I have devised this simple rig, made from stiff card and glue, to allow me to move the plane of focus by small, regular increments.
There are two components:
  • One rotates and surrounds the front of the lens. This is graduated in arbitrary tick marks. It also has a series of cog-like tabs at the side to facilitate rotation.
  • The other surrounds the focusing barrel of the lens, and has a pointer.
I begin by focusing on a near point, then on a far point, then I take a series of pictures, adjusting the focus by the same amount each time, typically 10-16 images.
FocusRings800.jpg
I have since replaced my Sigma macro lens with a Tamron 100mm macro lens so I will need to recreate my cardboard rings.
Here is an image of a heap of Medlars stacked from ten images.
FocusStacked800.jpg
 
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6,678
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Graham
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That`s weird but if it works, then hey ho.
 
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137
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Robert
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No photo but my rig is evolving... Sony A7, tamron 90mm f2.5 so plus matched 2x adapter (new purchase so need to learn this) tripod and macro focussing rail. Also have +4 macro filter to play with. Need to then look at lighting which at the moment would be 2x off camera flashes fired by remote trigger but may be in the market for ring flash....
 
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159
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Peter
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Here's my rig....

Canon 7DmkII + battery grip + Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro + 38mm extension tube.
The flash rig is a Joby Ultraplate beneath the camera, which has two friction arms attached, onto which I have two Yongnuo 560 IV speedlights with Metz mini softboxes.
It's really only suitable for tri/monopod use, but is only just hand holdable!

I haven't been using it that long so far, but it's going quite well....except that it's pretty it's heavy!
Might try to reduce weight by using one flash and losing the battery grip.


macro rig 1
by Gareth Bellamy, on Flickr


macro rig 2
by Gareth Bellamy, on Flickr


macro rig 3
by Gareth Bellamy, on Flickr
Nice set up what make are the friction arms ?
 
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5,589
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Nick
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Here is the kit I am planning on using this year.

There are more photos and information in this post in my "Journey" thread.

Flowers, buds, seed pods etc, Panasonic G9 with Olympus 60mm macro.


1595 1 G9 with 60mm macro and X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Medium sized invertebrates (flies, wasps, bees and similar sized subjects) using flash, Panasonic FZ200 with Venus Optics KX800 twin flash and Raynox 150 and 250 close-up lenses.


1595 4 FZ200 with Raynox 150 and KX800 twin flash
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr

Small invertebrates (springtails and similar sized subjects) using flash, Panasonic G9 with KX800 and Raynox 202 and (possibly) 505 close-up lenses.


1595 8 G9 with KX800 and MSN-202
by gardenersassistant, on Flickr
 
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6,825
Name
Robin
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I'm a gear slut and like to put together kit which enables me the most - I only shoot wildlife and always RAW. For macro I am obviously shooting on a dedicated designed-for-purpose macro lens and it's mounted on my Olympus E-M1X which has the option of onboard Focus Stacking when circumstances allow. I sometimes add a circular polarising filter (as shown in my pic).

The camera is mounted on my Gitzo carbon Traveller monopod via a Really Right Stuff Quick Release lever clamp and the Arca-Swiss profile plate attached to my camera body is made by Peak Design and so has quick release loops for my Peak Design Slide Lite strap.

All this results in me being able to carry my macro rig hands free and I can extend my monopod as needed and anyway use it as a pistol grip to help keep everything as steady as possible.

It also means that I can easily carry my second E-M1X with telephoto lens mounted - 840mm reach at my fingertips for other wildlife (such as Otters and Kingfishers!! If Lady Lucy Luck comes with me).

Macro Rig_2119.JPG
 
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