After some gear browsing a few months ago I took a punt on AliExpress and ordered a cheap $25AU “Foleto 4 way macro focusing rail slider”. There are better, more expensive ones available.
These devices help to fine tune the camera position for close up macro work and aids in focusing on the subject with greater precision instead of adjusting the tripod – which is very clumsy and often frustrating when dealing with minute adjustments, particularly extremely fine focusing required with the Pixco extension tubes I previously featured in THIS post.
While it looks pretty fancy, for the price, I didn’t expect much and while it does do the job, I am somewhat disappointed in the quality of the unit I received. The ad implied it was metal construction, but it is mostly plastic – which does save on weight. Also, the wheel on the top sideways slider is loose and poorly mounted, the gear does not engage properly to move the slider, but it can be pushed manually. I may be able to fix this.
I actually have it mounted back to front in these images – the camera should be pointing the other way around for better balance on the tripod – and the adjustment knobs would be easier to reach – Lesson learnt 🙂
I also added the bubble level to aid set-up.
Also shown in the shots is a cheap remote shutter release ( RS-60E3 HO $4.75AU – ebay) – Canon and Olympus use the same plug, the button can be pressed halfway for auto focus and exposure metering and it has a lock for long exposures and continuous shooting. I went for this over a wireless remote mainly for easier setup and reliability in the field (no batteries), as well as cost – yep, I’m frugal, but I’ve had this for a while now it works well!
These should suit my limited needs for macro photography for now and make it a little easier. If I find I use them more than intended or they fail, I may upgrade down the track, but because of the low cost, I’m not so worried if they get damaged or I lose them.
Photography doesn’t have to be expensive and I hope someone finds this post helpful. Do you have a bargain bit of kit to recommend? Or perhaps something that should be avoided? I’d love to learn from your experiences, please comment below 😀