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Has Anyone Tried These Chinese iShoot Macro Rails?
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thirtyfivemill



Joined: 29 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 2:36 pm    Post subject: Has Anyone Tried These Chinese iShoot Macro Rails? Reply with quote

Looking at a set of these on eBay, at $89 for two (a 4 way system stacked together) the quality "looks" good. I'll use them probably no further than 2:1 on a Manfrotto 410 head for small product and macro. Just wondering if anyone has tried them and if so, are they nice and tight and smooth when used? I was leaning towards a Manfrotto 454 but I've heard a lot about it not being terribly stable.


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Troels



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also be interested in a review of this. It looks very nice and apparently has the potential for being more precise than the Manfrotto 454 rail which is the one I have used for all my field stackings.

With a little extra effort is is possible to use the Manfrotto down to 1/20 mm steps or even smaller with practice. But you should add a little oil and grease at the right places and the locking screew should be adjusted very precisely. And the turning movement should be combined with a uniform, deliberate push in the right direction for every advancement.

The integrated QR Swiss-Arca profiles on top and bottom of this iShoot model are nice additions and should add to the overall stability of the setup. But personally I would never use twoo of theese rails to adjust the camera position. Only one for the stacking procedure.

According to the specifications the movement of this model is 1 mm pr. turn of the screew. That is a little better than the 1,3 mm on the Manfrotto. And both have a clutch for fast movement of the camera.

But - OH - this looks beautiful.

Troels
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thirtyfivemill



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those are my thoughts, Troels. I'm not really looking for a 4 way system and these can be purchased as single units for $50s a piece. For the price, though, I might order a set as a pair as there may be times when that would be useful and mounted together with a Manfrotto 410 you'd have all bases covered on a geared tripod for the kind of small product photography I often shoot. Think I may just order a set but would love to hear from someone here who might have already tried one.
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thirtyfivemill



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just ordered a pair. I'll come back with notes when I've received and tested it.
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does look nice!
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austrokiwi1



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They look like copies of the hejnar rails.
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thirtyfivemill



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

austrokiwi1 wrote:
They look like copies of the hejnar rails.


Yes. Or the Kirk, or the RSS rail. They're all quite similar in design.
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johan



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think they must have used the old version of RSS rails as a template


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thirtyfivemill



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johan wrote:
I think they must have used the old version of RSS rails as a template


Looks about right. Ironically, most of my tripod related equipment is RRS so I was going to replace the upper clamp with an RRS lever release clamp. I think that was a Christmas dream, however, as looking again at the design that won't actually work. Smile
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do any of them have a Quick Release / Clutch on the thread for sliding the carriage, apart from the Manfrotto?
I have an Edmunds which does, but I've never seen another.

I don't know why they nearly all use such skinny knobs - bigger is much better!
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Troels



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both the old Manfrotto 454 and this new (cloned) iShoot rail have a clutch for fast movement of the camera carrige.

And I do agree completely with you on the demand for bigger turning knobs. I have spent hours searching for tubes or bigger knobs with the right size of hole to fit around the tiny knob on my rail.

Troels
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want skinnier knobs. Big knobs prevent these devices from being mounted on big flat things like granite slabs.
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thirtyfivemill



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Do any of them have a Quick Release / Clutch on the thread for sliding the carriage, apart from the Manfrotto?
I have an Edmunds which does, but I've never seen another.

I don't know why they nearly all use such skinny knobs - bigger is much better!


Hi Chris!! Yes, these do have a clutch. It's the small lever on the left of the clamp on the pic at the top.

This is where I got mine, BTW:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/112245836543

There are several more pics and a good description in the ad. With regards the clutch, the idea with the finger grooves is that when you place the fingers of the right hand into them, your thumb should alight on the clutch lever. I'm not sure that still works with a ruddy great DSLR and lens mounted, though. Very Happy
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Troels



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Different replacable knobs would be nice :-)

I think the most important issue for many of us is: Is the camera carriage movement precise or slobby when the carriage moves during a stacking sequence?

The Manfrotto rail is known for being slobby when not locked down. But even the $345 RRS rail gets bad reviews because you have to tighten the carriage lock between each shot to get consistent framings.

The perfect macro stacking rail should work like a linear table without messing with locks.
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thirtyfivemill



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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troels wrote:
Different replacable knobs would be nice :-)

I think the most important issue for many of us is: Is the camera carriage movement precise or slobby when the carriage moves during a stacking sequence?

The Manfrotto rail is known for being slobby when not locked down. But even the $345 RRS rail gets bad reviews because you have to tighten the carriage lock between each shot to get consistent framings.

The perfect macro stacking rail should work like a linear table without messing with locks.


Yup, which is probably why so many go for a Newport or Velmex and mod themselves. I almost went that route but realised last minute that I didn't need micro adjustment. For this project, these will be used simply for framing a single shot with no stacking involved, so micrometer precision and stability wasn't required. That said, the turn ratio is good on these and if they prove to be stable then they'll do that job, too, which would be a great bonus.

@Johan. When mine arrive we could meet up for that coffee we've been threatening and you can take a look?
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