Velbon Macro Slider
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Velbon Macro Slider

I bought mine used from KEH for $31 US, based on the low price and a small photo on Velbon's site. They are available, new, from B&H for $89.95. Since then I've have seen them advertised for sale, used, for $50 to $60.

The unit is reasonably well made, though not up to the quality and smoothness of camera maker single axis units I've used (Olympus {photo}). It does appear to be sufficiently heavy duty for 35 mm work and possibly even MF work, though you do have to tighen up the locking knobs to remove some play. The $139 two axis unit that Adorama sells (often shown in their Popular Photography ad) is likely sturdier, but is also much more costly.

The biggest weakness of the unit is in the play in the long axis. But it shouldn't cause problems if you remember to tighten up the locking knob. The second weak point is the large number of turns it takes in the short direction (see specs below). This can be lived with in such a low cost unit.

Specs (measured):

  • 64 mm of travel in X direction via 2.6 turns of knob (rack and pinion mechanism).

  • 22 mm of travel in Y direction via 13.5 turns of knob (screw drive mechanism).

  • Top cork pad is 58 x 54 mm, with two spring loaded alignment pins 35 mm apart.

  • Tripod screw has 20 mm of adjustment range in slot.

  • Bottom surface is 53 x 98 mm long. Tripod hole is centered.

  • Height is 62 mm, not including tripod screw and alignment pins.

  • Weight is about 700 grams (1.5 lbs).

For 2D macro photography you would mount the camera so that the 64 mm travel is used for focusing and the short travel used for fine framing of the shot (so that you don't have to move your tripod).

For 3D non-macro photography you would mount the camera so that the 64 mm of travel is used to move the camera laterally for the left and right shots. The short travel direction wouldn't be used.

For 3D macro photography either way could be used. The decision depends on whether 22 mm is large enough stereo base (distance between L and R shots). The other axis can be used for fine tuning the focus.

The photo shows the unit fully forward in the X direction and fully to the left in the Y direction.

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