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Old Jun 30, 2010, 12:11 PM   #1
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Hi All,
I was recently offered a Velbon D-500 tripod with a Vel-flo 7 panhead, it had been used in a local factory in one of their processes, and the factory has now closed. When I received the unit it was obvious that it had had a hard life, it took a lot of cleaning up, and in the process I found that it couldn't be locked in it's open position, the locking screw being broken off, similarly the thread that houses the panhead locking screw is cracked, and you can't lock the head horizontally, fortunately the head is a fluid damped model meant more for smooth video pan shots, so that's less of a problem. After cleaning and some improvisation the unit is now useable.
The recent macro activity on the board inspired me to try the above, and the slide rails acquired in the winter, and shoot a few macros around my garden (yard). some results have been posted here ...

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/cl...liderails.html

The results are fine I think, I'm pleased with the tripod and rails setup (pic attached). One thing that worries me is that I'm struggling to see the settings in the viewfinder to set exposure with a manual lens, I think the old peepers are getting past it. Will carry on while I can, I can always fall back onto an "A" lens, though I do love the Vivitar 90mm/2.8, it is a superb quality piece of kit. ... Jack.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 2:07 PM   #2
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I'm disappointed Jack, I was expecting some macro shots!
Sorry about the broken part of the tripod but, hey- the price was right.
I know what you mean about the ol' eyes goin... same here.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 2:12 PM   #3
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Jachol. I also have problems seeing clear focus using manual because of my awful eyesight (I usually wear contacts as I had my eyes lasered back in 1985 and I have been told it would be difficult to do it again otherwise I would in a flash).
So I ordered a new focus screen (US$50 I think it was - much cheaper than a Katzeye), which took me less than 90 secs to install, and now I have a great split prism, rule of thirds lines, and there is of course the focus confirmation beep (which I have to remember seems to front focus just a tiny bit) & the visual aid, the green dot. Add to that a x2 angle finder I use occasionally, and I now plan to pick up a new x1.3 or x1.7 eyepiece next week (I'll try them first to see which seems to work better). So far I'm finding all that a great improvement / aid to manual focusing.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 2:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
I'm disappointed Jack, I was expecting some macro shots!
Sorry about the broken part of the tripod but, hey- the price was right.
I know what you mean about the ol' eyes goin... same here.
GW ... Just click the link, the macros are there ... J
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 2:36 PM   #5
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Jachol. I also have problems seeing clear focus using manual because of my awful eyesight (I usually wear contacts as I had my eyes lasered back in 1985 and I have been told it would be difficult to do it again otherwise I would in a flash).
So I ordered a new focus screen (US$50 I think it was - much cheaper than a Katzeye), which took me less than 90 secs to install, and now I have a great split prism, rule of thirds lines, and there is of course the focus confirmation beep (which I have to remember seems to front focus just a tiny bit) & the visual aid, the green dot. Add to that a x2 angle finder I use occasionally, and I now plan to pick up a new x1.3 or x1.7 eyepiece next week (I'll try them first to see which seems to work better). So far I'm finding all that a great improvement / aid to manual focusing.
Hi Frogfish,
Thanks for your comments, but the problem is not with focussing, what I have trouble seeing when outside in bright light are the illuminated settings in the bottom of the viewfinder ... with the custom settings I use, and with camera set to manual function I set the aperture I require on the lens, I then set exposure by observing the EV setting at bottom right in the viewfinder, and adjust the thumbwheel until I see 0.0 which indicates correct manual exposure. To be honest I'm not sure if this method is generally known, but I've used it for some time now. To aggravate my eye situation I have a permanent allergy that tends give me itchy, and slightly watery eyes, this gets worse also when the pollen count is high, as of now in the UK. Hope this makes things clearer re. the problem. ... Jack

PS. I should have also said I have to wear eye glasses to use the camera, I'm naturally very longsighted, and struggle to see anything close up without glasses. ... J

Last edited by jachol; Jun 30, 2010 at 2:39 PM. Reason: Add info
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 5:02 PM   #6
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Oops, guess I should learn to read!
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 5:23 PM   #7
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Nice setup, sorry about your sight. Maybe time for a new body
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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I'll look at the pictures next, but thought I'd mention that it might be worth it to upgrade cameras to the K7. The exposure indicator is visible on the back LCD. The K20 shows the meter on the top monitor if you use optical preview, but it's awkward to hold down the button and adjust the shutter speed with the front dial - I think you can switch the function of the front and back dials so it would be reversed, making it easier. I really like the K7's interface.
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 4:54 AM   #9
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Nice setup, sorry about your sight. Maybe time for a new body
OK Ronny, did you mean the body change for me or the camera ???. LOL
Yes I like the setup, and it's suddenly occurred to me that it should lend itself to stacking of shots, I've viewed your efforts on that line with great interest, I'm always impressed by your results. Thanks. ... Jack
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Old Jul 1, 2010, 5:18 AM   #10
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I'll look at the pictures next, but thought I'd mention that it might be worth it to upgrade cameras to the K7. The exposure indicator is visible on the back LCD. The K20 shows the meter on the top monitor if you use optical preview, but it's awkward to hold down the button and adjust the shutter speed with the front dial - I think you can switch the function of the front and back dials so it would be reversed, making it easier. I really like the K7's interface.
Hi Harriet,
Thanks for your comments on the sight problems, and I must admit it's something that hadn't crossed my mind to upgrade the camera body, and it's certainly worth consideration. Only drawback to this is funds are low at the moment, we seem to be going through a spell of having to replace several household appliances in succession, and there are other expenses looming before too long, so replacement isn't on at the moment.
The eye problem is a variable condition, it varies quite a lot, and the pollen count in this area is high at the moment, I don't have full blown hay fever, but I know that pollen doesn't help the problem, what worried me was that I've never been affected so badly previously, I wouldn't like to think it's a worsening condition. I do have medication of course, it doesn't always seem full effective. Enough it's something I've got to live with. Your commens are appreciated. ... Jack
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