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The Enthusiast's Guide to DIY Photography by Mike Hagen

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22. UTILITY VISE MACRO FOCUSING SYSTEM

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RAIL FOCUSING SYSTEMS are widely used for critical focusing in macro photography. A very nice setup costs $400 to $800, while an inexpensive focusing rail runs $45 or so. This project uses a utility vise to serve as your focusing rail. You can purchase a vise from the hardware store for about $20, but most DIY-ers already have a vise in the garage.

The end product isn’t very lightweight, so I don’t anticipate you’ll be hiking with this setup, but it’s great for home use. One of the keys is to find a vice that doesn’t have a lot of slop in the screw mechanism. If you have a vise in your garage, I encourage ...

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