Aligning a focus rail with the legs of a tripod

Started Apr 6, 2013 | Questions thread
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Aligning a focus rail with the legs of a tripod
Apr 6, 2013

Hi folks. Can anyone offer any suggestions as to how I can align a focus rail with the legs of a tripod?

I have just bought a Velbon focus rail for use on a Manfrotto tripod. When I attach the focus rail I can't get it to align with the tripod legs. That is, if you imagine the legs are at 12, 4 and 8 o'clock, the focus rail is pointing at about 11 o'clock. This isn't going to be a problem when the tripod is used on a level plane, but when I try to lower the front leg to point the camera downwards - as I did for my first test shot - the horizontal lines are off. I think I need some type of plate between the focus rail and the tripod so that I can align the rail to whatever position I need relative to the tripod legs.

I've tried googling for a solution using terms like "alignment plates" but get swamped with results about quick release plates.

I'm only a beginner when it comes to macro photography, so I don't know how much of an issue this is going to be, so any advise would be welcome

Thanks for your help - Mike

 MikeRailton's gear list:MikeRailton's gear list
Nikon D7000 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D +3 more
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