Tiny Little Movements For Great Big Success - Velbon Macro Slider
Old gunnery officers from the Ruritanian Navy will immediately recognise the piece of apparatus shown in the heading image: a Skoda M 320 recovery mechanism for the main battery of the SZENT LUDWITZCH. The ironclad may be gone but we saved her guns.
Or not, as the case may be. It might be a Velbon Macro Slider for close-up and product photography. The resemblance is uncanny.
As a macro slider it allows the careful worker to move a camera and lens fore and aft, and left and right with extreme precision. The shallow depth of field and the tiny field of vision encountered in the macro world demands the utmost care in positioning - otherwise things are just not in focus. If you try to move on a conventional tripod or studio stand the crudity of the adjustment defeats the whole thing.
You'll still need a tripod - and a good one too - and a good three-way or ball head to mount the slider. The Cullmann range has enough variety to suit most systems. I am afraid that ye canna change the laws 'o physics, Captain...and you cannot expect to sling an effective, steady macro rig on a tiny travel tripod. Choose a sensibly large size for this and accept the fact that when you need to do professional work you have to carry professional weight - even out in the field looking for wildflowers.
This also applies for studio workers who need to do product shots with great precision - publications can be extremely fussy about where the objects in the images are positioned and the difference for small subjects can be great. Use the Velbon macro slider to dodge sided to side as need be and the job becomes a breeze.