Precisely Adjust Your Camera’s Position When Shooting Macro

Review by Fernando Santos

If you’ve been shooting macro photography, you know how razor thin the depth-of-field can be, and you understand the purpose of a focusing rail; however, not all focusing rails are done the same way, some are good, others…not so much. I tested the NiSi NM-180 and this is what I found. 

You’ll be impressed with the good-looking rail and clamp. It’s well-finished, with solid materials, engraved scales, a good quality Arca-style plate, and a small nylon pouch for storage. NiSi claims the 180mm (7.1″) long rail has an adjustment range of 160mm (6.3″). I found the adjustment range to be just roughly 130mm (5.1″), but that should still be enough for most situations. 

The NM-180 includes four small, easily removable feet that you’ll probably remove, because I can’t think of a reason to keep them. 

The rail itself is Arca-style compatible, which means you can mount it to your existing tripod head. Even if you don’t use an Arca-style model, the NM-180 can be attached directly to any 3/8″ or 1/4″ bolt (like a tripod, or a tripod plate). The clamp rotates 360°, which is good for different mounting needs. 

I used the NM-180 with my Canon R6 and Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro lens and I found absolutely no problems. Movement was precise, there was no play or wobbling whatsoever. Two of my Arca-style L-brackets and plates seemed a few microns too large for the NiSi clamp, but others were okay. Maybe this was just the unit I tested. Not really a problem, because it held well with anything I used. If you don’t yet have a focusing rail, or if you’re not happy with the one you have, the NiSi NM-180 is certainly a good pick.