In just about every macro-photographers camera bag you’ll find a macro lens, but most of them also carry a macro rail with them. A macro rail may not be the most sexy photography accessory, but for macro photography it is an almost indispensable one. If you are looking to buy a macro rail you could go for the go-to brand used by a lot of well-known photographers: Really Right Stuff. But a RRS rail costs more than € 400. Luckily Sunwayfoto has got a nice alternative that they think is comparable in quality to the expensive RRS. In this review I’ll look at the Sunway macro rail MFR-150. At about € 150 the Sunway is about 1/3th of the price of a RRS rail.
The Sunwayfoto MFR-150 is available in two different models, the MFR-150 I’m reviewing here and the MFR-150S. The difference between the two is small. The MFR-150 has got an arca-swiss compatible clamp that is locked with a large lever. The MFR-150S has got the same arca-swiss clamp, but it is locked with a locking screw instead of the handle. What works best for you is a matter of personal taste. The lever-lock is quicker, but you also have a bigger risk of accidently unlocking it. Luckily it locks in place with enough resistance to give you a secure feeling. If you prefer safety over speed the MFR-150S is the one for you.
The Sunwayfoto MFR-150 is built on a 160mm long rail , that has got an acra-swiss compatible profile over it whole length. With that you can easily attach it to a tripod with an arca-swiss compatible head. On the bottom the rail also has two standard tripod screw holes, so you can also use it on tripods that aren’t arca-swiss compatible.
On both sides of the rails Sunwayfoto you’ll find a clearly readable index-marking on the rail helping you with adjustments. On both ends the rail has got a knob to adjust the rail. One of the knobs has got a little handle to make adjusting it easier, the other has got a ribbed finish to give you more grip. The Sunwayfoto MFR-150 uses a long worm gear to make adjusting smooth and precise. Adjustment is very smooth and has just the right amount of resistance right out of the box. But I love that you can also adjust the resistance to you preference using two small screws on the rail. The screwdriver you need to do that is supplied in the box by Sunwayfoto, a nice little extra.
All parts of the Sunwayfoto MFR-150 are made of metal, which makes the rail very durable. Sunwayfoto has used 6061 aluminium, an alloy of aluminium, magnesium and silicon. That is both lightweight, durable and stiff. The whole rail just ways 273 grams. The surface is anodized, making it tough enough for intensive, professional use.
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My name is Rick Roeven, I live the Netherlands. I’m an amateur photographer, tech and gadget lover and I've started this blog to share my passion with others. If you have any questions, feel free to post a reply or send me an email at rick (at) ricksreviews.org