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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk 
Thread started 10 Feb 2012 (Friday) 23:30
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MPE-65 and headlamp?

 
Techuser
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Feb 10, 2012 23:30 |  #1

I'm considering getting an MPE (this or a new telephoto), but I see it extends a lot fowards, and as I shoot mostly at night my question is if anyone already used it with a headlamp, I wanna know if the lens doesn't cast a shadow over the subject when you're focusing with it.


Canon XSi | 18-55 IS | 50 1.8 | 70-300 IS | 300 2.8 FD
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DQE
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Feb 11, 2012 15:09 |  #2

I have good luck with my MPE-65 lens using a simple two-AA-cell LED flashlight, a 3-watt (80-lumen) model by Mallory. It cost about $25 US dollars and provides plenty of focus assist lighting. I simply hold the light in my left hand, pressed against the lens on the left side, and can easily aim it at the bug without looking up from the viewfinder. I also have a short wrist strap attached to the light so that the light hangs from from my left wrist if I let go of it. This way, I can let go of the flashlight at any time and it doesn't fall to the ground or otherwise disturb my efforts.

Curiously, very few bugs react to this *very* bright light while I'm trying to take their photo, even though many bugs react to a sudden shadow of my hand or something blocking their sunlight by creating a shadow. Perhaps an increase in light is close enough to the sun coming out from behind a cloud or the ordinary full sunlight events that happen in a bug's life.

I think I would prefer my handheld flashlight as a focusing light to a "headlight" since my head is typically pressed against the viewfinder port and can't be moved very much. Perhaps I should try a headlight out before forming an opinion, though!


--Phil
Canon gear: 5D MkII, 5D, MPE-65, 100 mm 2.8 macro, 85 mm f1.2 L, 16-35 mm f2.8, 24-105 mm L, MT-24, MR-14; 550EX flash (2 units); Gitzo 2548 tripod; Gitzo monopod; Acratech Ultimate Ballhead; Manfrotto 410 geared tripod head; Cognisys StackShot rail & controller

  
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gmillerf
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Feb 11, 2012 23:25 |  #3

If the headlamp is going to be on your head, then the subject will certainly be in your shadow, I'm not sure there's a macro lens where it wouldn't.


Greg -- http://www.flickr.com/​photos/79652823@N00/ (external link)

  
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Techuser
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Feb 12, 2012 01:25 |  #4

Guess I'll have to figure an illuminator to attach in the tripod collar then... this will suck
I saw the mpe extended has the same size as my 70-300, I tried it here and really blocks the lighting

I can't use a flashlight, I have the flash on my other hand


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Pi_314
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Feb 12, 2012 17:52 |  #5

I've got my flashlight hooked up this way. Forget the difuser and get a stepup ring, and sandwich something in between the ring and lens that will hold your light for you in the same fashion. That little puppy puts out 70 lumens with one AAA.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7039/6866020491_5ff20c045d_b.jpg



  
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DQE
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Feb 13, 2012 11:09 |  #6

Pi_314 wrote in post #13875086 (external link)
I've got my flashlight hooked up this way. Forget the difuser and get a stepup ring, and sandwich something in between the ring and lens that will hold your light for you in the same fashion. That little puppy puts out 70 lumens with one AAA.

Your flashlight holder looks very promising - is it commercially available? If so, a link or ID would be greatly appreciated. If it's part of your rig that you built, it would be very helpful if you could post another photo, somewhat from the rear of the flashlight so we can see how it is held and to what it is attached, etc.

Thanks for posting your solution. Although I have learned how to hold my dual AA LED flashlight with my left hand against the lens without having to think about it, my method is still somewhat annoying.


--Phil
Canon gear: 5D MkII, 5D, MPE-65, 100 mm 2.8 macro, 85 mm f1.2 L, 16-35 mm f2.8, 24-105 mm L, MT-24, MR-14; 550EX flash (2 units); Gitzo 2548 tripod; Gitzo monopod; Acratech Ultimate Ballhead; Manfrotto 410 geared tripod head; Cognisys StackShot rail & controller

  
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racketman
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Feb 13, 2012 16:11 |  #7

lights of the MT-24EX work well for illuminating subject and of course are in front of the lens element.


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Pi_314
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Feb 13, 2012 21:40 |  #8

DQE wrote in post #13878799 (external link)
Your flashlight holder looks very promising - is it commercially available? If so, a link or ID would be greatly appreciated. If it's part of your rig that you built, it would be very helpful if you could post another photo, somewhat from the rear of the flashlight so we can see how it is held and to what it is attached, etc.

Thanks for posting your solution. Although I have learned how to hold my dual AA LED flashlight with my left hand against the lens without having to think about it, my method is still somewhat annoying.



Everything in the set up is from home depot. The nuts you can get in electrical, and the plastic piece was a part used with water tubing. The inside diameter was pefect for this particular flashlight, which is a preon by FourSevens. The diffuser is a dome they sell in lighting. I have two domes. The one in the first picture gets used on the MPE65, it's substantially cut down considering how close one must get with that lens. The one I use on the 100mm is a full dome in the second pic, wherein a polished sheet of aluminium is used to funnel extra light to the front of the subject. You can't get much more diffusion than this. It's like a full overcast day with every shot.

If you are only looking to hold a flashlight, you might look into some kind of hinged assembly to adjust the angle of the light. Possibly attaching it drectly to the stepup ring.

IMAGE: http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7209/6873300799_dccc6cddc5_b.jpg

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DQE
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Feb 14, 2012 14:20 |  #9

Thanks - the new photos are *very* helpful and give me lots of ideas that I hadn't considered or seen elsewhere. The idea of shooting through a sort of "light tent" also seems to work well for other users' rigs that use a very roughly similar concept. Perhaps we don't need to worry so much about contact diffusion or other modification of the flash heads as long as we have a "light tent" closer to the subject. My personal interpretation is that the main thing is to occupy a significant fraction of the "sky" above the bug with an illuminated diffusion surface. In other words, a large diffuser closer to the subject is the primary goal rather than worrying quite so much about how and in what ways the diffuser actually diffuses the light.

Just some ad hoc comments. Again, thanks for the information and photos.


--Phil
Canon gear: 5D MkII, 5D, MPE-65, 100 mm 2.8 macro, 85 mm f1.2 L, 16-35 mm f2.8, 24-105 mm L, MT-24, MR-14; 550EX flash (2 units); Gitzo 2548 tripod; Gitzo monopod; Acratech Ultimate Ballhead; Manfrotto 410 geared tripod head; Cognisys StackShot rail & controller

  
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MPE-65 and headlamp?
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