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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Macro Talk
Thread started 01 Nov 2017 (Wednesday) 08:03
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Macro ring flash vs off camera flash for reptile photography?

 
Diplodactylus21
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 01, 2017 08:03 |  #1

Good morning,
I have a trip coming up in a few months to Central America, and I really would like to improve my reptile photography, especially snakes/lizards. Currently I use a Canon with a 100mm non L macro lens, and a Yongnuo wireless transmitter with a Yongnuo Speedlite YN600EX-RT II.


I was looking at the Yongnuo YN-24EX Macro light. I was wondering if it was a good idea to use the Macro ring light for night hiking in the field, and save the wireless transmitter/ off camera flash for if we bring any animals back to photograph in a more controlled setup? It would make the setup easier to carry since I wouldn't have to pull out the flash every time I wanted to photograph something.

Just looking for some advice, since Ive never used a ring flash before.
Thanks!




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davholla
Senior Member
Joined Nov 2014
Nov 01, 2017 10:07 |  #2

I use a ring flash for my Canon MPE 65 mm and like it although I do partly use it because I cannot think of an alternative that would work at 4x plus.
For my 60mm I find the on camera flash is fine but it has a shorter working distance than your lens.

However a lot of people don't like them and most books don't like them -saying that some top photographers use them
https://www.flickr.com​/photos/78925926@N08 (external link)

https://www.flickr.com .../album-72157672187854833/ (external link)

One thing I would advise (and I have looked for animals at night in rainforest and cloud forest). Try to walk in daylight where you are going to walk at night - makes accidents a lot less likely.
Good luck - and photograph a few stick insects whilst you are doing this.




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Diplodactylus21
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 01, 2017 10:20 |  #3

Thanks. My camera does actually also have a pop up flash, I just didn't know if I would get better lighting with the flash on either side of the subject vs having just the pop up. The pop up has worked fine for me with frog photos, but with larger animals like snakes, the center of the pic was always much brighter than the sides...I figured maybe a ring flash could help that.




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Temma
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Post has been last edited 18 days ago by Temma. 2 edits done in total.
Nov 01, 2017 12:46 |  #4

Diplodactylus21 wrote in post #18486072 (external link)
Good morning,
I have a trip coming up in a few months to Central America, and I really would like to improve my reptile photography, especially snakes/lizards. Currently I use a Canon with a 100mm non L macro lens, and a Yongnuo wireless transmitter with a Yongnuo Speedlite YN600EX-RT II.


I was looking at the Yongnuo YN-24EX Macro light. I was wondering if it was a good idea to use the Macro ring light for night hiking in the field, and save the wireless transmitter/ off camera flash for if we bring any animals back to photograph in a more controlled setup? It would make the setup easier to carry since I wouldn't have to pull out the flash every time I wanted to photograph something.

Just looking for some advice, since Ive never used a ring flash before.
Thanks!

Let me recommend something like this.

I use this rig for photographing nocturnal spiders.
It combines a Sigma eTTL flash and an LED headlamp.
The flash and lamp are mounted on mini ballheads.
It's a straight flash braket that attaches to the tripod socket, with two Vello brackets attached to the ends.
It currently uses a cable, but I'll eventually switch to wireless transceivers.

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Diplodactylus21
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 01, 2017 12:51 |  #5

That setup looks good, and I can definitely do something like that, but that just looks super awkward to be carrying through a rainforest around your neck with the flash so far off to the side. For studio pics, I can see how something like that would be perfect.




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Temma
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Nov 01, 2017 12:58 |  #6

Diplodactylus21 wrote in post #18486253 (external link)
That setup looks good, and I can definitely do something like that, but that just looks super awkward to be carrying through a rainforest around your neck with the flash so far off to the side. For studio pics, I can see how something like that would be perfect.

It's actually not that bad.

I find that at night you REALLY need that LED lamp, not just to focus, but to even FIND your subjects, and I know ahead of time approximately where they're going to be.

Since it's held to gether with tbumbscrews, it's easy to collapse it for transport.




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Diplodactylus21
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 01, 2017 13:01 as a reply to Temma's post |  #7

That's a good point. I have a very powerful flashlight I use when I do my hikes along with a headlamp. Perhaps I could keep something like that in my backpack and just attach when needed.




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Temma
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Nov 01, 2017 13:38 |  #8

Diplodactylus21 wrote in post #18486260 (external link)
That's a good point. I have a very powerful flashlight I use when I do my hikes along with a headlamp. Perhaps I could keep something like that in my backpack and just attach when needed.

I found that trying to use a handheld flashlight was just impossible when shooting nocturnal spiders (about the only kind around here).

I adjust the arms and ballheads so that the lamp and flash are exactly where I want them.

I suspect that this rig would be easier for you to use than it is for me, since my subjects are invariably found hanging from the eves of garages. There's very little room to maneuver and apart from them often being 6" to 12" over my head, I can seldom get more than 45 deg. around them.




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davholla
Senior Member
Joined Nov 2014
Nov 02, 2017 04:03 |  #9

Temma wrote in post #18486298 (external link)
I found that trying to use a handheld flashlight was just impossible when shooting nocturnal spiders (about the only kind around here).

I adjust the arms and ballheads so that the lamp and flash are exactly where I want them.

I suspect that this rig would be easier for you to use than it is for me, since my subjects are invariably found hanging from the eves of garages. There's very little room to maneuver and apart from them often being 6" to 12" over my head, I can seldom get more than 45 deg. around them.

If you a small torch (flashlight in UK english) I find that it works fine. I visit Colombia this summer and that is how I found things (including spiders).




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davholla
Senior Member
Joined Nov 2014
Nov 02, 2017 04:07 |  #10

Diplodactylus21 wrote in post #18486260 (external link)
That's a good point. I have a very powerful flashlight I use when I do my hikes along with a headlamp. Perhaps I could keep something like that in my backpack and just attach when needed.

remember to only take electronics which can be in hand luggage.




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Ramon-uk
Senior Member
Joined Mar 2006
Nov 02, 2017 07:53 as a reply to davholla's post |  #11

If you a small torch (flashlight in UK english)

Ummm, wrong way round, torch in UK English :-)




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Temma
Senior Member
Joined Sep 2009
Rocky River, Ohio
Nov 02, 2017 11:40 |  #12

davholla wrote in post #18486726 (external link)
If you a small torch (flashlight in UK english) I find that it works fine. I visit Colombia this summer and that is how I found things (including spiders).

Since all of my outdoor macro is at night, it's just easier for me to use the LED on the bracket.




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MalVeauX
"Looks rough and well used"
MalVeauX's Avatar
Joined Feb 2013
Florida
Post has been edited 18 days ago by MalVeauX.
Nov 02, 2017 11:51 |  #13

Diplodactylus21 wrote in post #18486072 (external link)
Good morning,
I have a trip coming up in a few months to Central America, and I really would like to improve my reptile photography, especially snakes/lizards. Currently I use a Canon with a 100mm non L macro lens, and a Yongnuo wireless transmitter with a Yongnuo Speedlite YN600EX-RT II.


I was looking at the Yongnuo YN-24EX Macro light. I was wondering if it was a good idea to use the Macro ring light for night hiking in the field, and save the wireless transmitter/ off camera flash for if we bring any animals back to photograph in a more controlled setup? It would make the setup easier to carry since I wouldn't have to pull out the flash every time I wanted to photograph something.

Just looking for some advice, since Ive never used a ring flash before.
Thanks!

I wouldn't use a ring light. The reason being, it's hard to diffuse it and reptiles will have nasty spectral highlights and weird catchlights everywhere from that. I would use the 24EX or similar type lights, where you can control their position and have diffusers for the light so that you can get soft light.

I would think the last thing you'd want, photographing reptiles, is to lose detail to a bunch of spectral highlights that will hide anything they're glaring off.

Here's one I'd look at:

https://www.amazon.com ...rds=LED+macro+flash​&psc=1 (external link)

It has very flexible arms for positioning, so you can get creative with a good concave diffuser, and a focus aid lamp and everything can be manipulated on the fly and is light weight.

Very best,


My Flickr (external link) :: My Astrobin (external link)

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Diplodactylus21
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
6 posts
Joined Nov 2017
Nov 02, 2017 13:05 as a reply to MalVeauX's post |  #14

I think ring light was the wrong term..the Yongnuo is a twin flash, but is held to the camera by a ring around the lens. The amazon link one also looks good, but its about $100 more than the Yongnuo, which wouldn't be terrible except I rarely use this setup except for when I travel 1-2x a year so the cheaper the better.




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davholla
Senior Member
Joined Nov 2014
Nov 02, 2017 13:59 |  #15

Ramon-uk wrote in post #18486788 (external link)
Ummm, wrong way round, torch in UK English :-)

Oops I need more sleep.




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Macro ring flash vs off camera flash for reptile photography?
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