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Old 15th of February 2005 (Tue)   #1
DionM
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Default Macro Flash work

Hi all,

I was this close (very close) to buying the MR-14EX macro ring light. But the deal fell through and now I am rethinking it ... especially after seeing a few interesting brackets around this forum.

I also plan to upgrade my 380EX to a 580EX some time soon, as I can see the limits of my 380EX in some of my shots. I have the off-camera cord 2 (the curly one that works with E-TTL).

And then I saw a few links to some interesting butterfly brackets and the like.

So I am wondering if rather than getting the macro ring light, I would be better served getting a bracket to mount my flash over and near the end of the lens. I realise its not as 'neat' as a macro ring flash, but are the results still good? E-TTL would take much of the guesswork out of the whole affair, I guess.

My main interest is flowers, butterflies and small insects.

I guess the other factor is if I got the ring light, I would have to hold off on getting the 580EX, and I think the 580EX would help me a lot more with my other (non-macro) flash photography - more power to bounce with, better exposure, etc etc. So its a tough decision.

Comments? Anyone use a bracket for macro work rather than a macro ring light?

I have the 100 f2.8 macro, by the way.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #2
mbze430
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Default Re: Macro Flash work



I personally am looking at the MR-24EX, but in the mean time I have 4x 580EX, so I might as well use them.

Since I do all my macro work on a tripod(heavy 180mm), I ususally use a remote TC-80N3 and hand hold my 580EX with a Lightsphere II with the dome on it. I just point it in the general area and use E-TTL to make the rest of the adjustments.

Here is a recent shot, though it is NOT a digital image. It was shot with a EOS 7e w/ NPS 160 film. The color is not exaggerated like with Velvia, it is very neutral tone from this film.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #3
DionM
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

Thanks ...

That's an interesting point too ... the ring light is probably an easier thing to "hand hold" (yes I know, macro and handholding ... bad bad bad!) and maybe I should experiment with the camera on the tripod and handhold the flash.

I too have looked at the MR-24EX ... from all reports it is better than the 14EX and not that much more expensive (50% more).
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #4
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

One complaint I have heard about flashes like the 14EX is that pictures look flat due to no shadow lighting.
That is probably why the 24EX is considered a much better flash.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #5
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

IanD sent me this last week: http://www.photosafaris.com/Articles...Flutterbys.asp
John Shaw's advice on shooting butterflies with a flash. He has some great suggestions, home-made bracket info, etc. Well worth reading.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #6
J Rabin
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

I suggested yesterday a poster learn here:

http://www.sphoto.com/techinfo/phot...loseupsandflash

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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #7
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

well flat lighting is kind of the point with ringflashes. also there is quite a learning curve with theses as well. I ues the MR-14Ex and am quite happy with it I decided on it over the MT-24 because I did not need the swivle lights nor the extra power for what I take pictures of. you need to look how you are going to use the ringlight before you buy one so you can get what's right for you. here is a link to check them out.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/showcat.php?cat=30
FM Reviews - Flashes

Last edited by darkdrakon : 16th of February 2005 (Wed) at 09:16.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #8
Chris P Bacon
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

I've had the MT-24EX for a couple of months now and it's great, although it's expensive I think you can't go wrong with it if your into macro shots, you'd need a adaptor for the 180mm macro though mbze430 because it only fits 58mm lenses.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #9
stuartf287
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

It is wrong to assume that you can't get shadows with the MT-14 ringlight. I just bought the MT-24 but the owner's manual covers both units. You can set the lighting ratio between the two sides of the MT-14 ringflash from 1:1, 2:1, 3:1 through 8:1 and even 1:0 (i.e., one side of the ring doesn't flash at all). The booklet illustrates macro shots using different ratios with the MT-14 and the lighting isn't "flat" at all. You actually have a great deal of control over the direction of the lighting and the degree of shadow cast on the subject. The MT-24 allows for similar control over the lighting ratios between the two flash heads.

I'm really enjoying using and learning about the MT-24, but no one should shy away from the MT-14 out of fear that it can only be used to produce flat, shadowless lighting.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #10
DaveG
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

Quote:
Originally Posted by DionM
Hi all,

I was this close (very close) to buying the MR-14EX macro ring light. But the deal fell through and now I am rethinking it ... especially after seeing a few interesting brackets around this forum.

I also plan to upgrade my 380EX to a 580EX some time soon, as I can see the limits of my 380EX in some of my shots. I have the off-camera cord 2 (the curly one that works with E-TTL).

And then I saw a few links to some interesting butterfly brackets and the like.

So I am wondering if rather than getting the macro ring light, I would be better served getting a bracket to mount my flash over and near the end of the lens. I realise its not as 'neat' as a macro ring flash, but are the results still good? E-TTL would take much of the guesswork out of the whole affair, I guess.

My main interest is flowers, butterflies and small insects.

I guess the other factor is if I got the ring light, I would have to hold off on getting the 580EX, and I think the 580EX would help me a lot more with my other (non-macro) flash photography - more power to bounce with, better exposure, etc etc. So its a tough decision.

Comments? Anyone use a bracket for macro work rather than a macro ring light?

I have the 100 f2.8 macro, by the way.

I've always had a vague interest in a ring flash too, although I've suspected that it could be a one trick pony, all too easily. Anyway I've never thought that it was something that I'd like to spend a lot of money on.

After reading your post I went on the B&H site to see what was available and the Vivitar 6000AF TTL Macro Ringlight Flash caught my eye. It's $100 US and looks to me that it'd do what it needs too. I don't think that it has Wireless capabilities like some other flashes but I'm not sure it that means much.

I sort of want to say that this is all the money I'd invest for infrequent use, but I'd had any number of Vivitar flashes over the years so I know how reliable and tough they are. In any case this would be my choice.
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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

Don't forget that Sigma now also have a ring flash out now. I've no experince of it, but it is out there.

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Old 16th of February 2005 (Wed)   #12
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

Looked at the Sigma it is full E-TTL but at over $300 it is getting up there in price.
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Old 17th of February 2005 (Thu)   #13
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Default Re: Macro Flash work

Macro work is fussy enough as it is - I'd really prefer E-TTL to GN calculations relying on my being within 1/2 in. or better of the right flash-subject distance or to hoping that the external sensor has picked the right subject for the auto-cutoff.
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