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Macro Flash work

FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting
Thread started 15 Feb 2005 (Tuesday) 23:45   
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DionM
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Joined Oct 2004
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Brisbane, Australia
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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.

Post #1, Feb 15, 2005 23:45:34


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mbze430
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IMAGE NOT FOUND IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
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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.

Post #2, Feb 16, 2005 00:23:27


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DionM
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Joined Oct 2004
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Brisbane, Australia
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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).

Post #3, Feb 16, 2005 00:30:42


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steven
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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.

Post #4, Feb 16, 2005 08:08:09


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Scottes
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IanD sent me this last week: http://www.photosafari​s.com ...les/FlashinFlutterb​ys.aspexternal link
John Shaw's advice on shooting butterflies with a flash. He has some great suggestions, home-made bracket info, etc. Well worth reading.

Post #5, Feb 16, 2005 09:07:11


You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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J ­ Rabin
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I suggested yesterday a poster learn here:

http://www.sphoto.com ...fo/phot...loseupsan​dflashexternal link

J

Post #6, Feb 16, 2005 09:07:52 as a reply to steven's post 59 minutes earlier.




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darkdrakon
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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.p​hp?cat=30external link
FM Reviews - Flashes

Post #7, Feb 16, 2005 09:13:02 as a reply to steven's post 1 hour earlier.




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Chris ­ P ­ Bacon
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Joined Jul 2004
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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.

Post #8, Feb 16, 2005 10:02:25


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stuartf287
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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.

Post #9, Feb 16, 2005 10:11:18 as a reply to Chris P Bacon's post 8 minutes earlier.




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DaveG
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Joined Aug 2003
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Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
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DionM wrote:
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.

Post #10, Feb 16, 2005 10:16:46


"There's never time to do it right. But there's always time to do it over."
Canon 5D, 50D; 16-35 f2.8L, 24-105 f4L IS, 50 f1.4, 100 f2.8 Macro, 70-200 f2.8L, 300mm f2.8L IS.

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iwatkins
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Joined Sep 2003
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Gloucestershire, UK
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Don't forget that Sigma now also have a ring flash out now. I've no experince of it, but it is out there.

Ian

Post #11, Feb 16, 2005 15:57:28




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steven
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Looked at the Sigma it is full E-TTL but at over $300 it is getting up there in price.

Post #12, Feb 16, 2005 16:03:47


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16-35mm L, 24-70mm L, 28-135mm IS, 50mm II, 70-200mm L ISf2.8, 100mm Macro, 100-400mm L IS
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180mm Macro

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Jon
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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.

Post #13, Feb 17, 2005 07:51:47


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