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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 15 Feb 2005 (Tuesday) 23:45
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Macro Flash work

 
DionM
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Location: Brisbane, Australia
     
Feb 15, 2005 23:45 |  #1

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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mbze430
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Feb 16, 2005 00:23 |  #2

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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.

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DionM
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Feb 16, 2005 00:30 |  #3

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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steven
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Feb 16, 2005 08:08 |  #4

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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Scottes
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Feb 16, 2005 09:07 |  #5

IanD sent me this last week: http://www.photosafari​s.com …les/FlashinFlut​terbys.asp (external link)
John Shaw's advice on shooting butterflies with a flash. He has some great suggestions, home-made bracket info, etc. Well worth reading.


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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Feb 16, 2005 09:07 as a reply to  @ steven's post |  #6

I suggested yesterday a poster learn here:

http://www.sphoto.com …fo/phot...loseu​psandflash (external link)

J




  
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darkdrakon
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Feb 16, 2005 09:13 as a reply to  @ steven's post |  #7

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=30 (external link)
FM Reviews - Flashes




  
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Chris ­ P ­ Bacon
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Location: East Yorkshire, England
     
Feb 16, 2005 10:02 |  #8

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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stuartf287
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Feb 16, 2005 10:11 as a reply to  @ Chris P Bacon's post |  #9

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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DaveG
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Location: Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
     
Feb 16, 2005 10:16 |  #10

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.


"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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Feb 16, 2005 15:57 |  #11

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




  
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steven
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Feb 16, 2005 16:03 |  #12

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


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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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Jon
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Feb 17, 2005 07:51 |  #13

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.


Jon
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Macro Flash work
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