bart70 wrote in post #17277772
I didn't realise that using S1 or S2 optical mode slaves would eliminate triggering when the inbuilt flash is flashing for focusing. This is worth me keeping in mind.
The only real issue I have with using the inbulit flash at all is the significant delays I am encontering during recycle - 10-25 seconds of 'busy' before I can take the shot after focusing is not ideal, but also concede that a hot shoe mounted TTL may not be ideal either.
Out of curiosity, would a shoe mounted flash with the head unit tilted away (up or behind), used in conjuction with an optical slave be an option? My thinking being that the shoe mount will provide lower light trigger for the slave - much like using the inbuilt flash on a lower output to trigger a slave. This may at least get me away from the issue of having to wait for recycle of the inbuilt flash after focusing before taking each shot.
J Bruja - I had not really considered a ring flash as I had previously considered them as a purely 'macro only' type flash. Our reptile photography falls into the purely macro realm at times, but a lot of the time is not so much so (particularly when photographing highly aggressive venomous species). I will do a little more research on them.
S1 and S2 modes ignore exposure determining preflash from the on board TTL flash. I'm not sure how your on-board works as a focus assist, but if it is a constant light source then it shouldn't trigger the remote flash too early.
Your recycle problems are caused by your camera trying to correctly and fully expose the subject with just the on-board flash. This means it is outputting a lot of light, which means it is slow to recycle to full when you can then take another picture.
The on-board flash was never designed for the uses you're putting it to, and to be honest, will never give you a decent result anyway.
Stop trying to make do and wasting time, and concentrate on creating the best most natural lighting (off camera) for your subject (lizards) and the best means of triggering that light (to me a radio trigger).
The technicalities is the easy bit, macro photography is a law unto itself and is a very skilled topic to learn.
Out of curiosity, would a shoe mounted flash.....
Yes, you can two flashguns in the manner you have described, though that means you can only work in manual mode. Dumb optical triggering is a very efficient means of working with macro lighting. Unfortunately, you can't set your inbuilt flash to fire in manual so will need a new flash just as a trigger - better Canon camera models can (like my 60d which you can set to 1/64th manual power just to optically trigger the remote). TTL optical triggering is another option, but has been superseded by radio. Better to go radio from the start.
Ring flash gives a very flat, shadowless, unnatural, ring flash like look. Best avoided, imho.