Sad to say that the MP-E is definitely not for me. With the ring lite, it’s rather heavy for me to hand-hold due to shaky hands. Even without the flash, pretty hard at 5x magnification. I’d definitely need a tripod and macro rail for this combo., personally. Props to those that can use it without support!
One shot with it, taken inside, as it was just too windy outside.
forum: Canon EOS Digital Cameras
Tripod / rail are not the only ways of support.
5x magnification "pretty hard' - of course! 2X is hard enough.
Even at 1X, outdoors, some type of steadying the subject is desired. ie shooting a bug on a stem, hold the stem with your left hand, hold the camera with your right hand, resting part of the camera / lens on your left forearm. Now most of the movement is in sync, ie any movement in left arm will hopefully be transferred to the stem and the camera.
I used the MP-E65 for years and 3X was about my limit for hand holding using method above or similar and keeper rate would be much lower than at 2X. With the flash close to subject the flash duration should be very short eg in the range of 1/2000 second to 1/10000 sec or even shorter so some movement is no problem at all, as long as the movement is not resulting in the subject moving out of the incredibly small depth of field.