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Thread: One approach to macro flash.

  1. #1
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    Default One approach to macro flash.

    Hi again, just a short little article about the set -up I use for macro flash lighting , although I much prefer natural light macro photography in the soft early morning light. However sometimes the wind blows and higher shutter speeds are needed than near dawn light can provide, and its also there for handheld shots, generally I'm a tripod user.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    My 180mmSigma macro lens with 430EX flash and diffuser mounted on a bit of bent 10mm aluminium rod pivotting between 2 pieces of nylon ( which I think from memory was an old cutting board ) A TTL cord connects the camera and flash. Usually a rubber band helps to stop this device pivotting foward,( nylon doesnt have much friction).
    Often the flash is further foward than this, so the light source is close to the subject.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The diffuser operates on a principle known as a 'beauty dish' hopefully this photo taken from the back of the unit shows a pice of 90 degree plastic covered with aluminium foil it is suspended in the middle of the unit on fishing line. When the flash fires light hits either an upward or downward facing 45 degree surface it is reflected back and around this reflector. The unit is made from a 1 ltr yoghurt container, lined with aluminium foil that has been crumpled. A piece of semi transparent neutral grey plastic is stretched across the front of the unit, if you cant find any of that use a supermarket checkout bag as I've done here These units by definition use up a bit of light, but that really isn't a problem as you are only trying to light subjects that are quite close.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The view from the front. So there you are, something else about photographic technique to either consider or dismiss.....not much application to bird photography apart from portraits of a caged budgies, I speak from experience
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  2. #2
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    Full marks for your ingenuity, Trevor. Does repeated use of the flash get hot enough to damage any of the plastic bits?
    Margaret Leggoe
    Never too old to learn.

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    Hi Margaret, no I've never notice it get hot, and have been using this one for at least a couple of years. The black 'contact' covering it probably gets hotter from the sun, but usually by the time the sun is really emerging I'm heading home. Some more serious macro photographers using MPE-65's on extremely small subjects progress this idea using a concave, semi circular translucent front to the diffuser that makes a kind of light tent/ tunnel over the subject.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrevorM View Post
    Some more serious macro photographers using MPE-65's on extremely small subjects progress this idea using a concave, semi circular translucent front to the diffuser that makes a kind of light tent/ tunnel over the subject.
    That would be me, here's what I have: http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~chrisx...es/MP_E_65.jpg

    Also use it with my 200mm macro, but you really need a longish arm to get it close to the subject. Works quite well with both lenses. Dead easy to build if you already have a beter beamer.
    Chris Ross
    Helensburgh NSW
    www.aus-natural.com
    Instagram: @ausnaturalimages

  5. #5
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    Hi Chris well done, I was actually thinking of some people on a European forum I used to post on but your approach is certainly along the same lines. I haven't seen a better beamer adapted this way before. There is no end to the creativity applied when seeking solutions to macro lighting problems. Getting close is certainly a lighting key.
    Kind regards Trevor.

    Website: www.trevormurrayphotography.com

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