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Thread: Which Flash?

  1. #1
    Member Ventureoverland's Avatar
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    Which Flash?

    Hi All,
    Hope this is in the right place??

    My 5D Mkiii doesnt have a flash and I dont currently own a flash of any kind.

    It appears however that I do need a flash of some kind to further develop my Macro skills; over in the Macro CC section this has been pointed out many times.

    I like to shoot with the 100mm Macro and extension tubes and so far Ive identified what I think are my options:
    1. Standard Speedlite 430, 580, or 600 plus mess about to make a suitable diffuser (like Dennis' example or other similar approaches on Youtube)
    2. Canon Ring flash MT-14EX
    3. Canon Twinlite MT-24EX
    4. El-cheapo LED ring light off ebay

    All the reviews Ive looked at and read tend to recommend the twinlite and caution the need for diffusers on the heads. The Canon ringlite seems to get knocked for producing flat images, but otherwise OK. The 'make a diffuser' for a flash may be ok, if I had a flash to start with but Im also concerned about its overall size relative to the objects id want to illuminate. Finally, Im just not sure about the LED ring lights, I suspect they will be harsh and un-controllable.

    One concern I also have about making the diffuser like Dennis is that I need to buy a flash and I arent sure I would use it for anything else other than the macro stuff?? In that event I would almost find it easier to spend the money on the twinlite (or some other dedicated macro unit) that I know I will use rather than forever be cursing the comprimise I made by buying a speedlite that isnt perfect for the job and doesnt get used elsewhere.

    So there we are, I have a need for something, would rather not spend the $$ on a twinlite but if thats the only real option then I guess I need to start saving!

    Any thoughts or words of wisdom from those who have treaded this path before?

    Thx
    Jon

  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular Allie's Avatar
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    I have no personal experience with this but you have convinced me that the twin light is the way to go in your circumstances however I have read good things about this one too - the Sigma EM-140 DG EO-ETTL Macro Flash.

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    I use an el-cheapo Chinese made ring flash and it works really well.
    The flash power is fully adjustable from the camera.

    The twinhead is probably the best, but it is around 7 times more expensive than a cheap ring flash, and doesn't really do all that much more.

    The LED ring lights are probably OK, but their output is small compared to a flash.

    I got mine from DH Gate and cost me around $110 including delivery, so it's worth a try.

    Even though the hole in it is only around 58mm, I mount this onto my 72mm diameter Sigma 150mm macro lens with no vignetting at all.
    Works well with my 5D3 and gives nice even lighting.

    Good for portraits too.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allie
    I have no personal experience with this but you have convinced me that the twin light is the way to go in your circumstances however I have read good things about this one too - the Sigma EM-140 DG EO-ETTL Macro Flash.
    Thanks for this. I'll check the Siggy out.

    R
    J

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennymiata
    I use an el-cheapo Chinese made ring flash and it works really well.
    The flash power is fully adjustable from the camera.

    The twinhead is probably the best, but it is around 7 times more expensive than a cheap ring flash, and doesn't really do all that much more.

    The LED ring lights are probably OK, but their output is small compared to a flash.

    I got mine from DH Gate and cost me around $110 including delivery, so it's worth a try.

    Even though the hole in it is only around 58mm, I mount this onto my 72mm diameter Sigma 150mm macro lens with no vignetting at all.
    Works well with my 5D3 and gives nice even lighting.

    Good for portraits too.
    Thanks. Don't suppose you would have a link to yours would you? I'll have a look on DH Gate and see what I can see.

    Thx
    J

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    I have a cheap eBay ringlight LED and it doesn't sync well with my 5dmkii. Not sure what it is, but you need to leave it full blast on rather than just flashing when your shutter goes. The problem is, bugs are spooked by it before you get anywhere close. Benny might have a solution to this, but it is my findings using it.

    I put my 580EXII on a wimberley flash bracket. The angles are endless, so you can always alter the direction of the light. It does make the set up quite heavy, and you will need a diffuser (I use a cheap eBay one), but found it to be a much cheaper option than the twin lite. I've heard the twin lite was awesome, but I already owned the 580EXII so it was better in my situation. I guess it can also be used for other purposes so that's a plus.

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    If it were my money and serious macro was my passion and serious end-game (which it isn't), I would opt for the Canon Twinlight - the most flexible of all those choices, IME. I don't own one but I have used one and it is a pretty smooth bit of gear for macro when flash is required: takes a bit of learning but once learnt it is very nice gear.

    But, I would also I have been very serious about buying the most flexible and useful tripod and head assembly and dual focussing rails (which I have done) - which usually cost relatively more than a tripod and head suitable for more general photography.

    I view these purchases as a "one-off buy the most useful and flexible" and that the purchase shall not to be repeated fo a very long time.

    WW

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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I am currently making another bracket similar to this to mount my 2 flashes at lens height between the camera and upright to make my own twin flash. I have a number of holes drilled in the bracket to position the flash where I want it. Material list 25x5mm ally strap as needed, some 1/4"w screws.

    IMG_5251aSz2.jpg

    Cheers
    Keith.
    Keith

    Canon 400D Gripped, Canon 7D LCD Timer Gripped, Canon 70-200 f2.8L is ii. Canon 2X iii Extender, Canon 50mm 1.8, Sigma 150-500, Sigma 18-250, Sigma 17-50 F2.8, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 90mm Macro, Yonguno YN460 & 460ii Speedlights and a Hanimax TZ 1 Flash, Wireless Triggers ,LED Macro Ringlight, Extension Tubes, 3 tripods, 2 monopods, PS Elements 5 & 10, PSP9 and canon s/ware, various filters and other photographic paraphernalia all packed in a computrecker backpack + 3 smaller bags and an aluminium case.

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    Thanks William,
    You raise very valid points.

    A few years ago I replaced my old tripod with a Manfrotto 055 CF tripod which Im pleased with. At the time I didnt know what head I wanted / needed so made do with what I had. In fairness, that also needs replacing as its not man enough for the 5D3 plus 70-200 2.8L. Whilst it will hold the 5D3 plus 100 Macro, its a pain to adjust, so a twin rail is also on the shopping list.

    Im seriously considering the RRS BH-55 head. I agree this level of kit is expensive and a "one off".

    Much of my macro stuff though is hand held, so whilst the above is generally required its not at the top of my shopping list re macro.


    Thanks for the real-world experiences with the Twinlight.

    R
    Jon



    Quote Originally Posted by William W View Post
    If it were my money and serious macro was my passion and serious end-game (which it isn't), I would opt for the Canon Twinlight - the most flexible of all those choices, IME. I don't own one but I have used one and it is a pretty smooth bit of gear for macro when flash is required: takes a bit of learning but once learnt it is very nice gear.

    But, I would also I have been very serious about buying the most flexible and useful tripod and head assembly and dual focussing rails (which I have done) - which usually cost relatively more than a tripod and head suitable for more general photography.

    I view these purchases as a "one-off buy the most useful and flexible" and that the purchase shall not to be repeated fo a very long time.

    WW

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    I just purchased one of the cheap LED ringlight/flash, they're ok for the money, but like Benny said, not very powerful.

    I've also been playing with a canon mpe-65 and MR-14EX, great flash, but can get in the way when when I'm at 5:1 magnification, probably not a problem on the 100mm

    Brackets similar to Keith's setup seems to be very popular in the macro sceen.
    Jayde

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    I bought my ring flash a couple of years ago.
    You'll just hav eot roll through hundreds of pages in DH Gate, as I did.

    Sorry I can't be of much help there, as everytime I go onto DH Gate, there are literally hundreds of pages of camera accessories, and some fo them are REALLY cheap.

    As a matter of fact, I just bought a grip for my 5D3 for $90 of them, and I'm awaiting delivery now.

  12. #12
    Member flashc's Avatar
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    This is a device I bought off Ebay some time ago and have yet to configure it to do macro. It saved me the job of having someone bend a piece of aluminium into a ring but it's a good starting point if you want to do your own device.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Canon EOS 7D Mk II, Canon 70D, Canon G12, Canon EF-S 15-85mm, EF 70-200 L f4 IS, 580EX II


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