View Full Version : Ring or Twin flash for macro work?

18th January 2008, 02:29 PM
I am thinking of taking my first steps into macro work using flash. What is confusing me though is which type of flash unit would be a better base to start with, ring or twin.

So, if any of you wonderful forum members would be kind enough to give your views about the benefits of either twin or ring I would be most grateful. Should you wish to give a tips on using flash for macro work or experiences with the Olympus macro flash system that would be even better. For that matter are any of the non Olympus units worth considering?

Thanks in advance

Chris :confused::confused::confused:

22nd January 2008, 12:24 AM
I only have the twinflash so cannot comment on the difference between the two from experience, but what I read before I bought the unit suggested it's more versatile than the ringflash. And I could only afford one!!

The Twinflash comes with two little diffusor panels which slip onto the front of the two flash heads, these work pretty well. I believe but I'm not sure, that the ringflash is more difficult to pair up with lenses. (You just need a step ring to use the twinflash with smaller diameter lenses...). You can use anything between full power on one flash head and nothing on the other to the opposite, and you can change the positions of each flash head around the lens, and you can also angle them.

You're supposed to use that expensive mounting tube thing when you use this on the 50mm or 35mm macro lenses, but personally I use it a lot with the 35mm macro, and if you do use the big adapter thing then you cannot achieve anything like max magnification from this lens, so I use it with the 'ring lens mount thing' which the flash units are fixed to, just held around the protruding part of the macro lens. You should avoid using AF if you do this though, as this can jam up..

I often hand this setup with the addition of the EX-25, which means you are literally nearly squashing your subject. The twinflash is the only way I think this setup is usable as its the only way to get enough light that close in front of the lens...

22nd January 2008, 08:25 AM
Thanks very much for the reply, obviously I am no expert at macro but I had started to get the feeling that twin flash was the way forward. I simply did not appreciate just how close the subject would get to the lens with the EX-25 fitted either.

You comments about the "thingie" are also very interesting as it does put a question in my mind about the sense of buying the FR-1 adaptor as it commands a very high price for a piece of threaded tubing. I will have to have a look to see what step up rings I have and check the specs of the twin flash to see what the diameter is of the molunting ring. With a bit of luck I might have some that would be of use.

Do you find that much manual flash compensation adjustment needs to be made when using the macro flash unit or is the camera good enough to get it right?

Still saving for the unit but it is very interesting finding out about your practical experiences. ;)

22nd January 2008, 10:24 AM
Before spending a lot of money I'd try out a couple ordinary flash heads and diffusers or bounce of some sort. A little creativity should get you by.
I also use a cheap macro ring flash I picked up on ebay. Very effective but will vignette on anything less than a 50mm.

22nd January 2008, 10:46 AM
Regarding exposure I find the twinflash very good, unless either;

1) You're shooting something shiny, like jewels, or a shiny beetle. I generally go from TTL to manual in this case...

2) The batteries in the flash are fading. When this happens exposures go all over the place from hugely under to hugely overexposed...