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-   -   I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build! (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=42720)

Walti 27th July 2016 12:35 PM

I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
So....

Having decided I want to improve my macro work, the next step was flash...

So I had bought myself an LED macro ring light, but results weren't great (but I bought a cheap "toe in the water trial" one) so next steps:

I want to be able to use flash for macro and flash for general use, so do I buy a ring flash AND a general flash?

So I started with the E-M1 and the supplied master module:

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...7-IMG_1268.jpg

I had taken a step back and looked at every lens and accessory I owned and swapped out the tripod head for an Arca Swiss device, as well as putting a cheap ball head onto my monopod:

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...MG_1276_1_.jpg

So the HLD7 gained an Arca Swiss plate:

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...7-IMG_1269.jpg

Looking at Amazon and EBay I found that long Arca Swiss plates and tiny rig ball joints were available, so after a bit of measuring and sketching I bought a 200mm long Arca Swiss plate, two mini rig flash ball joints and two flash guns and used some of the supplied packaging as professional standard diffusers:

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...7-IMG_1270.jpg

These all mount onto the Arca Swiss plate on the camera:

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...7-IMG_1271.jpg

And by moving the tiny rig ball joints below the plate there's room for hands to get around the camera...

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...7-IMG_1273.jpg

With it all being Arca Swiss it will also mount onto my tripod...

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...MG_1275_1_.jpg

And because I'd started this odyssey I also Arca-Swissed up my macro focus plate so the whole thing takes seconds to assemble and disassemble...

http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...MG_1274_1_.jpg

Walti 27th July 2016 01:12 PM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
and first attempt...


(I'm lying it was about my fifth, but it took a couple of attempts to get the flash exposure correct (ish, the shadow is a bit under illuminated) and work out how NOT to use the camera's default 1/60th second shutter speed.

But a moving bee on a moving sunflower:

E-M1
60mm macro f2.8
ISO 200
1/250
f20
manual exposure


http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/da...7-P7275254.jpg

Graham_of_Rainham 27th July 2016 02:28 PM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
The only thing that matters are the end results.

Which look good

wornish 28th July 2016 07:41 AM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
Very creative construction. Only comment on the shot is that when you are that close the depth of field is extremely thin, its hard to tell exactly where the focus was set.

Did you consider using the focus stacking thats available for the EM1 with a Pro lens on.
I realise that its not possible though if you are hand held.

Walti 28th July 2016 07:54 AM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wornish (Post 391549)
Very creative construction. Only comment on the shot is that when you are that close the depth of field is extremely thin, its hard to tell exactly where the focus was set.

Did you consider using the focus stacking thats available for the EM1 with a Pro lens on.
I realise that its not possible though if you are hand held.

I agree fully!

Hand held is a bit of a lottery as far as the focus point is concerned especially when the subject is blowing in the breeze!

I will be trying the stacking again soon, and trying to chase down some interesting subjects, even though we've "bee friendly" planted the garden we're not as lucky as some on here with visitors to the garden! So I will take the rig down the road to the local National Trust gardens at some point...

The main reason for setting this up is to try and get some decent photos from inside Cathy's beehive!

wornish 28th July 2016 08:00 AM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Walti (Post 391552)
I agree fully!

Hand held is a bit of a lottery as far as the focus point is concerned especially when the subject is blowing in the breeze!

I will be trying the stacking again soon, and trying to chase down some interesting subjects, even though we've "bee friendly" planted the garden we're not as lucky as some on here with visitors to the garden! So I will take the rig down the road to the local National Trust gardens at some point...

Look forward to seeing the results. The other thing to consider is diffraction blur, at f/20 you will certainly get quite a bit.

Good explanation here
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ensor-size.htm

Walti 28th July 2016 08:41 AM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wornish (Post 391553)
Look forward to seeing the results. The other thing to consider is diffraction blur, at f/20 you will certainly get quite a bit.

Good explanation here
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tut...ensor-size.htm

Many thanks

I've been using a fairly arbitrary f9 as a general limit, but have tended to ignore it for macro as the increased DOF makes the trade-off seem worth it at times... though my mind changes on a daily basis!

I'm right at the start of this so will be experimenting on non-mobile subjects to try and understand what I'm trying to do! a LOT of trial and error is about to happen!

alfbranch 4th August 2016 05:15 PM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
diffraction is probably not the issue but I do not use f20 you missed focus

How sturdy are those ball joints and if they do not move when handholding where did you get them?

Walti 4th August 2016 05:59 PM

Re: I might have gone over the top: Macro flash rig build!
 
The ball joints are very sturdy, a little too limited on movement, I'd like a little more than they offer, a small adjustment with a file would give a little bit of lateral movement to make it spot on, but I'm quite happy to leave the whole weight of the whole rig resting on them... If I trusted the flash guns were sturdy enough the rig could be picked up by one flash gun.... (I don't trust the plastic is strong enough so daren't put that theory to the test.)

It's a two handed job to use and hold very steady, light enough to swing around with one hand but otherwise superb.

Full shopping list: (probably cheaper through Flea Bay...)

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1


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