Flash for Macro

SpAtZ

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 3, 2006
187
0
NY
I do a lot of macro photography with the Canon 100mm f2.8 lens on a 300d.(I will eventually upgrade to a 30d) I am looking for a decent flash to use for macro and some portraits every once and a while. I don't want to spend over $250. Any decent flashes that would fit the price?
 

cgratti

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
782
0
Central Pennsylvania, USA
SpAtZ said:
I do a lot of macro photography with the Canon 100mm f2.8 lens on a 300d.(I will eventually upgrade to a 30d) I am looking for a decent flash to use for macro and some portraits every once and a while. I don't want to spend over $250. Any decent flashes that would fit the price?
For ABOUT $240 you can have the Canon 430EX Speedlight, you also get a $15 Mail in rebate so it comes to about $225 total. I use this flash for my macro and it works very well. You will also need an off shoe camera cord and flash bracket to get the flash above the front of the lens.
See here ----->http://www.outbackphoto.com/nature/2001/don_macro/MacroSetupRight.jpg

Link to Flash --->http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=397664&is=USA&addedTroughType=search
 

ChrisA

macrumors G4
Jan 5, 2006
11,612
424
Redondo Beach, California
SpAtZ said:
I do a lot of macro photography with the Canon 100mm f2.8 lens on a 300d.(I will eventually upgrade to a 30d) I am looking for a decent flash to use for macro and some portraits every once and a while. I don't want to spend over $250. Any decent flashes that would fit the price?
I solved that problem years ago by buying a studio strobe setup. It was well worth it. A good light system will outlive many cameras.

The neat thing about both macro and portrait is that you have a controlled setup and so you do not need fancy automatic TTL strobes. But what you Do need is the ability to control the light. Control both it direction and hardness/softness and the ratio of main to fill lighting. Main to fill is key in digital because of digital's very limited dynamic range.

A used studio power pack system would cost about three times your budget. but before I had this I used a set of very inexppensive Vivitar strobes and Wein "peanut slaves. The slaves are little one inch cubes of clear plastic with a "hot shoe" on top and a tripod socket on the bottom. Then I bought an Umbrella and a photoflex "softbox" then get some very cheap tripods to act as light stands. then buy the lowest priced strobe that can be aimed at theceiling and put that one one your camera. This ceiling flash trigger the other two. Total cost for the whole two light setup might be within your budget. Save money by replacing one slave and the on-camera flash with a 15 foot sync cord.

A $75 strobe inside a photoflex softbox make a realy nice light source for either people (simulating window light) or can simulate and overcast sky in a macro. My Vivitar 283 strobes are out of production but this is a replacement available for about $79 http://www.tocad.com/flash/383.html
It has enough power even for large group shots. Use it at 1/16th power setting for macros


With film I used a flash meter to set everyting up but with digital the DSLR's histogram display makes a good meter.
 

cgratti

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2004
782
0
Central Pennsylvania, USA
ChrisA said:
I solved that problem years ago by buying a studio strobe setup. It was well worth it. A good light system will outlive many cameras.

The neat thing about both macro and portrait is that you have a controlled setup and so you do not need fancy automatic TTL strobes. But what you Do need is the ability to control the light. Control both it direction and hardness/softness and the ratio of main to fill lighting. Main to fill is key in digital because of digital's very limited dynamic range.

A used studio power pack system would cost about three times your budget. but before I had this I used a set of very inexppensive Vivitar strobes and Wein "peanut slaves. The slaves are little one inch cubes of clear plastic with a "hot shoe" on top and a tripod socket on the bottom. Then I bought an Umbrella and a photoflex "softbox" then get some very cheap tripods to act as light stands. then buy the lowest priced strobe that can be aimed at theceiling and put that one one your camera. This ceiling flash trigger the other two. Total cost for the whole two light setup might be within your budget. Save money by replacing one slave and the on-camera flash with a 15 foot sync cord.

A $75 strobe inside a photoflex softbox make a realy nice light source for either people (simulating window light) or can simulate and overcast sky in a macro. My Vivitar 283 strobes are out of production but this is a replacement available for about $79 http://www.tocad.com/flash/383.html
It has enough power even for large group shots. Use it at 1/16th power setting for macros


With film I used a flash meter to set everyting up but with digital the DSLR's histogram display makes a good meter.
The strobe wont help him much for macro if he goes outside and want pics of insects and flowers and such, he will have to bring the subjects inside to his studo.