Archivos de diario de enero 2018

20 de enero de 2018

Handheld Flash for Macro

I am always tweaking my camera setup to try and squeeze the most out of it. My base setup of a Sony a6300 with a Sony FE 90mm Macro Lens is about as good as anything on the market. However flashes have always given me a lot more trouble.

First I got a Sigma Ring Flash. It did alright, but it unfortunately isn't really a ring flash. It is a twin flash which is built with no easy way to provide diffusion. That has lead to disappointing image quality compared to some other products on the market.

After six months of using the ring flash, I got a ridiculously good deal on to a Sony Twin Flash. This was a really solid macro flash. It suffered from a few problems though. It was pretty fussy, with lots of little pieces which always needed adjusting. It also it lacked high speed sync which made it almost useless for taking photos in full sun. Worst of all, it died in about six months. It was under warranty, but Sony refused to replace it and instead refunded it. Since I got such a good deal, buying another one with the money I got wasn't an option so I went back to the ring flash for another year.

After researching more, I decided that the way to go was a hand held flash. Something like what is done in this video. That is a far lower cost alternative than a dedicated macro flash. However it created some conundrums. How do you photograph at night when holding a flashlight? Also, I am usually dragging kids down trails so I often need two hands. So I decided to get a flash bracket which my flash usually goes to, but get a quick release to allow me to remove it and use it as a hand held flash.

The basic setup is:

Godox Ving V860IIS flash
X1T-S Wireless Flash Trigger
Diffuser
Straight Flash Bracket
Quick Release Plate

I bought a packaged deal which included the first three items, but with a diffuser which is perhaps too small. Then I bought the larger diffuser because I wasn't sure what I wanted. Here is what the setup looks like:

This setup really does produce much better images than the sigma ring flash. Here are two very tiny Big-Headed Ants, one with the ring flash and the other with the Godox:




The lack of diffusion with the ring flash (top) leads to a lot more white spots on reflective surfaces. Also, the shadows are always coming to the far side of the camera. In a way this is good, the side you are looking at is illuminated. However, a more artistic type would probably complain about the inability to control the location of the shadows.

I am also trying this with a much larger 13"x8" diffuser. This diffuser is probably too large, but it does seem to give fantastic results so I may keep using it.




Using the larger diffuser seems to give fantastic results, but it messes up the center of mass of the camera rig so bad that it is unwieldy. Whether the slightly higher image quality is worth the fuss, I have yet to decide. I may get a medium sized diffuser in a few weeks.

This whole system is really an amazing deal. For under $300 you get a flash which can do TTL, High Speed Sync, and is radio controlled. It also can shoot thousands of macro shots on a single battery due to the Lithium ion battery. Unlike the similarly priced Sigma Ring Flash this flash is also useful for more than just macro as it is a typical speedlight.

Someone who wanted to reduce the cost could go with the Godox TT685S, it is basically the same flash just with AA batteries.

Someone trying to save cost and weight could go with the Godox TT350S. That flash reduces cost but at the cost of lower recycle times and lower maximum power.

Someone trying to save money could also go with a TTL flash cord. I don't actually recommend it though. The radio flash works amazingly well and the TTL cords seem over priced. There is a trick though with the transmitter, you need to turn it onto macro mode. This is done by holding down the test button while turning the transmitter on. If you forget to do this, it sometimes fails to fire unless it is more than 1 foot from the transmitter.

Someone wanting a bit higher quality flashes could use the Sony HVL-F45RM flash with the Sony Radio Control Wireless Commander. Again, I don't really recommend it. The setup costs three times as much for a slightly less powerful flash.

Edit:
After some playing with this setup, I determined it was too heavy and had too harsh of shadows. So I moved to a globe flash diffuser.

Ingresado el 20 de enero de 2018 por glmory glmory | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario