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Old Nov 14, 2002, 4:34 PM   #1
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Default Best Macro Flash for Canon D-60?

Best Macro Flash for Canon D-60?:

I’d like to become proficient in macro flash photography over the winter months.

Canon offers their EX-Series Macro Lites in RING and DUAL flash modes…with stratospheric price tags. What are the pros and cons of each mode? Which do you prefer…and why?

What about compatible 3rd party units with more reasonable price tags?

Many thanks?

M i k e
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Old Nov 14, 2002, 5:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best Macro Flash for Canon D-60?

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Originally Posted by shamrock838
Best Macro Flash for Canon D-60?:

I’d like to become proficient in macro flash photography over the winter months.

Canon offers their EX-Series Macro Lites in RING and DUAL flash modes…with stratospheric price tags. What are the pros and cons of each mode? Which do you prefer…and why?

What about compatible 3rd party units with more reasonable price tags?

Many thanks?

M i k e

Hi Mike:

I do not use a ring flash.

I have considered it on more than one occasion. But, after I think it through, I keep my $$$ for other purchases.

The one advantage of the macro flash is convenience. It attaches to the 100mm and 50mm macro lens with just a twist. The 180mm macro lens needs a converter ring.

You have to be very careful with macro flashes. Too many people just treat it like a single flash, rather than carefully adjusting the ratio of the flash bulbs and the result is a very flat, shadow-less illumination that is great for photographing things like documents, artwork, and small objects like watches and buttons. For other things, the illumination is very unnatural, since there is no natural lighting like it in the universe.

I use two 550EX flashes. This gives you a lot more flexibility. You can easily use diffusers, like the Stoffen Omni-Bounce. Color gels are easier to use, too. The 550EX flashes will communicate, so you attach one to the camera with an Off-Camera Shoe 2 cord, set the other as a slave, and adjust the flash ratios. I use a Manfroto dual flash braket (about $50), which works well and is an inexpensive solution for flowers, butterflies, etc. For documents, artwork, etc., you can just attach the flashes to the arms of a copy stand.

The big benefit of dual 550EX or 420EX flashes is flash output. A macro ring flash has a very low guide number. You can use the dual 550EX flashes for portraits, weddings, etc. A macro flash is suitable for macro work, and that's about it. You can use it from some close-up flash work, too, but you can't point the flash into umbrellas, use a softbox, use the flash from behind for hair highlights, etc. That's stuff you can do with a dual flash system.

Let us know what you decide.

Have fun!

Mitch
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