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Old Aug 12, 2008, 4:58 PM   #1
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I was looking with envy at the Nikon macro flashguns - the one's eith side of the lens, when I spotted these on eBay http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...004&ih=020

A pair of catus receivers and a transmitter, for just under £70 delivered.

As the Nikon ones are around £450 (and I would have to change systems) I decided to give these a go.

Some love them, some hate them.....

When I received them, I set it all up and one of the flashes just kept firing. I changed channels but it made no difference. Finally traced it to a loose hotshoe connection on the receiver. Mounted the flashes backwards and all problems solved.

Took them out for an airing yesterday. Being manual only, I had to move the aperture, ISO and shutter speed to suit different conditions, but I think I got a few reasonable ones...



About an inch long, he was more interested in the flower than me







A much smaller guy - just over 1/4" and wouldn't stay still...



Ripening Elderberries



Dandelion Clock



My personal favourite - another 1/4" insect, but one that stayed still-ish



I do like this setup, but I think the diffusers are going to be replaced (I see a milk bottle in the near future!) as they seem to opaque to let enough light through.


C&C Welcome



Dal
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 8:33 PM   #2
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The compositions and lighting are flawless--I'd say you have a keeper in the flash as well as these shots!

I've used the macro setting on my Sigma 500DG Super where the head tilts down 7 degrees. It seems to work well for the most part. I always check the exposure after shooting and on occasion have reduced the flash output even further manually.

Jay
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Old Aug 12, 2008, 10:58 PM   #3
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All very nice macros Dal, I especially like the head on shot of the wasp. Thanks for the link to the auction too, I had been considering a ring flash but that may be an even better solution. I would love to see more shots as you work with it.

Tim
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Old Aug 13, 2008, 1:09 PM   #4
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Thank you Jay. I started using my Sigma flash that way. Finally got it off camera earlier this year - so much better. Also easier with p-TTL doing all the work!!


Thank you Tim. I do have a ringflash. Bought a generic one from eBay fairly cheap - connects via a basic hotshoe adapter. Very good for certain shots, but after a few contrast/shadow comments from Roy, I masked off half the tube to give some shadows.

I think I have too many different combos for flash now, but at least it has let me become familiar with fully manual flash and understand (a bit) how it works.


A few more using the wireless triggers - indoors as it is windy outside...

First, my usual guinea pig / victim - the wife







An ornament



Flowers (bought for the wife - used by me....)










C&C welcome


Thanks for looking


Dal

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Old Aug 13, 2008, 3:31 PM   #5
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Wow Dal,
Not too many women would let themselves be photographed that close up without any makeup on!:shock:
Must be the flowers did the trick.:lol:
Some nice shots!
GW

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Old Aug 14, 2008, 3:02 PM   #6
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Flash is quite fun to learn and work with. You are doing some fantastic stuff here.

Mahalo,

Tom
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Old Aug 14, 2008, 10:36 PM   #7
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Your second series is wonderful! I still haven't mastered flash yet, keep getting unexpected results sometimes.
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Old Aug 14, 2008, 11:43 PM   #8
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These all look quite good Dal and I am finding your recommendation convincing. I assume this is a manual flash only on the Pentax? Not using flash a whole lot and not doing anything with manual flash I am wondering how tough it is. My thought would be that the instant feedback of digital would allow you get exposure right with a few test shots, has that been your experience?

Thanks,
Tim
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Old Aug 15, 2008, 1:17 AM   #9
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Thanks for looking and commenting Guys.

I agree manual flash is still a bit hit or miss for me at the moment, but I am improving....

I find the easiest way is to put the camera on X then adjust either aperture or ISO to suit.

The next step I took was to put the camera into manual and adjust the shutter speed and ISO. Providing you keep the speed at around 100-125 then the flash is fine.

All I really do is have the speed low enough to handhold, the ISO lower than 400 (to lessen the noise) and I can use an aperture up to f11 which is fine for macro.



Tim - whether you go for the wireless triggers or the ringflash, both give similar results and both are just as straightforward to use.

I know I was scared of flash before, but with the instant feedback of digital, all that has changed.



Update for the triggers - I ordered new batteries and found that the ones supplied are thinner than normal - my kodak ones did not fit in to the receiver properly. First mod to made this weekend is to change the receivers to take AA batteries instead.

Should be 15 mins work - hopefully!!



Dal
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