R1 Macro Twin Flash - too delicate for field use?

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dave gaines
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R1 Macro Twin Flash - too delicate for field use?
10 months ago

Is anyone else using this system? What are your impressions of using this twin flash in the field?

I just recieved an R-1 Wireless Close-up Speedlight System, or Macro Twin Flash, linked below. Images of the accessories that come with it are shown as "included". It came with a long list of accessory parts in a big kit box. Obviously you don't take the big box out on a day hike if you have anything else in your pack. It does come with padded pouches for the primary pieces.

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Flashes/4804/R1-Wireless-Close-Up-Speedlight-System.html

B&H has a list of the parts included "In The Box":

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/410484-USA/Nikon_4804_4804_R1_Wireless_Close_Up.html

These parts seem useful, but most appear to be too delicate and fragile to carry very far in a backpack on a hike or walk in the woods. The SW-11 soft box adapters ($29.50 to replace) clip on over the SZ-1 color gell filter holders ($12). They're hard to work on and rely on delicate plastc clips to stay in place. The SG-3IR filter panel is a funny piece, waiting to get wacked off the hot shoe while hiking on a trail.

The wireless function seems easy to use but for manual flash control, and considering how close the flash is to the camera body, it would be just as easy to use a PC sync with a spiltter to both flash. Then there's no need to fire the built-in flash or use the IR panel. The SG-3IR panel could be a simple stick-on IR gel like I've used with other slaved strobes. I haven't looked at the SB-R200 flash units to see if there's a terminal to accepta Nikon proprietary cable or 2-wire mini jack plugs.

For macro I prefer manual to TTL flash for DOF control. Set the aperture where you want it and adjust flash output for exposure as needed. Aperture controls flash exposure. Shutter speed controls background exposure.

The system looks like it would provide great side lighting for macro subjects. All the parts and the box would be useful for in-studio product photography. I didn't see any other twin flash options for Nikon. There are lots of ring flash options that adapt to the Nikon hot shoe.

In the past I've used the Olympus SRF-11 ring flash with the E-5 and 50 mm f/2 macro lens. That uses a speedlight-sized controller that plugs directly into the ring flash or the SRT-22 twin flash. There's one solid metal tube adapter that fits both Olympus macro lenses. These 3 parts are well built and rugged. The Nikon R1 with all its accessories is actually much less expensive than the Olympus twin flash.

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Dave

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