Canon 7D or 70D for birds in flight

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
R2D2 Forum Pro • Posts: 18,926
Re: re: flash in burst modes???

jpr2 wrote:

forgotten to ask - and this is pretty crucial, esp. if one uses the mpe65 on higher magnifications, although even with 100L and other macro settings pretty often a diffused flash is a must :). Yet, even on shots like the one above in your pbase gallery, you wrote "Canon MP-E65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro, with flash 1/200s f/13.0 at 65.0mm iso400", but... the actual EXIF keeps mum about flash details. So... HOW do you manage to force it to yield enough juice and to sustain bursts?

I guest it must have been with manual settings, and using perhaps something like 1/16 to 1/64 power output, but all I've managed so far with various Speedlites (mostly 550 & 580ex) was to get the flash firing intermittently every second shot, alas. The HSS mode has helped some, but not much. Can you share your setup and workflows here?

Thanks for the kind words jpr2. Macro sure is a blast.

I shoot with the 580EX II (I think it has the same guide number as the 580EX), along with a (flat) Graslon Prodigy diffuser on it (with off-camera flash bracket and cord). Diffusion is pretty good, but is still directional enough to provide some good modeling effects.

I set everything manually (in-camera as well as flash). Any of the TTL modes drive me crazy with inconsistency. I don't normally use HSS unless I want to darken backgrounds significantly. HSS actually has longer flash durations than normal sync, so it doesn't work as well combating subject motion blur or camera shake.

I generally like to shoot at f/5.6 - f/13 at max sync (1/250 on the 70D). I try to keep my ISO low to preserve color and contrast (400 max). Even at 1:1 and f/13, I'm shooting at about 1/4 flash power or less. This gives me a 7 FPS burst of 3 flash shots. Focal plane is invariably different for each frame due to camera or subject motion. Which actually works out well.

If I bump up ISO or increase aperture a bit, I can often shoot at 1/8 or even 1/16 flash power. Bursts of several/many shots are possible, and this can be a great technique for Focus Stacking (if you time your sway right).

I do like to shoot in ambient light at times (backgrounds can often be more pleasing). The image stabilization of the 100L Macro really helps there (I only drag the tripod out if I'm shooting at greater than 3:1 with the MPE, even with flash). And I really like the 300 f/4 for Dragons and Butterflies. The bokeh is killer, and the added shooting distance is really nice.

Well I could go on and on about Macro, but in deference to the OP, I really shouldn't hijack his BIF thread (any more than I have that is).

Hope this helps,


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