Lighting macros

Started Jul 24, 2010 | Discussions
Tommy tek Regular Member • Posts: 452
Re: Lighting macros

Thanks what a great thread! I am just starting into Macro. I bought a Tamron 60 macro lens and I have ordered the pop up diffuser. If it fits too loosely on the lens. I am going to try to attach it to a spare Cokin  A filter holder I have. $10 for a diffuser sure fits my budget better that a lot of other lighting choices.

Tom

 Tommy tek's gear list:Tommy tek's gear list
Sony SLT-A57 Sony a6000 Tamron SP AF 10-24mm F/3.5-4.5 Di II LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) Tamron AF 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Di LD Macro +4 more
OP Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,671
Re: Lighting macros

Tommy tek wrote:

Thanks what a great thread! I am just starting into Macro. I bought a Tamron 60 macro lens and I have ordered the pop up diffuser. If it fits too loosely on the lens. I am going to try to attach it to a spare Cokin A filter holder I have. $10 for a diffuser sure fits my budget better that a lot of other lighting choices.

Tom

Mine fits fairly well on my Tamron 90, but it does tend to pop off sometimes. I hot-glued a strip of rubber from a bicycle inner tube into the lens opening and that helps a lot. Here's what my mod looks like:

Pop-up diffuser with added  strip of rubber to make it more secure on my lens.

dwight3
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,626
Re: Lighting macros

Tommy tek wrote:

Thanks what a great thread! I am just starting into Macro. I bought a Tamron 60 macro lens and I have ordered the pop up diffuser. If it fits too loosely on the lens. I am going to try to attach it to a spare Cokin A filter holder I have. $10 for a diffuser sure fits my budget better that a lot of other lighting choices.

Tom

How about $0.10?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/2968551437/

 dwight3's gear list:dwight3's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
OP Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,671
Re: Lighting macros

dwight3 wrote:

Tommy tek wrote:

Thanks what a great thread! I am just starting into Macro. I bought a Tamron 60 macro lens and I have ordered the pop up diffuser. If it fits too loosely on the lens. I am going to try to attach it to a spare Cokin A filter holder I have. $10 for a diffuser sure fits my budget better that a lot of other lighting choices.

Tom

How about $0.10?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofarmer/2968551437/

I've tried the paper bounce attachment, along with lots and lots of other rigs. The pop-up diffuser give much better results for macro.

dwight3
dwight3 Senior Member • Posts: 2,626
Re: Lighting macros

Duncan C wrote:

...I've tried the paper bounce attachment, along with lots and lots of other rigs. The pop-up diffuser give much better results for macro....

Thanks. I've never tried it for macro. I've used it at wedding receptions where the ceiling was too high for good bounce.

 dwight3's gear list:dwight3's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D800E Nikon D5 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
Big Swifty Regular Member • Posts: 385
Re: Lighting macros

Duncan C wrote:

I haven't done a lot of shooting lately, but I'm on vacation on Cape Cod, and brought my camera.

I like shooting insect macros. I shoot handheld, and shoot skittish insects like butterflies, dragonflies, bees, etc. Thus, I need fast shutterspeeds. I also use small apertures to maximize the limited DOF. That combination means I need tons of light.

I've used all different kinds of lighting setups over the years, including dual flash macro brackets, a dedicated TTL ring-flash, etc, etc.

Believe it or not, my favorite macro rig is a little pop-up diffuser that I got from eBay for about $10 US. It attaches to the front of the lens and I fire my hot-shoe flash through it. It gives MUCH better light than my $400 TTL ring-light, and is easier to use.

Here's a picture of it:

Here are a couple of pictures I took today:

Note the subtle, soft-edged shadows under the butterfly.

Note the soft highlight on the butterfly's eye. Most of the other macro rigs I've used produce very stark, ugly, unnatural highlights.

-- hide signature --

So I'm about to get into macro photography and have been doing some research. I have a Fuji X-E1, which is basically a rangefinder style camera and am about to get a Tamron 90mm macro. I came across this thread and like the idea of this diffuser instead of a ring flash. I only ever really use flash for fill (and soon for macro) so I'm not looking to spend a lot on a flash, especially after purchasing three lenses and being hit up for 25% duties by Peruvian customs. The built in flash of my X-E1 is probably not strong enough for macro and so I'm looking at a Sunpak PF20XD [(Guide # 3.5-20 (ISO100-m)] which looks very similar to Fuji's much more expensive EF-X20. It's a small flash and I'm wondering if coupled with the X-E1 and this diffuser if the set up will work for macro. I see the flash used in the picture extends out where the Sunpak doesn't. Also see the tilting Metz 20-C mentioned, but read that the build quality is not so great. If not either of these, does anyone have any recommendations? Again, I'm on a budget, don't use flash much, and am looking to spend around $50-60.

 Big Swifty's gear list:Big Swifty's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Samyang 8mm F2.8 UMC Fisheye Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +6 more
CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Lighting macros

Duncan C wrote:

I haven't done a lot of shooting lately, but I'm on vacation on Cape Cod, and brought my camera.

I like shooting insect macros. I shoot handheld, and shoot skittish insects like butterflies, dragonflies, bees, etc. Thus, I need fast shutterspeeds. I also use small apertures to maximize the limited DOF. That combination means I need tons of light.

I've used all different kinds of lighting setups over the years, including dual flash macro brackets, a dedicated TTL ring-flash, etc, etc.

Believe it or not, my favorite macro rig is a little pop-up diffuser that I got from eBay for about $10 US. It attaches to the front of the lens and I fire my hot-shoe flash through it. It gives MUCH better light than my $400 TTL ring-light, and is easier to use.

Here's a picture of it:

So I bought a similar diffuser from Ebay.

When I unpacked it, it sprung out to full size.

Now I can't figure out how to collapse it back down into the case!!

I need help on how to get it back into the case!

thanks

boulderhead
boulderhead New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Lighting macros
1

Same principle on a different scale:

How to fold a reflector.

 boulderhead's gear list:boulderhead's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +9 more
Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 12,839
Re: Lighting macros
1

CoolColJ wrote:

Duncan C wrote:

I haven't done a lot of shooting lately, but I'm on vacation on Cape Cod, and brought my camera.

I like shooting insect macros. I shoot handheld, and shoot skittish insects like butterflies, dragonflies, bees, etc. Thus, I need fast shutterspeeds. I also use small apertures to maximize the limited DOF. That combination means I need tons of light.

I've used all different kinds of lighting setups over the years, including dual flash macro brackets, a dedicated TTL ring-flash, etc, etc.

Believe it or not, my favorite macro rig is a little pop-up diffuser that I got from eBay for about $10 US. It attaches to the front of the lens and I fire my hot-shoe flash through it. It gives MUCH better light than my $400 TTL ring-light, and is easier to use.

Here's a picture of it:

So I bought a similar diffuser from Ebay.

When I unpacked it, it sprung out to full size.

Now I can't figure out how to collapse it back down into the case!!

I need help on how to get it back into the case!

thanks

Take hold of the diffuser on opposite sides and twist in opposite directions.  Fold each side over the middle.

YouTube - Gavin Hoey - How to fold a reflector in two easy steps

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Pattaya, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

 Sailor Blue's gear list:Sailor Blue's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Canon EOS 7D Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro +10 more
jazja Regular Member • Posts: 274
Re: Lighting macros

what was the distance between the insect and the lens?

Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 12,839
Re: Lighting macros

jazja wrote:

what was the distance between the insect and the lens?

Look at the date this thread started.  It died long ago.

The only reason I answered boulderhead is that his question was about something new and different than the original thread.

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Living and loving it in Pattaya, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

 Sailor Blue's gear list:Sailor Blue's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Canon EOS 7D Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro +10 more
CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Lighting macros

I posted a comparison with this EBay diffuser and the G85's pop up flash + Olympus 60mmm macro lens + Raynox 250, and with or with out a toilet roll snoot in this thread

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4273962

It's a bit too big on the small Olympus 60mm, so I had to get creative in mounting it.

I wedged the diffuser between the lens and one of those cheap rubber padded screw on hand grips that pivot from the tripod mount

thanks everyone

Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Forum Pro • Posts: 12,839
Re: Lighting macros
1

Solving problems is one of the best skills a photographer can have.

Your snoot is a nice solution.

Have fun and don't forget to post a couple of examples of your results.

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Living and loving it in Pattaya, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

 Sailor Blue's gear list:Sailor Blue's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Canon EOS 7D Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro +10 more
OP Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,671
Re: Lighting macros

That cardboard tube snoot would have the opposite effect of what I like about the pop-up diffuser: A large, soft-edged light source. The snoot would create a small, sharp-edged light source.

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Duncan C
dpreview and PBase supporter.
title
http://www.pbase.com/duncanc
My macro gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/duncanc/macro_pictures&page=all

CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Lighting macros

At least with the G85's pop up flash, since it's so far away from the diffuser in my setup, the snoot adds better 3D lighting

quoting my test from this thread

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4273962

CoolColJ wrote:

OK I have a working setup now with the 60mm Oly macro lens. It's so small, so the EBay diffuser doesn't fit on the end, so I came up with neat solution that also gives me nice lighting with the popup flash, will be getting an external flash soon - either Metz M400 brand new or a second hand Oly FL600r. Both have the video light which will come in handy for me.

this one

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Collapsible-Flash-Speedlite-Diffuser-Reflector-Soft-Light-Studio-for-DSLR-Camera/262060543180?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

Which I originally found out about in this thread

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/2840452

I wedged the EBay diffuser between the lens and on of those cheap rubber padded screw on handgrips that pivot from the tripod mount. Then added a toilet roll snoot to direct light into it

So far it's just plain white inside the roll, will add foil and seal the back end.

The angle is perfect for directing light downwards and I can still use the focus ring etc

Tests -

Oly 60mm macro + Raynox 250 - on the Logitech logo of my mouse. The letters are barely half a mm across if that. About 1cm from the "L" to the "H"

And lens was about an inch away from the mouse.

Just the popup flash

G85 + Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro + Raynox 250 - popup flash only

EBay diffuser added

G85 + Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro + Raynox 250 - popup flash with EBay diffuser

EBay diffuser and toilet roll snoot

G85 + Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro + Raynox 250 - popup flash with EBay diffuser and toilet roll snoot

Folded tissue paper added on end of snoot

G85 + Olympus 60mm f2.8 macro + Raynox 250 - popup flash with EBay diffuser and toilet roll snoot + folded tissue paper

I do notice the colour balance changes at each stage.

With the Lumix 14-140mm lens, the lens expands as it zooms so it would be a pain with my setup

The Lumix 45-175mm does not, which is nice.

CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Lighting macros

This cloth diffuser is excellent for insect eyes, which usually blow out. And soften the reflection off a test tube and glass surface

CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Lighting macros

Rubber banding some 2 layer paper foam that some items I bought from Ebay were packed in (like the stuff they pack a camera inside) to the front top side of the lens angled upwards, in addition to the cloth diffuser improves it even more.

It also diffuses my LED light so the ants don't freak out

Which removes the reflections and specular highlights from the glass top of my ant nests in the EVF

Look at the Strobe ant's eyes, they are so soft and rounded now

OP Duncan C Veteran Member • Posts: 7,671
Re: Lighting macros

Again, the pop-up diffuser I show in this thread give me the best results of any rig I've tried. Shooting through cloth will be similar, but this is both really good and extremely easy to use. Check out this shot of TINY little ants:

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Duncan C
dpreview and PBase supporter.
title
http://www.pbase.com/duncanc
My macro gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/duncanc/macro_pictures&page=all

CoolColJ Regular Member • Posts: 137
Re: Lighting macros

Duncan C wrote:

Again, the pop-up diffuser I show in this thread give me the best results of any rig I've tried. Shooting through cloth will be similar, but this is both really good and extremely easy to use. Check out this shot of TINY little ants:

Oh I'm using it, that's what I was refering to when I said cloth diffuser.

But I found adding another foam paper diffuser at the end of the lens angled up and flaring out a bit makes it even better for reflective insect eyes

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