Missing light in most situation, what's the better solution ? EV -4 iso 250

Started Aug 27, 2012 | Discussions
Mammouth New Member • Posts: 5
Missing light in most situation, what's the better solution ? EV -4 iso 250

Hello,
Im new to macrophotography,

i purchased a used sigma macro 150 2.8 (not stabilized) 2 week's ago that im using with a speedlite 430 EX II and bounce on a canon 7D.

I prefer to shot macro insect handheld because they could fly away before i unfold the tripod.So for biggest part of my insect shot i start with a shutterspeed of + - 1/500 (insect move, and not stabilized lenses).

Most of my shot are in a dense forest in low light situation.
In pretty 50% of my shot, F16 at 1/500 iso 250 will result in EV -4.
So to compensate i use flash in high speed with a power of 1/1.

But EV -4 result in high noise. I could increase iso to 1000 but noise problem will pretty be the same.

Does a MT-24EX Twin Lite really worth the money, will it reduce EV or iso by 2,3x...?
Can i just add a led ring light at the end of my lenses?
Any better solution ?

Thanks

Canon EOS 7D
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gardenersassistant Veteran Member • Posts: 3,809
Re: Missing light in most situation, what's the better solution ? EV -4 iso 250

Mammouth wrote:

Hello,
Im new to macrophotography,

i purchased a used sigma macro 150 2.8 (not stabilized) 2 week's ago that im using with a speedlite 430 EX II and bounce on a canon 7D.

I prefer to shot macro insect handheld because they could fly away before i unfold the tripod.So for biggest part of my insect shot i start with a shutterspeed of + - 1/500 (insect move, and not stabilized lenses).

Most of my shot are in a dense forest in low light situation.
In pretty 50% of my shot, F16 at 1/500 iso 250 will result in EV -4.
So to compensate i use flash in high speed with a power of 1/1.

But EV -4 result in high noise. I could increase iso to 1000 but noise problem will pretty be the same.

I'm not sure I follow this entirely, but it sounds like you are using high speed ("HSS") flash with a shutter speed of 1/500. However, if you are using flash as your main light source you don't need to use HSS flash. This is because with flash as your main light source, the effective shutter speed is the length of the flash burst. With ordinary (non-HSS) flash, the duration of the flash is very brief, giving you a fast effective shutter speed, irrespective of the actual shutter speed you use.

I believe you can use ordinary flash up to 1/250 sec with the 7D, but you can use slower shutter speeds when using ordinary flash as your main light source. For example, my Panasonic kit will sync up to 1/160 sec, but I often use slower shutter speeds with ordinary flash. (There can be some benefits of using slower shutter speeds with ordinary flash, to help prevent backgrounds going black.)

With HSS flash the flash is on for the entire duration of the exposure*, and because of the way that is done it causes a significant reduction in the amount of light that can be delivered. So, if you are having difficulty getting enough light on the scene using HSS flash then using normal flash should improve matters by providing you with more light.

*Somewhat confusingly, this means that using ordinary flash at, say, 1/60 sec may give you a faster effective shutter speed than using HSS flash with a shutter speed of 1/500 sec, because the flash duration is quite probably less than 1/500 sec for an ordinary flash burst.

Does a MT-24EX Twin Lite really worth the money, will it reduce EV or iso by 2,3x...?
Can i just add a led ring light at the end of my lenses?
Any better solution ?

Thanks

Unless money is not an issue, I suggest you research and experiment with diffusing and reflecting flash from your 430 EX II before deciding that you need to use different lighting arrangements. It is very common to make your own diffuser for macro work - mostly using very inexpensive materials (plastic milk bottles, cola cans, cardboard, tissue paper, kitchen towel etc). Using their home-made diffusers and reflectors some people produce stunning and beautiful macros using nothing more than their on-board flash, and the 430 EX II gives you more power and options for use on and off of the camera.

cjed Senior Member • Posts: 2,039
Re: Missing light in most situation, what's the better solution ? EV -4 iso 250

Mammouth wrote:

Hello,
Im new to macrophotography,

i purchased a used sigma macro 150 2.8 (not stabilized) 2 week's ago that im using with a speedlite 430 EX II and bounce on a canon 7D.

I prefer to shot macro insect handheld because they could fly away before i unfold the tripod.So for biggest part of my insect shot i start with a shutterspeed of + - 1/500 (insect move, and not stabilized lenses).

Most of my shot are in a dense forest in low light situation.
In pretty 50% of my shot, F16 at 1/500 iso 250 will result in EV -4.
So to compensate i use flash in high speed with a power of 1/1.

But EV -4 result in high noise. I could increase iso to 1000 but noise problem will pretty be the same.

As gardenersassistant has said, you don't need to be using a shutter speed faster than the maximum sync speed of your camera. I'm not clear how you're using your 430 EX flash - you mention "bounce". A better way of using it is to use a bracket and off-camera cord to mount the flash head close to the end of the lens and use a diffuser to even the illumination. Running the flash in HSS (High Speed Sync) mode is very inefficient and not necessary for most macro work.

When shooting macros with this sort of setup on a 50D I use Manual exposure with the flash set to ETTL. Normal settings are ISO 100, 1/250th at between f11 and f16, and adjust exposure with FEC (Flash Exposure Compensation) on the camera.

By moving the flash closer to the subject, you reduce it's required power output, which reduces the effective exposure time (flash duration) to shorter than 1/1000th.

Does a MT-24EX Twin Lite really worth the money, will it reduce EV or iso by 2,3x...?

An MT-24EX is a very flexible and convenient flash solution for macro work, but I don't think it produces significantly better lighting than an off-camera, diffused standard flashgun.

Have a look through this guide by "LordV" (Brian Valentine), it's got some pictures of the kind of setup I'm talking about and some stunning examples of what you can achieve with it :
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=807056

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Check out my galleries (lots of macros) at :
http://www.pbase.com/cjed

OP Mammouth New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Missing light in most situation, what's the better solution ? EV -4 iso 250

Thanks to both of you. F13-16 1/200 with FEC freeze subject and let me use iso 100. The article of LordV is real gold.

@cjed: by bounce i was meaning: Vello Bounce Dome a diffuser for the canon 430ex.

By moving the flash closer to the subject, you reduce it's required power output, which reduces the effective exposure time (flash duration) to shorter than 1/1000th.

Does the TTL autodetect this ? or i have to use Manual mode and set power to 1/2 instead of 1/1 or something like that ?

@cjed: What is the bracket on http://www.pbase.com/cjed/equipment ?

Thanks

cjed Senior Member • Posts: 2,039
Re: Missing light in most situation, what's the better solution ? EV -4 iso 250

Mammouth wrote:

Thanks to both of you. F13-16 1/200 with FEC freeze subject and let me use iso 100. The article of LordV is real gold.

@cjed: by bounce i was meaning: Vello Bounce Dome a diffuser for the canon 430ex.

You can continue to use that - just get the flash closer to the subject with a bracket and off-camera cord.

By moving the flash closer to the subject, you reduce it's required power output, which reduces the effective exposure time (flash duration) to shorter than 1/1000th.

Does the TTL autodetect this ? or i have to use Manual mode and set power to 1/2 instead of 1/1 or something like that ?

Yes, if you use ETTL the flash will use much less than full power, this gives you a shorter flash duration (faster effective shutter speed), allows more flashes before the batteries need replacing and faster recycle times.

@cjed: What is the bracket on http://www.pbase.com/cjed/equipment ?

That's an old straight flash bracket with a hot shoe adapter I used with an old Sunpak manual flash I used when starting macro photography about 8 years ago. Note the homebrew plastic diffuser
It's a combination of something like these :
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hama-Flash-Bracket-30-180mm/dp/B00005LLPJ
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hama-Adjustable-Shoe-Mount-1/dp/B00006JAIL

Nowadays I tend to use a MT-24EX, often with diffusers and a special bracket to allow more flexible positioning of the heads, have a look at :
http://www.pbase.com/cjed/macrogear

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Check out my galleries (lots of macros) at :
http://www.pbase.com/cjed

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