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Author Topic: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?  (Read 17531 times)

chrysoberyl

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2015, 02:22:37 PM »
Thanks for necro-ing, and nice shot!  What do you use for diffusing?

Dalantech's DIY diffusers are legendary.   ;D  Just type dalantech and the 2nd google autofill will answer your question (at least the English version of Google - not so for Google in Deutschland).

Thank you!  And his macros...oh, my!
6D, 80D, 5D IV, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC, Rokinon 14mm 2.4, Sigma 135mm ART.

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2015, 02:22:37 PM »

chrysoberyl

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2015, 02:25:13 PM »
Thanks for necro-ing, and nice shot!  What do you use for diffusing?

At the end of this video I show them. Gonna build a new set this weekend that will be a little less bulky.

I made a fairly cheap rig using two diffused LED's attached to an aftermarket hood, for my Canon 100mm L Macro.  I am happy with that rig, but am considering an update to the MT-24EX.

The problem with LEDs, even if it sends out a pulse of light and isn't continuous, is that the duration of the light will not be short enough to freeze motion. Motion is actually one of the biggest problems when shooting macro since even the slightest movement can amplify diffraction and make an image look soft. Diffraction by itself isn't too big of a concern unless you're shooting above 4x.

Noted regarding LED's.  And I will enjoy absorbing your tutorials.  Do you prefer FF or crop?
6D, 80D, 5D IV, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC, Rokinon 14mm 2.4, Sigma 135mm ART.

Zeidora

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2015, 03:59:34 PM »
I use the MPE65 and MT24 a lot [I burnt out one flash tube]. No filter here, although on every other lens I use, I have a protection filter (except for the F-Distagon 16 mm). I do use the MPE 65 hood, both as protection, and to cut down on stray light to increase micro contrast.

On the MT24 I use the garry fong puffers. Drilled a couple of holes and a slit leading to each on each side, and run a rubber band through the holes, so I can move them easily as necessary. The biggest problem is that the rubber bands deteriorate rather quickly, so have to replace them every 6 months. Have to try the stofens.

For >2:1, which I shoot quite frequently, the flash heads are illuminating the background, but not the subject. I use two Wimberley plamps with flash mounts screwed and epoxy glued to one of the ball joints. I looket at the RRS rig. Love RRS for all sorts of things, but the macro flash rigs are too much, IMHO. The Plamps work perfectly fine. The plamps can either be attached to tripod legs, or the foot of the MPE65. The flash heads are then placed right adjacent to the front of the lens.

This becomes even more important with z-stacking. You have to ensure that the light source remains static. If you mount the flash on the lens, it moves and changes illumination angle and shadows. With z-stacking, constant illumination is critical, so you rather use it in manual mode than ETTL. At f/2.8 with >3:1x, even at smallest power setting (either 1/64 or 1/128, don't remember), placing the flash heads right over the subject can emit too much light. Then you have to move the heads away a bit, but the low power setting will still ensure short exposure time (completely agree with Dalantech's tutorial).

I also often do bounce flash, so turn the flash heads away from the subject, and bounce it off white cardboard, or a white porcelain cereal bowl. That is particularly helpful with plant portraits, where you have many crisscrossing elements, or deeply nestled flowers.

Different lighting can get different information. More directional light will give you more local detail (surface sculpture), which can get obliterated with fully diffused lighting. Lighting needs to be matched to what you want to show. There certainly is plain old bad lighting, but there are multiple equally valid good lighting options.

I agree with Dalantech, that the best flash lighting should NOT look like flashed.

I published an article on macro flower photography, which explains and illustrates the above. If anybody is interested, PM me and I will send you the link.
5D2 full spectrum, 5DsR, a bunch of Zeiss (some other) primes, for documentary natural history, macro, and micro.

Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2015, 03:42:45 AM »
Dalantech's DIY diffusers are legendary.   ;D  Just type dalantech and the 2nd google autofill will answer your question (at least the English version of Google - not so for Google in Deutschland).

Thanks for the props!

Hi Dalantech!

I use the MR-14EX and I'm wondering, you have any suggestions on how to diffuse this unit please?

Thank you :)

Back when I had one I played with mounting it at different angles and couldn't get E-TTL metering to work reliably unless it was mounted right at the end of the lens. Ring flashes have two distinct problems: The flash heads are too parallel to the lens, and the flash heads / built in diffusers are too small. Unfortunately the only fix that I know of to both of those issues is to use a different flash :(

Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2015, 03:46:28 AM »
Noted regarding LED's.  And I will enjoy absorbing your tutorials.  Do you prefer FF or crop?

Currently shooting with the 70D because I like the "hardware crop" built into APS-C cameras. But as the mega pixel count gets higher at some point I'm going to shoot full frame and then crop down to a 1.6x factor for prints. Also hoping that the crop modes currently built into the 5Ds and 5Dsr make their way into something affordable for a hobbyist like myself.

Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2015, 03:55:44 AM »
I use the MPE65 and MT24 a lot [I burnt out one flash tube].

I was shooting in a field that was wet from dew and one of my flash heads stopped working. Took about two weeks to get it repaired.

On the MT24 I use the garry fong puffers.

I made a set using a pair of Sto-Fens as the connection point to the flash heads. I cut up a replacement wide angle diffusion panel for a 600 RT and hot glued the pieces directly to the MT-24EX flash heads, then a set of Sto-Fens, and then a piece of 1/2 white diffusion material. A pair of Garry Fong Puffer Plus diffusers are the final stage, and all of it held together with a frame that I built using Legos. Due to the way it's built it's solid, but I can still break it down and change the materials out if I want to experiment with something new.

...This becomes even more important with z-stacking...

I avoid all of that by simply not focus stacking ;) I like the depth and detail that I can get in a single frame stopped down. this shot was taken at 2x and F16:

Sleeping Cuckoo Bee by John Kimbler, on Flickr

Tech Specs: Canon 70D (F16, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (around 2x) + a diffused MT-24EX. This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held.

Technique: I went looking for dormant bees early in the morning and found this Cuckoo Bee sleeping in my Lavender. After it woke up I placed it next to a Daisy and it went back to sleep. I used an artificial flower behind it to keep the background from being black.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 05:03:59 AM by Dalantech »

Sabaki

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2015, 06:16:24 AM »
Dalantech's DIY diffusers are legendary.   ;D  Just type dalantech and the 2nd google autofill will answer your question (at least the English version of Google - not so for Google in Deutschland).

Thanks for the props!

Hi Dalantech!

I use the MR-14EX and I'm wondering, you have any suggestions on how to diffuse this unit please?

Thank you :)

Back when I had one I played with mounting it at different angles and couldn't get E-TTL metering to work reliably unless it was mounted right at the end of the lens. Ring flashes have two distinct problems: The flash heads are too parallel to the lens, and the flash heads / built in diffusers are too small. Unfortunately the only fix that I know of to both of those issues is to use a different flash :(

Thank you Dalantech, I guess I'll hold onto mine until a MT-24EX ii is announced
Canon EOS 6D | Canon EOS 7D mkII | Canon EF 16-35mmL f/4.0 IS | Canon 24-70mmL f/2.8 II | Canon 70-200mmL f/4.0 IS | Canon TS-E 24mmL f3.5 | Canon 50mm f/1.8 | Canon 100mmL | Canon 400 f/5.6 | Canon MP-E65

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2015, 06:16:24 AM »

mrzero

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2015, 12:09:57 PM »
I made a set using a pair of Sto-Fens as the connection point to the flash heads. I cut up a replacement wide angle diffusion panel for a 600 RT and hot glued the pieces directly to the MT-24EX flash heads, then a set of Sto-Fens, and then a piece of 1/2 white diffusion material. A pair of Garry Fong Puffer Plus diffusers are the final stage, and all of it held together with a frame that I built using Legos. Due to the way it's built it's solid, but I can still break it down and change the materials out if I want to experiment with something new.

I would really like to see some photos of this setup...
Canon 6d, t1i, 24-70/4L, 20/2.8, 28/1.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.8II, 100/2.8 macro, 70-300/4-5.6, g1x, 430exII, 90ex
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Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2015, 04:54:29 AM »
I would really like to see some photos of this setup...

I haven't forgotten about you, just haven't had time to take any photos or videos of the diffusers. Maybe this weekend.

chrysoberyl

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2015, 12:06:09 PM »
Thanks for the advice, Zeidora and Dalantech.  I've made time to work on lighting, and have made some progress.  I am also more intrigued by 2X photography, my current max.
6D, 80D, 5D IV, Zeiss Milvus 100mm Makro, Sigma 180mm/2.8 macro, Canon 100mm macro, Canon 24mm/1.4, Sigma 35/1.4, Tokina 16-28, Canon 1.4X III TC, Canon 2X III TC, Rokinon 14mm 2.4, Sigma 135mm ART.

Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2015, 03:59:34 AM »
...  I am also more intrigued by 2X photography...

I really can't say enough about the EF-S 60mm macro lens. Once you get use to shooting at 1x then you can add 37mm of extension and take it to 2x (the lens loses a lot of focal length due to the internal focusing). So you can go from shooting at .6x with the lens set to infinity....

Banded Eye Drone Series 1-1 by John Kimbler, on Flickr

...to 2x at maximum magnification...

Banded Eye Drone Series 1-3 by John Kimbler, on Flickr

Granted you're going to have to learn about the habits and quirks of the creatures you want to photograph in order to get close to them, but that's part of the fun.

Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #26 on: November 02, 2015, 06:30:43 AM »
I would really like to see some photos of this setup...

Here's the video.

mrzero

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2015, 12:56:55 PM »
I would really like to see some photos of this setup...

Here's the video.

Thank you!  The Lego apparatus is much cleaner looking than I imagined.  Very cool.
Canon 6d, t1i, 24-70/4L, 20/2.8, 28/1.8, 40/2.8, 50/1.8II, 100/2.8 macro, 70-300/4-5.6, g1x, 430exII, 90ex
Elan 7N with 28-105/3.5-4.5II, Rebel G with 35-70/3.5-4.5, A-1 with 28/2.8, 50/1.8, and 135/3.5

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #27 on: November 02, 2015, 12:56:55 PM »

Dalantech

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #28 on: November 03, 2015, 04:02:22 AM »
Thank you!  The Lego apparatus is much cleaner looking than I imagined.  Very cool.

Using Legos actually helped me to keep everything aligned properly, and to make a perfectly matched set of diffusers. Working really well so far. Here's a few images taken with it. The first at about 3x, and the second at 5x.

Feeding Fly by John Kimbler, on Flickr

Stomorhina Lunata at 5x by John Kimbler, on Flickr

Both single frames taken hand held. I'll have some .6x to 1x samples up soon. Light looks fine even at 1x with the MP-E 65mm, and that's the furthest I'll have the flash heads from the subject. Due to the apparent light size principle (size of diffuser is relative to the distance from the subject) the light just gets better as the magnification increases.

LostBoyNZ

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2015, 06:47:13 AM »
I would really like to see some photos of this setup...

Here's the video.

Great to see! I try to use the same flash with my Sony. There's certainly some limitations, but it's not too bad actually.

I'd love to give that setup a go too. Am I right in that the parts are...

Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce OM-24X Set
Gary Fong Puffer Plus Flash Diffuser for Canon Hot Shoes

If you happen to remember where you got the wide angle diffusion panel for a 600 RT, and a piece of 1/2 white diffusion material, that'd be awesome.

Thanks :)

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Re: Any rumors on updates for the MT-24EX twin macro flash unit?
« Reply #29 on: November 03, 2015, 06:47:13 AM »