Macro Lighting/Flash on Kickstarter? Opinions? Alternatives?

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,253
298
Hi all,

I found this interesting Kickstarter Campaign:

Adaptalux Flash Arms

It appears to be an addition to something they introduced a couple years or so ago o KS.

This latest is for a flexible flash attachment that is controlled with an IR module, that can be on camera or off camera and used best for macro photography.

They also have other constant light offerings with different colored LED lights, a red laser and what really caught my eye...UV lighting for macro.

Is anyone else familiar with this? If so, what are you opinions and do you have any other macro lighting you'd recommend?


This looks pretty handy and appears somewhat well made.....I'm looking to experiment with macro in the coming months, and looking into some of the specialized lighting needs for it.


Thank you in advance,

cayenne
 

jprusa

EOS RP
Apr 29, 2013
399
70
Hi Cayenne
I am pleased with my lights and have used UV the most so far, although I think it would be easier to convert an off camera flash ton UV. You don't have to worry about bending arms and with a flash , although Adaptalux give you more flexibility with a variety of colored lights.
 

koenkooi

EOS 6D MK II
Feb 25, 2015
981
744
For the next spring my goal is to capture more Bee-In-Flight type of picture, especially of solitary bees emerging from their burrows. To get a fast cycle speed the flashes need to be close to the subject, so I was planning on getting a joby rig upgrade to mount 2 flashes off camera for regular pictures or 2 video lights for the RAW burst feature in my M6II.

This new Adaptalux system seems to have all that integrated, so it's very tempting to get that instead. But it'll have to wait till next spring, the M6II drained my toy budget for 2019 :)
 

cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,253
298
For the next spring my goal is to capture more Bee-In-Flight type of picture, especially of solitary bees emerging from their burrows. To get a fast cycle speed the flashes need to be close to the subject, so I was planning on getting a joby rig upgrade to mount 2 flashes off camera for regular pictures or 2 video lights for the RAW burst feature in my M6II.

This new Adaptalux system seems to have all that integrated, so it's very tempting to get that instead. But it'll have to wait till next spring, the M6II drained my toy budget for 2019 :)
The Joby looks interesting.

I kinda like that the Adaptalux thing, will sit on your camera AND can be removed to set up on your 'set' too if need be...seems very flexible in that way.

I"ve ordered the one on KS with the 2x new flash attachments, the control module, the IR unit and the 2x LED arms...that should get me going awhile.

On the LED arms, I spoke with the company asking if it was only LEDs or if I could get the UV or other specialty arms, they said they'd work with me that it might be a little extra to upgrade the arms, but thought I'd get the UV ones to play with.....since they're kind of unusual in that regard.

C
 
Apr 14, 2020
1
0
Looks pretty handy and well made! Anyway, it is much better than my usual UV. I would also order one, but I'm afraid of today's situation with COVID, and I do not order anything because I'll never get it. I hope, it will end soon and I will return to this topic after quarantine. Frankly speaking, I was lucky to take cool equipment for my camera before the quarantine on a deal on https://themoneymix.com. The price was very acceptable and the quality just fabulous.
 
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cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,253
298
I just hope they ship sometime in the near future.....the virus is hitting their ship dates hard....like it is everything out there!!

C
 

Dalantech

Gatekeeper to the Small World
Feb 12, 2015
92
47
I can't get to that site from where I am now (will check it out later). Light position and diffusion are both really important in macro, and I see people taking triple digit focus stacks that are losing more detail to poor light quality than I do to diffraction in my single frame images. The trick is to diffuse the light while losing as little power as possible. Recently I built a new diffuser for the MT26EX RT and I'm only losing 1 and 1/4 stops when compared to the bare flash. Here are some sample images:

I found this pair making the 22 Spot Ladybug with two backs in my zucchini.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering with -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

https://flic.kr/p/2jhC1aF]Mating 22 Spot Ladybugs[/url] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalantech/]John Kimbler[/url], on Flickr

An early morning shot of a dew covered Metallic Beetle.

Note: Possible ID: Anthaxia fulgurans

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/125, ISO 200) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI and Clarity in that order. The sharpening in Denoise AI looked really good to me so I didn't run Sharpen AI.

https://flic.kr/p/2jigjBS]Metallic Beetle II[/url] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalantech/]John Kimbler[/url], on Flickr

Keep in mind that most of the commercially available diffusers actually do a better job of blocking the light than actually forcing it to spread out. Best advice I can give you is to buy a gel diffusion pack (several sites sell them) and experiment with multiple layers until you get the light quality that you want. Also separate the materials with at lest a 1 cm gap (~half inch) so the light has some room to spread out before hitting the next layer.
 
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cayenne

EOR R
Mar 28, 2012
2,253
298
I can't get to that site from where I am now (will check it out later). Light position and diffusion are both really important in macro, and I see people taking triple digit focus stacks that are losing more detail to poor light quality than I do to diffraction in my single frame images. The trick is to diffuse the light while losing as little power as possible. Recently I built a new diffuser for the MT26EX RT and I'm only losing 1 and 1/4 stops when compared to the bare flash. Here are some sample images:

I found this pair making the 22 Spot Ladybug with two backs in my zucchini.

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/250, ISO 100) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering with -1/3 FEC). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI, Sharpen AI, and Clarity in that order.

https://flic.kr/p/2jhC1aF]Mating 22 Spot Ladybugs[/url] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalantech/]John Kimbler[/url], on Flickr

An early morning shot of a dew covered Metallic Beetle.

Note: Possible ID: Anthaxia fulgurans

Tech Specs: Canon 80D (F11, 1/125, ISO 200) + a Canon MP-E 65mm macro lens (over 2x) + a diffused MT-26EX RT (E-TTL metering). This is a single, uncropped, frame taken hand held. In post I used Topaz Denoise AI and Clarity in that order. The sharpening in Denoise AI looked really good to me so I didn't run Sharpen AI.

https://flic.kr/p/2jigjBS]Metallic Beetle II[/url] by https://www.flickr.com/photos/dalantech/]John Kimbler[/url], on Flickr

Keep in mind that most of the commercially available diffusers actually do a better job of blocking the light than actually forcing it to spread out. Best advice I can give you is to buy a gel diffusion pack (several sites sell them) and experiment with multiple layers until you get the light quality that you want. Also separate the materials with at lest a 1 cm gap (~half inch) so the light has some room to spread out before hitting the next layer.

Wow, you have some REALLY amazing images there!!

Could you by chance, post a pic of your diffusion / flash rig you described using?

Thank you in advance!!

cayenne
 

Dalantech

Gatekeeper to the Small World
Feb 12, 2015
92
47
I've made some changes to the internal structure of the diffusers, but still physically the same set. I cut out the front end of the MT26EX RT diffusers (not the flash heads!) and replaced the plastic with 1/4 stop white China silk. The plastic that Canon used for their diffusers does a better job of blocking the light than diffusing it, but to be fair I'd say that about any hard plastic diffuser made by anyone.
 

Dalantech

Gatekeeper to the Small World
Feb 12, 2015
92
47
Hi all,

I found this interesting Kickstarter Campaign:

Adaptalux Flash Arms

It appears to be an addition to something they introduced a couple years or so ago o KS.

This latest is for a flexible flash attachment that is controlled with an IR module, that can be on camera or off camera and used best for macro photography.

They also have other constant light offerings with different colored LED lights, a red laser and what really caught my eye...UV lighting for macro.

Is anyone else familiar with this? If so, what are you opinions and do you have any other macro lighting you'd recommend?


This looks pretty handy and appears somewhat well made.....I'm looking to experiment with macro in the coming months, and looking into some of the specialized lighting needs for it.


Thank you in advance,

cayenne
OK now that I can get to the site I'll give you my .02: I think it would work out well in a studio setting, provided you can come up with a way to diffuse those flash heads with minimal light loss (the diffusers that come with it will make little difference in the light quality -I'd say that about every plastic diffuser though). In the field, if you were shooting with a fixed mag, then it might work out. But if you frequently change the mag you'd also have to reposition the flash heads and you might end up spending more time adjusting those arms than actually shooting. Personally not excited about it, TBH.