600EX-RT as Macro Lights

DanP

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Dec 8, 2014
62
13
I'm trying to decide which lighting option to use for photography with an MP-E65 lens. I was contemplating buying an MT-24EX, but I think it was released in 2010 and may get refreshed soon. I already have a few 600EX-RTs (and ST-E3-RT). I would have to buy 2 macro brackets (Wimberley F-2 ??), but those would total less than 1/2 the cost of an MT-24EX (I already have an appropriate lens plate to affix the macro brackets to). However, with the 600EX-RTs I wonder about the ability to dial back the light output sufficiently, diffusion requirements, and the difficulty of aligning them to properly light the subject. Size is also a consideration, but I expect the set-up would always be mounted either on a tripod or some kind of platform. Hopefully someone using the 600EX-RT option will share their experience (even better if they have experience with both MT-24EX and 600EX-RT).

Thanks.
 

Sabaki

EOS R
Dec 4, 2012
800
0
46
Cape Town, South Africa
Hi there!

What would be your subject matter? I'm wondering if two 600RTs for bug photography in the wild may be a little ungainly.

Controlled subjects indoors, it may work. You could bounce the flash off walls, ceilings etc

P.S. I'm getting my MP-E 65mm today but will also wait for a new version MT-24EX
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
668
10
I've used the 580 with the MPE65 in certain circumstances, like flashing into a porcelain bowl for close to omnidirectional indirect lighting. You can always move the flash further away to adjust power. However, in >90% of cases I use the MT24. Re diffusion, there are diffusion heads for the big ones, and you can use reflectors (white cardboard) to even out illumination, and direct the flash head more towards subject or more towards opposite card board to get the desired lighting contrast.

Re wireless, I prefer old fashioned TTL cables. Flash Zebra makes very good cables that last. In macro, set-ups can get very cramped quickly, and those wireless controllers are quite bulky.
 

YuengLinger

Sufficiently Pixilated
CR Pro
Dec 20, 2012
3,020
1,310
USA
Zeidora said:
I've used the 580 with the MPE65 in certain circumstances, like flashing into a porcelain bowl for close to omnidirectional indirect lighting. You can always move the flash further away to adjust power. However, in >90% of cases I use the MT24. Re diffusion, there are diffusion heads for the big ones, and you can use reflectors (white cardboard) to even out illumination, and direct the flash head more towards subject or more towards opposite card board to get the desired lighting contrast.

Re wireless, I prefer old fashioned TTL cables. Flash Zebra makes very good cables that last. In macro, set-ups can get very cramped quickly, and those wireless controllers are quite bulky.
I've done a lot of things in a porcelain bowl, but flashing into one never occurred to me. You do flush first, right?
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,647
2,162
DanP said:
I'm trying to decide which lighting option to use for photography with an MP-E65 lens. I was contemplating buying an MT-24EX, but I think it was released in 2010 and may get refreshed soon.
Looking at the 'update' to the MR-14EX, I'm really not sure it's worth waiting.


DanP said:
I would have to buy 2 macro brackets (Wimberley F-2 ??), but those would total less than 1/2 the cost of an MT-24EX (I already have an appropriate lens plate to affix the macro brackets to).
I'd consider getting a pair of the Wimberley F-2 brackets with the MT-24EX. They allow much more flexibility in positioning the twin heads than the ring mount. I definitely prefer the smaller heads for macro work, although I'll often use an optically-slaved 600EX to light the background.

 

DanP

EOS M6 Mark II
CR Pro
Dec 8, 2014
62
13
Thanks all. I found the MT-24EX on sale at a reputable dealer in Canada (CAD850), so I've ordered it along with 2 Wimberley F-2 brackets (that were surprisingly also cheaper in CAD, but special order). No doubt Canon will now issue an updated version with radio control.

YuengLinger - what is the bracket you are using to hold the 600EX-RT? Also, do the heads of the MT-24EX mount directly to the Wimberley F-2 brackets, or will I need an adapter? I couldn't find a manual for the MT-24EX on line.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,647
2,162
DanP said:
YuengLinger - what is the bracket you are using to hold the 600EX-RT? Also, do the heads of the MT-24EX mount directly to the Wimberley F-2 brackets, or will I need an adapter? I couldn't find a manual for the MT-24EX on line.
I guess you mean me? The 600EX is on a Really Right Stuff B91-QR Flash Bracket with an RRS FA-QREX2 Extender. The ring bracket is their largest size because I bought it for use with my 600mm f/4.

You need an adapter – I use a pair of Vello cold shoes on the ends of the F-2 brackets.

Manual: http://gdlp01.c-wss.com/gds/9/0300004139/01/mr-14ex-mt24ex-en-es-fr.pdf
 

scottburgess

Canonical Canon
Jun 20, 2013
222
16
DanP said:
I'm trying to decide which lighting option to use for photography with an MP-E65 lens. I was contemplating buying an MT-24EX, but I think it was released in 2010 and may get refreshed soon. I already have a few 600EX-RTs (and ST-E3-RT). I would have to buy 2 macro brackets (Wimberley F-2 ??), but those would total less than 1/2 the cost of an MT-24EX (I already have an appropriate lens plate to affix the macro brackets to). However, with the 600EX-RTs I wonder about the ability to dial back the light output sufficiently, diffusion requirements, and the difficulty of aligning them to properly light the subject. Size is also a consideration, but I expect the set-up would always be mounted either on a tripod or some kind of platform. Hopefully someone using the 600EX-RT option will share their experience (even better if they have experience with both MT-24EX and 600EX-RT).

Thanks.
You can get a plastic vanity light cover (like over a bathroom mirror) at your hardware store. Use a rubber band to mark an oval out of the face to cut off, being sure to leave the base intact. A cheap PVC saw will do the saw work nicely. Some foam stick insulation on the inside of the base will make for an easy slide-on / slide-off attachment to the outer part of the lens. Presto: great diffusion for your existing flash. More detailed directions and photos available various places on-line.
 

scyrene

EOS R6
Dec 4, 2013
2,800
944
UK
www.flickr.com
A bit late to this, but I may as well post what I've typed...

I have used the 600EX-RT with the MP-E extensively. It's a reasonably good combination until you get to 4-5x magnification, by which point the lens extends far enough to block some of the light. You can rig up a tube to direct the light down to the subject, and some people do good work that way. A dedicated macro (ring) flash will produce better results, but under most circumstances it would make little difference.

Diffusion is definitely worth doing.

If you're using a tripod and the subject doesn't move, you don't need a flash at all - I prefer this a lot of the time, as I find it hard to predict how the flash will look (but then using a hotshoe-mounted flash is less controllable than the options discussed above).
 
Jun 15, 2017
3
0
VA
DanP said:
Thanks all. I found the MT-24EX on sale at a reputable dealer in Canada (CAD850), so I've ordered it along with 2 Wimberley F-2 brackets (that were surprisingly also cheaper in CAD, but special order). No doubt Canon will now issue an updated version with radio control.

YuengLinger - what is the bracket you are using to hold the 600EX-RT? Also, do the heads of the MT-24EX mount directly to the Wimberley F-2 brackets, or will I need an adapter? I couldn't find a manual for the MT-24EX on line.
Wimberley has a new AP-7 Cold Shoe that will fit the end of the F-2 Brackets. I haven't seen a better cold shoe out there. Just about anything will fit to the cold shoe. It solves many issues with the current cold shoes that are on the market.