This year I have been experimenting with some diffusion setups for my Canon MT-24ex Twin Macro Flash with the Canon MPE-65mm. In the past I have been unsatisfied with the harsh highlights that the flash gun can give with this lens mounted, even with some Stofen diffusers attached. So a bit of web research and diy saw a progression of home made diffuser setups.
Now I can take no credit for originality here – my first idea was to follow the Concave Diffuser setup of SteB from Juza Nature Photography forum (thread is no longer around) but his flickr set is – , using his Dove invisible Dry setup. This was tried with two setups – first by using a cut out bit of plastic from a clear student A4 folder holder (from Staples). This got the images from the MPE-65mm in my firsts of 2012 article.
Here’s the setup –
And a closeup of the concave diffuser.
I then tried the Concave setup with a more translucent setup as I found the flash recycle time was very long – I think the plastic blocked too much of the light. This time I used a folded up A5 Text book cover (also from staples).
This setup saw results that I posted in my Weevil on the log post.
I then read up of the setup that Rob Ault had used – using the link from the forum. I liked the look of this – but baulked at the £40 price of the diffuser dome from Gary Fong domes, however when looking for some memory cards from 7-day shop I saw some cheap alternatives – 7 dayshop DOME Lambency Flash Diffusers with 4 Colours So I took the risk and ordered 2 (for about £6 each including postage). I then followed Robs instructions on making them – using a cut out bit of a free magazine (Amateur Photo) window light tent to go on the flash heads directly – and these produced the results of the images in my Cold afternoon at Garston Wood post.
These were the best so far but did not quite work on the shiny ladybird perfectly – however I believe this is solved by the addition of vellum paper. A tip that was given to me by Alliec on the Pixalo forum/AboveLifeSize.
An example image that reflects this I believe is this image of a reflective Dock Leaf Beetle.
Dock Leaf Beetle – about 2x Magnification. Taken on Canon 50D with Canon MPE-65mm lens. ISO 160 F11 1/250. Flash from Canon MT-24ex Twin Macro Flash.
I have since modified the setup slightly by cutting back the plastic top bits a slight amount and adding some velcro at the top to make it more secure – especially when it rains – the blue tack loses its tackiness. However my current setup looks like the images below – taken after getting caught in the said rain- hence the slight wetness on the shots.