Field Trial of 270ex Flash Setup

On Easter Sunday, I took another trip to Ramsdown to try out the MPE-65mm with my Canon 270ex Flash setup.  As the day was again dull and cold, it was another hunt around and under logs.  The shots were taken on a Canon 650d, and at either ISO200 or 400.  The original setup that I tried out looked as below.

270ex Flash Diffusion
270ex Flash Diffusion

This shot below was taken with the original setup.

Springtail
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO400)
Springtail

After a few shots I removed the velum and replaced this with a paint roll refill foam directly over the light, this to experiment with just using the paint roller as a diffuser, as if this worked it would allow the flash and diffuser to be further away from the subjects.  This, I felt would be handy for shooting bees and flies later in the season.

The first subject that I took with this setup was a beetle.

Beetle
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Beetle

Even with just the paint roll diffuser, there is detail in the highlights, which is pleasing.

This reflective woodlouse – shows some less control of the lights than the MT-24ex setup – but this I would expect, as that is a more trialed out setup.

Woodlouse at about 2x Magnification
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Woodlouse at about 2x Magnification

I also noticed at first that the light was not bright enough over 3x magnification, so I upped the ISO to 400 from 200.  However although this helped, the real solution was to adjust the position of the 270ex Flashgun, so the light dropped down closer to the lens.

I found a still springtail that allowed at 3 image stack, and stayed there whilst I extended magnification all the way up to 5x.  This providing proof that this 270ex setup could shoot at the high magnifications.

3 Images Stacked of a Springtail at about 2x Magnification
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
3 Images Stacked of a Springtail at about 2x Magnification
Springtail around 3x Magnification
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Springtail around 3x Magnification
Springtail at about 4x Magnification
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Springtail at about 4x Magnification
Springtail at 5x Magnification
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Springtail at 5x Magnification

Next an ant trail across a log meant a chase of some ants to try and get a shot, this waste disposal ant moved slower than most, allowing me to get a couple of shots of it, as it dragged a carcus back into the nest.

Waste Disposal Ant
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Waste Disposal Ant
Waste Disposal Ant II
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Waste Disposal Ant II

Finally another beetle was the final subject of the day.  Note the highlights at the back of this one are sunlight – not flashlight.

Beetle - between 2 and 3x Magnification
Canon EOS 650D (65mm, f/11, 1/200 sec, ISO200)
Beetle – between 2 and 3x Magnification

All in all this was a fairly successful trial of the setup.  I will never be as good as the twin flash, but nor should it be expected to be, but it is a much cheaper and lightweight lighting solution to use with high magnification lenses.

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Chris

I've been taking macro photography from 2004. I use both Canon film and digital cameras.

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