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My Macro Setup | by jciv
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My Macro Setup

About a month ago I got the Canon Speedlight 430EX for my Canon Powershot S5 IS. It isn't really designed for a smaller than DSLR camera, but other than for macros works great. Too bad I shoot mostly macros. So I cut a white paper bag and taped it to diffuse and deflect the flash down. That works pretty well though it would be better if it was easily removable. I tore it a bit last time I took it off. I am usually looking for small stuff, but if I find anything big and further away I want to shoot, I have to remove it quickly or get a very dark and grainy shot.

 

I didn't like the price, but now that I have it I am really glad I got it. The refresh rate is awesome; fresh batteries and you can flash as fast as the camera can shoot in continuous mode. That really helps out when using the Raynox at full magnification. I take at least three or four shots of almost everything to make sure I got the focus just right.

 

The flash diffuser isn't quite as good with the S5's Super Macro. The distance to the subject is much closer than with the Raynox macro adapter so the light comes pretty much straight down. Regular macro is fine though and coming straight down can give an interesting effect.

 

Before the external flash, I used the CCRRFD, a styrofoam bowl flash diffuser attached to the lens. It worked great, and I still recommend it, but it don't use it much anymore since the external flash is up so high.

 

Before that was the CFFD, a coffee filter flash diffuser based on the CCRRFD idea because I didn't have any styrofoam bowls. This one is still the most portable, but I haven't used it in a long time since the bowl does a slightly better job.

 

I haven't used the CCRRFD much either since I got the new flash, but it certainly wins for the smoothest shadows and ease of use. It weighs a ton less. And I feel a lot more comfortable shooting bees with the CCRRFD between me and the bee. But you can't beat the flash's refresh rate.

 

See my updated setup here.

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Taken on November 12, 2007