View Full Version : Using a Macro Flash

10-17-2006, 06:23 PM
I just got the Canon MT-24EX Macro Flash today and have been playing with it for the last few minutes. I don't have the best subjects here in my office, but so far this thing is pleasing me pretty well.

First off, it fits directly onto the Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. You can't use a filter with it, but you could use a hood... although the manual tells you that this will cause problems. So, I'm going without the hood for now.

The unit has a large base that is a about 2/3 the size of a 5xxEX series flash head. Coming out of the base are two coiled cords, similar to an offshow cord. On the each of end courd is a small flash head. The base mounts in the hotshoe, and the two flash heads attach into two hotshoe type adjustable mounts on the mounting ring. The mounting ring clips onto the face of the lens.

Once you are all setup, you can pretty much move the flash heads all over the place. They can go around the radius on each side of the lens, and then adjust the angle of the flash, both in and out from the center axis of the lens, as well as up and down from the plane of the lens. If that's not good enough, with the push of one button, you can detach one of the heads and easily hold it in a spot that you'd like it. If you were tripod mounted, then you could move both heads and put them whereever you want. In use, I found it very handy to hold one of them up over an object aiming it down to get light up and on top of something I was shooting.

For adjustments on the base, you can adjust the ratio between the two heads, as well as the ratio of any wireless flash heads you are controlling.... that's right, you can throw in your other Canon flash heads to the mix and have them all controlled by the MT-24EX. You can also adjust the FEC in 1/3 stops, just like any other Canon flash. Other than that, the behavior and controls are similar to other Canon flashes.

The final thing that I've played with thus far, that is very handy for macro work, is the modeling lights. There is a small modeling light on each head that allows you to see where the light is going to fall on the subject, and adjust the angle. This allows you to get a very accurate idea of the lighting before firing. While these work great in some environments, they are not bright enough that they will be useful out in bright sunlight... at least that's my thought at the moment. I am guessing that after some use I'll get a feel for where the strobes fall and be able to do it from memory.

Everything I heard about the MT-24 indicated it was very complicated to use. Thus far, it doesn't seem that complicated to me, but I'm sure that may change in real use. I understand lighting ratios already, so its a matter of getting used to it on a smaller scale.

I'm looking forward to playing with this more. When I get something interesting to take a picture of, I'll be sure to post a few.

10-17-2006, 06:50 PM
well mike, as for brightness out in the sun youd prolly want to block or diffuse the sun anyhow with a reflector.. and sinsh youd most likly be useing a tripod, and a cable release, that leaves a free hand to hold the 12" round reflector and this lighting set up would therefore...ROCK LIKE HELL!!! cant wait to see some shots form it.. i wonder why it would be made so you couldnt use a CPL??