Flash for dabbling with macro?

Effuse

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Aug 21, 2014
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Hey, I recently picked up a E-M10 and I have been interested in trying out some macro photography, I'm just waiting on my 60mm F2.8 to arrive, But I don't own any flashes, I don't have a lot of money to throw at this, I have a small steady led light (This One), Most of the macro stuff I intend on doing will be tabletop macro photography where I will have decent control over my lighting, But looking around online people seem to recommend the Nissin i40 or the FL-600r, The Nissin caught my eye but is Nissin a reputable company? I'm new to photography in general so I still have much to learn but before looking into flashes I had never even heard of the company, Would the i40 be enough for my needs? would it be overkill? If anyone has any other recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.
 

pellicle

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I personally really like my Metz CT-32

Its been with me for years and through many camera systems. It has a genuine GN 32 of whack and it you use the auto sensor on the flash you can get very consistent exposures .

An old post, and still true

http://cjeastwd.blogspot.com/2008/09/metz-on-my-coolpix-newer-isnt-always.html

A shot illuminated with the Metz

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hemuni

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Jun 18, 2014
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I have a nissin i466 that i got of ebay. It's a little bigger than the i40, but less than half the price. I was very positively surprised with the build quality quality of the i466. It is really well put together and has a nice feel to the materials. Doesn't feel like a cheap flash at all. It works absolutely flawless on both my ep5 and gx7, with full ttl on both camera systems. So at least from my limited experience nissin makes an excellent flash and by the way I am also considering getting an i40.
The i466 works great of camera in slave mode using the camera flash as master. This setup would probably work great for what your describing, but the advantage of the i40 would be the build in support for remote control and the smaller size.
 

Paul80

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wjiang

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Purely for table top set up macro, you probably don't need a fancy flash with TTL and FP. A decently powerful manual flash with an optical trigger or long enough sync cord will do. I've got both a fancier Nissin i40 and a cheap YN560-III/Tx combo - for any studio type work where I am in full control of lighting, I much prefer the higher GN and remote zoom/power setting that I get with the YN560 combo than the i40. The TTL, FP and compactness of the i40 makes it a more useful general purpose single flash solution though. What's probably more important for table top macro is that you have a decent modifier (e.g. a light tent). You can build one of these yourself using a cardboard box and tracing paper (there are plenty of tutorials online). A light tent works quite well with just desk lamps actually.
 

zensu

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Hi

Also worth a look if you budget is low is a used Olympus FL-36 or FL-36R

Currently I am playing around with this setup which uses the Panasonic FL-220 which should also work on your Olympus and they are cheap as chips used.

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Paul
Get the FL-36R as it will work wirelessly TTL with current Olympus on-board or small kit flashes. The FL-36 wont't work wirelessly with current Olympus m43s' cameras. It's also smaller and easier to hand hold that the FL-600R (which is larger but more powerful). You won't need power for arms reach (or table top) macro. Besides you can pick up a like new FL-36R for $100 - $150 US Dollars if you shop around.

Paul, that macro flash setup looks awesome! Would you post some more on how this rig is assembled or constructed?
 

Paul80

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Its quite a simple construction really (it has to be for me to do it)

The lens is my Panasonic 45-150 to which I attach a Raynox 150 or 250 lens

The main electrical part is a standard Canon TTL off camera flash cord, one of the cheap Chinese ones sold on ebay, The section that fits the hotshoe had a 1/4 inch bolt with a big flat head to spread the load fitted and I then used a bit of brass strapping I had in the workshop to make an angle bracket to fit to the bolt and then hold the other end of the off camera lead. this thn holds the FL-220 flashgun and the rimablitz is just held to the flashgun by a spring, although that is now changed to a bolt and clamp method to stop it falling off to easily.

The bracket a leads can be seen in the photo below.

View attachment 388831
 
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