Flash for mainly macro: STF-8 vs. FL 700WR?

Tapper

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Mar 12, 2013
Messages
261
I'm considering getting a flash unit to help with outdoor nature and macro shots.

Currently both the STF-8 and FL 700WR are on decent sales. From what I can tell:

- 700WR is obviously more versatile and also be used for many other genres of photography
- 700WR also apparently has a built-in LED light which sounds useful for visibility of subjects in darker areas
- STF-8 is especially made for macro and apparently can be setup to create lighting depth in ways a typical flash cannot
- STF-8 is pretty single purpose compared to the 700WR

To anyone who has used both of these or even just one of them - which one would be better for macro? Seems like many of the hardcore macro shooters are actually not using specialized macro flashes, but instead using traditional flashes with some type of diffuser to focus and soften the light. And of course a standard flash can be used for many other things as well. But if the STF-8 would actually be practically superior for my primary macro interest then I'd like to know.

The only flash I currently own for my Olympus is the little FL LM3. For macro I use the 60mm f2.8 and closeups with the 40-150 Pro.

Thanks for any input.
 

piggsy

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I don't have either, so this is probably not that helpful, but I do have the 600r and I use two flashes as a macro-flash-alike device (here - https://www.mu-43.com/threads/custombrackets-or-diy-a-custom-bracket.75328/post-1404913 ).

The 600r's led light switches off as soon as the flash fires which makes it somewhat less useful than I expected. The other thing is that flash mounted lights tend to be a bit uncooperative with flash mounted diffusers or other mounting things you might employ - they don't *quite* go down the same barrel and the flash head can shadow them from some angles. If your setup lets the camera use its own focus assist light, this is often enough to confirm focus at night, so long as you're just using a bare lens like the 60mm - diopters, big long extending manual focus macro lenses, etc, don't tend to work as well with the on-camera focus light. For daylight shooting you're gonna be in really, really really low ambient light for a little LED to make a big difference in acquiring focus.

The general purpose light I use for finding bugs is this thing :

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/what-...you-buy-this-week.51684/page-303#post-1218722

and it's actually quite good and seems to annoy insects at night a lot less than other more spot-lighty alternatives.
 

retiredfromlife

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While not really answering your question directly....
The STF-8 is very specialised and low powered. I would say if you needed one of these you would know.
I would get the FL 700WR far more versatile, plus a diffuser.

Most of the stunning macro photos you see in the forum are taken with a normal flash and various types of home made and commercial diffusers.

If you store has Godox for Mu-43 the TT350o is very popular on this site for macro
 

RichardC

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I had the STF-8.

I found it to be an excellent and light weight strobe with easy to control lighting ratios etc. A point and shoot macro set up.

Good for pictures of flowers etc,

BUT............

I found it limiting for insect photography owing to the low power. The issue was that you need two layers of diffusion, or a thick diffuser ssome distance from the flast head in order to eliminate the two highlights on reflective surfaces. Reflective surfaces include insect eyes and the usual body armour.

The supplied clip on diffusers are inadequate.

I have had more success with home made diffusers and either the FL-50R or a couple of Godox units.
 

retiredfromlife

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The general purpose light I use for finding bugs is this thing :

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/what-...you-buy-this-week.51684/page-303#post-1218722

and it's actually quite good and seems to annoy insects at night a lot less than other more spot-lighty alternatives.
I second these lights, very good. I purchased one after seeing the above linked post by "Piggsy" Just about all my spider posts on this forum have been made using one of these to assist focusing etc. Which reminds me I should purchase a second one.
The handle on these make holding it in my left hand and the camera as well very easy. The handle enables the light to be rotated and pointed in the right direct all while holding it and the camera at the same time.
 

Tapper

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 12, 2013
Messages
261
Thank you all. Great info and informed opinions to consider.

EDIT: that ebay link is now gone, but they do have those LED lights on Amazon for $32!

I think I will get one. :) Much easier on the wallet than the Olympus stuff, although I might still get a 700WR since it would also facilitate other photography and has a nice feature set.
 
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