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Macro lights

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by radamo, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. radamo

    radamo Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Aug 22, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Rich
    e up the Oly 60mm macro this weekend. I had wanted to get the Olympus mal-1 macro arm light. The dealer only had a promaster led arm light. This one takes cr2025 batteries and seems okay. Just wondering if anyone has used the Oly and how it compares.
    The Oly uses the camera battery.
    The promaster takes separate batteries.
    The promaster does not seem that bright but I have not seen the Oly.
    Has anyone used both? How do they compare?
     
  2. FrayAdjacent

    FrayAdjacent Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Dec 5, 2012
    Austin, TX
    M@
    IMHO, having to use external batteries would be an inconvenience. Unless the price difference is MAJOR, I'd rather get the one that plugs into the camera and uses its juice.

    But I have no hands-on experience with either, so take this with a grain of salt ;)
     
  3. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Doubt you'll find any comparisons between these 2 but there have been many discussions of the MAL-1 posted here - do a search. The MAL-1 is useful at close range only IMHO. Say a 2-4" or closer.
     
  4. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    I bought the MAL-1 for shooting spiders and other insects and found it very useful at 1:1 [or beyond with extension tubes] to give modelling to a shot, eliminate shadows. It is not very powerful, though, unless you can do long exposures with still insects. If I am chasing a spider around and want, say, f11 at 1/50s, I go bounced flash. I use the tiny clip-on flash that came bundled with my OM-D and a triangle of aluminium foil that I shape into a down-angled "bounce-flash umbrella", taped to the top of the flash. Gives a kind of ring-flash effect with no harsh shadows.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. radamo

    radamo Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Aug 22, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Rich
    iGonzoid,
    The tin foil idea seems interesting. Now that I have a macro lens I will have to start experimenting. The Promaster lights are not very bright either and when both are on full power one seems a bit brighter than the other. Will decide this week whether to return it or keep it. It was $29 so not a huge investment.
    R
     
  6. vcs700s

    vcs700s Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Jan 9, 2013
    I have the macro arm light and love it. I have been experimenting with it the last couple of weeks along with the 60 mm 2.8 macro lens.

    Here is a link to a thread I recently posted- https://www.mu-43.com/f38/m-ms-micro-rail-43015/

    No external batteries and it does a good job, especially indoors.

    I would say buy it and have fun.:smile:
     
  7. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    With the Oly there's two levels of intensity, and each lamp can be controlled independently.
     
  8. radamo

    radamo Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Aug 22, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Rich
    The Pro Master is the same in that regard. The only difference I can find is the need for the CR2025's.
     
  9. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Hi Radamo [and other macro maniax] — the following pic is an example of the aluminium foil bounce-flash umbrella for use with the OM-D's tiny clip on flash. No harsh shadows, even light. Cheap and easy.

    Dysdera crocota, a European spider that has spread to Australia, Japan, US, NZ. Terrifically impressive fangs. Only six eyes instead of the more regular eight. OM-D Leica DG Macro Elmarit 45mm f2.8, 16mm extension tube; @ f22, 1/50s, ISO 800, bounce on-camera flash.

    2030015DysderaCrocota3Fb13LcMcf22S50Is800Fl1200.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    Could you please post a pic of your homemade foil bounce diffuser? :)

    --
    Sent from my phone. Please pardon my brevity!
     
  11. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Coming up in the next hour....
     
  12. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    My foil umbrella bounce-flash rig. Start with a rectangle of foil; fold two corners to triangulate so it is stronger and sort of reinforced. Bend to shape so the flash beam hits the foil and bounces down. The crinkles in the flash break up the light and even up the lighting on the subject. Experiment and bend to suit the subject and how close to the subject the front of the lens is. I shoot spiders on tiny rocks or bits of quartz, set on a white tray that is filled with water. The spiders tend to stay on the rock island, though some are tiny and light enough to escape by running across the water with fantastic speed — depends on the species. All spider subjects are returned to the wild. I use a tiny dab of [Press-Stick] putty to attach the foil to the top of the flash unit. Foil can be bent [as seen here] to provide down and side light if desired. Experiment. Shown on a tripod, but with very active spiders I hand-hold and follow them around. [other examples shot with MAL, bounce flash and straight flash at:
    https://www.mu-43.com/gallery/g2099-macro-2b97-viva-extension-tubes-21.html


    1200928SpiderFoilFlash19Mr13GH2LCSxf16S160Is400OcFl.
     
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  13. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    ^^^^
    Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! I really appreciate it, as I'm beginning to experiment with different lighting methods. :biggrin:
     
  14. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    LOL! No animals were harmed in the making of theses pictures!
     
  15. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    Nice ingenuity. Now I'll have to budget for an MFT macro.
     
  16. Dogman

    Dogman Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Dec 23, 2012
    Maryland
    The MAL-1 is not very bright on its own. I use the MAL-1 on my EPL-5 primarily as a fill when using continuous lighting (incandescent) for close-ups. See photos below.
    20130127-OLY00828. 20130110-DXT_1492.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Very nice!
     
  18. Tapper

    Tapper Mu-43 Regular

    184
    Mar 12, 2013
    GREAT POST!!! Love that technique. Low tech, low cost, high cleverness. :biggrin:
     
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would stick with flash lighting for macro if I were you. Macro requires a lot of good light, especially if you have to stop down to get enough DOF. LED's just don't cut it in my opinion. The foil on the clip-on flash is certainly an ingenious budget idea.