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Thrawn

Strobe/lights for macro - Sony A6300

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I have a Sony A6300 that I use primarily for wide angle video (mostly no lights) for years. I recently started to dabble in macro.

 

Currently using Sony 30mm macro with a single Sea & Sea YS-03. I also in the past tried to use a Sigma 60mm f/2.8 with i-Das UCL-02 +8 diopter, with little success. With the Sony 30mm the working distance is very small and its difficult to get close.

 

Heading to Anilao in a few months so looking to upgrade gear.

 

Lens:

- Sony 90mm FE macro (135mm equiv). Hopefully its not too much in the long side. Should be plenty of working distance.

- Possibly the new Sigma 70mm ART. Half the price, focal length is probably more ideal. But lacks OSS and since the lens is physically longer, a fair bit less working distance.

 

Strobe:

Is the existing YS-03 sufficient in terms of power ? Since you're shooting pretty close for macro.. power is not important right ? 2 strobes its not a big advantage for macro since coverage isn't important ?

If an additional strobe is ideal.. I'm thinking YS-D2J or Inon Z-330 and pair it with my existing YS-03

 

Video lights for macro:

I haven't tried to do macro videos at all yet. Currently have 2 x Archon W42VR lights and a DGX Push Video light. I'm getting a tripod setup for video stability. I figure its plenty enough light ? They're not high-CRI lights though.. is it important ? So far I've been pretty unhappy with my video lights... subjects tends to just look blown out white instead of retaining colours.

 

Diopter:

I'm eyeing a Nauticam CMC-2 on a flip adaptor. Should be easier focusing than my i-Das diopter I hope. Not looking for crazy super macro.

Edited by Thrawn

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You can do macro with one strobe as you are very close with the strobe, but 2 is generally better for filling in shadows. If you are shooting macro the strobe should be main light with little ambient contribution and the short flash duration acts to freeze motion making OSS less important. Though OSS can help stabilise the view on your screen making it easier to compose and hold the focus pint where it is needed. As you know the YS-03 is TTL only which can be an issue with some cameras and you don't have a manual option to get around them , I've heard people say the Sony cameras are OK at TTL though. If you have mismatched strobes you may have issues in TTL as the big strobe has more power than the little and exposure is set by flash duration so in TTL you would have the big strobe brighter than the little because it would put out more light in the same time period so one side of your pic would have more light. You could set the other strobe in manual and adjust to get it to match.

 

If your macro lenses focuses to 1:1 then I suggest to first get that sorted out with good results before trying a CMC or other wet lens to get more magnification.

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TTL on the YS-03 been OK so far... getting the hang of it. Initially most shots were overexposed.. but with exposure compensation I get better and reasonably consistent exposures.

 

I'm not so sure shadows is necessarily a bad thing... it's potentially a positive. Haven't really noticed shadows in my shots so far despite only 1 strobe !!

 

I see you're Sydney based as well.. I haven't been to Clifton Gardens yet... will have to go in the next few weeks for a macro tune-up !

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Depends on the effect you are after and sometimes the subject, like shooting up under neath overhangs for example and if you want to shoot side-lit or back-lit as other examples. Plenty of macro opportunities in Sydney, Bare Island, The Steps, shiprock, clifton are all good, I've only ever been to Cliftom the once.

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1. I have shot those areas a bit. I have used a 60mm on a MFT which is good for tiny subjects but not so good for frogfish rhynopias etc where you need something with wider field of view I do not know the Sony system but you want something between 60 and 90 equivalent on a full frame otherwise on some shots you will be really far and backscatter is guaranteed. Or take a zoom lens that is around that range at tele

 

2. Strobe power for macro is not an issue

 

3. Video light. Looks like you are burning highlights maybe your lights are too strong? For macro rarely you need more than 400-600 lumens as on a small area you have a lot of power. If you burn the footage at minimum try a diffuser to reduce the power

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There's the Sony 50mm FE macro.. but the barrel extends pretty far and working distance is pretty small.

 

Tough choice.. . 90mm FE have the best working distance.. but it becomes too much for larger objects as you have to shoot from too far out !

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Looking at sony charts for nauticam you have the 50 and the 90. The first would work for frogfish and larger subjects the second with smaller stuff

In terms of diopter i would take an inon ucl67 or a nauticam cmc-1

Weaker lenses do not make much sense for those macro

For video instead you want a zoom lens with cmc-2 and also something weaker depending on the working distance of your lens in water

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It is a real problem, if the lens is too long if you have large objects you want shoot, Something close to 60mm focal length would be the best all round. What housing do you have? On the Nauticam port charts it lists the Canon 60mm with Metabones adapter which is in the right range for focal length. If you have a suitable port that may be an option. There's also the Zeiss Touit 50mm lens which is pricey but may be more flexible than the 90mm.

 

Another consideration before you look at wet dipoters is to be sure whatever lens you choose comes up close to the port glass, a lens that varies in length won't be ideal as the lens to diopter distance is changing.

Edited by ChrisRoss

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Another consideration before you look at wet dipoters is to be sure whatever lens you choose comes up close to the port glass, a lens that varies in length won't be ideal as the lens to diopter distance is changing.

 

I didn't even consider that. Both the Sigma 70mm and Sony 50mm FE macro extends quite significantly. That pretty much rules it out.

 

I've read complaints about the Touit 50mm focusing underwater, so I don't think thats an option. Plus there isn't an ideal port for it.. same with the Canon 60mm + Metabones.

 

I'm using a Seafrogs salted A6xxx case.

 

For video instead you want a zoom lens with cmc-2 and also something weaker depending on the working distance of your lens in water

 

There isn't really any zoom lenses for Sony E-mount that have a decent magnification. Pairing up with a diopter makes life hard to focus without getting great magnification factor.

 

I'm leaning to just get the 90mm and if I run into frogfishes and so on.. I'll just do a close-in shot on the eyes and not do the whole subject. And I'll probably bring along my current 30mm FE with a short port for occasional use as well.

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Thrawn a close up lens introduces nothing into the mix. Depth of field or focus ability depend on the relative size of the subject into the frame

 

You go and take video with a 90mm all you will have is a video that looks like a collection of still images, there are many around and for me those are boring you might as well create a slide show of stills

 

The 18-55 with a flat port looks ideal for video in Anilao and will also cover all your frogfish etc I would take that one a +5 and a +10 for video and the 90 with a +12 or more for stills then you are covered

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