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by Tim Zurowski on Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:37 pm
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I have been bitten by the moth photography bug and it is all done by attracting them to night lights. So it is all flash work. I am using a pair of Nikon Speedlights for my lighting with one on a Wimberley flash bracket off to the left and angled in and the other flash just placed in the camera hotshoe. This works fairly well, but I think it could be better if I had the flash off to the right in another bracket instead of in the hotshoe. So I have done a bit of Google searching and have a found a few options, ranging from the inexpensive Chinese dual arms with flexible arms, to the Wimberley macro flash bracket. While the Wimberley may be the "best" option, it is also way too expensive for two arms. The Chinese options are very affordable, but I question how stable and solid they would be? I also need it to attached to the Wimberley swiss arca plate on the macro lens foot.

So I was hoping to ask here what are some things other people have done for this? Are there any homemade options, or any other market options I should look into? I do not want to purchase anything like the Nikon dual flash rig, as I already own a bunch of great flashes. I just need a sold dual macro bracket setup for two flashes.

All suggestions are greatly appreciated :)
Cheers
Tim Zurowski
www.timzphotography.com
 

by SantaFeJoe on Fri Aug 03, 2018 7:08 pm
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Not inexpensive, but versatile:

RRS

RRS bracket

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Tim Zurowski on Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:31 pm
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Thanks Joe for the link. I can only assume that you would also have to purchase both brackets to go one this plate? Way too expensive for me. Assuming the brackets would be around the same price (or more) that would cost over $650 in CAD$. I would consider something in the $250 or less range. Anyone here tried any of those Chinese dual flash arm systems like this:
https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Studio-Dual-arm-Macro-Flash-Bracket-Holder-for-Camera-TF-22-Canon-MT-24EX-WT7n/382523966818?hash=item5910348562%3Ag%3AuX8AAOSwLztbUW~o&_sacat=625&_nkw=dual+macro+flash+bracket&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=p2380057.m570.l1312.R1.TR0.TRC1.A0.H0.TRS1
Cheers
Tim Zurowski
www.timzphotography.com
 

by photoman4343 on Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:33 pm
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Tim a friend of mine had that bracket holder. He gave up on it as his flashes were too heavy for the arms. Your flashes have to be very light for it to work. If you have access to a machine shop, just have someone make one for you out of scrap metal. You will have to buy shoes that will hold the flashes. Make sure they have a way of being screwed into the metal plate. Check out the macro flash brackets made by Kirk. They are expensive too, but might give you some ideas.
Joe Smith
 

by photoman4343 on Fri Aug 03, 2018 9:33 pm
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Tim a friend of mine had that bracket holder. He gave up on it as his flashes were too heavy for the arms. Your flashes have to be very light for it to work. If you have access to a machine shop, just have someone make one for you out of scrap metal. You will have to buy shoes that will hold the flashes. Make sure they have a way of being screwed into the metal plate. Check out the macro flash brackets made by Kirk. They are expensive too, but might give you some ideas.
Joe Smith
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:43 am
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Tim Zurowski wrote:
Thanks Joe for the link. I can only assume that you would also have to purchase both brackets to go one this plate? Way too expensive for me. Assuming the brackets would be around the same price (or more) that would cost over $650 in CAD$. I would consider something in the $250 or less range.

If you use this with an “L” bracket, you would only need another FA-QRM accessory mount at $48US. Still not under $250 total, but close($288). The first link shows an example configuration. It is a three section bracket. They are super strong brackets and utilize a neat QR system for the flash.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Swissblad on Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:05 am
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Hi Tim

I have something similar to the Ebay flash-rig you linked to.
It works fine with small flash units such as the Nikon R1C1 / SB-R200 system.
I replaced the flash brackets with a dedicated R1C1 set from [url=(http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/FA-QR200-Adapter-for-Nikon-SB-R200-flash-heads)]RRS[/url]  - which cost more than the flat bracket LOL.
I was inspired to give this a try following a blog post by Robert O'Toole
I find the system too flimsy for large flat units such as the SB-900 series - it is better suited to smaller ones such as the SB-500.
Here is an alternative suggestion.
HTH and good luck.

SB
 

by Phil Shaw on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:59 am
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If you are set up on a tripod or monopod, there are all kinds of options such as a Manfrotto superclamp and Magic Arm (very versatile). If you are looking for hand-holding options, they are all a bit clunky and awkward with the Wimberley brackets probably being the best of the bunch - at least that is my experience.
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:18 am
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NSN offers this Wimberley, but man does it look overly complicated. The price is within your range.

https://store.naturescapes.net/wimberley-combo-2-the-macro-combo/

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Scott B on Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:20 am
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Tim I built one using AM parts similar to this article.  It is a lot less expensive than other options and very sturdy.  It is more like a SUV hen a sports car.
  http://www.glenallenphotography.org/2010/06/diy-wimberley-macro-flash-bracket.html
 

by Tim Zurowski on Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:08 pm
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Thanks very much for all the help and suggestions guys. What I am learning from this is that someone needs to make an affordable dual macro flash setup.

Scott, your own construction using AM parts intrigues me; however, it is not clear that it it a "dual" flash setup? Can you post a deatiled photo of your assembled arm(s) that you made? I need a setup that can accommodate two flashes and be easily used on a tripod and hand held. here are two photos of what I am using riight now. This is actually working quite well and is "rock solid". I am using a Wimberley Telephoto bracket that I already own. I am usjing one SB900 and one SB600. Here are the issues I have with it though:

Image


Image




1) It is not easy to rotate the camera for vertical comps. When I rotate it as normal to the left, the flash in the hotshoe hits the flash in the arm. So I am limited to only be able to rotate to the right, which makes focus stacking very difficult and completely blocks access to the aperture dial.

2) The lighting is not quite even with a bit of shadow created from the left flash. Not a huge deal as the images still appear fairly natural.

3) The two flashes are not equal distance from the subject which makes for manual adjustments a little more difficult. Again not a huge deal, but my instincts tell me it would be better with two equal distance flashes.

I could purchase another similar Wimberley bracket, but my macro lens plate is not long enough to easily attach two brackets. I suppose I could purchase another longer plate, but then the cost is getting up there again. Because this system is working fairly well as it is, I really do not want to (cannot) spend a bunch on this. More just wondering (hoping) that there was something out there that would be a better more suitable option, but also be reasonably affordable.
Cheers
Tim Zurowski
www.timzphotography.com
 

by DChan on Sat Aug 04, 2018 1:25 pm
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Instead of attaching one of the flashes to the hotshoe of the camera, can you just hold it in your hand instead?
 

by Tim Zurowski on Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:37 pm
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DChan wrote:
Instead of attaching one of the flashes to the hotshoe of the camera, can you just hold it in your hand instead?


Definitely not.
Cheers
Tim Zurowski
www.timzphotography.com
 

by photoman4343 on Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:38 pm
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Tim, I use Nikon SB-R 200 flashes.

To keep your costs down, just get one SB-R 200 flash and use it with the Vello soft box as explained in Robert O'Toole's article posted above. This is what I do for butterflies and insects. I almost never use the two SB-R 200 flashes. I attach the SB-R 200 to a RRS large ring flash bracket that i bought for other purposes. (REB91QRLRGEF MFR # B91-QR LARGE FLASH BRACKET is the current version.

When you buy some of these well made but expensive products from Kirk or RRS, think bout how you can use them in different situations.

Here is another alternative from Nonoflex I have seen people use.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/241030-REG/Novoflex_XX_HALTER_Duo_Flash_Holder.html?ap=y&gclid=Cj0KCQjwnZXbBRC8ARIsABEYg6AZiPr2FEFDmFmV7wVnTWDpMh7qnBEYkW4qEHXQMTzfzq1W_kXE1f8aAnwkEALw_wcB&smp=y

You just need to figure out if your flashes will work on it.

Joe
Joe Smith
 

by Tim Zurowski on Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:45 pm
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I will probably just keep using what I am now and possibly down the road purchase these two Wimberley items:

- Module 1 - M-1 Quick-Release Arm ($85 CAD) &
- Module 4 - M-4 Macro Arm ($135 CAD)

Those two total $220 CAD. I already have the one Quick Release Arm that came with my Telephoto bracket. So would need a second one to go with the Macro Arm. With them and a longer plate, and combining them with what I have now, I should be able to mount an extension arm on each side of the camera. I definitely want at least two flashes, definitely need the ability to hand hold, need one flash to be a master (i.e. SB-900) and need all flashes to have manual power settings.

Some of those options look possible, but whatever I get, it definitely needs to be able to attach to a swiss arca lens plate. IMHO, Wimberley (or someone else) needs to make a Quick Release Arm that extends out in both directions (i.e. both left and right) with the plate connection in the middle.
Cheers
Tim Zurowski
www.timzphotography.com
 

by Mike in O on Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:07 pm
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Why not get a sigma 140 ring flash, it has the ability to model with flash or focus with lights. I paid less than $150...the prices are all over the place and bargains are out there.
 

by Bruce Sherman on Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:16 pm
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Mike in O wrote:
Why not get a sigma 140 ring flash, it has the ability to model with flash or focus with lights.  I paid less than $150...the prices are all over the place and bargains are out there.


Where in the world did you find the Sigma 140 ring flash for less than $150? Every place I have looked the going price (for a new unit) is in the $370 range.
 

by Mike in O on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:01 pm
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Bruce Sherman wrote:
Mike in O wrote:
Why not get a sigma 140 ring flash, it has the ability to model with flash or focus with lights.  I paid less than $150...the prices are all over the place and bargains are out there.


Where in the world did you find the Sigma 140 ring flash for less than $150? Every place I have looked the going price (for a new unit) is in the $370 range.


It went on sale...I think back in 2007 when it was over $400.  It pales next to the Minolta ring flash but it works for my use.  Does Canon or Nikon make a 2 arm flash like Sony/Minolta?  I don't know if the Sony is still in production, it was expensive and fragile in the field.
 

by DChan on Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:43 pm
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Mike in O wrote:
Does Canon or Nikon make a 2 arm flash like Sony/Minolta? ...


Nikon has R1C1 wireless flash system.
 

by ThomasBarbin on Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:41 am
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A couple of options:

https://www.macrodojo.com/product/fotopro-dmm-903s-macro-twin-flash-flexible-articulating-arms-bracket/

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1165604-REG/venus_optics_kx_800_flexible_macro_twin.html?sts=pi

I have been using the KX-800 flash for a few months now and am quite happy with it.
 

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