Home > Alpha Flash System, Flash for Macro Photgraphy > My typical strobe setup for Macros

My typical strobe setup for Macros

Here is an illustration to describe my strobe setup for my macro work.  Its basically a common setup for off-camera wired flash.

A diffuser  may be used at times when the above setup is used to soften the highlights or reflection.  Here is a series that was done using the above setup.  I was actually documenting some shots for my daughter in my education series.  The lighting is a side lighting made possible with the side mounted flash.

The above series is a record of one of the ways a butterfly would use its claws at the ends of its legs to cut through petals of flowers to gain access of food.

Here are the photos of the setup:

All these setup have its specific purpose and hope these example setup would provide you with some idea on how you could build up your own rig.

Happy shooting!!!

  1. November 19, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Please could somebody help?
    I have posted this on the forum but nobody seems to be able to help!
    I have:
    1 x Sony A900
    3 x HVL-58AM flash Units
    1 x HVL-MT24AM Macro Twin Flash Kit
    1 x Minolta 1/8000 program 5400 HS flash unit
    1 x Minolta program 3600 HSD Flash unit
    Plus various cables and connections to join up these flashes to the A900
    I have 3 problems I would like help with:
    1. How can I have 3 remote units plus the controller working wirelessly with my A900 (or do I have to have the 3rd unit operated by cable from Remote 2)
    2. I take macro shots of the subject with the Macro Twin Flash Kit and a 2nd unit lighting the background via a cable. How can I get these shots using the Macro Twin Flash Kit in HSS
    3. I would like to take insects in flight with the wings sharp using this equipment. Has anybody got experience in this field who could offer me some help and advice
    many thanks

    • alphastrobist
      November 30, 2009 at 9:30 pm

      Hi Chris,
      Based on your setup, the maximum wireless you could achieve is basically using one HVL-F58AM on board as controller and the other two HVL-F58AM as wireless. You can’t unfortunately get all three three HVL-F58AM as remote units unless you have the HVL-F20AM …which then you would have to setup manual power control on each flash for best custom results.

      having the HVL-F58AM on board as controller is quite convenient. You could probably use the on board HVL-F58AM in CTRL1 Mode – for front fill or reflected fill, then you can use each of the HVL-F58AM on each left/right flanks. This still give you three lights setup -( Controller : Remote 1 : Remote 2 ) setup. Pop up a reflector umbrella over the camera above the flash for a top down bounce.

      If you want to include the HVL-F36Am, then you need to use the flash in CTRL-2. Getting two groups – (Controller : Rest of remotes). In this setup, if you know how to setup all in manual power then you can get really wide range of variations.

      Unfortunately, the ring flash could not be used in parallel with the flash controller. As you need to set on camera the Flashmode to WIRELESS, this will not be able to fire the ring flash in sync as the camera is triggering in a wireless protocol. I tried this out and this is the case.


    • alphastrobist
      December 8, 2009 at 9:00 pm

      Hi Chris,

      I think the setup you’ve got could only be used in two variations –
      1) Wireless with 01 x HVL-F58AM as controller and the other two HVL-F58AM as remote on stands perhaps – Possibility of ading the 36AM too.
      2) Wired (provided you have the triple connector and the flash cables) – Using Off shoe cord connected to the triple connector. Split off from the triple connector are two HVL-F58AM attached by cable and one HVL-MT24AM connected to one of the cables and an adapter.

      For high speed sync, if the camera is off shoe using the Minolta OC-1100/Sony FA-CC1AM + Minolta OS-1100/Sony FA-CS1AM, you need to tape up the little indentation on the Minolta OS-1100/Sony FA-CS1AM – which is used by the camera to sense if the camera is on the camera flash mount or off-camera. Taping the little hole up will trick the camera in thinking that the flash is on board and you will have no HSS restrictions.

      See the illustration below that Utilizes Ring Flash and HVL-F58AM:
      Flash Setup


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