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A couple of quick pics of my latest macro set up utilising the Bush Hawk left over from birding days.
The trigger button provided by the Bush hawk is nice, makes it easier to get shots whilst holding the whole thing steady. The flash bracket is quality but I want to get the flash parallel to the lens with just the flash head/diffuser pointing down over the subject. Suggestions ? I suppose a smaller flash would be a start but which one ? must be el cheapo !
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5591/15241183472_7035d6041e_b.jpg_AGM6200 by AndyMacDougallPhotography, on Flickr
https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5559/15054998437_b0ea24a601_b.jpg_AGM6201 by AndyMacDougallPhotography, on Flickr
Andy, very nice combo!
I have a Bush Hawk for birding and think your idea is great to use heavier lenses for macros as the 105/2.8 or 200/4.
As for a small and light flash, I suggest the discontinued SB-400 as an option.
Below is my macro combo lately, with a ridiculously homemade "flash diffuser"
the TC14 can be replaced by the TC16A sometimes.
Macro combo by labecoaves, on Flickr
D7100 + TC14A teleconverter + PK13 (27.5mm) tube + Micro-Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 ais + Wimberley macro bracket + SC-17 cord + SB-400 flash + improvised diffuser (protection plastic of a 72mm UV filter) + HN-3 hood.
Shot with D600 + Micro 55/3.5.
Magnification is from 0.72x (lens set to infinity focus) to 1.42x (lens set to MFD - 25cm); considering D7100 sensor (1.5 crop), effectively a range from 1.1 x to 2.1x.
The only disadvantage is the truly short working distance from 4cm (2.1x) to 10cm (0.72x), including the hood.