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Thread: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

  1. #1
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    All,

    I recently purchased the Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash, and I wanted to get some sort of diffuser for it.

    I ordered a set of these - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...01_i00_details - but when they came today, it is pretty apparent that they do not fit the flash heads. Does anyone have these diffusers? Am I just doing something ridiculously silly in not figuring out how to attach them?

    Alternatively, does anyone have any recommendations for diffusers for this flash unit?

    Thanks!

    - Bill

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    In my opinion Bill, "diffusers" like this are a waste of money because the don't increase the size of the light source, nor do they decrease the light-to-subject distance.

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    Re: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    Diffusers don't do a lot at the distances for which this flash is designed, and in fact neither do they at larger distances if they are not any larger than the flash head. The flash does provide a rather diffuse light at the close distance it is designed for, as its surface is rather large compared to the subject size.

    I prefer a possibility to place the lights more flexibly, in order to control the angle of lighting rather than just diffuse it. At medium-close distances, the flash heads are very close to the lens and do not provide much modeling of shapes, while at very close distances you can get a reasonably large angle for the lighting. The flash is a good companion for the short macro lens that takes you to five times magnification when you shoot very small subjects, but for larger distances I'm afraid there's no help for it; you get better lighting with a separate hand-held flash or mounted on a bracket that can be adjusted to place the flash head in a position that lights the subject from the side. Whether to use diffusion is optional.

    So if you use the flash at a large distance - anything farther than about 4" from the lens - I think there's no help for it and all a diffuser does is steal light. OTOH if you are into very small objects as arachnids, lice and similar size, and have a suitable lens, I think the flash is a good help when working in the field. If you feel a need to diffuse, you can just put some matte document tape on the glass of the flash head.

    You might get the drift a bit better having a look at: http://lifeonsixlegs.wordpress.com/2...canon-mt-24ex/
    Last edited by Inkanyezi; 15th February 2012 at 08:08 AM.

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    Re: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    Thanks guys.

    Inkanyezi, I actually had read that exact post you sent along previously (between ordering the diffusers and receiving them). I do use the MT-24EX for the MP-E 65mm 1-5x lens, so that isn't the problem. When I use my 100mm macro, I use my 580EXII with a mini-softbox on a flash bracket so I can do exactly what you said.

    I'll be returning these diffusers because they're just not what they claim to be. I can't see how you can say these are for the MT-24EX if they don't properly attach. Amusingly, there is a review there that says they work great (though the wording seems generic enough that is could be a fake comment post).

    - Bill

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    Re: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    Hi Bill,

    Just to give you a quick "heads up" on diffusion ...

    Just imagine a model on a stool - a studio strobe say, 10 feet away, and a hand-held diffuser (say 3 feet wide made of translucent material). If you place the diffuser between the model and the strobe but AT THE STROBE END the light source (the diffuser) effectively isn't any bigger or closer to the model - so it doesn't really do anything apart from attenuate the light. On the other hand, if you place the diffuser, say, 2 feet from the model, you then go from what was effectively, say, an 8" light source 10 feet away to one that's 3 feet wide and only 2 feet away - and that makes a HUGE difference to the quality of light.

    With macro it's really the same; adding the diffuser to the flash head doesn't do alot (with the possible exception of spreading the light around a bit so that you MIGHT pickup some additional reflection from walls etc). If you want true diffusion (ie think BIG light source) then try putting some diffusion material between flash and subject, but as close to the subject as possible - whilst keeping the flash head a respectable distance.

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    Re: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    Colin,

    Thanks for the additional info. Certainly makes sense. However, when I'm working in macro, and my distances are in inches instead of feet, I think I'm getting similar behavior to what you're saying. If I'm working at a focusing distance of 11 inches, and my flash head is only 6 inches from the subject, and the mini-softbox is about 2 inches in front of the flash head, then I am effectively putting the diffuser 1/3rd of the distance from the flash to the subject (of course all distances are rough estimates). I understand it would be better to get it closer, but at the same time I'm then running the risk of spooking my subject (often insects) and/or getting the diffuser in the frame of my shot.

    Additionally, I do feel that the mini-softbox on the flash head does provide even a slight softening of the light. I know at longer distances that effect will be reduced, but it is still better than nothing.

    - Bill

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    Re: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    Well - chalk up a couple points for Amazon's customer service. When I went to process the return for this item, Amazon simply told me to keep the item and they refunded me the cost. I don't know if this was because the item was pretty cheap ($10) and the cost of shipping it back would not be cost effective, or if it was because I have a Prime membership with them and that gets me some little perks here and there. Either way, it certainly made me feel a bit better about the situation. Except now I have six pieces of colored plastic that don't do me a bit of good.

    If anyone has a flash that these would fit and would like them, please drop me a PM and I'll be more than happy to send them your way.

    - Bill

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    Re: Diffusers for Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    When I went to process the return for this item, Amazon simply told me to keep the item and they refunded me the cost.
    You did well - I had the "fight from hell" with them a few years back; I got a book that turned out to be a very old edition (the information on the page was conflicting) - tried to get a refund and that's when I was put in the great Amazon "conveyer belt" where they move you along automatically, totally ignoring ANYTHING that you say along the way. In the end I was so annoyed at them I told them to close my account and to never contact me again (which they also ignored!). I wrote them a 12 page letter (the old-fashioned printed kind) sent it off -- and it was eventually returned unopened (apparantly they've moved) - in the end I just gave up and resumed "normal service" with them.

    I think I'd have more luck negotiating with 20,000 year old petrified logs in the forrest

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