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Posted by LAF on March 30, 2003 at 08:29:42:
In Reply to: Camera advice posted by Scott Eipper on March 29, 2003 at 20:58:22:
:I was using an old Konica SLR and have now upgraded to a Nikon F55. I have a standard 25 to 80 Standard lens and also a 70 to 300mm telemacro lens with its Macro ratio of 2 to 1. I also have a tripod etc.
Whilst the 'macro' function on your 70-300 will do the job it is not the ideal solution. Certainly a macro lens (1:1) would be a far better option. I'm assuming that, like most zoom lens macro functions, that 'macro' is only available at the 300mm end of the zoom range. This means that the film to subject distance would be much greater than when using a 50-105mm dedicaed macro. The inverse square law dictates that as you double the distance from flash to subject you need quadruple the flash power, so in terms of flash unless you have big studio heads to work with shorter lenses are much more preferable. Sigma make excellent quality macros in their EX range and these are worth a look at as they are far cheaper than Nikons own. The 90mm Tamron Macro also has excellent optics.
As for flash, there are many good options but the one I've settled on for flash work up close is a large dedicated gun (I use canon so I have a 550EX (Guide no 55m) and a small slave unit on a twin arm flash bracket. This setup (mine always switched to basic TTL instead of the newer fangled modes) seems very reliable to me. Sigma also do decent high guide number dedicated flash guns.
Finally you mentioned filling a frame with a 10mm circle. The film is 24mm deep and so you want around twice life size magnification, and the easiest way of doing this is with a dedicated 1:1 marco and a set of extension tubes. This is where TTL flash comes into its own as you don't need to compensate the exposure. This system also has the advantage that a tripod is un-necessary as you can select a suitably fast shutter speed.
I've mainly used Metz guns with medium format and they certainly work but I find the manual approach, although totally consistent, misses some opportunities. There are many exremely successful photographers who use that system though.
Hope theres something of some use in here, if you have any more questions please post them.