View Full Version : Macro Flash

04-12-2010, 03:42 PM
I've recently acquired two Nikon SB-15 speedlights ($20 each!) that I want to use for macro work, mounted on either side of a lens. These units have an MD mode that cuts the power quite a bit for quick recycling. According to my flash meter, I should be able to shoot at f/11 (effectively f/22) on ASA 100 film when focused at a 1:1 ratio.

I'll probably use it on an F or F3 body with an adapted Mamiya 50mm ZE macro lens but I might also use it with the RB67.

At any rate I'm looking for suggestions on mounting hardware for hand-held or tripod use. I know brackets for this purpose were once made...

Also I was planning on syncing the flashes with a PC-socket y-cord, but I am so far unable to locate such a cable. I know Nikon used to make TTL cables for this purpose... but I don't really need TTL. Any ideas?

04-12-2010, 03:55 PM
Hi there,
If you are ok shooting totally manual flash, then sync one flash off the camera and have a photo-cell linked to the pc socket of the other flash - this will be triggered by the flash form the first gun. Not many trailing cords this way! I think that Metz still produce/sell a unit, they may even have some options for two-headed flash bar. Manfrotto has a wide range of camera/flash/lighting supports including flexible arms (not cheap) that are the bees knees.

David A. Goldfarb
04-12-2010, 06:15 PM
You're probably looking for something like the Lepp Bracket, of which Manfrotto makes a version--


There are probably also options from Kirk Enterprises and Really Right Stuff that would work for you, probably better, probably more expensive.

Mike Wilde
04-13-2010, 08:45 AM
An option for mounting macro lighting I used many years ago was to pull out my boyhood Meccano set. It also made my first roller base for processing EP/s2 in tubes. Oops I'm showing my age.

04-13-2010, 09:30 AM
I think my Erector Set got donated to The Salvation Army many years ago... but that is a good idea. I think a visit to a hardware store is in order.

04-13-2010, 10:19 AM
The Manfrotto/Bogen 3278 macro bracket flash will work. It is adjustable and holds two shoe mount flash heads (one of which could be on a slave). The Nikon cable I believe you are referring to is the SC-17.
Hope this helps.

John Koehrer
04-13-2010, 03:39 PM
There are(were) adapters made to connect two flashes with a cube that fit the hot shoe & the PC ords plugged into. BUT...the sync voltage is additive so depending on the voltage of each flash you may have some problems. The F camera should be OK but I would be hesitant to use the F3.

Chan Tran
04-15-2010, 07:43 PM
If you can get the flashes to fire don't worry, I measure the sync voltage of my SB-15 and it's only 4V.

05-16-2010, 10:53 AM
I think I'm just going to get the Bogen bracket at some point. Nikon specifically states the SB-15 is compatible with the F3 so no worries there (no TTL either but that's not important).

05-16-2010, 02:34 PM
I made my own bracket out of particle board using The Maual Of Close-Up Photography (1979 Lester Lefkowitz) as a guide.

06-26-2010, 01:29 PM
SB-17 is compatible with the F3 with TTL

06-28-2010, 06:47 AM
I have been contemplating the MR-14 ringlight or the MR-24 twin flash, but after looking at the LED flashlights. Trigger voltage is read at the center pin, when the flash is charged and ready to go. Since you have a voltmeter, it shouldn't be too tough. Most cases, the ground is the the foot itself, if metal, or a contact point in the groove, if a plastic foot.

07-27-2010, 01:10 AM
I suggest you look at the web sites for Kirk and Wimberley. They both offer macro flash brackets. Look carefully to see if they will work with your existing equipment, like ball head, lens plates, etc.



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08-18-2010, 02:18 PM
I use a Vivitar 283 with lots of ND filter and wide angle filter, on a jury-rigged set of bracket, bracket extensions, and sometimes (because after all it IS flash) handheld. Mike, I also use my real name as does Dan Fromm, and the hardware store idea is a good one.