I want to get started into general macro photography. I have been really stuck on which kind of flash to get because they all seem to come with their own share of pros and cons, and everyone recommends something different.
I've compiled of everything that I could find below.
- Produces flat lighting, monotonous results
- Can leave a ring shaped highlight on insects (which I am not interested in)
Handheld Pocket Flash (e.g., AD200)
- Great for studio photography and still macros like mushrooms and plants because you can manually position the angle of the lighting
- Inconvenient to use while taking photos without a tripod, especially if you're chasing around butterflies and insects that hop around and need to constantly focus and prepare
Dual Flash System (e.g., Nikon R1)
- Seemingly produces industrial and unnatural lighting that might not have shadows at all
- Diffusion wouldn't be large enough for beautiful lighting because it'd be too close to the flash
Speedlight with Diffuser & Roof (example)
- Larger light source, more beautiful lighting due to the large diffusion
- Might cast an unwanted large shadow over insects
- Might bump into trees and other objects, especially if going above 1:1 magnification
At the moment, I have been thinking of just following this guy's advice and getting a normal speedlight (the Godox V1) with a diffuser due to the convenience and beautiful lighting, but I was wondering if anyone had any different experiences / results with these flashes. I ultimately just want the softest / most natural lighting possible, so that you can barely see the equipment in an insect's eyes. I also want to take pictures of still life like mushrooms.
Thanks in advance for any help!