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I'm regularly doing macro work using a Nikon D800, typically with its internal flash, and when possibly using the SB700 speedlight.

In both cases, the flash is directly head-on, which has several disadvantages in macro work. I see more advanced macro photographers with various creative setups to work around this issue. Many of these setups are creatively home constructed. For example, they use a piece of metal as an arm and then somehow manage to screw their external flash on it, allowing for side-lit macro scenes.

I'm not that handy, therefore I was wondering if there are any formal/commercial offerings of such setups? I don't even know what to call it or search for it, so help is appreciated.

PS: I know there are macro ring flashes, but I don't want those — they are still heads-on.

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Yes. You are looking for a macro flash bracket. As you can see from that Google search, there are quite a few options.

  • Thank you! That's exactly the term I'm looking for. This looks interesting and affordable, not sure if it can support a SB700: aliexpress.com/item/… – Fer May 12 '14 at 20:11
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also, you can look for "ring flash". these flashes attach on the outer ring of the lens.

but, usefulness of that depends on which lens you are using. if you are using macro lens that can focus from very close proximity, ring flash is the lighting setup that you are looking for. in that case, this flash is able to illuminate the subject from every angle.

here is a sample one:

enter image description here

  • Doesn't the question already mention and rule out ring flashes? – mattdm May 15 '14 at 19:52
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I use a flash hand-held attached to the camera with a cable such as this:

http://www.ephotozine.com/articles/New-flash-shoe-extension-cord-from-Nissin-9907/images/Nissin_flash_Cord.jpg

This way you can quickly take some shots holding the flash at different sides and angles and see what produces the best result.

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