Metz 15 - anyone have experience?

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I've seen some of the recent posts on the R-1 macro flash system from Nikon and have also been interested in the Metz 15 macro ring flash. It seems like it there are some real pluses and minuses to both. Has anyone used both or just had experience with the Metz?
 
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I have both. For macro and close-up work, the R1 is far better as it can be used in many configurations.

R1
Can be used mounted on supplied lens bracket just like a flash ring
Can use up to 4 SB-200 speedlights in 3 separate groups
Can be used off camera on brackets, tripods, hand-held

Metz 15
Limited to use as lens mounted ring flash

Flash rings have their uses, but any lens mounted flash ring is not the best choice for macro or extreme close work. The even light, being on the same axis as the lens, gives images a flat appearance. The R1 used as a flash ring is an exception as it uses up to 4 SB200 speedlights which can be set to 3 different groups each with a different EV using an SU800 as commander. Even without the SU800, the R1 is still much more flexible useing a suitable camera as commander.

Since getting the R1 and SU800, I have not used the Metz again.
 
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Here's an example of one SB200 from the R1 kit being used as fill flash on a macro set-up. It is mounted on a fully articulating Wimberly segmented bracket with an SB900 mounted on an RSS circular flash bracket and controlled with SU800. D700, 200mm Nikkor Micro, SS computer controlled macro rail.

_DSC0010-5.jpg
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Thanks for your quick reply. Superb set-up you have there! Seems like the SU-800 would be worth the extra money even though I shoot with a D90 for ease of set-up, not to mention additional flexibility. Nice computer rail too, build it yourself?
 
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The computer rail is built by Cognisys which also makes the StopShot timer.

I recommend the SU800 as it gives you a lot of flexibility. Here is a very non-conventional use of the SU800 firing two SB200,s and triggered with a StopShot timer. The SC30 cables are necessary because the SU800 is not connected to the camera in any way in this set up. In normal use, the SC30 cables are not needed and operation is completely wireless.

DSC_0018-4.jpg
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I did a quick google search on computer controlled macro rails and came up empty. Good to see the link to Cognisys. Looks like cleverly designed equipment. I think that could be a very expensive website for me. I could never see racking my focusing rails manually to stack images, having worked in high tech long enough to see a perfect stepper motor application. I noticed you can buy the stepper motor separately, hmmmm

Their other products look like terrific solutions to problems I only now know I have.
 
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Messages
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I did a quick google search on computer controlled macro rails and came up empty. Good to see the link to Cognisys. Looks like cleverly designed equipment. I think that could be a very expensive website for me. I could never see racking my focusing rails manually to stack images, having worked in high tech long enough to see a perfect stepper motor application. I noticed you can buy the stepper motor separately, hmmmm

Their other products look like terrific solutions to problems I only now know I have.
The StackShot is a very well crafted piece of precision equipment and works flawlessly. The fit and finish is top notch. The controller provides for programming camera settle time between shots as well as many other features. Once programmed, you don't have to touch the camera again until the stack is complete.

Paul at Cognisys is very accessible and and responsive to any issues with his gear. I highly recommend any of his equipment.

Take a look at my thread on "Shooting Water Drops...With a Gun" on this sub-form. Virtually all the images were taken using Cognisys equipment.
 
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