Using a large softbox or diffuser for macro photography gives a nice soft light with minimal specular highlights. One of the challenges of using a large softbox is how to mount it to the camera so it is above the lens and it also provides flexibility in positioning the light on your subject.
Without a flash bracket, the smaller 9” x 7” diffuser rested on top of my Olympus 60mm macro lens (above photo)
A regular flash bracket will lift the flash off of the lens but doesn’t allow enough flexibility in positioning the light on the subject. In fact, for close in macro photographs, the lower half of the subject doesn’t get hardly any light.
Macro flash brackets are design to provide this flexibility in positioning the flash to light your subject. The problem is finding a macro flash bracket that allows this flexibility, and also securely holds the flash and diffuser in position.
I purchased the Wimberley F-2 Macro Flash Bracket a few months ago and I’ve been putting it to the test with my Olympus OM-D, E-M1 Mark III, Olympus 60mm macro lens, Olympus FL-700WR Flash, and an Altura 11” x 8” softbox.
I thought I’d write this blog because it took a bit of research to determine everything needed to attach the Wimberley F-2 Macro Flash Bracket to my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III and FL-700WR flash.
In addition to the Wimberley F-2 Flash Bracket, you will also need a Arca Swiss Tripod Quick Release Plate to attach the Wimberley F-2 to the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera. You will also need a ¼ inch Cold Shoe Flash Stand Adapter to mount your flash to the Wimberley F-2.
Since the flash will not be mounted in the Hot Shoe, you will also need an off camera TTL Flash Sync Cord or a remote flash controller. I like using the Olympus FC-WR Flash Controller because it is faster to change the flash settings using the controller. I can also detach the flash from the macro flash bracket and hand hold it if needed.
You can rotate the Arca Swiss plate in multiple directions to position the Wimberley Flash bracket. A couple of considerations when determining the direction to mount the Wimberley F-2 to your camera are access to the battery chamber and ability to use and position the articulating LCD which I frequently use for macro photography.
I found that the best direction to mount the Wimberley F-2 to my E-M1 Mark III was facing out of the front of the camera toward the lens. This positioning gives me access to the battery compartment and the articulating LCD, and allows me to position the flash to provide good light on my macro photography subjects.
This set up also worked with my Olympus OM-D E-M1X.
Overall, I really like the Wimberley F-2 Macro Flash Bracket. It is a solid flash bracket that holds the flash and softbox firmly in place. Below are some of the Pros and Cons of buying and using the Wimberley F-2.
- A solid and stable flash bracket that firmly holds your flash in place
- It’s stability allows you to use larger softboxes that will provide a softer light and less specular highlights in your macro images.
- Each component has adjustment knobs allowing you to move the flash in almost any direction
- The top Con is the price of the bracket. It is priced at $169 USD plus you need to factor in the cost of the Arca Swiss plate (if you don’t have one), Cold Shoe Flash Stand Adapter, and an Off Camera TTL Flash Sync Cord.
- Weight. The Wimberley F-2 weighs around 15 ounces. So, while it’s not super heavy, it does add about a pound to your macro photography kit not including the weight of the flash and softbox.
Written by Martin Belan