Yoshizen's Blog

Macro Flash-light / Small Flash on Goose-neck

Macro flash-270EX(1)A09A0174

This must be a “You got to be joking” kind of funny, cheap adaptation of a flash for Macro

photography. —– And I would say “Why not” 😀

Since, most of my existing flashes, except Canon 430EX-II are not compatible for the latest DSLR

to give TTL flash control, I needed to buy one for Macro-flash modification which I described

it in a former post.


The flash I found second-hand was 270EX-II, which is using only two batteries hence pretty small and

light enough to mount on top of a Goose-neck, instead to have internal modification I did before.

Decisive fact was that I already have [off the camera flash cable] made by Sunpak more than

20 years ago which was similar to the German SCA300 adapter system used by Metz, Agfa etc.

Sunpak tried to make the adapter for all the cameras which has been started to have new function, not

only ready-light, TTL flash control but even for focus-light for AF which was newly introduced AF camera.

Because of the Camera design was keep changing while adding new function, it was a hard task to

keep-up. —– On the end Sunpak became out of breath and bankrupted.

—– so, on that time lots of Sunpak products became obsolete and sold in a give-away price.

Macro Flash-270EX(3)406-001

Once, Sunpak was a dominant force in the flash-light market with very innovative design and

versatile system such as the interchangeable head system with Telephoto head, Infra-red head,

Bare-tube head etc. not mention they produced very powerful model as well.

So, when I saw a box-full of their [Flash Extension Cable] in a camera shop, I bought all of them at once,

more than 20 cables for every type of cameras. —– Flash shoe is an awkward component to make

ourselves,  (still, I worked to make and modify, such as adding one more TTL contact to Pentax type to

make it Nikon type etc.  🙂 )  therefore, it’s better to keep enough supply of many types in hand,

and it’s got very useful coiled cable as well..


DSLR camera manufacturer is selling their [Flash Extention Cable] and all of their Female connector has

only 1/4” Tripod screw. = Once flash was put on the cable, it has to be mounted on a stand, otherwise it

has to be held by a hand.      In contrast, the best thing of the Sunpak Extension Cable is, male and

female can be coupled, in other words flash can be perched on top of the camera, only 45mm

higher position.   So that, it can be changed Flash on the camera to hand-lighting just by pressing release

button (which can be locked as well)  hence, as far as I know, this is the best designed [FlashE xtention

Cable] in the history and the materials and the construction are also very good.

Macro Flash-270EX(2B)414-001

———– (Photo above:  1″ Aluminium C-channel is the best to make many structures.  

———–  And  3/4 ” Square Pipe will just fit inside, hence they can make best coupling system !  

———–  And they could be easily cut by hand tools, though it’s a very tedious work.  🙂 )

So, my modification was just Epoxy glued  female connector on top of a goose-neck and made a small

piece of aluminium channel to connect the goose-neck to the camera bracket which is the in-hose

standard to connect any of my flash-light systems to the cameras.

Macro Flash-270EX(4)407-001

Macro Flash-270EX(5)408-001

—– To use the 270EX-II flash as a Macro-flash, thanks to the flexibility of goose-neck, flash can be

positioned (more or less) where ever desired, with or without bouncing diffuser.

—– following photos are the Test sample of each lighting.  (Focus and  F  were Fixed)

Macro Flash-270EX-sample(6)409-001

Macro Flash-270EX-Sample(7)410-001

————- (The Lens was CanonEF Macro 100mm F2.8 with home made “Ultra Proxer” / F2.8)

Macro Flash-270EX-Sample(8)411-001

————- (This last set of sample photo was using   F11 —— slight difference of lighting changes

————- the character of the subject ! —– See the difference on enlarged images ) 

(And the sample photos in the field will be followed )  😉

—– those photos are taken in my room (I’m still busy dealing with boxes  🙂 ) of a small visitor,

Beetle, head to tale  6mm or 1/4″ big, using Ultra Proxer on Canon EF 100mm Macro

with 270EX-II flash and extension cable. 

6mm Beetle,EF100mm, Proxer, 270EX Flash 417-001



Small Beetle-416-001(([]

——— (Photo Left : 100mm Macro at F16 + Ultra Proxer, 270EX Flash with Diffuser — taken x2 size.

——— Photo Right : same setting but at F 2.8 ) 


Close-up Lens on EF-Macro Lens

(Proxer on) EF100mm(1)A09A0062

Well, those top two photos were taken by Canon EF Macro 100mm F2.8 Lens alone.

(Proxer on) EF100mm(2)A09A0065

This Macro lens has internal focus system and it will be focused down to the life-size.

 For general macro work,  it is convenient to use though, for me,  life-size is often just

not close enough.  So that I specially made additional Proxer / Close-up lens my self.

Proxer on EF100mm(3)396-001

As I detailed in the post, By using the Proxer, the Lens can close to  x2 size, and

in addition, it creates almost phenomenal out-of-focus Bokhe.

Proxer on EF100mm(4)397-001

The Bokhe created by this additional lens looks almost like Air-blush Graphic work.

Still, since this Proxer was made out of the front element of a Zoom Lens, it got double

lens Achromatic construction, no Chromatic aberration was appeared and the focused

image is quite sharp, corner to corner, even when the lens aperture was fully open.

Proxer on EF100mm(5)400-001

Proxer on EF100mm(6)399-001

Proxer on EF100mm(7)401-001

Proxer on EF100mm(8)402-001

Proxer on EF100mm(9)403-001

Proxer on EF100mm(10)404-001

Proxer on EF100mm(11)A09A0029

Proxer on EF100mm(12)A09A0085

All those photos, except top two,  F-aperture was set to F2.8 and the Camera was

set to AV mode.  Auto focus does work though, as the nature of this kind of

close-up work, I used manual focus.   


Ultra heavy Proxer — Close-up Lens from TV Zoom

Proxer 85-Zeiss(1)A09A0119

Those photos were taken by Zeiss 85 mm F 1.4 lens, with my handmade Proxer was

attached to it.  The Proxer = Close-up lens was  in fact, a front element of a Canon

TV-Zoom lens which I’ve cannibalized from a broken lens.  (hence cost nothing  😉 )

As the original lens was a very expensive TV  lens,  it has a very high-quality

Achromatic lens.  ( Even ED glass may have used in its construction.)


In most of the case, it is not very difficult to disassemble the lens —– in this case,

after unscrew 14 small screws, the front Lens was disengaged from its focusing helicoid.

—– then it was glued to a 67 mm filter ring.  (filter glass was removed beforehand)  

Front-element of this lens works as a close-up lens, hence with 85 mm lens it act like

a life-size Macro converter.  —– And with large 1.4 F-aperture, it gives very shallow

depth of field. (and very big Bokhe ! — Still, the focused image itself is quite sharp ! )

Test on F1.4-F2.8-F5.6-(B)393-002

——(Metric ruler was shot in 45 degree.  Left: F1.4  /  Center: F2.8  /   Right: F5.6)

Though, this 3 cm thick solid glass in a solid metal helicoid is really heavy, almost

the same weight of 85 mm lens itself.   😀 

Proxer 85-Zeiss(3)A09A0096

Proxer 85-Zeiss(4)380-001

Proxer 85-Zeiss(5)379-001

Proxer 85-Zeiss(6B)394-001

(The photo above :  Left was taken F1.4,    but Right photo was F5.6 )

Proxer 85-Zeiss(7)385-001

Proxer 85-Zeiss(8)384-001

Proxer 85-Zeiss(9)383-001

(In those photos, look at how the single hair of fluff was captured on F 1.4  

= Please click and enlarge twice)

Proxer 85-Zeiss(10)A09A0064

Proxer 85-Zeiss(11)382-001

Proxer 85-Zeiss(12)378-001

Proxer 85-Zeiss(13)A09A0074

As you can see from the photos above, off-focused Bokhe is a bit too much for

most of the people’s taste though, that is what I’ve been after.

(This effect couldn’t be mimicked by PS ! ) 

—– to get this effect, I tried many Soft Focus lenses, Filters, Pinhole Photo,

Double-density Pinhole, even Double Focus in Double exposure.  

But there is no sharp core in a Pinhole photo, and the Double exposure has

the trouble to keep the subject exactly in the same position etc etc.  

= After many many years of attempt,  now I think, I got what I wanted.  

Only a problem is, this TV-Zoom Proxer gives only life-size close-up image.  

May be I need to find another lens which got longer focal length.  😀

Still, it’s a start.

Processed Top Photo-A09A0119-009


Ultra Proxer — Recycled from Old zoom lens

Proxer+EF100mm(1A)A09A9956Proxer is an old name to call Close-up lens which attach on front of the lens.  

The lens I’m talking here is a front lens element  I’ve scavenged from an old zoom lens 85~210 mm F 3.8,  sold under many different names —– the photo was in the previous post (first photo, Front lens was near the left end).

Most of the close-up lens consist simple convex, single meniscus lens mounted on a filter frame.   Same idea to put a magnifier before camera lens and take close-up  photo.  It was convenient to have a small adapter lens to take closer picture, as in the old days there was no such things like a macro setting on the Primary lens (Standard lens).  

—– To make a high-performance Proxer,  I did some cut and bonding works with epoxy glue, which was worthwhile to create a treasure out of junk.  🙂 

home-made Proxer(1)371-001Photo left :  Don’t hesitate to hack-saw a lens barrel.  Once disassembled and the glass was removed, even a precision optical device, is a piece of metal.   = What it used to be is only in your mind.  On this moment you are dealing the work to create something new.  What required here is a careful but very simple and boring push and pull work.  😀  

Center photo :  To the front lens, hack-sawed front barrel (which got 58mm  filter screw )  was screwed back and a filter ring was bonded to its rear side with epoxy glue.  

Photo right :  The finished close-up lend was attached on the front of the Canon EF 100 mm  Macro lens, which also has  58 mm filter size.

Home-made Proxer(2)372-001You might be wondering,  while having macro lens already, and having a skill to use the lens in reverse etc.  = all sorts of close-up trick, why do I need to have yet  another close-up lens. —– well, all of my Macro lenses were down to the life-size, in other words, they take a picture of  36mm x 24mm is the closest.  I simply wanted to close bit more.  (My attention tend to go rather small things.  🙂 )

—– And a real intention was to have much more exaggerated out of focus Bokhe.  (I’m tired with clear images which is everywhere and too easy to come by today.)     

Photo left :   With this close-up lens, when the master lens,  100 mm Macro lens was set to the infinity,   a small dole (36 mm tall) looks like this. (taken F 2.8)

Center Photo :  With close-up lens, when the Master Macro lens was set to the life-size, it produces  x2 larger image (dole’s head is 10mm).   Have look the Bokhe in F 2.8 = max open).  (This Bokhe is quite close to the Olympus Zuiko 50 mm F 2 Macro lens ! )  

Photo right :  A small beetle who happen to came to my room (it’s too hot these days,  the window was fully open) this photo was taken with a bounced flash-light with F 11.

Unlike most of the Proxer, this home-made close-up lens has double lens chromatic structure,  and fully coated. = Think, a cost of common cheap Proxer, and a Front lens which is the most crucial part of the lens structure in a  zoom lens.  

= Difference of quality is obvious.     As you can see it in those sample photos.  

Home-made Proxer(3)374-001A photo of a moth parched on the wall in my room, taken by EF 100 mm Macro with the handmade Proxer. = With F 2.8 the depth of focus is really shallow still, in the focused area, the image is very sharp.

EF 100mm at F2.8 at x1 + ProxerThis is a test shot of the screen of a Tablet (a photo of my umbrella).  This close-up lens maintained very high quality of the image = Very even, corner to corner.  And this is at F 2.8 ! (See details, by click it, and again)

Homemade Proxer Test(2)375Left photo is Macro lens alone and about  1/2 size.   Right photo is, with close-up lens but Master lens was set to Infinity.   Hence this combination can take photo from infinity to  1/1  and with this Proxer to  x2.  (By the way, Canon 5D mk-III has dreadful red-color cast when ISO was set to 6400.   In AWB and in any setting.  Though, at  ISO 100 much better.  = See the photos below)

Canon - Left ISO 3600 / Right - ISO 100(Photo left :  5D but Mk-II.   Photo Right :  The ISO setting was  100  = Much better !)(Those are hand-held photos = only for Color reference.)  To be fair,  I show you the photos by Nikon D810’s color  in similar setting.

Nikon D800 Left ISO 3600, Right ISO 100, 377-001

(Photo Left :  Nikon D810 — ISO 3600    Photo Right :  Same but ISO 100   Both with Micro Nikkor 55mm F3.5 — 1/2 )

Higher ISO setting mean, very low out-put of image sensor has to be amplified electronically to its limit.    While amplifying to such extent, still linearity has to be maintained, while the out-put of each BGR may not having exactly the same character.

= Can of warm is opened.  🙂   In the same time, higher amplification also amplify the noise as well.  

—– I admire and praise  the people who managed it and brought the benefit of very high ISO setting even if it was not (yet) perfect.

Proxer+EF 100mm(2)A09A9955

Proxer+EF 100mm(3)A09A9975



( What I casually called Mayfly here was in fact  Green lacewing /  Chrisopidae )

Some days ago, short floss like thing standing on the edge of the book, caught my eyes ? ? ?

At second glance, I realized, it was an egg of the Mayfly.   Then I remembered a

Mayfly was flapping around the table lamp a night or two before. = so,  she laid an egg ! ?

While looking around —– I found four more  those eggs

here and there. —–  And I found a dead Mayfly too.

—– M m m m # ? # ?.  What a hell ! What should I do ? ? ?


I don’t like it. Absolutely not welcome at all.

Even if those eggs hatched, there is no food for its larvae

—– simply I can’t take care of them.

—– and if I pick and throw them out, the eggs will be

eaten by other small creepy crawlies.

—– In any choice, those small life would be doomed —– isn’t there any alternative ? ? ?


So that I decided to take picture of them = at least, Mayfly could contribute something to

the world —– ( really ? —– for what extent ? ) —– Don’t ask me,  it’s a sheer excuse.

But, to take picture of such minute subject is not easy. As my macro photo system has been

disappeared somewhere I decided to make it using cheap Chinese Micro-scope Lens.

( Using wide-angle lens with reverse adopter could make large magnification though its big

shoulder prevent to access small corner to take picture of this kind of fixed object )

So, I wound a wire around the screw mount of the microscope lens (and partly soldered / Photo above left )

then glued this ring on top of a splay can which happen to have suitable diameter ( Photo, middle ) and

put LED focus light —– here the Macro Photo Adopter for Canon EOS.

( can was mounted on a Canon body cap —– with a cut-out hole in the middle, of cause 🙂 )

What a hustle you might say. Yes it was a hustle in deed. To holding a wire ring in the dead centre

of a mouth of can while keeping it exactly parallel (well, sort of 🙂 ) and filling the 2.3 mm gap around

of it, using Araldite glue etc. etc,  a  lots of work.


But don’t forget the life of a small Mayfly —– she unfortunately end-up her life in this room though,

at least she did her best,  surviving few days without drinking any water (may be — I know not) and

laid the eggs which was her duty in her life.

At least, I have to respond to the encounter with this life —– it is the duty to be a Buddhist.

Squeezing the brain and find the way to solve the technical difficulties and achieve ( at least in the

acceptable standard 🙂 ) the necessary objective —– is the Zen ( in action ).

This is what I’ve been saying “ Do It “ not wasting the time thinking.

—– Um m, the result seems not too bad. ( I think —– for an almost cost nothing hand-made device 😀 )

( Quality of the images is not as good as Zeiss apo-chromat lens I used to use, but think about the price 😀 )


PS :  The stem or egg supporting rod (?) is nothing but a wonder of the nature.  How the secluded liquid

—– can instantly harden and able to hold the egg on top. —– If anybody know the scientific research of

—– this,  please let me know.  (Incidentally, the rainbow color on top photo was created by the optical

—– diffraction of the transparent membrane of the wing. —– it’s mean, the thickness of this film is as thin

—– as a wave length of the light ! — isn’t this incredible ?   Man’s technology is still behind of the nature )

PPS ;  After many years of  having had their visit here, this year I came to the resolution, how to deal with

—— them.  = When ever I saw them flying under the light, catch them and throw them out of window.

—— Watching them fly or take rest on somewhere —– might be amazing or interesting and giving a water

—— or piece of fruits etc. may seems to be an act of friendship or what so ever.  IT IS our arrogance

—— and on the end, it would do nothing good to them.  They don’t belong to this room and there is no

—— prospect for them to have their fruitful life here.   Throw them out where they belong = NATURE.

—— It is the most kind and friendly things we can do to them.

It is often the case, without giving a help and leave a person in their own device could be

the most kind things to do to the person’s life.  

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