FujiFilm X-T1 – Beginnings Of The Ultra-Macro Set-up
As close-up and macro photography have always been my dominant genres, this year I’ve decided to step out of my comfort zone and move into the far more challenging world of “ultra macro photography”, or “extreme macro” as some prefer to call it. With that in mind I decided to use the sharp APS sensor of the X-T1 with FujiFilms vibrant and pleasing colours. It’s not easy to plan and put together a good ultra-macro rig and many hours (read: weeks) have been spent reading and gathering unto me as much information as possible from the seasoned pros out there, who are actually few and far between in this patience wringing area of capture.
Above is the first stage of my rig. It thus far consists of the X-T1, Really Right Stuff BXT1 L Bracket and Double L Flash Bracket. TBH, the RRS bracket was an impulse buy and had my senile brain been engaged that evening I would probably have opted for the much cheaper (and equally useful PFL-XT1R, which is a Chinese copy, but from my experience all but the same thing. RRS do produce a slightly better product which tends to be more refined and fit exactly the contours of the camera. The Chinese ones are not quite as moulded but they’re 95% of the way there for 8% of the price. To buy the RRS version here in the UK you need to order direct from the US. That means $135 plus $40 shipping = $175. You’ll then pay 20% of the final $175 in import duties plus an $18 admin charge for a total of $228. I can buy a decent camera for that, never mind an L bracket.. So in today’s money we’re talking £162.50 for the RRS bracket or £10 for the Chinese copy. Well, you decide.. I bought the RRS bracket secondhand in a moment of madness (think: red wine) and paid £100. Oh well.. I normally have a fairly conservative stance on buying copies: I don’t. I pay up the bucks and support local vendors and manufacturers but come on RRS. $175 for an L Bracket is already silly. $228 is just ridiculous and if manufacturers don’t do the right thing by their loyal customers then at some point they’ll go elsewhere. I’m a loyal RRS customer but if they can’t produce a rudimentary product such as an L Plate for a decent price then even I’ll look elsewhere, especially when the OEM product actually gives me nothing more bar a couple of aesthetically pleasing corners and edges.
I’ll post updates throughout the week and weekend on the progress of the rig and my reasons for each item added. Everything should arrive in the next couple of days so by the end of the week we should have a complete ultra-macro rig that works for both handheld and supported photography complete with diffused main flash, continuous light for focusing via a cheap ring flash and a few more adjustments I’ve made to existing theories. Back soon!