What you see pictured in the main image is a combination of RRS rings and adapters with the ArcaTech Nodal Rail, and yes this does add weight to you carry - is it worth it?
On a regular basis I use a Nikon R1C1 Wireless Close-Up Macro Flash System it advances my macro work to a higher level. For reference purposes: Read My Review of the Nikon R1C1 here. Nikon's wireless remote set up makes for some nice Macro lighting, the full package comes with two SB-R200 wireless flashes and the SU-800 commander, around $700.00 depending on where you shop.
This project (challenge) started when I acquired the Sigma 180mm Macro lens; Nikon does not have threaded ring adapter that fits Sigma's filter ring size, too large @ 86MM - thus I had no way to attach my SB-R200s to the sigma lens.
After a few searches I came across the Really Right Stuff flash accessories and I eventually ordered the parts required to make my macro flash system work with the Sigma lens + I intend to use the Really Right Stuff as a fill flash for my nature shooting with my 600mm lens.
The Cost Breakdown
• 1. FR-87-QR Medium Flash Ring with Tilt Flash B87-QRFM mount ($288.00)
• 2 each B87-SFM Non-Tilt Flash Mount ( $90.00 each)
• 2 each FA-QR200 Adapter for SB-R200 flashes ($ 30.00 each)
• 1 Archatech Nodal Rail ($200.00)
Be advised the Really Right Stuff flash accessories are pricy, but as most RRS products go their quality is always top shelf, making my entire set up run around $ 720.00 without electronics; I already had an Arcatech Nodal Rail for some panorama work I was doing.
The Really Right Flash Accessories are very well made and will last a lifetime, although light (aircraft aluminum) all together adds some weight - but if you want / need precision this is it especially for tripod studio work.
Really Right Stuff offers flash hoops/rings in small, medium and large + two styles and of course all types of adapters for major camera manufactures, so you should not have any trouble putting together a complete set up by purchasing an appropriate sized circular or semi-circular flash bracket which accepts the really right stuff flash mounts. You then acquire the correct flash shoe adapters. Their solution supports wireless and wired set-ups. If you want to attach a standard flash on the ring you will need either a "cold" shoe adapter or a strobe cord adapter. Once you have the adapters and flashes attached you can place the flash(es) anywhere along the ring, and lock them in place.
Out in the Field: Overall the flash bracket and adapters are easy to set-up and use plus they have utility for studio work and makes off camera macro photography work look more professional due to better lighting arrangements.
I found using this setup both a blessing and pain; Having the added weight on the camera with an already heavy lens makes it near impossible to hand hold steady for true macro 1:1 shot and remain in focus/sharp. You will certainly have your work cut out for you if you try to hand carry/hold this setup. I recommend you carry along that tripod. On a tripod this setup works very well, especially for static subjects such as flowers, water drops, and the like. However, considering the price I suggest you look at all other options first and weigh carefully your investment. If you’re into studio macro, or are a dedicated fan Really Right Stuff will not disappoint.
If you are trying to travel light you may want to look around for other options and, if you’re a Nikon user consider the R1C1. or R1.
Top Quality products for Macro, or a simple fill flash attached to your longer nature lens. Overall the system is very adaptable for general macro, studio, and product photography uses.
Second Advisory: Unfortunately the hoop/ring adapters are not interchangeable. That is if you have a large hoop/ring your medium B87-QRFM will not fit the larger diameter ring. So you will require flash mounts specific to each ring size, a tilting flash mount will run you $170.00 - ouch!
- Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF ED VR
- Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 ED FL VR
- Nikkor 600mm f/4 FL ED VR
- Nikkor 200mm f/4 ED Macro
- R1C1 Wireless Close-up system
- WR-A10 Wireless Adapter