What I discovered right away is that 1:1 isn't for wimps. If
you're going to work with magnifications that high, you just about have to have a tripod or a flash. So I continued my search for a
ringlight that 1) didn't suck, and 2) didn't cost $450. I got lucky at
one of the few good photography stores in the area - Overland Photo in Overland Park, KS - and picked up an old Lester Dine
ringlight for $40. It's got the Minolta TTL module, but works f
ine in "manual" mode, which gives about f16 @100 ISO. Add a 49-52 step up ring and I was in business.
So I strapped the 100mm Macro onto my K20D, screwed on Lester's ringlight (Wikipedia tells me he invented the ringlight... learn something new every day) and went in search of interesting bugs and other small things.
The most interesting thing I found, I flubbed the exposure on. I'm going to post it here anyway - I'm hoping someone knows what the heck it is. It's so counter to expectations that I'm left baffled and fairly speechless. It flew up and landed on the leaf I was looking at, and at first I thought it was a bit of fluff, but it turned out to be a bug. With fur or something: