Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Ring flash?

A plea to my fellow bloggers and anyone that has randomly come across this post. I want to start using my DSLR for macro photography and am aware that I need to illuminate the subject that is having its picture taken. I have a Canon 450D (the dust is being blown off as I type) and a Canon 60mm dedicated macro lens. Is a ring flash the simplest (and best) solution? Any thoughts would be welcomed...

8 comments:

  1. Hi Steve, I used to use a ringflash quite a lot and found it easy to use but there are some drawbacks. You get annular highlights on shiny surfaces (e.g. frog's eyes), which is always a giveaway for a ringflash picture) but I guess they could be doctored with photoshop. The second problem is that the uniform lighting can produce images that are a bit flat but I think these days there are ringflashes with four switchable tubes so that you can switch one off to introduce a bit of modellng if you want. They do tend to be quite expensive to buy too.

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  2. Thanks Phil, if I manage to get shots a tenth as good as yours I'll be pleased!

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  3. Hi Steve, I prefer not to use flash, as with macro you often get the "Black background" syndrome, but when I do, I use a normal flash (430 or 580) off-camera with a Westcott Apollo softbox.
    cheers
    jonathan

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  4. Thanks for that Jonathan. Until now I have tried to use natural daylight, but my images do lack a sharpness that a bit of flash would help with. I will investigate your suggestion.

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  5. Steve, Skev's your man, he uses one...

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  6. Thanks Stewart, I'll get in touch with him

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  7. I use a ring flash but rarely take it out into the field as it's a bit cumbersome but I expect I should do so. The trouble is I am rarely out solely to take photographs so I usually have a bag full of books, etc.

    However, in relation to the ring of light mentioned earlier, I have counteracted that by starting to use a stiff card cone cut to fit inside the ring flash to act as a diffuser. I attach it with blu-tack. It softens and spreads the light a treat especially on close ups of mounted diptera.

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  8. Nice tip there Andrew. if I do get one I'll remember the stiff card diffusing trick!

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