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08-14-2012, 03:35 AM   #1
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Affordable ring flash for starting out with Macro work

Hi Guys,

I've just got hold of an SMC-Pentax M 100mm f/4 macro lens and have been out and about shooting some test shots of flowers this weekend, will upload some soon

I also ordered some extension tubes which turned up today and I'm thinking with the tubes attached I'm going to need more light. I would like to invest in a ring flash of some desription, it doesn't need to be particurlary fancy as the lens is MF anyway and I don't plan on buying an AF macro any time soon.

I have spotted some cheap ones on ebay e.g. LED macro Ring flash light for Canon Nikon Sigma Pentax | eBay

Would this suffice for now?

Any suggestions are welcome

Cheers

Alex

08-14-2012, 04:45 AM   #2
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Assuming the extension tubes aren't teleconverters (i.e. don't have any glass), they won't darken the exposure at all. I have one of those LED lights (they aren't really a flash, they just turn on/off). It works reasonably well for macro, the only caveat is that if you have a reflective surface the ring will show as individual LEDs rather than a full soft ring of light - it is a little harsh, but certainly something you can probably live with for the price.
08-14-2012, 04:47 AM   #3
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It'll illuminate the subject but won't freeze motion, so fine for still life objects, but no good for anything thats likely to move.

I've also been researching this very topic and concluded that if it's insects and other small beasties, etc that you intend to shoot you need a proper flash, which then leads on to the debate about ring flash or 'conventional' off-camera flash.

One issue that concerned me about the ring lights/flash's, is the weight on the end of the lens. Most cheaper ones seem to rely on being connected via an adapter screwed in to the filter thread on the lens.

I've been looking at what's about in off-camera flash brackets, etc, to be used in conjucntion with a 'conventional' flash-gun.

Also, take a look here>http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=132158. Useful resource and plenty of ideas.

Last edited by JohnX; 08-14-2012 at 04:53 AM.
08-14-2012, 04:55 AM   #4
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The Pentax AF080C ring flash was designed for use with this lens back in the film days. I picked one up or about $100.00 a few years ago and it works well with both my A 100/2.8 macro and K5 and K10. It would seem to be appropriate for your application. Here is a link to a thread discussing this unit a while back:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-flashes-lighting-technique/137786-...questions.html

Cheers

Tom G


Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-14-2012 at 08:33 AM.
08-14-2012, 06:54 AM   #5
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The ring flash you are looking at is a useful tool in some cases such as for fill light for flowers which are partly shaded.The problem with them is that if the target has a reflective surface you will get glare.I have one that gets very limited use but at the price am not sorry that I bought it as it does come in handy in some cases.
08-14-2012, 07:33 AM   #6
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Thanks guys for the feedback. Tom that AF080C flash sounds perfect for what I need, now I just need to try and find one!

Boker - how much did you pay for your led ring flash/light?

Cheers
08-14-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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FWIW, I have the Vivitar DR-5000 ring flash (a regular flash, not an LED light) and I'm very happy with it. Costs about $50 new.
08-14-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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Thanks GibbyTheMole that flash looks the business for the price! might have to get me one of those! now I just need to find one for sale in the UK

08-14-2012, 08:01 AM   #9
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Mine is a Neewer ,paid less than $30.00 on sale from Amazon
08-15-2012, 01:44 AM   #10
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Thanks just looked at the Neewer, looks pretty good - how does that one differ from the Vivitar DR-5000 above?

Cheers
08-15-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharepointalex Quote
Thanks just looked at the Neewer, looks pretty good - how does that one differ from the Vivitar DR-5000 above?
The Neewer is a continuous LED ringlight, whereas the Vivitar is a standard flash.
08-30-2012, 06:20 AM   #12
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Just a thought can the Vivitar mount onto extension tubes? or only onto a lens itself?
09-16-2012, 12:28 AM   #13
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Hi guys. How strongly can you each recommend your particular macro ring for the money? That is cost vs functionality/usefulness? I've check a few models from both ebay and amazon. I'm definitely looking in the budget category. Thanks!
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