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07-13-2007, 02:22 PM   #1
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Opinions: Ring light or Ring Flash

I just picked up a Sigma 105 f2.8 EX Macro and now it's time for a ring light/flash. Anyone have any thoughts on either and what models/brands are you using? I realize the ring light won't freeze a bug shot but I've got an AF540FGZ that should do fine for any of those attempts. A ring light has the advantage of not having to be dedicated to P-TTL as far as I'm aware.

What I'm looking for more is still life and that sort of thing. There are a few $100 ring lights on fleabay these days and wondering if that would do the job most of the time. I haven't found a P-TTL ring flash anywhere. Open to anyone's experiences or ideas.

Thanks all

07-13-2007, 02:36 PM   #2
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Well, by the moment you could forget about Sigma. I wrote them to ask it their macro ring flash is compatible with Pentax and get a plain "No" without further comments.

J.
07-13-2007, 02:46 PM   #3
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A DIY solution:

Strobist: Super-Cheap, DIY Ring Flash
07-13-2007, 06:21 PM   #4
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Peter, I have the same Sigma 105mm macro lens, and plan on getting a ring light as well. For my non-bug needs, current leanings are toward SR Inc's Digi-Slave L-Ring 3200D LED ring light w/diffuser (about $290). One thing: be sure you get the adapters appropriate for the lenses you'll be using. SR will give you one free (the 105mm has a 58mm filter size, and that's what they go by); additional adapters are $9.50 each. I picked the 3200D model because they said it'd be usable with some of my larger lenses, plus puts out more light.

07-13-2007, 06:46 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffScottSF Quote
Peter, I have the same Sigma 105mm macro lens, and plan on getting a ring light as well. For my non-bug needs, current leanings are toward SR Inc's Digi-Slave L-Ring 3200D LED ring light w/diffuser (about $290). One thing: be sure you get the adapters appropriate for the lenses you'll be using. SR will give you one free (the 105mm has a 58mm filter size, and that's what they go by); additional adapters are $9.50 each. I picked the 3200D model because they said it'd be usable with some of my larger lenses, plus puts out more light.
Thanks all, I have seen this DIY idea before and it may be worth a try for certain things using the AF540.

Jeff, I think the ring light is about the only way to go. No one seems to have a P-TTL ringflash. Seems at least for the moment there are almost no options. The old 080 and 140's will only work in manual and that has it's limits since there isn't much power output control on either plus they are TTL only.

I think the ringlight will work well for almost any still life shots. Thanks Jeff for the version you suggested. I'll look into it.
07-13-2007, 08:12 PM   #6
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Maybe look for a ring flash that has more manual output control and/or possibly one with a built-in sensor? It looks like Vivitar makes a ring flash that has built-in metering. (i.e. auto mode w/o TTL) - the 5000.

As to that LED ringlight - what's the lumen rating on it? Might be better to DIY one from a bunch of Luxeons.
07-14-2007, 11:00 AM   #7
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Checked the SR Inc website (Slave Flash Products for Digital Cameras) and at B&H, but they don't give lumen ratings on the Digi-Slave LED ring lights. The sample dental photos at SR seem quite bright, if one can judge by that - me, I'm more into shots of flowers, and an LED-type light should keep things nice and cool. There's also a newer model 6400 that looks like it might be a fun fashion accessory for robot...
07-14-2007, 12:17 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffScottSF Quote
Checked the SR Inc website (Slave Flash Products for Digital Cameras) and at B&H, but they don't give lumen ratings on the Digi-Slave LED ring lights. The sample dental photos at SR seem quite bright, if one can judge by that - me, I'm more into shots of flowers, and an LED-type light should keep things nice and cool. There's also a newer model 6400 that looks like it might be a fun fashion accessory for robot...
Sorry, way off topic but what the .....! We have another member named Jeff Scott! There outa be a law! I thought they broke the mold when I was born.

07-14-2007, 07:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffScottSF Quote
Checked the SR Inc website (Slave Flash Products for Digital Cameras) and at B&H, but they don't give lumen ratings on the Digi-Slave LED ring lights. The sample dental photos at SR seem quite bright, if one can judge by that - me, I'm more into shots of flowers, and an LED-type light should keep things nice and cool. There's also a newer model 6400 that looks like it might be a fun fashion accessory for robot...
Needless to say, you could make a photo appear bright with even 5mm Nichias if you set the exposure long enough.

Unless they're using Luxeons in that ringlight, it's massively overpriced. And if they're not giving lumen ratings, it means they have something to hide.
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